The world is full of so many different cultures, ideas, and laws. Traveling to a new country that you've never been to can be quite a culture shock.
For those of us who haven't traveled overseas, it's interesting to know what might be shocking to us that is incredibly normal in another country. For those of us who have, this Redditor wanted to know what was surprising the first time you visited a country.
Redditor Spilakkk asked:
"What is the thing that surprised you the most when you traveled to a country you had never been to before?"
Some of these are quite surprising, and might bring a sense of longing to when it is safe for world travel once again.
Have a drink for the road!
"Probably in Germany when I bought a beer in a convenience store and they offered to open it for me so I could enjoy it on my walk."
"Haha, the good old German 'Wegbier,' that's how we call it. It just means having a [beer] for the walk from A to B."
"When I went to Berlin this threw me off. My tattoo artist took me across the street and bought me a beer and then we walked around. It was such a neat experience. My fiancé was busy in a meeting that day so the following day I said hey look what we can do. And I bought us two beers and then I said now we can go walk around. She was so skeptical at first but then we walked around Berlin, drinking beer and taking in the sights. It was such a neat experience."
"Honestly coming from Denmark I thought obviously having alcohol in public was allowed everywhere! Then I went to New York, wanted a bottle of wine for a nice dinner. Had to go to a special store, show ID (wtf, haven't done that since I was 15), and they wrapped it in the most shameful paper bag I've ever seen."
"It's honestly so funny to me that Americans talk about the right to own guns but they can't chill at a park with a beer. Overall great trip though, people are so nice!"
"Just remembered, on that same trip when my boyfriend and I crossed over from Canada into the US at 4am we had to get out and get a visa, no problem we filled out the forms then came time for paying. It was like $14 for both of us, I instinctively pull out my card and the guy asked us if we were French."
"I responded we were Danish and asked why, to which he replied 'Well, French guys also let their girlfriends pay,' while staring down my boyfriend. I just looked straight at him and said 'Where we're from we believe in equality,' and he looked so flustered while his coworker was laughing his *ss off behind him."
New York is exactly what we expect it to be, surprisingly enough.
"New York is exactly as advertised... everything i see on tv shows and movies are exactly the same..."
"I've been to a lot of places but New York is the only one that is exactly my expectation..."
"Does the pedestrian respond with 'HEY I'M WALKING HERE'?"
"To which you hear a response of 'go suck a d*ck.'"
"True story and I completely agree, NY is as expected."
"I loved the fact that people do indeed curse loudly and friendly at each other."
"Someone crosses the road and isn't paying attention and someone else will stick their head out the window and shouts some colorful anatomy question regarding their head."
"The sheer amount of garbage on the streets in Manhattan was the really big surprise for me. No alleys, no dumpsters, and giant buildings, so they just put out huge piles of garbage on the sidewalks."
"Every other first world city I've ever been in, a good rain will wash the city clean and leave, at least for a little while, a fresh smell in the air. Not New York. In New York, a rainy day just washes garbage everywhere."
Best Excuses For Late Assignments That Were Actually True | George Takei’s Oh MyyyTeachers have heard every excuse in the book from students who were trying to pull a fast one. We all know the classics: 'dog ate my homework,' 'my car burst...
People in Prague are polite.
"In Prague, when you open a camera in the street, it's like a force field! People automatically moves aside to not stand in the way."
"I learnt this in Prague in 2008 and made it a habit. It's very polite and people look at me graciously when I do it everywhere."
"Czechs are very polite, actually, in our own way. We scowl around, look like we are miserable all the time and will probably sigh loudly when another tourist asks where the castle is even though you can literally see it right there."
"But then, a mother with a stroller? Someone will help carry it up the stairs. People stand to the side of the escalators so people who have to hurry can run past. People stand to the side of the doors on any public transport so people can get off first, then they get on. Czechs are experts at CPR, statistically, Czechs give more CPR than any western country and we are damn good at it."
"There is a lot of stuff we are great at. Its not just beer."
Apparently there's scammers too.
"The strangest thing for me in Prague was how almost every money exchange store was trying to scam people by using horrible exchange rates. [I don't know] how these stores are still open."
"I'm pretty paranoid and have studied how scammers operate in every country and the one place where I traveled where I got scammed (but them I realized it and demanded my correct amount of money - while they pretended it was a mistake) was in Prague..."
Heated sidewalks in Finland
"Heated sidewalks in Finland! Absolutely life savers for me who had no idea how to walk on ice."
Standing for the royal anthem.
"In Thailand we were watching a movie and they played the [royal] anthem and everyone stood up for their king."
But that is changing.
