Culture shock is an understatement.

Have you ever gone abroad and seen something just... so out of whack and strange that you couldn't help but fixate on it? Like, yes, other countries are very different than the United States. But different is not the reason that we are so perplexed and somewhat horrified.

u/NomNomJohn asked:

Tourists of Reddit, what was the most f***ed up think you saw in another country?

Like It's No Big Deal

The guy that flashed my friends and me in a very nice park in central Europe.

We were having a picnic.

He was very polite about it, saying "Excuse me girls, I'm just going to do this in front of you." And then did so.


Saving A Stranger

In the middle of the winter, flying back to Canada, from a Caribbean Island, a middle age man was ready to board the plane with a very thin teenage girl wearing flip flops, shorts and a poncho.

The girl had a shaved head, the man wouldn't let go of her, she was staring at the floor he entire time, everything looked just odd.

The flight attendants were doing all sorts of delaying maneuvers. My family and I were late and boarded right after them. Before the flight took off, the police came into the plane and started asking questions, and took the man and girl off the plane. The girl didn't speak any English, Spanish or French.

I'm convinced that the airline personnel saved a girl being trafficked into Canada.


An Eye For An Eye

Cyprus in the mid nineties, I was 15 and on holiday with my parents.

I saw an old Cypriot guy getting beaten within an inch of his life by a young Russian guy, after a row over unpaid rent. As i understood it the Russian was renting an apartment of the victim.

Police promptly turned up and dragged the Russian guy into the nearest building.

The Cypriot guy was taken to hospital by ambulance and a short while later the Russian guy was brought out of the building on a stretcher and was also taken to hospital once the police had dealt with him.


These aren't just odd. These are things that completely shook the viewers.

Just A Bit Of A Disagreement

In a small town in Korea, I saw two guys run out of a restaurant. One of them was holding a 10 inch kitchen knife and shoved it into the other guy's belly. The guy's standing there holding the knife in his gut and an old lady comes out of the restaurant and starts hitting him in the head with her shoe.

Two other guys jumped on the stabber and held him on the ground. Ambulance came and loaded the stabbee and drove away, cops came and drove the stabber away, restaurant owner came out with a bucket of water and washed the blood off his steps.

Turned out it was a wedding party and there was a bit of a disagreement.



Was in Mexico City for a work assignment. Had just gone to dinner in the Zona Rosa (pink zone). Walking back to the hotel I saw a hit and run.

A pedestrian was thrown thru the air and flung to the ground. A lot of people witnessed this and an ambulance was called.

The ambulance came screaming around the corner, going really fast, and hit another pedestrian. Who then was thrown thru the air and flung to the ground. It was awful.


Unhelpful Cops

I don't know if I qualify as a "tourist", because Barcelona is in my country and not far from my hometown.

Anyway, me and my sis were walking down the Ramblas in early afternoon, and the place was packed. A group of American teenagers was using an ATM.

And they were taking precautions, because the area is infamous for its pickpockets, so they were not to blame. But as soon as one girl took the banknotes from the ATM, a kid took them from her hand and raced to the adjacent streets.

We took the teens to the police precinct, but they weren't very helpful. The first thing they asked is that if we had apprehended the robber. And then we had to insist so they took a record of the incident.


In Front Of A CHILD?!

Back in 1978 when i was 10, i went to Jamaica with my Mom. One morning after coming out of the British embassy, I saw four baby mongoose in a rain gully about 5 feet deep behind where we were waiting for a bus.

I thought they were adorable and started feeding them by throwing them biscuits. Some guy saw me doing that, walked over and dropped a large brick on them killing them instantly. I was pretty inconsolable for several hours.


This is stuff that, if you picture it in your head, will probably haunt you as well.

The Horrors Of The Past

I was walking through a forest in central France when I came across a group of old style horse drawn Gypsy caravans in a clearing.

They were obviously very old and looked like they had just been abandoned. There was a very eerie, unsettling feel to the place so I took a few photos and moved on.

A couple of days later I was talking to an old guy in the village and he explained that the Gypsies had been dragged from their wagons and murdered by the invading Nazis during WW2. Out of respect the surviving Gypsies in the region just left the caravans where they were.


Crazy People In Every Country

Was in Serbia and my collegue i was there with and i had rented a car to go explore the beautiful country. We followed google maps but end up on a dirt road in some small village like area and and had to make a turn. It was heavily raining and we got the car stuck.

We couldn't get it unstuck on our own so we wanted to ask for help and as we approached the first nearby house a large dog came running out barking loudly and an elderly looking man came out with a rifle yelling at us in serbian.

