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Americans Explain Which Common Things Europeans Do That Seem Like Total Luxuries

Adults toasting with glasses of red wine
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

It's not surprising that each country is different, with various beliefs and rules, but what is always eye-opening is what one country will deem a basic necessity, another will deem an expensive, even allusive, luxury.

Americans in particular are often perplexed by the luxuries that Europeans are able to enjoy on a daily basis, which Americans would not be able to have without paying a premium.


Redditor Specialist-Metal-458 asked:

"Americans, what do Europeans have every day that you see as a luxury?"

Required Vacation Time

"My husband (we’re Canadian) did his post-doc in Finland; when he was signing his contract, they said, 'You’ll get six weeks paid vacation and you HAVE to take it.'"

"He was shocked. He had friends elsewhere doing post-docs who were doing 14-hour work days, six to seven days per week, and with no vacation, let alone PAID vacation."

"One of the years when he was nearing the end of his cycle, HR reached out and in a panic said, 'You have 3.5 days that you HAVE to use,' unbeknownst to us. So, we booked a trip for an extended weekend away."

"I miss that. And it’s something we both negotiate when starting new jobs; rather take a bit of a lower salary with more vacation time."

- ahope1985

Paid-Paid Vacation

"Six weeks vacation, extra pay just for vacation (at least in Germany), government healthcare."

- Royal_Acanthisitta51

"Wait. Is that paid... paid vacation??"

- a**lly_ExpressUrself

"Yes, lots of companies give half a month extra pay for vacation each year. Some also give half a month's extra pay for Christmas. It's like, 'Here's some extra money for you to have a nice vacation or a nice holiday.' It's quite common for larger companies."

- DnDVex

"I am an American who is now living in Sweden and a Swedish citizen, and I will never NOT be amazed that I have the legal right to four continuous weeks of paid vacation during the summer. THE LEGAL RIGHT."

"Literally amazing."

- ingenfara

Affordable Drinks

"This is only really true for Southern Europe, but cheap wine by the glass, cheap coffee, and pastries."

"Cafes in the US are marketed as very trendy and if you want a pastry and a coffee, you should be ready to pay eight to ten dollars. In most of Italy, Portugal, and Spain, you can get coffee and a croissant for three euros (approximately three dollars)."

- kulkdaddy47

Particularly Affordable Wine

​"Where I live in Spain, the standard price for a glass of wine in a cafe or every day (non-fancy, equivalent of a diner) restaurant is 80c - €1. In a restaurant, I’ll usually order a half liter for about €4 (That’s 2/3 bottle of wine)."

"Soda and bottled water are more expensive. Soda is usually €1.20-1.60."

- KimchiMaker

"At Denver International Airport last month, I paid $23 for a glass of wine that I know would cost about $7 per bottle at Costco. Probably €4 per bottle in Italy. It was like getting robbed in broad daylight without a gun, but I get really nervous before flying."

- Missmoneysterling

Slower Living

"Time! I spent time abroad in Italy for school, and there was just so much less of a 'rush' everywhere. Oftentimes the latest person to my classes were professors. Everyone really took their time and I didn't really feel the bustle of constantly 'going' somewhere when I was there."

"I mean, dang, the village my apartment was located in shut down for a few hours in the afternoon so the shopkeepers could go have lunch. It was wild."

- SpaceMush

University-Bound

"Affordable universities… our daughter is going to university in Scotland. Our US friends always respond with shock at the 'luxury' of going overseas for school until I tell them it’s half of the cost of an equivalent US college. That includes travel expenses."

- Crafty-Arachnid6824

Accessible Public Transportation

"This blew me away traveling in Europe. It doesn’t matter where you are, even if it’s some middle-of-nowhere farm town, you’re never far from a train station, and you can just hop a train and go anywhere you want."

"I would love to have that here, but noooo, we only have rail links between some major cities, and since I live in a more rural area, I have to drive four or more hours everywhere. In Europe, all I had to do was drive 20 minutes to a train station and then just chill on the train for a few hours. It was great!"

- SirTophamFat

Well-Balanced Work

"An American friend of ours was gobsmacked that I have a well-paid, head of department level job, don't work unpaid overtime, and get 33 days paid holiday a year, with eight days of public holiday on top."

- Major_Twain

Extensive Travel

"They can travel between different countries in Europe without spending days driving or flying."

- WhimsicalGrenade

"And without border controls or checkups! I can just sit in a car here in Germany and drive to France and all the other EU countries, just realizing I’m in another country because of the traffic signs."