"I'm in Thailand at the moment. There have been huge protests and speaking out against the monarchy for the past year or so (which is dangerous as it's illegal, with severe penalties). I went to watch a film a few weeks ago and only around half the people in the cinema stood up during the showing of the king's video before the movie (it's not actually the national anthem, just some rousing nationalist song with clips of him in ceremonial dress)."
"This may not sound like a big deal, but it was absolutely unthinkable, even 2 years ago, for half the people to show such disrespect and to remain seated during that part."
"Living in Thailand for 13 years, I can tell you the people loved their old king (King Rama 9) that sadly passed away. He was the most beloved person in the country. He had so many projects and undergoing's that helped the quality of life for so many people in Thailand. He was very connected to his country and people. I know for a fact everybody would pause and stand if his anthem was played anywhere out of voluntary action. I've never seen such respect for a king."
"On the other hand, his son, who is now the king of Thailand (King Rama 10) is much disliked compared to the other king due to his lifestyle and carelessness for the country. That's why they're protesting the monarchy. They know King Rama 9 won't be topped by any successors so might as well end it. I say good for them, they shouldn't be bowing to someone that doesn't care much for them."
Work really does end at 5:00 in Italy.
"A few years ago we went to Italy and I made my wife go on a side trip to Herculaneum and Pompeii for a couple days. In Herculaneum we were wandering around in town when 5:00 PM rolled around, and within 15 minutes the streets were filled with people, not hurrying past one another, but just standing around talking, having an ice cream, drinking a beer or whatever."
"Ashgabat Turkmenistan - everything about it. The entire city (every building) is white marble. It lights up at night like a sterile Las Vegas however, there is no advertising except for billboards of the dictator holding onto puppies by the neck to show everyone how nice he is. He has pretty much positioned himself as a religious prophet. The airport is shaped like a massive white marble eagle. It used to be a red building but soon after it was built they tore it down and built a white marble one to match the current décor."
"Also there is no white marble in Turkmenistan so it has to be imported from Italy. They were the largest importer of white marble in the world and drove the price up so high it cost them ridiculous amounts of money to build the buildings. Strange strange place."
One Reddit user created a list of a few of the interesting rules created by this dictator. We chose some of the most outlandish.
"Turkmenistan's post-Soviet history can be explained, in part, by their crazy dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov. Some of his decrees include:"
- "banning the use of lip syncing at public concerts in 2005 as well as sound recordings at 'musical performances on state holidays, in broadcasts by Turkmen television channels, at all cultural events organized by the state... in places of mass assembly and at weddings and celebrations organised by the public,' citing a negative effect on the development of musical arts incurred by the use of recorded music."
- "ordering that a 'palace of ice', or indoor ice skating rink, be built near the capital, so that those living in the desert country could learn to skate. The rink was built in 2008."
- "outlawing opera, ballet and circus performances in 2001 for being 'decidedly unturkmen-like'."
- "discouraging the use of gold teeth in Turkmenistan after he suggested that the populace chew on bones to strengthen their teeth and lessen the rate at which they fall out."
Prolonged eye contact.
"The amount of eye contact and observation. When I went to Morocco, in the evening the streets would be packed full of families sitting and talking. These people would watch each other, in fact even the way I'm describing it with 'watch' shows how unwelcome and uncomfortable it would be in England. People would also make eye contact and keep it frequently on the street, just with ease. It felt so strange for me at first."
"Yes!!! Oh my God I'm from Morocco and this has always been one of my main complaints about this place, and I never understood why it didn't bother other people so much!!"
"It would definitely be considered creepy in other countries but here, people see no issue in staring at you and what you're doing anywhere, anytime."
"It's one of the main reasons I hate going out."
"The smells of a different country. I'm from Australia and travelled to Malaysia a few years back. The city, the jungle, everything smelt different to any place in Australia."
"I still distinctly remember the smell of Turkey, Egypt, Switzerland, Spain, so many countries we visited traveling Europe and I remember coming home to Sydney and being like 'ahh so this is what home smells like!'"
"Yeah bro just come to the UK, the sweet smell of rain and cigarettes!"
Maybe we can learn a thing or two from these cultural differences, and celebrate how diverse our world truly is.
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When I was a child, I wanted so badly for dragons to exist. To be fair, I had a bit of an obsession with stories of man-eating reptiles and serpents after watching The Lair of the White Worm at too young an age. (Thank you for rocking my world, Ken Russell.)
Sadly... they don't. And if they did, I gather they'd probably pose a major national security risk!
People told us all about the mythical creatures they wish actually existed after Redditor Nymeria asked the online community,
"What creature from folklore do you think exists or once existed?"
