People Explain The 'City Things' That Country People Would Never Understand

People Explain The 'City Things' That Country People Would Never Understand
Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Moving to a larger metropolitan area may result in culture shock to those from rural parts of the country.

As someone who has only lived in major cities, I still found the move from Los Angeles to New York being quite the wake up call.

I had gotten accustomed to being stuck in gridlock traffic for most of my commutes in sunny LA. But when I got to Gotham, I loved the convenience of the MTA subway system.

However, the questionable odor while in transit is something I don't care to get used to.

I also realized the denizens of the Empire State were not rude as West Coasters maintained. Well, at least not everyone.

I had come to learn, we – speaking as a New Yorker now after living here for 20 years – are no-nonsense when in certain social interactions. We are very direct and not time wasters.

Which brings us to the subject of what city folks know over those who come small towns.

Redditor bruhcharlie asked:

"People who live in cities, what are some 'city things' country people don't understand?"

Something's Afoul

"That downtown smell that smells like piss? It's piss..."


"Big cities make their own gravy when it rains."


Going The Distance

"Walking somewhere close will always be faster than going there by a car."


Where Nobody Knows Your Name

"The anonymity can be freeing."


"I walk down the street in my small town assuming everyone has contact with my parents and that it will get back to them. The mom network was a truly devastating thing when in high school."



"Having a dog will make you socialize a lot. When you're walking it, people with other dogs will stop to let your dogs sniff each other and you'll chitchat. Little children will want to pet your dog, and old people will tell you that your dog reminds them of their old dogs. Also, the probability that people stop you to ask for directions will significantly increase, I guess because they assume you live in the neighbourhood."


"Being polite and talking to everyone who talks to you will get you finessed."

"Eye contact is an invitation to talk. Smiling is an invitation to talk. People in the city aren't rude for avoiding these, they're just tired of every conversation they have with a stranger ending in them getting asked for something."


Eyes Down

"I didn't really appreciate this sentiment when I first moved from the suburbs to the city. Any time someone would stop me for a question, I would always engage in dialogue. 99.9% of the time it was someone asking for money with some sob story about why they needed it. The first few months, I gave away all my spare change, every time (I moved to the city in October when the weather was starting to turn cooler)."

"By the time spring rolled around, I was starting to learn how to stop looking like an easy mark. I stopped making eye contact with everyone and ignored folks who were a reasonable distance away when they called out to me - pretending I couldn't hear them."

"But I'll never forget the first time I really got to that point of straight up no engagement. I was walking home from work and a woman standing right next to me said she wanted to ask me a question. I promptly shut her down with a 'Nope!' and kept walking. It was that moment that I realized, for good or bad... the city had changed me."



"I just moved from a small town on the west coast to a medium sized city on the east coast. It's crazy that you can just go out and DO things. You don't have to drive for two hours to go to the mall, you just go. I can have food delivered to my house in minutes and Amazon does next day delivery! It's awesome!! Also, cable internet is pretty sweet after having satellite for so long. One question though: what's with all of the hibachi restaurants?"


No Time For Chit Chat

"It's not that we aren't friendly, there are just so many people we can't say hello and chat with everyone or we never get to our destinations."

"I love going to small towns and just dialing my brain back 20mph and enjoying the people. Small talk, hitting yard sales, visiting small restaurants where the staff engage you."


The Compromise

"The suburbs/country gives you a lot of physical space and physical freedom. But no internal space or internal freedom. Everyone is up your business. HOAs, small town gossip etc"

"Big cities, you have no personal space. Everything is crowded. So the compromise is you get so much more internal space. There could be 100 people in a cafe but not a soul looks at you. Because the only space you have in the city is internal space."

"Country people think it's rude that city folk ignore people. It's not. It's a favor. It's nice."


The Healthy Route

"It is faster for me to ride my bike to work than it is to drive, and I feel healthier both physically and mentally."


Grocery Shopping

"in the city it best to only shop for what you can carry anyway. typically the logisitics of loading a car with grocieries that require multiple trips to drag from where you park to your place makes it inefficient. best to shop often on way home and only buy what you can carry."

"Edit. I never did this but spoke with people who had canned and dry goods delivered and the shop only for pershiables."



"Driving 10 miles can sometimes take 60 minutes, depending on how bad the traffic is. That's why if you suggest to go to a restaurant two towns over, someone might say it's too far of a drive."


Apartment Living

"Living in a downtown apartment isn't some kind of oppressive hell. Not everyone wants to maintain a huge house or deal with lawn-mowing bylaw requirements. Many people don't give a sh*t about gardening and just need space for their bed, desk, and computer, especially if they are single and live alone. A downtown apartment in cities like NYC or Toronto is also likely to be within walking distance to all sorts of restaurants, shops, and other services. Many people love being able to do this for exercise."

"On the same note, taking public transport is not some kind of freedom-lacking hell. It's only hell if you believe it is. Many people love the freedom of being able to read books or catch up on TV shows or play games during their commutes, instead of staring at traffic for an hour each way. Many people don't give a shit about cars and prefer not paying for maintenance, insurance, etc."


Instant Gratification

"Deciding you need a new potato peeler, some daffodil bulbs, a pizza and a can of housepaint at 3:48am, and being able to get them."


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