"Once I sat in a Train and slept in, after like 30 minutes I woke up, got off the Train, and realized I’m in Enschede, Netherlands. (Living in NRW, so pretty close to the border). I was like Hm, okay, I've got 50€ in my pocket, so I decided to visit a coffee shop and walk a bit through the City until the next Train in the right direction arrived. Like I’d do in every other City while traveling by train."

- DisguisedAccount

Publicly Acceptable

"Being able to walk around town with a beer is awesome."

"Public transportation in non-huge cities is also awesome."

- ooo-ooo-oooyea

Bathroom Conditions

"Bathroom stalls that actually go to the floor. I don’t need to know what shoes the guy taking a s**t next to me has on."

- maxncheese67

"Don't forget the intentional gaps on the doors."

- jensbert

E. All of the Above.

"Healthcare. Life work balance. Walkable communities. Great train service."

- zunzarella

Legitimate Sick Days

"I recently read a post about an American residential doctor who couldn't afford to take a vacation because they had to spend it on sick days."

"Not going to lie, my brain short-circuited at that a bit. Was a doctor supposed to come sick to a hospital full of other sick people to avoid personal financial penalties?"

- HQMorganstern

Paid Parental Leave

"Paid parental leave. I had used all of my leave with my first kid, so when I had another kid a year and a half later, I was back on my feet teaching in under six weeks."

"Dogs get better treatment than working mothers."

- ElegantGoose

The Need of a Car

"Not having to use a car every single time that you leave your house... For a lot of people, you have to go drive somewhere to safely take a walk... This place can be a h**l, and it is numbing."

- _aelius

It's All About Perspective

"As a European, I'm amazed how you guys (Americans) are looking at certain things I consider basic needs as luxuries."

- FridgeParade

As the final Redditor pointed out, it's terrible to think that Americans see what others view as basic necessities as a luxury that they can only dream of having.

People Who Earn Six Figures Explain What They Do For A Living

Reddit user Luffy_Tuffy asked: 'For everyone making six figures, what do you do for work?'

man in car holding a lot of American money

Brock Wegner on Unsplash

"I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain't it sad?
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That's too bad"~ "Money, Money, Money" ABBA

Money is either the root of all evil or the key to happiness, largely depending on whether you have any.

So how do people with money get it? One method is a job that pays the bills.

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We've all heard of intuition or premonitions or "seeing the future," and a lot of us have laughed at it at some point.

It's easy to disregard these images or feelings as a symptom of anxiety about something coming up.

But for some people, by listening to a gut feeling they had, they were able to save someone's life, possibly even their own.

Redditor guywhousesreddit09 asked:

"What was the 'gut feeling' that you listened to that saved your life?"

The Kiddie Pool

"My mom and grandpa were putting out a kiddie pool for my siblings and me in our backyard when we were little."

"My grandpa had set it up, and my mom kept insisting that for some reason, she felt like they should move it to a different spot."

"Thankfully they did, because while we were all playing in the pool, a huge branch from a tree in our yard snapped and came crashing down exactly where the pool had originally been."

- WaitWut7

A Questionable Passer-by

​"When I was around 13, I was walking to the bus stop in the morning. A car was going through my neighborhood very slowly, which made alarm bells go off in my head."

"When it passed me, I glanced over my shoulder to keep an eye on it and saw it was doing an immediate U-turn."

"I noped right out and dove through the bushes, crossed a bunch of driveways, and found a neighbor who was washing his car."

"I looked back to where I had been standing. The strange car had stopped, a seriously scary-looking dude had gotten out, and was looking in the bushes."

"I don't know if I would've died exactly, but I would not have had a good time."

- Symnestra

'Final Destination,' Who?

"I was driving uphill behind a flatbed truck carrying I-beams and I envisioned them sliding off the truck and hitting my windshield."

"I changed lanes so I wasn’t behind the truck and two seconds later, the I-beams were sliding off onto the road where my car would’ve been, sparking and gouging the pavement. Terrifying."

"To this day, I won’t stay behind a truck with anything that’s 'strapped down.'"

- Infj-kc

Thank Goodness for That Lock

"In middle school, I was up late one night. My mom and my brother were asleep, and my dad had gone on business. I had let the dog out, and when I went to go get him, I got a bad feeling like someone was out there."

"There wasn't really a reason to feel this way, it was just dark, and I got spooked, so I put the chain lock up on the back door when we got back inside. Back then, we never locked our doors."