"Amphisbaena - two-headed snake, said to have been created from the blood of Medusa's severed head.
The animal is Amphisbaena vermicularis which is a legless type of lizard, and since it digs through earth most of its life, its head and tail look alike to the untrained eye, hence the misconception that it is a two-headed snake."
A likely story from the two-headed snake propaganda team!
"Nobody mentioned Rocs or Thunderbirds? I mean I'm generally skeptical of cryptid stuff but of all the ones on the list, big ol' bird seems pretty plausible to me. I figure the whole elephant lifting, thunder flapping thing is big fish story stuff but I could see something like Argentavis surviving to the time of stone age man and god knows Quetzalcoatlus gives a pretty good idea how ridiculously large a creature can get and still be capable of flight. Who knows what's sitting in the fossil record with a Neanderthal clutched in its beak."
"The pouakai, a monstrous bird from Maori folklore, is more than likely a memory of the Haast's eagle from southern New Zealand. It's main prey were the also-unbelievably giant moa birds, but I imagine it would have little difficulty carrying off a small human child. So indeed, perhaps there are other long-gone giant raptor birds that posed a threat to early humans and then grew even larger in their imaginations."
"The family that lived there..."
"The mysterious so-called "flabby egg monster" at Glamis Castle, in Scotland.
I think it existed, but the mysterious and inaccurate folklore around it basically masked what it really was. It's far more likely that this was a highly disabled or otherwise deformed member of the family that was kept hidden from public view, with accounts from the time suggest something that sounds an awful lot like what we now know as Noonan Syndrome. People with Noonan Syndrome can have totally normal lifespans which explains why it went on for so long.
The family that lived there had a long history of genetic abnormalities, including one of the Queen Mother's own relatives who was hidden from public view and died in 2014."
"Since we didn't really start..."
"Definitely something in the sea. Since we didn't really start truly exploring underwater or polluting it except for the past 100 years or so. I definitely could've seen some near-extinct rare sea serpent-type thing living well beyond the rest of its race. Hell, even today we find new creatures once thought extinct in the depths."
I remember how much it blew my mind to learn about the discovery of the coelacanth, which were thought to have become extinct in the Late Cretaceous, around 66 million years ago, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa!
"The current information..."
"The current information we have on different species of humans before ours won out really makes me believe that stories of dwarves and woodland elves might come from a place of truth."
This is exactly why I enjoyed watching Trollhunter.
"I think a lot..."
"I think a lot of folklore creatures were probably based on stories of real animals from far-off places, just heavily distorted with time and retelling by generations of people who'd never actually seen it."
"I think there was a species..."
"Humans have a fear or natural revulsion to things that look human but not quite human (think uncanny valley). Natural fears help keep us alive, for example, most people don't like spiders because they present a real danger to us and they move in a decidedly unhuman way. I think there was a species that almost looked human but was a predator to humans until we got smart enough to hunt them into extinction. It's probably the source of skinwalker legends."
Have you read a few skinwalker legends? They're terrifying stuff. Do not recommend reading about them late at night!
"But I certainly doubt..."
"Nessie is probably based off a real aquatic prehistoric animal. But I certainly doubt she actually exists in Loch Ness. If you wanted to take a picture of Nessie you are millions of years too late."
Sadly, Nessie continues to evade us. It just wants to be left alone!
"I honestly think..."
"I honestly think there's a solid chance Bigfoot or something extremely similar exists out there."
Where are you, mythical creatures?
If you're hiding out somewhere, I can't say I blame any of you. Humans will just find a way to capitalize off you.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
It's always nice to be complimented, isn't it?
Maybe? It might have been a compliment?
What is the strangest compliment you have ever received?
It's nice to be given recognition for the work we do, for the effort we put in to the things we get done.
It can still feel weird when it happens.
In Today's Day And Age, That Matters
"I was washing my hands in a gas station, and this lady told me I'm very good at washing my hands. Then she leaned close and said, "No, really. I'm a health inspector, and I'm very impressed."
Don't Ignore Those Calf Raises
"Years ago, I was working out at my high school's gym. This young lady approaches me and says something along those lines "It's completely unjust! I'll never have ankles as good as yours, no matter how much I work out! You're f-cked!" Prior to storming out. I'm also a man."
Upside! Otters Are Cute.
"When you cry, you look like a sad otter. It's very cute."
"Said to me as a 27 year old man."
"In their defense, otters are adorable. And age is not inversely proportional to adorableness."
You can only gauge so much from a person just by looking at them. To really know them, you have to get to really know them.
In these circumstances, these people were clearly enigma's to others.
