People Who Grew Up In The City Share Things Every Country Kid Should Know
Teun Swagerman/Unsplash

As someone who was born in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan but moved to Florida where everything is slow and gator-ish, this Reddit thread struck a chord.

If you're not ready for it, the culture shock between city life and country life can come at you faster than an angry bull—or a cab driver trying to make the light.


Reddit user Mission_Ambitious asked:

"Redditors that grew up/live in the city, what’s something every country kid should know?"

So to prevent all you country folk from getting scammed, murdered, or experiencing the horrors of "the empty subway car"—here's a handy little list of things you should know if you're going to spend time in a big city.

Learn it. Love it. Live it.

DO NOT GO IN THE EMPTY CAR.

Look Like You Know

"If you look like you know where you're going, you're less likely to be bothered."

- rectoplasmus

"Also a lot less likely to be robbed. Walk with intent"

- cheeseburgerwaffles

"Best advice in here. I never smile or anything in public either."

"Look like you know where you’re going and look pissed off and won’t no one talk to you or give a second look. Wander around smiling and aimless you’ll be a target."

- koolaidistheshit

Giphy

The Liquor Scam

"Sidewalks are for walking. If you have to stop to check your phone to make sure you’re going the right way, step to the side."

"Also — if someone bumps into you with a bag full of liquor and drops it, it’s a scam. Keep walking — no matter what they say. The bottles are either empty or already broken."

"Dude bumps into you, drops the bag, makes a scene, and says you owe him money."

"It happened to me three times — twice with the same guy in the same week. Just kept walking every time. They’ll yell and scream but they’re not gonna run you down if there are people around."

"Plus, everyone else knows it’s the oldest scam out there."

- guiltyofnothing

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Escalator Etiquette

"If you're taking the escalators, especially in or out of a train station, and plan on standing instead of walking, stand to the right."

"If you need to rush to your train, the left side of the escalators should be left clear for you to walk on."

- Court_Vision

"Also, for the love of God, when you get to the end of the escalator and need to figure out where to go GET THE F*CK OUT OF THE WAY!"

"People behind you are still moving via the mechanical stairs. They don't stop just cause you don't know which way to go."

"This goes for all people not just those from the country."

- pshwsh

"And for the love of all things, if you are standing on a narrow escalator and a train is coming, even if it is not YOUR train, start f*cking moving!"

"The number of times I've missed a train because some able-bodied idiots wanted to treat the escalator like a f*cking amusement park ride..."

- Ultraviolet_Spacecat

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The Empty Car

"If the subway train rolls up and has an empty car, DO NOT GET ON THAT SUBWAY CAR."

"It's not empty for maintenance reasons, I promise."

- decitertiember

"I lived in NYC and commuted on the subway for 3 years so should've known better when I visited and got on the emptiest car of a train of full cars."

"The second I got on I look right and see everyone huddled together, I look left and see a dude alone on the seats picking at his nasty ass feet. Then the smell hit me like a brick wall and the doors shut behind me."

"It was among the top 10 worst things I've ever smelled."

- cheeseburgerwaffles

"When covid struck and I was still working in a far uptown ICU in Manhattan - most of the subway cars were empty at 7am for the first time I'd ever seen. I quickly got used to boarding empty subway cars and paid it no attention, had more than enough on my mind already."

"Welp April 2020 I was reading a book minding my own business, but I had not looked around the car when I boarded the train. I got that weird 'someone is looking at me' feeling and decided to take a glance around."

"Quickly realized a naked man was blowing another naked man - both staring at me, smoking a pipe, but also not stopping the oral session."

"It was an express train too, so I got stuck in the same car for 10 minutes or so. Hopped out at the next stop and had a little laugh about it."

- caitypurry

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Hi!

"Don't start conversations with strangers, especially if they have headphones on. You don't need to say hi to people all the time."

- Revolutionary-Yak-47

"Saying 'Hello' to everyone you pass is a small town tradition that does not translate to city life. Stop it!"

- Chucks_u_Farley

"This is consistently the thing I hear from people from rural areas that was actual culture shock. In small towns you say hi to everyone you cross."

