People Describe The Weirdest Thing They've Ever Noticed While Visiting A Foreign Country

People Describe The Weirdest Thing They've Ever Noticed While Visiting A Foreign Country
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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:

What's the weirdest thing you noticed when you visited a foreign country?

Give It Up For Italy

swinging 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.

SleepyConscience

Good Luck!

China...they have painted lanes on their roads...they don't use the painted lanes.

sounders127

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.

GingerMau

Be Ready

woman kissed me on both cheeks as a greeting. There never feels like there is a warning, just happens.

ckreds

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.

baobabreddit

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.

Squaragus_Asparagus

Overstuffed Bellies

homer simpson mess GIFGiphy

The USA serves much more food per plate at restaurants than any other country I have traveled to.

donutshopsss

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.

Dubalubawubwub

*knock, knock

In Taiwan, when you knock on a toilet stall, the person inside knocks back to let you know it's occupied.

protectedspecies

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

Grogu-I-am

US public school bathrooms are a nightmare

PowerHAUS_

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.

itdoesnteverwork

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!"

lobsteristrash

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.

Elbatcho

Oh God, right? I had a very hard time convincing my brain that I was clean after showering in Reykjavik.

1tacoshort

We Stop Down To Focus

praying 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.

RedWestern

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