People Describe The Weirdest Thing They've Ever Noticed While Visiting A Foreign Country
If you've never been outside the United States, odds are you don't know how people live, day-to-day, in other parts of the world. Sure, you can watch movies or check out the occasional documentary for a small peak at what it might be like in another country, but until you go there, meet its people, and live like they do, you won't understand all the odd quirks and traditions they exhibit.
Reddit user, u/PowerHAUS_, wanted to know what you've picked up on when overseas when they asked:
Give It Up For Italyswinging the simpsons GIFGiphy
I don't know that this is weird, but I did find it interesting that when I visited Italy most of them appear to use clotheslines to dry their clothes (at least in Naples and Sorrento). Like even really expensive, nice-looking places had clotheslines with stuff on them in their yards or balconies. I actually respected Italy for it. Like they're a rich enough country that the average person could easily afford to use a dryer, but they choose to use air-drying. I don't know.
My world-traveling friend who has been to every continent but Antarctica once told me of Italy: "The whole time you're there you get this strange sense that they're just better at life than we are." I couldn't have agreed more. It's difficult to describe why to someone who has never been there, but they seem to know how to allocate their time, efforts and resources in a balanced, thoughtful sort of way that's more tailored to human happiness and well-being than the way Americans live.
China...they have painted lanes on their roads...they don't use the painted lanes.
Driving in China is nuts.
I don't know why they even have rearview mirrors, because they drive as if nothing behind them matters.
Hold up traffic for five minutes while you stop for no discernible reason? Sure, why not. Nothing else exists behind your car.
woman kissed me on both cheeks as a greeting. There never feels like there is a warning, just happens.
I m from France. We call it « la bise » and it is an extremely common way to greet your friends. Can't do it anymore because of Covid and I really miss it ! But i get that it is strange if you are not use to it.
Grabbing A Bit Of A Rest
Elderly people in rural Japan squatting in the middle of the sidewalk. Not pooping, just squatting to rest. I mean, self-care is important but I almost tripped over an old lady early in the morning.
Overstuffed Bellieshomer simpson mess GIFGiphy
The USA serves much more food per plate at restaurants than any other country I have traveled to.
The same seems to apply to a "family size" pizza. In Australia a "Large" pizza is 12 inches, in the U.S it seems to range from "Manhole" to "Good luck getting this through a door" size.
In Taiwan, when you knock on a toilet stall, the person inside knocks back to let you know it's occupied.
Props If You Ever Pooped In School
In the USA for some reason toilet cubicle doors are half the size of everywhere else in the world
US public school bathrooms are a nightmare
You Look Different Than Me. Can I Have A Picture?
Lived in a village in Central China for a year, strangest thing was people constantly recording me then having strangers come up to me to show me pictures of myself from like 2 days ago walking around a supermarket that popped up on their social media feed. Bizzare.
In rural India, people would basically swarm me and ask for photos because I'm pale. A few people wanted me to hold their babies which, fine, you can take my photo if I get to hold your baby.
I always liked to imagine that years later they'll be flipping through the family photo album; "This is our trip to Hampi, this is your mother getting blessed by an elephant, oh and this is a white lady holding you when you were a baby!"
Naturally Heated Smells
I wasn't prepared for how hot water would smell in Iceland. Because it comes from being heated geothermically it smells like sulfur. Showering the first time was a little bit of a shock.
Oh God, right? I had a very hard time convincing my brain that I was clean after showering in Reykjavik.
We Stop Down To Focuspraying bart simpson GIFGiphy
When I was working as a volunteer in Sri Lanka, there were little Buddha shrines dotted all along the road at various intervals. I found out what they were for when I tagged along with a local guy who worked at the centre where I was working as he was driving into town to pick something up from the market. He looked at the time on his car clock, realised what time it was, and pulled up next to one of those shrines. He told me he'd be five minutes, then got out of the car, grabbed a few sticks of incense from a basket next to the shrine, lit them up with his cigarette lighter, and then sat before it and started meditating. Then when he was finished, he just got back in the car and we carried on as normal.
