Americans Break Down Which Things Seem Normal In Europe But Absurd Back Home
Damiano Baschiera on Unsplash

As tourists, it's an eye-opening wonder to explore different countries and take in a part of their culture.

The experience reveals how different we are as much as how similar we are as people.

And then on the flip side, there are certain foreign customs that we, as Americans, are absolutely dumbfounded by.


Curious to hear about the impressions we have outside the U.S., Redditor vibrxncy_ asked:

"Americans of Reddit, what's something normal in Europe that you think is completely absurd in America?"

When in Rome, you may notice these examples.

Sexplicit Ad

"Once in Italy, I saw some phone sex ads on late night broadcast TV."

"You know how ours have a woman in a bathtub saying 'oooo, call me?'"

"Theirs had two nude women with a phone number at the bottom of the screen. I'm like...what do I need to call for exactly?"

– DocBullseye

Open Invitation

"Lack of window screens. Last time I was in Italy, I accidentally left my hotel room window open. That night I spent an hour killing mosquitoes in the room and still got 20+ bites."

– Trirefringent

Thirst Quencher

"It's a hot day in Rome. Need a refreshing drink? How about some lukewarm sparkling water."

– Gabe_Isko

Compared to other countries, America really is a baby when you think about.

Architectural Marvels

"Thousands years old buildings around you."

– 0ke_0

Spirits Alive

"Used to work at a pub that was built in the 12 or 1300s. Used to enjoy thinking how no matter how much the world outside the walls changed, people inside are laughing, arguing, joking, making friends and meeting lovers just as they would have the previous centuries."

"Didn't enjoy locking up on my own though, too many weird incidents. A few now when spoken of even give me an odd response of feeling like I'm going to vomit/goose bumps on my arms. Still don't know if I believe in ghosts but I definitely believe in something after that haha."

– I_Call_Everyone_Ron

Fascination Guaranteed

"In my city we have a medieval castle in the city centre, roman ruins in front of it, WWII a few metres apart.. seriously American friends, visit Europe and study European history, from ancient Greeks to Romans to the middle age until you arrive at modern days. You will get fascinated! :)"

– 0ke_0

Floating Structures

"Buildings whose foundations are in water. Hamburg, Venice, etc. I would be terrified."

– ByronLeftwich

European people and their customs can be baffling for most Americans.

Observe the following:

Multilingual

"The fact that Europeans can and need to speak multiple languages. I can drive for 20 hours and all that changes is accents."

– Valley828

No Free Pee

"Paying to use the bathroom in a shopping center."

– karaokechameleon

Normalized Nudity

"Public nudity. I remember the first time I experienced it in Germany. I was with my sisters at a local public swimming pool. Women just would stand up and openly change from their bathing suits into their clothes. Everything on display. Nobody batted an eye or payed any attention. They went about what they were doing."

– Great-Vacation8674

As You Doo

"I understand this one is more specific to Germany, but damn are those toilets with little poop shelves weird as hell."

– HalfHearted_Fanatic

"Instead of dropping into the water below, German toilets have a little shelf in the bowl where you sh*t on that goes into the toilet only when you flush. The purpose is to let you check your stool more easily for any worrying health signs before flushing it down."

"Advantage: No splash back ever."

"Disadvantage: The smell."

– Dejected-Angel

Baby Parking

"Leaving babies outside in their strollers unaccompanied."

– Greta_Roc

I'm always astounded by the lack of a tipping policy, not just in Europe, but everywhere else in the world.

It seem exclusive to the U.S. and is an obvious indication of an embarrassingly low minimum wage in service industry jobs.

Here's a solution, pay your workers well, and they will do their jobs more efficiently and with a smile.

Well, the smile part is debatable.

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