What An Odd Prediction
"I was minding my own business in a New York bar. I was sleepy and yawned a lot because it was late."
"This random person who I'd never met before approaches me and asks me a question "Are you a native of Boston? You yawn the way people in Boston movies yawn."
"I am from Boston, and he was from Norway."
"You have a very swan like voice". She did mean it as a compliment but she'd never heard a swan so she was just going off of how swans look."
"I imagine they sound like angry geese, which doesn't sound like it'd be a compliment, or it'd be a passive-aggressive insult"
Blessed Be You, Sir
"A homeless man once yelled out 'Heyyyy sexy Jesus!' at me."
"So that was nice."
People like what they like. If someone says they appreciate a part of your body, first, make sure you're comfortable with it and, if you're not, tell someone, and second, it takes all kinds.
Ready To Start Dropping Kids
"I was told by a random lady in the grocery store that i have birthing hips, i am a 26yo man. Not sure if it was a compliment, but it was definitely strange."
You Don't Know What You've Got...?
"I was told that I have nice legs by some random guy that didn't have legs at Wal-Mart once."
Just Because You're Dead Doesn't Mean You Skip Leg Day
"I was dressed as a zombie for a scare acting job at a haunted house - full-on gore, horrendous outfit, the works."
"I scared a group of lads and then as they were walking away I heard - "Dude, was it just me or did that zombie have a fantastic @ss?"
"Stupid sexy zombie..."
In To My Sweet Sense Of Fashion
"A random girl passed me at the mall one time. We made eye contact for maybe a second. Then she just said "Nice pants" and kept on walking. My roommate said she was talking about my butt, but I like to think I had some sweet pants on that day."
Take the compliment?
Wins are so rare in this day and age, you should take the 'W' whenever you can it seems.
Bad grammar... where to begin?
It's not "could of." It's "could've."It's not "should of." It's "should've."
Oh, here's another: "Losing" is not the same as "loosing."They are, in fact, entirely different things.
Don't make me hate you – why does everyone get these wrong?!
People vented their frustrations with bad grammar after Redditor GreatBigWhite asked the online community,
"What is something that most people don't use correctly?"
"Especially hearing people..."
"The word etcetera. Incorrectly pronounced excetra which drives me crazy. Especially hearing people on the news say it."
I concur! I hear this all the time, especially here in the Northeast.
"It's a pet peeve..."
"The they're/there/their and to/too/two. It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "This is to boring." In any situation when they use the wrong "to." My mates had taken University-level English classes in high school yet they still make the "there" or "to" mistakes, and it makes my blood boil."
Whenever I see this on Facebook or anywhere, my eyes twitch.
"Incredibly: should've. I've seen a ton of people write "should of" when they mean should've (as in should have) and in my opinion that's worse than confusing "then/than"."
"To be fair..."
"Less vs. fewer. Less is for uncountable nouns: you have less time, less pain, less work to do. Fewer is for countable nouns: you have fewer apples, fewer cans of soup, fewer distractions. People usually use less when they should use fewer; it rarely happens the other way around. People will say "there are less cars on the road," but they probably won't say "there is fewer traffic." There is a related problem with much vs. many. To be fair, what is countable and uncountable can get complicated, and it's easy to make mistakes (I do it too). You can't have fewer money, you can only have fewer dollars and cents (money, amusingly, is uncountable). You can't have fewer pizza, but you can have fewer pizzas (pluralization of something uncountable makes it countable)."
"If you participated..."
If you participated in something you were "a part" of it. If you are "apart" from something or someone you are deliberately not a part."
And that's a fact.
Now if only everyone else could just get the memo.
"The phrase "I couldn't care less"
Most Americans I've heard say, "I could care less". Like come on, you're using that all wrong!!"
"It's a form..."
"Begs the question"
It doesn't mean to raise the question.
It's a form of circular reasoning where the argument requires the conclusion to be true, rather than the argument supporting the conclusion."
You should have seen the way people's heads exploded when this was explained in a philosophy course I took.
"Neither is wrong!"
"Not the "error" itself, but when people try to correct you on "grey" and "gray" or something like that. Neither is wrong! One is preferred by Americans, the other is more common in Britain."
"When someone doesn't know..."
"When, someone doesn't know how to use commas, because, they can't understand a simple, grammar rule.
It really, pisses, me, off."
Please don't do this ever again. I hate it.
""Weary" vs "wary" seems to be the latest one popping up. People just say "wary" when they mean either "weary" or "wary." It's like we've elected to get rid of the word "weary" for some reason. It's not like it's hard to remember the difference.
Weary: tired. "I am weary of coughing all night and day."
Wary: apprehensive. "I am wary of my friend's latest business venture."
