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A lot of things differ from country to country—not to mention continents—making some people quite confused about the way inhabitants of the lands far far away live. Whether it’s faucets, windows, or shopping habits they find surprising, some things might simply make no sense for those not used to them.

Redditors recently discussed the topic after one of them posed a question to the ‘Ask Reddit’ community. They addressed the American members of the group asking what is something that Europeans have or do that makes no sense to them, and the respondents had plenty to share. Scroll down to find their answers below and see for yourself whether they do or do not make any sense.

#1

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows I'm Canadian, but it's always baffled me that some Europeans consider a half hour's worth of driving a long time. That wouldn't even get me out of the area I'd consider local

TwoFingersWhiskey , Austin Neill Report

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Gustav Gallifrey
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A friend i hadn't seen for a long time moved to a town 100km away. In Australian terms, that's practically just around the corner.

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#2

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Im from Europe myself (uk) and find it strange some people here have carpet in their bathroom. ITS DISGUSTING

ArtisticAustisic , Ryan Christodoulou Report

#3

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Football hooliganism. You'll beat people just for wearing the wrong shirt to the wrong bar. Its a horrendous practice

dosetoyevsky , Wikipedia Report

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Tobias Reaper
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5 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

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#4

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows As an idiot american with 2 parties I only understand left wing and right wing, europeans have a party for everything. It's confusing, but I wish we weren't a 2 party state tbh

LukmanAbdulkahSilvia , Werner Pfennig Report

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Fat Harry
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As an American you have no idea about left wing and right wing because, by European standards, both of your parties are right of centre.

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#5

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows It makes sense to me, but it still seems marvelous to me that in France (other places I'm sure, but I learned this in French class) it is common to buy groceries every day. You may wake up and go to the bakery for fresh baked bread, or stop by for fresh produce on the way home to make dinner.

Yes, having walkable grocery stores nearby makes it easier, it seems so much easier to buy 3-4 days or a week's worth of groceries at a time.

dishonourableaccount , Tara Clark Report

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Skinny Pig
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I did this in Argentina. I loved being able to just get what I needed every day. Food is always fresh, cuts down a lot on waste, you get a little bit extra exercise, and you can make exactly what you're in the mood for that day.

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#6

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Better chocolate. Why can’t we have nice chocolate?

HibibitySkibibity , Tetiana Bykovets Report

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Jihana
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because since WW2 Americans are used to the taste of butyric acid. It used to be used to keep the milk from spoiling, now it's added because Americans actually prefer it that way.

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#7

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows It's not that it doesn't "make sense," but the first time I saw those windows that can be moved a bunch of different ways, you would have thought I was seeing a rabbit being pulled out of a hat, that's how amazed I looked. Tilt and Turn Windows 

Weird-Traditional Report

#8

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Saw that mostly in the UK, having 2 separate faucets for hot and cold water?? What the hell lol? Washing my hands was the worst.

Athlete_Aromatic , danilo.alvesd Report

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Phendrena
Community Member
5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Long long ago, in a time forgotten.... Hot and cold water are kept separate to prevent contamination, cold water comes into the house directly from the mains supply and is safe to drink. Hot water was provided by an Immersion heater generally located in the loft of a house and as it sits there it is considered unsafe to drink. Water bylaws prevent hot and cold from being mixed - this still applies today, water is NOT allowed to mix until is exits the tap.

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#9

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows The cute sounding police sirens. In America the police sirens seem like an urgent, semi-deranged warning to GTF out of the way, like **S**T'S GOING DOWN AND I'M NOT THERE!!!!! MOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!"**

Meanwhile every European police siren I've heard just kind of politely annoy you out of the way. Like "bee doooo bee doooo, pardon me but a spot of bother has occured and I simply must hasten to it, pardon me as I simply must attend to it, pardon me."

And the police cars themselves are so small. American police cars are big and brawny, like they might need to make their own garage door into building. The European police cars I've seen, where they even put the people they arrest? Granted, I've only seen European police stuff on TV so there's probably a lot I haven't seen.

Alpha-Sierra-Charlie , Max Fleischmann Report

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Swoo
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Haha, so I grew up in a town in southern France... the city center dates back a thousand (if not more) years ago, as in many places across Europe. That city is partnered with a big one in kentuky and they gifted a BIG police car to their french cousins. Nice! municipality police was so proud of their shiny BIG AMERICAN car. Butt of the joke : just try and picture that BIG AMERICAN police car manoeuvering in those medieval streets ; the result was hillarious and not efficient at all in cathing wrong doers.

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#10

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows The smoking. I stayed with a host family in France and my 16 year old host sister smoked like a chimney, as did all her friends. Like you're so young. Why?

101bees , Andres Siimon Report

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Zephyr
Community Member
5 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You smoke to look cool the first time then the nicotine hits you, you'll never be really relaxed without it

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#11

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Why you guys like to put bathroom light switches outside the bathroom?

XXMAVR1KXX , Steve Johnson Report

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Hawkmoon
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is mandatory as a safety measure: the switch must be placed out of reach of the shower or bath to avoid touching it when you are in the water.

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#12

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows In Germany, apartments don't normally come with a kitchen. It's purchased/installed by the Tennant. Sometimes you luck out but not usually. 

Widegina , roam in color Report

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Martin Rezac
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is usual when the whole building is brand new and you are BUYING the apartment. So you can decide what kind of kitchen do you like. I can imagine that sometimes this might happen with some long-term rent, like 10+ years. Otherwise no one will rent a flat without kitchen.

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#13

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows I’m from the Midwest and my family is from the Netherlands. So the society that wouldn’t dare offend you in any way and the society that has no problem dropping truth bombs on you. It’s rough.

philophilo , Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 Report

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cerinamroth
Community Member
5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a Brit living in Germany, I feel this in the feelies. Absolutely takes some getting used to. But now I like it!