"Here, you try your best to look mean, don't talk to anyone, and for your own health, don't make eye-contact with crazies on the subway."

"Anyone I met from rural areas had already been in the city for a while so I never saw it first hand, but have heard stories of people trying to say hello to everyone and being completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Also being dejected because they were largely ignored."

- the_loneliest_noodle

"This. People in big cities value whatever time we have to ourselves. It's polite to mind your own business."

"That said, most people are happy to help if you genuinely need directions or something."

- Respect4All_512

Giphy

Manners Don't Matter

"Learn how to say 'f*ck off' in the most menacing voice you have, to anyone, without shame or fear. Even if 'be polite' was drilled into you from childhood."

"Trust me, this one skill can save a lot of hassles."

- Quick_Masterpiece_58

"Good manners are not more important than your safety."

- payattention007

"Oh man. As a Texan this one hurts my soul."

"I know I should ignore panhandlers and methheads and scammers and other similar people, but it hurts."

"I was taught to be polite to everyone, and having a pleasant conversation with some random stranger is a common occurrence."

- ChipTheOcelot

"If it helps your sensibilities, I've found that a firm 'no, thank you' usually works just as well."

"You have to get the tone just right, though – and, most importantly, don't ever break stride."

- konay

"Ah yep that attitude helped me out in Rome."

"A group of guys (10+) swarmed my wife and I near a tourist spot, and I made a bit of a scene and got aggressive in telling them to f*ck off. They did once they realized we were attracting attention."

- Zip_Silver

Giphy

Mind Your Business

"Mind your own business."

"Definitely don’t look at, make eye contact with , laugh at (I had an out-of-towner do this), point at, or otherwise acknowledge anyone who is acting crazy, loud or aggressive. Just mind your own business."

- _etcetera_etcetera

"I got into a fight with my partner about this!"

"Some guys were smoking something on the sidewalk and he turned to stare. The guy threatened to fight him."

"I told him he can’t do that / you can’t stare at people in the city, especially doing something borderline illegal, or we’re going to end up in some dumb fight or some nonsense."

"His small city southern ass did not understand this."

- Adeline299

Giphy

Go Before You Go

"Make sure to use the restroom before you leave (home, work, the restaurant, etc)."

"Not many places have a free to use restroom. Sometimes they force you to buy something and public restrooms are usually a place you want to avoid."

- octopusfairy

"Oh my god yes, thiiiiisssss!!!"

"As someone with a small bladder who pees frequently, being in the city can be a real pain. Convenience stores are hardly anywhere and if there is one, the restroom isn’t public!"

"I have bought so many things just to be able to relieve myself. I have to keep 'pee money' on me!"

- I_Did_The_Thing

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Treat Walking Like Driving

"Your casual stroll through the city is my commute."

"Imagine if there were cars on your crowded highways just casually wandering between lanes going under the speed limit and randomly stopping to take a picture of something. It would drive you nuts!"

"That's our reality when you walk in the middle of the sidewalk, or just dead stop to check something. Just like driving, step to the side of the sidewalk if you need to stop/slow down."

- robxburninator

"Basically if a New Yorker says 'Hey I’m walking here!!!' It’s not some haha stereotype moment. Dude actually has a point."

- deaf_musiclover

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Gun Culture

"I am never going to see guns the same way you do."

"I can't count on my fingers and toes the amount of classmates I had who died of gun violence before or after our graduation years."

"Seeing people with guns walking around the neighborhood isn't a securing feeling. Having bullet holes in your living room walls is not reassuring."

"Having bullets wiz past your head as you stroll around a busy shopping area isn't fun. There is no safety in seeing them."

"Experiencing all these things does NOT make me want one for my safety. Trying to explain this to my roommates who grew up in rural areas is like talking to a wall."

"Though I'm sure it's the same for them. They grew up playing with guns, they always had them around, see them on people's hips, rarely if ever met anyone to die of senseless gun violence so its null for them."

"They just can't understand the wildly different roles guns played in our cultures."

- BradypusGuts

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Walk It Out

"Living in the city can be healthier insofar as you walk a lot."