Yeah, yeah... so we're the Grammar police. And judging by the way everyone seems to regard grammar, we're doomed.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
I don't know if it's laziness or fear. They are the two strongest reasons for putting things off in life. I totally get it and I'm completely guilty of it.
I often reference the legendary mantra Scarlett O'Hara lived by... "I'll think about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day." People love and cling to that idea.
Most of us keeping pushing tomorrows. And eventually, that often leads to chaos. And sometimes death. I'm not exaggerating. There are just some things in life that are too important to ignore. No matter how difficult.
So let's get to it.
Redditor u/Bedwar_man wanted everyone to be more responsible and start being more on top of things, they asked:
What is something that, when left unchecked, can ruin a persons life?
Money and debt are my two biggest issues. Debt just keeps building if you don't get on it. I'm too afraid to call the student loan people. I'll do it tomorrow. Whoops...
MOST IMPORTANT!!!Think About It Reaction GIF by IdentityGiphy
"Mental health. It took me years to realize how much I've dissociated. It became how I deal with everything. There are so many unhealthy ways to live your life by ignoring mental health."
Check the skies...
"Birds crap at up to 26,000 feet, or 14000% higher than the CN tower. When was the last time someone got killed by falling avian feces? But no, seriously. I used to work on tall buildings and radio towers. I'm also afraid of heights, so while I was up there I'd work out out how fast various things would hit the ground to distract myself."
"Air resistance is a real witch, and rotational effects make it even slower. Pennies dropped off the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the one I was on top of, would barely break 22mph. Harking a loogie over was no worse to pedestrians than pigeons."
"It was only once I got into the tools I was using that there would be an injury. A 9/16 wrench dropped 900 feet might actually kill someone, if it hit them in the head just right. The 1-inch would kill someone most of the time. Needless to say all my tools were on loops, and undroppable."
"Disassociation. Your brain is an incredibly powerful force and it can start working against your best interests so quickly while telling you that everything is fine."
"Thank you for this. I looked up dissociation in Google from this thread. I realize I have been struggling with both derealization and depersonalization in teens, and even now to some extent. I too think physical activities and activities I am really passionate about are the ones I "participate." I can say I have been a spectator to many years of my life and not feel my own experience. It is really strange, how do we come out of it??"
I'm scared to be honest...
"Mental and emotional abuse. Damn, I'm 36 and still trying to undo the damage done my whole childhood. The pain of beatings doesn't compare to how mental and emotional abuse screws with me every day in so many ways. And even stupid stuff. I go into fight or flight mode if my boss wants to talk to me. I constantly think my friends and my husband are mad at me or sick of me. I'm scared to be honest about my feelings sometimes because I don't want to be ridiculed."
Need Zzzz...Stressed Episode 19 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"A severe lack of sleep. I have no longer been able to sleep at night for some odd reason, so my brain causes me to essentially pass out during the day."
Open your mouth...Richard Kiel Smile GIF by James Bond 007Giphy
"Take care of your TEETH. Unless you want to end up with a molar shattering one day and having to get a quadruple root canal."
"Just got gallbladder surgery! I had a pain under my right ribs off and on. Then at one point it wouldn't go away and kept getting worse. Had an ultrasound and emergency surgery like two days later. I had a huge gallstone blocking my bile duct, and it would have ruptured. Yeah pain can come and go, but if it gets to the point where it is there all the time, go to the doctor!"
Love your skin...
"Strange skin growths. One of my wife's uncles was at a family gathering that was also attended by my BIL, an ER doc. The uncle mentioned that he'd had this odd growth on his leg for some time but hadn't bothered to do anything about it. Showed it to my BIL who adamantly advised him to get seen immediately. Uncle still took his time—too many other things to do or whatever. A year on an the man is just riddled with cancer. I don't think there's much to be done other than making him as comfortable as possible at this point."
"Email. My kid almost lost the financial aid award because it's summer; I don't have to check my email. It was an intense hustle to get everything squared away and not lose that spot at college."
"At the beginning of all the grad school classes I TA'd for I always ended the first day by asking, "Who here has a smartphone? Who has an email app on their phone? Who has their student email account synced with the app?"
"It was always all hands raised, all hands, two or three hands. I would make them set it up before they left. Checking your email in the morning and evening takes maybe 5 minutes on average unless you are a very important person in some organization who should really be checking more often!"
the long list...list GIFGiphy
"Headaches, skin cancer, tooth pain, kids, UTI which can turn into kidney infection, wound infection, bowel disease, debt, bad relationship."
The list is endless. So just start chipping away. Stay on top of it. Teeth and mind first. Stay calm.