We decided next house was a better bet and they were the kindest people on earth. We told them that we had tried the other house with no luck and they told us we were lucky to be alive.

Apparently the man had a reputation but they didn't wanna to further into details.

No more dirt roads for me thanks.


The Price Of A Lifetime

I was on a business trip, but had a couple days at the end of the trip for myself in New Delhi, India. Somehow, I got to talking with the bartender at my hotel about my hobby of keeping reef aquariums and that I was designing a new system.

He told me about an entire street in New Delhi where every shop sells nothing but various pumps. Pumps of all kinds and very cheap. (Pumps for reef tanks can push $1000, so I thought I would have a look. Besides, I had been wanting to try out New Delhi's metro system, and there was a metro station right near "Pump Street")

So I hop on the metro (very nice, actually. Highly recommended) and exit the station on "Pump Street". Sure enough...hundreds of pump stores line one entire side of the street.

But then I noticed the other side of the street. It was lined with hundreds....of brothels. 4-5 stories high, every window had women and/or girls hanging out of them.

As a 6'3" Caucasian, I was an instant target.

"Mister! Mister! You want girl?!" And then the kid would start yelling prices...each trying to underbid the guy next to him. Walking away didn't matter; they followed...until a cop wielding a large stick chased them off.



Stratford Upon Avon - some kid in a school uniform walking around with a girl he was presumably trying to impress. He strolls up to a pigeon that's sitting in his path, winds up his leg, and boots it as hard as he can, sending an explosion of feathers in all directions.

The girl he was with was horrified and took off without him - he didn't seem too bothered. Not the most horrifying story here I'm sure, but it was pretty shocking to see such needless cruelty. Poor little bird.


Ah Yes, Economic Inequality

I was on vacation in Northern Minnesota a few years ago and we took a day trip up to Thunder Bay.

While we were on our way to get some Lucys from Agostino's Deli, we passed by a soup kitchen with a line out the door, around the corner, and down four blocks.

They were all either Latino or Native American, I couldn't tell going 30 miles an hour on the other side of a 4 lane road.


The Heat Is On In Saigon

Sitting at a cafe in Ho Chi Minh City when I witnessed a guy on a scooter rip off a tourists bag/purse from her shoulder causing her to fall face first and bleed quite a bit.

Scooter Mcthief guy tries to get away, road ahead gets blocked by bystanders as he's picking up speed, so he chucks a u-turn and hauls asit where he is ultimately met by a man who swings a 12 foot ladder smack across his path and into his face. Got surrounded by a bunch of angry locals and carried into a home/business? Not sure what happened to him after that. It was 1 min of absolute chaos and painful facial injuries.


Just Gotta Make Sure They're Dead....

It's a tie. There was a guy in Milan with open abscesses on his arms that kept spitting on the steps of the train station and the man in Sicily who was covered in blood. He was agitated and kept trying to yank open the doors of closed businesses and was spitting blood everywhere, headed right towards me. I ran across the street at that one.

And when I studied abroad in HK our school made us take a pedestrian traffic safety class where we went over the basics and then watched videos of people getting hit by cars by accident and then the same car backing over them several times on purpose. Some people prefer to kill the people they hit because if they kill someone, they pay a relatively small fee. If the person lives they have to pay for their lifetime care. The lesson was whatever you do, don't risk getting hit!


Not A Lance?

Not another country but I was in Detroit. Stay at a very nice hotel with my dad. We are about to go to a baseball game and waiting for a car to pick us up when we see a man sprinting down the street. Upon closer inspection there was a man chasing him with a sword.

A SWORD. Like a knight would have. Neither one says a word. Pure determination to kill and to stay alive. I turn to my dad and he says as calm as anything "that's why you don't walk in Detroit."

I will never understand where those two came from. The street was long but it was just like they appeared out of nowhere.


Unsettling At LEAST

Venezuela in 2009, the crisis was not nearly as awful as it is today. We were driving in two cars at around 10 pm through Caracas who has a reputation for being dangerous. As we approach some traffic lights at the end of an intersección two other cars cut us off but not entirely, one of the cars stops further ahead and 4 guys come out with their guns drawn out.

We went through the small space they left us and as we take a look back, we realize they were undercover cops stopping the car just behind ours. We saw them as we drove away how they took the driver out and put it on the ground then we took a turn and lost sight of them. For a moment I thought we were being kidnapped.


It is very difficult to witness anything so strange and unnerving and come back from that trip the same person. The world is a big, interesting, complicated place.

It is very difficult to witness anything so strange and unnerving and come back from that trip the same person. The world is a big, interesting, complicated place.