I've always found it interesting how people in non-Christian countries have managed to accommodate their faith whilst going about the hustle and bustle of daily life, but this one was particularly interesting to me.
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Most people can be very guarded because of their vulnerabilities, even if you think you know them really well.
These disconcerting memories or character traits are better left undisclosed, for they can be painful for individuals to revisit or acknowledge.
On the other hand, opening up about these disturbing facts can also be therapeutic as long as they are revealed anonymously.
And the opportunity for strangers online to unburden themselves arose when Redditor _Lord_Infamous asked:
"What is a scary, unsettling fact about you?"
Certain facts about these Redditors are perplexing.
"I do not actually remember a decent chunk of my life, whenever I talk about most of my childhood I use words that leave room for mistakes and am generally using memories and ideas I've compiled from hearing other people say things about me."
"There is actually a large chunks of facts about myself that I only think I know, and don't have personal confirmation of."
Dead Or Alive
"I’m convinced with no evidence that my father is still alive and that my whole family is lying to me. I logically know he is not. But every knock on the door I open half expecting my father. Could be something to work through … but it’s not really affecting me day to day. My grandfather died and I thought I would feel the same way. Nope. He is dead and I miss him but he is dead."
Warning: Self-Harm Trigger
"Growing up I had a recurring nightmare set in my grandparents backyard looking at the back of their house. There was just something 'off' about the house. Something mildly sinister. I dreamt this over and over, many times over the years."
"In 2018, my dad (who now owned the house) went into the backyard to that spot and killed himself."
"I haven’t had the backyard dream since."
Nightmares Come True
"I had a recurring super vivid intense dream at like 4.... my uncle was chasing us around a labyrinth with a large knife... trying to kill me and my grandmother. 25 or so years later the same uncle (complete paranoid delusional schizophrenic) murders my grandmother at her condo... with the very nice chef knife I bought her for Christmas the year before..."
"Less scary and more shocking, but when I was 9 years old I survived a home invasion where I was shot 6 times. I played dead on the floor until the man left and called 911 and in my adrenaline rush I thought they couldn't find my house so I crawled with my left are swinging the wrong way and my right leg limp from nerve damage, all the way to the front door when he broke in from the back of the house."
"I lived with only my mother who unfortunately didn't survive. I vividly remember picking out the guy in a photo line up while recovering in the ICU."
"I am very lucky to have kept my left arm, I have 32 pins and screws to make up for my shattered elbow. My left leg has permanent nerve damage and I now have 'drop foot'. Despite my physical injuries and PTSD, I am doing very well."
We are not all born the same.
"I'm one of the lucky few with the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. Why is that relevant? It makes me immune to HIV and a handful of other pathogens, most notably the Bubonic Plague."
"I have 2 lenses in my right eye, so it focuses like binoculars. My doctor wrote a paper about it. Mostly blinded as a baby in my left eye. Dr suspected my right lense split then healed as 2 distinct lenses. Better than 20/20 in my right eye."
"When I was born, I was so premature that my dad, who had quite dainty piano fingers, could slide his wedding ring up my arm to my shoulder. (I weighed 2 lbs, born at 27 weeks)."
"I had 6 toes on each foot at birth and got them cut off you can see the place they cut them at."
People live with the unfortunate risk that their lives can be cut short at any given moment.
Ticking Time Bomb
"I have an enlarged aortic root. It's very unlikely, but it could spontaneously rupture leading to the medical term adjusts glasses... 'instantaneous death'. I would pass out, bleed to death, and then fall over. Dead before hitting the ground. And it could happen at any time. My wife is very uncomfortable thinking about it lol."
For The Sake Of Survival
"my immune system backfired and tried to murder me and almost succeeded. I now have to take multiple injections every single day all day or i'll die a painful death within a week."
"Just trying to write diabetes in the most bad-a** way."
