This will come as a shock to some people, but not everywhere is America.


Turns out there are other countries out there! Who knew? Different societies and social standards, none of which are entirely wrong, nor entirely right. We're all different, after all, and that's what makes this world a marvelous place.

Not saying you should go outside and call someone the c-word right this instant, but let's just say there's a part of the world where that word doesn't carry as much weight as it does here in the states.

Reddit user, u/Rapadapadoom, wanted to hear what will shock you most when you travel overseas when they asked:

What's considered normal in Europe but horrific in America?

Societal standards will vary, based on a shared history and a shared understanding of what's acceptable. You probably couldn't enforce standards like these here in the states, however, as it might make a few people's feathers all ruffled.

Just A Little Bit Of Faith

"Almost every car has a manual transmission. When I visited Ukraine, I only saw rich people with automatic cars"

_doofus25_

"In Ukraine, it's common to remove the seatbelts in your car, and replace them with a picture of Jesus and Mary taped to the dashboard."

TreemanTheGuy

Who Uses Old Stoves And Refrigerators?

"in Germany, looking for an apartment doesn't automatically mean it will come 100% with a kitchen. 90% they don't have them in and you have to buy them yourself."

Ok_Context_732

"Wait, what? Do you mean you have to buy the stove and the fridge?"

Squirts1MacIntosh

"Literally the whole kitchen. When I moved into my current apartment, it didn't have a fridge, oven, cupboards, sink, dishwasher, table, or anything. It was just a room with a couple of pipes sticking out."

Dreadzone666

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

"Minor example, but outdoor cats seem like the default in Europe, while here it's generally accepted that cats live longer (and cause less damage to local wildlife) when kept indoors. I'd be having a panic attack if my cats got out, they're idiots and wouldn't know the first thing about survival."

SergeantChic

The Differences Of Language Are Brilliant

"Calling people c-nts could get you in some serious trouble in The States."

krill482

"The reverse is spaz. Here in the US that's an insult so mild you could jokingly say it around even the most uptight of mothers and be fine, but in the UK you say it casually you're liable to get some gasps at least."

ironwolf56

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

"The massive amount of Underage nicotine/drug abuse, as someone who lives in ireland i would say at least 60% of my year group (myself included) use tobacco products regularly in high amounts"

cyberekt

Some Of Us Can Barely Speak The One Here

"Speaking or knowing multiple languages? Some countries have multiple national languages. In many other countries at least one foreign language is mandatory in school."

MaxDusseldorf

We sure love taxes here in the states, don't we? Paying money to the government to handle things we don't feel like handling.

As it turns out, there could be more taxes placed on things certain people love.

Pay To Pee

"Paying for bathrooms"

CreeperDude6

"Jumping out of a car at a rest stop on the autobahn to run to the bathroom and realizing as you get to the turnstiles that you forgot to get €.15 cent is a real pain."

DrSchmolls

Tax The Church

"Some countries in Europe have church taxes (the state collects money through the taxation system and hands a slice of it over to the national church) and/or state-paid clergy."

CiderDrinker

People Explain Which Conspiracy Theories They Believe Are 100% True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

TV Taxes

"Uh, where do I start? German here, living in the US. How about TV tax? I bet Americans would go bonkers over it lol. I mean, so do Germans, but - wait for it, it's a classic - "what can you do?"

Mission-System2590

"Yeah, the TV/radio fee was a shock at first. I don't own either a TV or a radio, so I was especially annoyed that I have to pay it."

USA_DE

"I was studying abroad in Norway when someone came to my door to ask how many TVs I had."

"I thought it was a student asking for a research project or something. But when they didn't accept when I said zero I got really confused. I just had a laptop I watched all my TV on. They thought that meant I had a TV and tried to tell me that any TV would be something like $60 or so and how would I be paying (Idk can't remember, it's been a long time)."

"I of course was 100% convinced I was being shaken down by a con artist or something. It rose to the level that they came into my apartment (without my permission) and looked around for a TV and was acting like they didn't believe I didn't have one?"

"Eventually they just went away. It was a bizarre encounter that likely wasn't helped by the fact my Norwegian did not expand much past "where is the bathroom?" And "how are you?" at that point."

FullofContradictions

A Back-asswards Business Model

"Not tipping, not my fault that you american restaurant owners don't pay your staff"

Local_Corgi4555

"100% agree really strange on first ever trip pre Covid trying to work out what and how much to tip. In the UK we're leaving a tip for great service not because I'm expected to"

sissysilky

And then there's these, the norms and ideals we would never have here in the state. Too many pearls would be clutched and too many discussions starting with "What about the children??" would halt any kind of radical change.

Not As Big A Deal AS You Think

"Underage drinking seems more of a crime in the US - in most cases of a kid is caught with alcohol in the UK it's just confiscated and poured away. Strictly speaking the age you can drink alcohol is really low as well, so long as you're home with a parent I think it's like 5/6. When you're in a restaurant you're also allowed low percentage alcohol like cider with a meal so long as you're with an adult."

AugustineBlackwater

"In Europe, further you go to the east, drinking age is lesser and lesser."

"Where I'm from if you don't drink when you are 14, you are considered somehow weird."

rddt-acct

Don't Get So Bent Out Of Shape

"Few days ago in r/AskEurope someone told a story how their American relatives got so bend out of shape over naked children running around the beach."

"On every beach in Bulgaria I've been, naked children is the norm, women sunbathing in monokini is considered absolutely normal, while naked men are okay only in the nude sections of the beaches. And every beach has a nude section."

gerginborisov

In France it's like this too. Every beach has naked people on and no one cares. It's just normal.

goldenbrown17

"I was in Croatia back in July, and a tour guide talked about different tourists' attitudes toward nudity. He said Americans are never naked or topless on the beach; some French and Italians might occasionally go topless. Croatians are similar to the French and Italians."

"But Germans? The Croatians put signs up on beaches where nudity isn't allowed, and the signs are written only in German. He said the German tourists would be naked as soon as they could see the water otherwise"

Majestic-Macaron6019

Vote Or Die?

"I don't know if this would horrify Americans as I've never heard it discussed, but where I live in Europe (Luxembourg), voting is mandatory and you can get fined for not voting in an election. You can still spoil your ballot, so you don't have to decide between lesser evils if you don't want to, but you have to make the effort to go to the polling station or submit a postal vote. It guarantees a high voter turnout and by extension more representative elections, coupled with a proportional voting system so we're not locked into a two-party mess like the UK or the US - not that it's without its issues of course, but I think it's an improvement."

MrLuxarina

Oh Yeah. That.

"Universal healthcare comes to mind"

putasevinho

"Affordable healthcare"

Man_o_Gronks

It's good that everywhere isn't America.

Keeps things interesting.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.