"A few minutes later, the dog is drinking by the back door, and he suddenly stops and starts growling (like a low grumble) at the door."

"I was sitting where I could see the dog but not the door. Then I hear the door pull open and the chain lock catch."

"The dog started barking like crazy and I ran upstairs to wake my brother up. He went out and looked around, but no one was there."

"I think the dog's barking scared them away, but I don't know who it was or what would have happened if I hadn't locked the door."

- monaforever

A Mom's Close Encounters

"My grandmother accidentally saved my mom's life by not allowing her to go to a sleepover when she was young. During the night, the father murdered his entire family and would likely have killed my mother had she been there."

"Another amazing coincidence that I'm alive, is when my mother was in high school, she and her best friend were arguing over who was going to take a ride on the back of their guy friends' new motorcycle."

"My mom lost the argument and her friend got on the back of the motorcycle and rode away. She never saw them again because her friend and the guy were both killed in an accident during that ride."

- ekyrt

Wait a Second

"It was very late driving and there were minimal cars on the road, I came up to a red light, and as it turned green, something inside me said, 'Don’t go yet,' and a van blew through their red light."

- imbribecca

"Similar situation, but there were four of us in the car. My friend was driving and our friend in the back yelled to stop the car immediately even though we had a green light we were coming up on. A semi blew through a red light. He later said he felt like it wasn’t even him saying it and he had no idea why he yelled it other than a bad feeling."

- harlow2088

Mother Knows Best

"Not my life but my son's. I was 33 weeks pregnant and I noticed my son wasn't moving as much as usual. I waited a day and nothing changed."

"Despite advice by doctors and family saying I should just stay home and he wasn't moving as much because he was just running out of room to move, I went into the ER and had my son that night due to fetal distress."

"He had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck eight times and weighed just three pounds. He spent 30 days in the NICU and now is a happy two-year-old."

- Goatintree

An Insistent Friend

"A friend's feeling saved me from my gut."

"I had just finished hosting a meeting (I swear it was productive) and a friend said, 'You don't look so good.'"

"I had just come off a weekend boat diving in the Red Sea and figured I was just tired. My friend said, 'Nah man, I'm taking you to the doctor.'"

"The doctor at our clinic poked me a few times and said, 'Take him to the ER and tell them it's his appendix.'"

"I was in surgery less than 90 minutes later. My surgeon said I was two to three hours from it blowing up. I lived alone and no one would have missed me until the next day."

- ksuwildkat

A Night Walk

"About two years ago, my dad and I loved going on night walks, It was something we’ve always done more or less every night."

"One night, however, as we were about halfway through our daily route, we got to an alleyway. Now normally, I’ve never thought anything of it, but something this night just told me not to walk through, I had a really bad feeling and I urged my dad to just go back home."

"He kept brushing it off and saying I was just scared of the dark and nothing was going to happen. After a couple of minutes of arguing, we finally turned back and walked home."

"Turns out about 20 minutes after we left, there was a completely random attack in that exact alleyway that left a poor young girl stabbed, thankfully not to death, but with life-changing injuries. I still dread to think what would have happened if we didn’t walk back."

- No_Project6675

Definitely Not a Black Bear

"Up in Northern Pennsylvania, I had a gut feeling I needed to turn around and walk out of the woods I was hiking."

"That turned out to be a good idea because I saw the big cat that was tracking me on my way back out."

"I was hiking a stream up around Emlenton, PA, checking it out to see if it's wadeable for fishing. I didn't know y'all had any wild cats around there; I was just worried about black bears."

- abspencer22

Protecting Her Own

"Years ago, I went into my garden at night, after my husband had left for a road trip minutes before, and saw a pair of sneakers in the dark, in the gap between the fence and our house."

"I didn’t think, I just said very loudly, 'What are you doing there?' When he didn’t reply, I shouted, 'GET OUT OF MY GARDEN!'"

"He muttered, 'Yes, ma’am,' and scuttled off. Also not thinking, I picked up a BBQ knife that happened to be right there, went through the house to the front windows, and saw him crouched by my car in the driveway."

"I called the cops, they arrived, and we discovered that someone, probably the same dude, had just broken into our neighbor’s house and stolen a gun."

"The cops gave me a condescending talking-to about the ‘risks’ of confronting a criminal, but I am convinced to this day that my instincts saved me from a life-altering and horrible experience. We humans are animals and one animal knows when another will fight like h**l."

"We got an alarm system after that. And the guy came back several weeks later. I looked up to see him on our porch, about twenty feet from the sidewalk. Called the cops again. They sent a SWAT team this time. And a helicopter."