A friend of mine once told me that the name I've known him by was not his real name.
He had gone by an alias, which everyone at work assumed was his actual name, to protect himself and his identity after he had been violently hunted down, stalked and threatened for his life for witnessing a murder.
The suspects involved were eventually caught and locked away for good.
I don't remember all the other details about the traumatizing incident because I was completely stupefied.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
We never leave two movies feeling the same way.
In some cases, we are so moved by what we just saw, that we are sobbing so loudly, we're getting concerned looks from our fellow moviegoers.
In other cases, we waste no time in leaving, as we have just spent two hours or so of our lives we'll never get back again watching something which could have been made by second graders.
And then, there are the times when we leave the theatre, and all we can think is, "what the f*ck?"
Not necessarily because it was bad, but because we can't process exactly what we just saw.
It could be something we can appreciate more over time, with repeat viewings... how many views did it take you to fully understand Inception? Be honest!
Or, we are befuddled beyond words as to how such an inane, amateurish creation ever saw the light of day.
"What is your "WTF did I just watch?" movie?"
Dystopian Doesn't Even Begin To Describe It
"You have a certain time to become married and if you fail to find a spouse you get sent to an asylum where you must find a spouse from among the other singles."
"If you again fail to find a partner, you must choose which animal you want to be turned into, and then they turn you into that animal."- Leemage
Chloë Sevigny Knows How To Pick Them...
A Podcaster's Worst Nightmare
With A Title Like That...
"Antichrist."- EwoksEwoksEwoksWillem Dafoe Smile GIFGiphy
Only 67 Minutes... But Plenty Of Gore
"Tetsuo the Ironman (would very strongly not recommend for people with weak stomachs)."- PeruvianPolarbear14
A Homicidal Car Tire... Yes You Read That Correctly...
Beyond Love, Beyond Death...
Glad It Didn't Disappoint... I Guess?
"Salo, or 120 days of Sodom."
"Granted, I had a phase where I was purposely looking for disturbing movies and this one sure didn't disappoint."- Reddit
Was The Title An Actual Apology?
"Sorry to bother you."- kappaidan
Darren Aronofsky At His Strangest...
"Mother."- dank-yharnam-nugsjennifer lawrence mother movie GIF by mother!Giphy
Meet The Parents gone wrong...
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things."- Vandalatwork
Charlie Kaufman Strikes Again!
"Being John Malkovich."- getlough
Not The Kind You're Thinking Of...
"Teeth."- timyorbaHappy Dance GIF by benjamin lemoineGiphy
One thing that can be said about all these movies, those who see them will never forget them.
Which may or may not be a good thing...
Now, which film should we add to this list?
Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Words of encouragement to all Americans during his inaugural address, as America was in the midst of the great depression, with countless people having lost their jobs, their homes, and even their will to live.
While America did, indeed, bounce back, it hasn't stopped people from constantly living in fear.
Sadly, we're not talking about unfounded fears, such as ghosts or superstitions.
Unfortunately, there is plenty to be afraid of in this world, and horrifying evidence to prove it.
"What is a fact that scares you?"
"That something like close to half of murders reported in the US are never solved."
"That’s just of the reported ones."- YAYtersalad
It Could Happen To Anyone
"Any day, you could have a stroke and lose all your autonomy and become as dependant as a baby."- FrenchMaisNon
"That any of us could have a brain aneurysm right now and not even know it's coming."- becomingNope
Just The Way Things Work
"The number of people older than me will never increase."- Vinny_Lam
At Least You Wouldn't Feel It?
"For some reason, the fact that you poop/pee yourself when you die."
"I know that it won’t matter because I’ll be dead, anyway, but I’ve always been weirded out by that."- EllieK24601
Cherish Your Time Together
"That my parents and grandparents are slowly getting older and it's just a matter of time before I start losing them all one by one and there's nothing I can do about it."- Kysman95
When Nothing Ever Seems To Be Alright...
