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When I first went to Paris, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the city's architecture, its rich history, and the plethora of local pâtisserie options.

I was also extremely disoriented and not ready for the cutlure shock.


Maybe it was just the particular establishments, but I was berated for changing the position of my chair at a sidewalk café to face my lunch date. I didn't realize all chairs had to face outward towards the traffic view on the street.

Again, maybe I was unlucky with the restaurant choice.

At another restaurant, my coke was brought to the table in a can with an empty glass. No ice.

When I asked for it to be cold with ice, the server came back with a single ice cube perched on a spoon and proceeded to pour the can's contents directly over the ice cube on the spoon, which hovered over the glass. He then took said spoon away – with the ice.

I guess that's how they roll.

And yet, I wondered if the French visiting the states were appalled at finding "cold" beverages being diluted with the melting ice cubes in their glasses.

Curious to hear of examples of culture shock from strangers on the internet, Redditor FloridaLife96 asked:

"Non-Americans of Reddit, what surprised you the most on your trip to America?"

Eating Out

You can expect cuisine to be a huge difference from what you're used to back home. But there's more to what your palate experiences when it comes to food experiences in America.

Frosty Delight

"Chocolate soft serve ice cream. I could not understand why we didn't have that in Norway as it had to be the best invention i the history of mankind. I was 8 BTW."

mellomschmomsen

Portion Control, Or Lack Thereof

"The size of your popcorn portions when I went to watch a film. My whole arm could fit in the box." – Stapes89

Cup Overfloweth

"I bought a popcorn+soda combo and the soda was like 1L. Hurt my arm holding it. I don't know how anyone can finish 1L in one sitting. My family can't even finish a liter during dinner."

OpalEpal

More Options

"I was on a trip to LA a few years back. We went to see a movie, and holy sh*t there are so many types of soda. Where I'm from there's 2 versions of a soda: sugar or no sugar."

"These crazy motherf'kers got cherry, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, pineapple, birch beer???, Cherry limonade, grape, Banana, fruit punch, peach, Mango, cranberry, lemon lime with cucumber and the list just goes on."

Op-e

Different Surroundings

Contrasting environments were either pleasantly jarring or completely disappointing for these Redditors.

One The Road

"How on one side of a highway there can be a full-on ghetto, and on the other side of that highway there can be a relatively nice middle-class or even upscale neighborhood."

"Also, just how many police cars you see all the time."

-domi-

Unobstructed Views

"I was awestruck when on my coast to coast roadtrip we first entered the plains of Texas. You could see for miles and miles in any direction. It felt like you could see tomorrow's weather in the distance. Later I was even more awestruck at the sights of your country's deserts and the canyons, including a grand one."

TheBassMeister

Blah-Blah-Land

"How unglamorous LA actually is, compared to how it is depicted in TV shows/movies."

lakskanxnx

"Hollywood is the absolute worst."

bus_snacks

Mini-Countries

"When I first moved here I couldn't believe how different things were state to state. Some states are more different from one another than neighboring European nations are."

legdisabledbyacid

Poop Show

"The spaces between door and door frames in public toilets...I mean do you want to make eye contact with someone while sitting there ?"

Emmaus4

Perceptions Of People

People say New Yorkers are rude. We're just direct and tell it like it is.

Some say Los Angeles is too slow. Maybe you're too fast.

How people engage in different parts of the country can be fascinating for sure.

Outgoing

"How open people were to start a conversation with a stranger(me). Where I'm from people are much more closed off. The restaurant food portions. One meal is equivalent to two or three meals for me The lack of proper public transport ( except in NY) The fact that a lot of people consider a 2 or 3 hour drive, a short drive."

RosenJasmine

People Are Direct

"How direct people are. Been to the US only once (NY, Queens, 2011) as part of a student exchange. People are straight to the point. Most of the times they are nice about it, while still being very concise. Love that. Also, how big everything is. From roads, to the campus, to the dorm room we were staying in etc"

TimeKillsThem

Reactions To Accents

"The number of people who find a British accent difficult to understand (asking for water was a consistently humiliating experience)."

prolixia

Vets

"You guys really are obsessed with your military."

"People in the military and vets get treated like celebrities. Unless they're homeless of course, then nobody gives a sh*t about them."

svenson_26

As a Japanese-American, I was blown away by how different things were even in my native country.

What stayed with me after visiting Tokyo was how clean the metropolitan areas were and how the locals respected cleanliness. Even more shocking was the absence of litter on the streets and sidewalks despite the lack of garbage cans in public.