"Even if you take the train or bus, you have to walk to the station from your place, in all kinds of weather. Up and down stairs. Sometimes you have a destination really far from any station."

"In the suburbs/countryside, people often walk about 50 feet to their cars no matter what their destination."

"I think this is why people are so overweight these days."

- soulcaptain

New York City Walking GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Giphy

A Time Change

"Just because it only takes a few minutes to go a few miles down a country road, doesn't mean it only takes a few minutes to go a few miles in a city/surrounding metro area."

"Always check Google maps or Waze and then add extra time for travel if you're driving, especially during rush hour and if there's a huge event."

"It's better to leave a little early and wait a bit than to stress about being late."

- [reddit]

Driving Music Video GIF by Maren Morris Giphy

Lunch On The Steps

"I see tourists eating their lunch in Downtown Portland at the Pioneer Courthouse Square- sitting on concrete blocks and the brick stairs."

"Little do they know, those are all absolutely covered in bum piss and sh*t."

"Don't EVER touch a surface in the city without using some sort of hand sanitizer or washing your hands- it absolutely blows my mind that people find it so appetizing, yet there is vomit literally feet from them."

- westcoastpizzarat

Basketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1 Giphy

If You Have To Drive

"If you have to drive, you basically need to learn how to be a bully on the road."

"You're going to have to cut people off as nobody is going to give you room to lane change. Learn to have 360-degree vision, because people will do the same to you."

"Parking sucks; learn to read the signs so you know when and where you can actually park, or if the spot is metered. Expect to park a few blocks from your destination."

"Don't keep anything of value visible in your car, this gives criminals incentive to break in and steal it."

"Watch out on major roadways during peak traffic, as homeless people will tend to flock on the road and panhandle."

"Always pay attention at traffic lights, and be prepared to put your foot on the gas as soon as the light turns green, otherwise, horns start blaring."

- draiman

Mad Max GIF Giphy

City People

"I grew up in a pretty integrated neighborhood where at least a third of my neighbors were different races than me."

"Most of my relatives who lived in more rural and suburban areas had a hard time understanding that I felt like I had a lot more in common with the black kid who lived next door to me than I ever had with them."

"I figure that deep down most people from cities, regardless of race, feel the same way. And we carry that around forever."

- PunchBeard

Animated GIF Giphy

Country Roads

"Coming from someone who has spent a good amount of his life living in both the city and the country, learning the road system is definitely important."

"Usually living out in the country, you’ll probably only rely on one major highway that takes you to and from town."

"In the city though, it’s definitely a must to know the main highways, exits, and interstates, and important landmarks they lead to."

- bryce_crane

Road Trip Highway GIF by VICE DOES AMERICA Giphy

Locks Are A Thing For A Reason

"LOCK YOUR DOORS! All of them."

"You bring your car into the city, lock your doors. You move into the city to try out the life. Lock your house."

"I knew a couple that lived in Alabama their entire life and their truck got stolen the week they moved to Denver cause they left their keys in the truck and left it unlocked. This is a big no no."

- earthlover6312

bart simpson episode 20 GIF Giphy

Baggage

"Invest in a small cross-body bag (they're like fanny packs, but not meant to be worn on the waist, or just wear a fanny pack across your body)."

"Keep all your important things in it, and on the front of your body. Pants pockets are easy to steal from, not so much a zipped bag 6' under your face."

"Plus, it's a trend nowadays so you won't look very out of place."

- SeductiveSoup

Jimmy Fallon V GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Giphy

The Bubble

"There are plenty of kind, caring, and helpful people in cities."

"But being 100% trusting, talking to anyone that crosses your path, and believing every person has good intentions will get you robbed, raped, or killed."

"I get genuinely worried for Mormon missionaries and tourists from the Midwest sometimes. There's a difference between being friendly, and living in a child-like bubble of naiveté."

- skootch_ginalola

Season 2 Good Luck GIF Giphy

You've read what Reddit has to say, now it's your turn.

What would you add to this list of things country folk need to know before embarking on a city adventure?

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