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#14

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows No a/c, sure fine, but then no screens on your windows so all the bugs get in? (Not sure if this is all of Europe, but def the UK).

Also no top sheets?

Curiosity13 , Darrin Henein Report

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#15

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Was just in southern Italy and it was hot as balls but everybody acted like they hate AC.

We’d go out for the day and when we came back, housekeeping had turned off all the AC units.

Driver wore a full suit but every time we got in the car, AC was off. We’d ask him to turn it on and he would but on low. Ask him to blast it and he would for a minute then sneakily turn it back down.

It’s like they’re reptiles or something.

BurnerForVices , Carlos Lindner Report

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Jihana
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or maybe running the AC all the time, even if you are not home, is a waste of energy? Also, you get used to the heat a little bit, but only if you actually experience the heat.

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#16

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Idk if its all Europeans but Germans have a real big problem with staring like I owe them money. Also paying to use the bathroom in public spaces.

Neat_Serve730 , Mikail Duran Report

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cerinamroth
Community Member
5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Germans are very curious about other people. It takes a while to get used to the staring! (Speaking as a Brit who is now a Brit/German). It's nothing personal, they are just curious. I like to be considered interesting enough!

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#17

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Charging for bathrooms and charging for water (at restaurants) are both things that I would have expected Americans to do and Europeans be the ones making fun of it.

Optimistic_Futures , Juan Marin Report

#18

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Monarchies

Apprehensive_Gap_368 Report

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Corvus
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's mostly because of tradition. Apart from that, they serve no real purpose, indeed.

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#19

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows You all give us so much grief for having bathroom stall door gaps, and then have a one foot wide piece of glass to keep water in the shower…

billsdabills , ONNE Beauty Report

#20

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Lack of public restrooms

offbrandbarbie , Buchen WANG Report

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rullyman
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Totally agree on this. It's a real problem in parts of England. When I moved back from Japan, where nearly every convenience store has a clean well maintained toilet, it was a struggle for me.

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#21

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Beans on toast.

PimpCforlife , Nik Report

#22

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows My British grandma always had a plastic tub in the sink to soak dishes. It seems so weird to have a sink in a sink basically.

Ejacksin , Bibi Pace Report

#23

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows To all you Italians: why can’t I have a cappuccino past noon??

alotistwowordssir , Harris Vo Report

#24

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows The poop shelf in Dutch/Belgian toilets.

liz_teria , Giorgio Trovato Report

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Andrew Burke
Community Member
5 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, when I first moved to Germany I was weirded out by this. I thought, what am I supposed to do, drape a flag over it and salute as I flushed it farewell?

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#25

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows It's not that it makes no sense but I've always been curious how carbonated water became the default in many places

thedevilsgame , Mineragua Sparkling Water Report

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Jihana
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because tap water is so excellent that you would ask for cheaper tap water instead of bottled water if you wanted still water.

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#26

England's fascination with large print flowered wallpaper with various colors that don't go together especially when you stand in the hallway and see where all the rooms converge.

Hohenmeyer Report

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cerinamroth
Community Member
5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Haha!! My MIL is a little bit wild and indecisive. She's had a traumatic life, poor love, but she's done good with the cards she was dealt. When I visited, she was trying to choose a wallpaper for the front room - three very different styles, including one hot pink one with black velvet flocking, one with pink roses and another stripy one (I think). Next time I visited, she had simply put all three up in one rather small room because she couldn't decide. I felt a panic attack coming on when I stepped in there, there was so much to look at! :)

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#27

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Rent their whole lives. I saw this in Germany. I know it's becoming the norm in the US, too, but it just seemed weird to me the first time I visited 30 years ago that most Germans rented their entire lives and never even thought about buying a house.

RiffRandellsBF , chris robert Report

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The Scout
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you have German renter's rights, there is simply no reason to own a house, as long as you do not really, really need the additional space. It practically is "your" place. You can do as you want as long as you don't damage the building substance, the landlord can hardly make any demands, eviction is next to impossible without very compelling reasons. Also, even though having increased over the last years, rent is comparably cheap compared to the real estate prices. In most cases, it simply makes no sense to buy, regardless of your income. Also, far commuting (more than an hour of way to work) is rare here, so people want to stay flexible to move when changing jobs.

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#28

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Do any Europeans have a clothes dryer? Why do I think that’s not standard?

MrsZerg , Sana Saidi Report

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Fat Harry
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We do, but we're not massively wasteful like Americans. We'll use the dryer if it's pouring with rain in the middle of winter. We won't use it on a gloriously hot summer's day with a gentle breeze where clothes will dry outside in an hour.

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#29

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows No top sheets on beds.

The first time I experienced "European Style" bedding, I was so confused. When I asked about the top sheet, I was told they only use a duvet. I'm a hot sleeper, so I didn't use it. Ended up sleeping without a sheet over me, which was uncomfortable. But, when in Rome...

Quantum_Compass , Annie Spratt Report

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EEP
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When in Rome, take the sheet off the duvet if you just want a sheet.

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#30

30 Things Europeans Do That Leave Americans Raising Their Eyebrows Why the hell don’t you guys just serve tap water (if it’s OK to drink) to tables when they sit down? I’m currently in Europe and a handful of restaurants will not even serve you tap water and you have to buy it. This is in many countries too! Wtf it’s free and right there!!! 

veexn , Pixabay Report

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R Kramer
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5 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tap water is not free. The restaurant has to pay for it as well, even though it comes out of the faucet. Also, they earn their money mostly by selling drinks, so if you drink free water, you won't order any other drinks. So it does make a lot of sense.

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