"They got the guy."

- Fair_Leadership76

Medicinal Negligence

"I was pregnant in the very early weeks (five or six weeks), and started getting these intense pains on the right side of my abdomen. Like so extremely painful that I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t make noise or move."

"I went to my doctor the next day, and he said I was being hysterical and it’s completely normal to be in pain when you’re pregnant. He refused to get me to an OB-GYN, and said I could go private if it was such a big deal."

"I went to a private scan, and my pregnancy was ectopic (stuck in my fallopian tube), and my tube had ruptured and I was bleeding internally. I was rushed to the hospital and had surgery to remove my tube that night."

"If I hadn’t booked that scan, I would have died in my sleep that night due to internal bleeding."

""I reported him for negligence."

- Murky_Conclusion4210

Potential Robbery

"A guy asked me for help with bus fare and offered to take me to an ATM. I got a bad feeling and dipped. Then I saw him on the news a week later for robbing somebody at gunpoint."

- BurghFinsFan

A Chillingly Close Call

"My wife was going to go on a road trip with friends down to a bigger city for a concert. She had done this several times before."

"Friends were close friends of ours but for some reason, I felt off about it that one day. I said to her, 'Babe, I don’t know why and you can ignore me if you’d like, but I don’t think you should go. I don’t know why, but I feel like something is going to happen.'"

"She knows I’d never tell her not to do anything she wanted. It was out of the blue and out of character for me. So she decided to stay home and watch movies with me."

"About two hours later after the rest of the crew left, we got a phone call that they had gotten into a severe accident. Two friends were in the hospital and someone from the other vehicle died on the scene. Had she gone along, she would have been sitting in the seat where they had been hit by the other driver and most likely killed."

"Someone, somewhere, somehow was warning me. And I’m glad we both listened to it."

- Sperryxd

Always Stop to Look at the Rainbow

"I was driving along a rough mountain road heading home from work. The mountain pass ends at a lake, and you drive around the lake to meet up with the main road."

"I got to the bottom of the mountain and started down the lake road, and saw this stunning bright rainbow over the lake."

"I had this weird gut feeling and urge to stop and look at it, with the way the sun was shining, it didn’t make sense that there would be a rainbow, but it was mesmerizing. So I stopped and stared at it in awe."

"A couple of seconds later, as soon as I looked back at the road, a massive boulder came barreling down off the cliff above about 20 meters in front of me, hit the road, and smoked all of the concrete barriers as it went into the lake. I 100% would have been killed if I hadn’t stopped."

- Epantz

These accounts gave us absolute chills as we read about other people's close calls.

We never know when our time will be up, so we absolutely have to be careful with the time that we have.

Paper heart ripped apart
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

The people who love you the most can break your heart because of their betrayal of trust.

Cheating is cowardly and inexcusable, but depending on the situation and the couple, it is possible for them to find a path to healing emotional wounds.

But there are some ways in which infidelity is totally unforgivable.

That's the kind of scenario Redditor WCh3L3 was curious to hear about when they asked:

"What’s the wildest cheating story you’ve witnessed or happened to you?"

It must be exhausting leading double lives.

Hospital News

"A friend of a friend found out that her husband was cheating when she got to the hospital to see her husband who had just moments before been brought in by ambulance after a serious car accident only to be denied entry to his room because 'his wife was already in the room with him.'"

"He had two simultaneous lives with two women, neither of which was aware of the other."

– JeBronlLames

The Ruse

"My ex-wife pretended to be admitted to a mental health ward for long term treatment while actually staying with her new man and cheating on me."

– Impossible-Visit-199

"This one is just next level."

– most-royal-chemist

"That’s some Batman villain level of intrigue and machination. His wife missed her calling and wasted her abilities on sleeping around."

– filifijonka

A Separate Life

"My friend's mom was in a relationship with a guy for years and they ended up getting engaged and due to marry."

"The guy was a senior director of a company for which he travelled every week abroad for business."

"Eventually, the guy had a heart attack and when my friends mom turned up at the hospital, his wife and 2 kids were there also."

"Turned out he was already married with children and living a double life the whole time. When he went 'abroad' for business, he was simply going back to his actual family."

– wallbagz

Here's The Story

"My dad did this. He worked nights and would juggle both families that way."

"He came clean after he got admitted to hospital for heart trouble and realised that if things went badly he’d end up in this exact situation."

"I was 16 when he came clean that I have an older brother and sister. They found out about me then too - as did his wife."