"I logically know I am fine, but my anxiety won’t let me accept that."- HotSpicedChai
Next Time you Think About Putting It Out There To The Universe...
"That outside of our planet, zero of our achievements/history/language/currency matters."
'It can all be erased in a second and there would be no knowledge of us ever existing in the first place to anyone else in the universe."
"We are meaningless outside of this sphere."- EmergencyNoodlePack
It Really Doesn't Seem That Long
"We only live for about 4,000 weeks."-_Light_The_Way
"That Dopplegangers exist."
"They say that there are at least a couple people in the world that look exactly like you without being blood related and I met mine."
"He was a f*cking criminal and got into trouble so many times with the law that I myself had been mistaken for him three times."
"The only difference was me having sleeves."
"My tattoos saved me from being mistaken for him."
"I was brought in and put in a lineup, and she said herself, 'that looks like him, but he doesn’t have a single tattoo'."
"4 hours later they found him and the sheriff’s department was dumbfounded that we weren’t twins."
"Like looking in a mirror."
"I was released, and a more than needed apology was given by the chief of police and arresting officer."- TinyoneT33
They Need Something To Keep Them Going
"The most well-educated and intelligent people are also those most afflicted with issues like despair, depression, and existential crises."
"Reality is a nightmare of horrors lying just beneath the surface, and the more aware of how things really work you are the more truly miserable you are, generally."- Emperor_Cartagia
It Could Be Comforting?
"When I die, I will be able to hear what people are saying, my last bit of brain activity will be processing those words or sounds and they will be echoed into my forever dream."
"Hope nobody says anything f*cked up.
"According to recent studies, auditory stimulus is the last sense to be lost, it's anticipated that people actually listen long enough to hear they’re pronounced dead."- TheUpsideDownWorlds·
Where Does The Time Go?
"The fact that the past 10 years of my life have flown by, and it means I got about a decade before I become the same age as my parents when I was born."
"Meaning that I’m just slowly going to age till it’s time for me to pass."
"And I still don’t even know why I’m living or what I want to do, or even feel like I’m happy."- Unhookingsnow6
"I've lived over half my life already."- Lucky-11
It's hard not to be scared by any or all of these facts.
But being afraid of just about anything almost never does anyone any good, as there is also plenty in this world to be hopeful and optimistic about.
As famously quipped in Baz Luhrmann's classic Strictly Ballroom, "A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
Every generation has its own trends.
As a millennial, I’ll be the first to admit we had our fair share of silly or stupid trends.
Remember the cinnamon challenge? Or all the Harlem Shake videos? We were not the brightest crayons in the box.
Girls wore only skinny jeans, boys adopted Justin Beiber’s side-swept haircut, and we spent more time on YouTube than any other social media site.
Those who belong to Generation Z think we were pretty stupid too, but everyone else thinks Gen Z have their fair share of weird trends. Tide pods, anyone?
If we turn to Reddit, those Gen Z trends can be easily identified.
Curious to find out more, Redditor Distinct_Bee_4580 asked:
“What’s a trend among Gen Zs you find weird?”
"Documenting themselves committing crimes then posting them to social media."
"was at a (car) accident reconstruction engineering office this summer and a 20 ish yo guy drove of the edge of the road and died and his snap story from the night was a video of his speedometer at 100+ in the dark in the rain and he was bragging that he was going fast (and also drunk)"
Look How Stupid I Am!
"They film EVERYTHING"
"I went out drinking with a mixed age group. We got silly drunk, and had a good time. A few months later, one of the younger girls posted a "hilarous" video of me blackout drunk and acting stupid. Nothing illegal, just embarrassing. It was horrifying. Like, why would you video someone that vulnerable, and then put it out in public? Like, what other videos did they take? She took it down, but didn't understand at all why I was so angry at her - because "she posted dumber sh*t of herself all the time!""
"Never again. I'll just stick with my older friends who know not to film anyone doing stupid sh*t."
"this. gen z getting themselves fired from work over tiktoks is such a common occurrence."