People literally carried their snack wrappings or empty beverage cans with them until they were able to dispense them in receptacles found in convenience stores.

I look forward to being able to travel again and explore other worlds and learn from their cultures.

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Typically, I would write an intro about my own experiences with the weird kids at school, but I WAS the weird kid in school. Not in a bad way, more like a “I had a John Waters phase” when I was 16 and everyone knew it. So like, cool-weird. At least I hope so.

Schools aren’t always so lucky to have the cool kinds of weird kids though. The spectrum of weird extends even further than that, and can sometimes end up very disasterous.

U/Imaginary_East5786 asked: What was the weirdest thing the weird kid did at school?

​Let’s start with the grossest of the gross. Because why not.

Was it worth it?

peeing ralph wiggum GIF Giphy

He heard that you'd automatically get suspended if you peed your pants at school. He wanted to find out if it was true, peed his pants, got suspended.

Memoryduel

Scientific method:

> Observation: 'I've heard that by peeing your pants you will be suspended'

> Hypothesis: If I pee my pants I will be suspended

> Experiment: I peed my pants and I got suspended

> Conclusion: If I pee my pants I get suspended

Glez_fdezdavila_

Uhhh what was the intention here?

He got mad that he didn't understand how to play a game at lunchtime so he started hitting and punching the nearest person to him, who happened to be me. When I shoved him away and asked him what the hell was he doing, he whipped his unit.out, charged at me and when I shoved him away from me again he started crying and ran away with his member still sticking out.

Kurtles12

​Next ones up are the lowkey (or even highkey) disturbing stories. These weird kids can get a little scary.

Boom theret.

At my middle school, someone decided to get a little attention with a good old fashioned bomb threat. Except they thought that a bomb threat meant literally writing "bomb threat" somewhere. Worse yet, they misspelled the f*ck out of it, and wrote "boom theret."

So we had to go on a brief, very awkward lockdown while the police checked the perimeter for booms.

Angusthedangus

I hope there was no overlap in the columns.

Serial Killer Halloween GIF by GIPHY CAM Giphy

She wrote a list of all the girls and boys she wanted to kiss and murder and then casually passed it out on the playground.

Fun-Acadia-8735

2 separate lists or just the 1?

OppositeYouth

Same list 2 columns lol.

Fun-Acadia-8735

Holy crap.

Had the weird kid in high school ask the teacher to use the bathroom. She said no and this dude legit stabbed his hand with a pencil. Went all the way through then asked if he could now...sh*t was wild.

This was Pearl High School in Mississippi. This was the school Luke Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and her friend at the school. This kid stabbed himself with the pencil about 2 months after that happened. This was late 1997.

Roberted1982

​Most of the time, however, the weird kids are pretty d*mn funny.

Ok, but this takes a lot of skill.

Had a kid nicknamed "cheeseburger" in the grade ahead of me in high school. He got his nickname because when it was time for his class to go to lunch, he snuck into the roof and crawled his way into the cafeteria, dropped down and proceeded to steal all the cheeseburger put out for lunch. Unfortunately they caught him in the act and sent him to the principal's office.

A year later he was caught stealing a teacher's computer, and in the process of being arrested he bit the officers hand, getting him sent to juvi never to be heard of again.

Theonering1

Every school had the cat girl.

cat dragging GIF Giphy

The weird kid at my highschool tied a string around his pencil case and pulled out around the halls pretending it was a dog. He still lives in my hometown. I think unemployed.

Oh also weird girl in middle school acted like a cat. She would meow and hiss at people, lick the water fountain and rub her body on the teacher's legs. In 8th grade. I have no idea where she ended up.

SendmePMsofyourBMs

Mood.

Weird kid in elementary was a self proclaimed alien. Once, while waiting for the bus, she told me "On my planet we eat people like you" and proceeded to bite me. We later became friends in high school and she used to give me massages during lunch break in the quad. Just realized now she was likely tenderizing me.

Iheartrevolution

I was exactly this kind of weird.

He didn't say much, but if asked, he would go to the front of the class and perform Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with all of the emotion and volume of Tiny Tim, holding nothing back.

The last I heard, he became an energy trader, made a ton of money and married well.

10per

I can definitely relate to that last one. In middle school, my English teacher would let me go to the front of the class and perform monologues or songs from Broadway musicals. Weird, but that’s what happens when schools cut funding for the arts and the theatre kids have no outlet.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I say let your freak flag fly, man

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