"ETA: I’d actually already figured it out before he told me though. Nobody else had."

"EATA: I saw a preview of a text on my dad’s phone from my sister. I didn’t know she was my sister obviously, but it said ‘hi dad, mum says…’"

"At first I was in denial and I thought his friend must have borrowed his phone or something. I started to watch him more closely."

"He had a ringtone (lol the 00’s) that would say the name of the caller. I noticed whenever a certain name rang he’d leave the room. Some tactical eavesdropping later and 15 year old me had it figured out that I had a brother and sister."

"I didn’t clock I had a stepmother though, or that I was family no2 and they were his primary family. But I still think I did pretty well!"

"My whole family on my mum’s side knew - mum respected that it was my dad’s secret to tell and she gave him time to tell it. (Although they did have a few arguments about it as I was growing up, I never knew what they were about at the time.)"

– notemily-

Life is never the same once the truth comes out.

Shameless

"A family friend's husband was having an affair for 20+ years and that woman knew the entire time about his family. He was at her ranch one time and was bucked off a horse and broke his back. The affair partner called his wife to tell her and acted like everything about this situation was normal and the wife had no reason to act all upset at the affair. Some people really just have no shame."

"Guy lived and made a complete recovery, left his mistress and they stayed together since they were working on their relationship. He died a few years ago and the wife finds out he never actually left his mistress just lied."

– SailoLee92

Unilateral Decision

"In a small town the husband kept telling people he had an open marriage; finally someone asked his wife about it, she was unaware of this new arrangement."

– Long_Strange_Trip_GD

Rehab Romance

"Was in rehab, two people were there for sex addiction one a minister the other a Jewish housewife. They left rehab together early. Woman divorced her husband who sent her to rehab for sex addiction and married the guy she met in rehab. They are still married 10 years later and seem very happy."

– Life-Evidence-6672

On The Case

"I knew a guy years ago that was a private investigator. Many times he was approached by a spouse who suspected their partner was cheating."

"He had a slam-dunk strategy. He would suggest his client sign up for a course, whether a hobby thing, or educational. The key was that the class would happen for a period of weeks, all on the same day of the week, and all at the same time of day."

"Then, while his client was in class, he would follow the spouse."

"Caught them every time."

– PJMurphy

If you have a hunch about an unfaithful significant other, it's there for a reason.

Going For A Run

"Had a coworker who cheated on her live-in boyfriend. She would tell him she was going for a run, put on her shorts without underwear and would f'k her side piece in the apartment parking lot. So then she would come back inside sweaty 30 mins later and needed to shower and it all made sense to her boyfriend, he never questioned it. She was an awful human."

– rashawah

It Made Scents

"A friend caught her husband cheating because he kept coming home smelling like ferrets."

"Hard to play off 'long day at work' and explain that."

"When she found out at a holiday party that one of the young female coworkers owned ferrets, it all made sense."

– benloe7

Special Delivery

"I used to go to a comic shop. And the comic shop owner knew all of the gossip in the area. Nice dude. Remembers all of his regulars and asks about you if he hasn’t seen you in awhile to check in on people. Lot of people in the area grew up with his shop. So he’s got stories."

"Anyways he told us about this story from some years back about this regular. Who disappeared for a few months. Comes back one day. And the shop owner asks him, 'hey, man. Haven’t seen you in awhile?' Kind of like where have you been. The regular was like oh I’ve been getting divorced. I had to move it was a whole thing."

"So naturally the shop owner asks. 'Why are you divorcing your wife?' The regular caught his wife cheating."

"He had picked up a 2nd part time job as pizza delivery man because he was trying to fund to take his wife on her dream vacation. All of the money he earned from that job was supposed to go into that vacation. He had been working this job for like 6 months. It was a whole secret. She didn’t know he was doing that for her. Because he was trying to surprise her."

"He was the pizza delivery man at the motel. She was cheating at him with. The dude she was cheating on him with answered the door with her right next to him."

"He apparently didn’t even go back to the pizza place. He quit on the spot. Went home. Packed his sh*t and left town."

– TheMysticalPlatypus

Those who are unfaithful in their relationships may think they're good enough for more than one person, but they're usually not.

And while you may not believe in it, there's something called karma, and watching it enact justice can be extremely gratifying.

If you were the one being cheated on, know that the person with whom you've fallen in love is not the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with and there will always be a better human who will respect you and love you.

And if you were the cheater, watch your back. Because whether you believe in it or not, karma's coming for ya.