"Gen Z here. Romanticization of mental illness or crime."
"fr it’s embarrassing because they treat it like it’s a competition or something quirky like… no it’s not? stop making your mental illnesses your only personality traits"
Evolution Of Hair
"Brocoli haircut. Will definitely age like milk"
"Ahh the “Meet me at mcdonald's haircut”, no seriously that’s it name, you can google it"
Like e.e. cummings
"Finally I can ask this. Why do a large amount of gen Z's not use capital letters? Is capitalization going the way of cursive writing?"
"It's probably because of texting. Over time, texting with capitalized letters became seen as too formal, and people began to intentionally remove capitalization to seem more laid-back and informal."
"Millennial here and a lot of people my age used to not use capital letters either in our early twenties. Might be regional, might just be a general "trying hard to appear chill" kind of thing"
Use A Dictionary
"Saying gaslighting every f*cking day with no comprehension of the word."
"I know what it means stop gaslighting me"
Here's My Life Story
"Oversharing personal struggles, overdramatizing common anxieties/struggles, and flaunting "going to therapy" to the point where it's clearly a means of seeking attention and staying relevant."
"On a related note, since I see it on dating apps all the time, when every other bio puts "going to therapy" as a green flag. Like yeah, that should be normalized, but mental health practices are turning into a new form of virtue signaling."
"Bothering people just trying to go about their day in the name of "pranking.""
"I've seen one that regularly goes into a store like Home Depot and pretends to be an employee and then films the real employees who seem to be going a little overboard in their reactions; but I'm just like this poor guy is just trying to get through his workday without this bullsh*t."
"I just saw a man was getting charges pressed against him for attacking a kid that was "pretending to steal his luggage as a prank." The 'prankee' grabbed the kid by the hair and probably did go a little overboard but the number of comments I saw defending the kid amazed me. JUST LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE!!"
Feel The Beat
"Stupid Tik tok dances"
"At least they're getting some exercise"
"Trying to “cancel” singers/rappers/actors for things they said 30 years ago when social norms were different"
"Gen z is the most pretentious moralistic and puritanical gen since maybe the lost gen"
The Capacity To Care
"For me it’s the insinuation that I’m supposed to care about every problem/issue in the world. It’s not realistic- we as humans don’t have the emotional bandwidth to care or even keep track of all the issues in todays world. Social media is constantly bombarding these kids with the most recent catastrophe and everyone is expected to be an activist for it until the news cycle breaks. Pick an issue you’re passionate about and do something, but letting every atrocity in the world affect your emotional state is counter-productive and makes you feel like the boot is against your neck at all times"
"My opinion is that this contributes to the rise of mental health issues like depression-"
Let People Be Who They Are
"Queer discourse. Not in general, but the way I see now. People fighting each other over Pronouns, attacking each other because they don't believe someone else should go by the label they use."
"It feels like the LGBTQ community is running around in circles, nibbling at its tail and not realising its bleeding to death."
Cause And Effect
"For me it's claiming everything as abuse..."
"*got punished for doing or not doing something they were told/asked to do or not do a thousand times... gets punished... that's abuse... wtf... actions and inaction have consequences... Don't want the consequence then don't do or do what I asked/ told you to do or not do... It was that simple when I was growing up..."
The Internet Can't Help You
"As a gen-z myself, I'm also confused on why everything has to be posted on social media:"
""OMG I'm gonna die 😭😭😭""
""He made it into my house 😭😒🥺🥺""
""Idk what I should do now 😔😔😟😭😓""
"So you decided to post about it on social media rather then calling the police or ANYONE ELSE FOR HELP?"
"Or the other way around"
""Look what a fun life I have, I'm here on the mountains with my entire family" nobody is home for 2 weeks pls come rob me"
"They are really the first generation with the capability to do that easily. They’re like the oldest siblings who makes all the mistakes so the younger ones can learn from it. I salute their sacrifice."
Do you have any trends to add? Let us know in the comments below!