We often read of things that are totally normal in America but look super crazy to the rest of the world. Like free refills, medical debts, the sheer portion sizes, you name it. But hey, the place and time is everything when it comes to which things we view as typical and which ones raise our brows.
So this time, we are setting our eyes on Europe and the weird customs, things, and manners people in its 44 countries have that look totally crazy to Americans. “What's considered normal in Europe but horrific in America?” someone asked on AskReddit, and 12.7k comments followed.
We picked some of the most telling and thought-provoking responses that prove European countries are also home to a bunch of weirdos!
Old things. Houses especially. "Someone died in this house" yeah no s**t Sherlock, this house has been here more than your country
Taking the bus. There is so much stigma around public transport in the US, especially busses, and in Europe it's just a totally normal way to get around because nobody wants to deal with driving and parking in a big city.
Also from an employer's perspective: 25+ vacation days minimum for all employees and unlimited sick days. The absolute horror.
Songs with swear words being broadcasted on the radio, or swear words not being covered with a beep tone on tv. It’s always felt weird to me that Americans are all about being free and freedom of speech but then again they are scared of some stupid words.
Pro union laws. Pro worker labour laws. Mandatory paid vacation days (including fines for companies if the workers don't take their vacation days or get them payed out. They NEED to actually leave work legally for around 25 days per year).
Letting kids go to school or walk around the neighborhood by themselves without supervision.
A Dutch family moved to the USA and their kids went to school on their bikes like they always do, after a while the police showed up on their doorstep and child protective services letting them know they’re being irresponsible and to not do that again.
Mailman doesnt leave packages unattended on your porch. He eather gives you it on the doorstep or you go get it at the post office. Much less infureating than getting it stolen or thrown accros your yard by a mailman...
I don't know if this would horrify Americans as I've never heard it discussed, but where I live in Europe (Luxembourg), voting is mandatory and you can get fined for not voting in an election. You can still spoil your ballot, so you don't have to decide between lesser evils if you don't want to, but you have to make the effort to go to the polling station or submit a postal vote. It guarantees a high voter turnout and by extension more representative elections, coupled with a proportional voting system so we're not locked into a two-party mess like the UK or the US - not that it's without its issues of course, but I think it's an improvement.
Being expected to know another language other than English.
At least in Germany, nudity. No one cares if you're naked, no one thinks you're a sex offender, no one thinks it's even sexual to be naked unless you're actively having sex, and no one makes it weird.
You can be naked in public parks to soak up sun, on beaches, swim naked in lakes. Saunas are all naked, mixed sex areas in spas and saunas are naked with no issues and in general, it's just not an issue.
From what I’ve heard, allowing retail workers to sit. I’ve heard it’s regular for people to be sitting in Europe as cashiers, but in the us it is seen as lazy. Only store I know of that allows it is Aldi and that’s because it helps their cashiering metrics.
The number of rooms in the description of apartments. 1 room in the US usually means 1 bedroom, a living room ,and separate kitchen. Was shocked when I realized it means everything inside one room in most European countries
Long paid parental leaves and month long holidays (vacations).
Oh man... europe has so many different countries. Something that is completely normal where I live could be frowned upon as soon as I cross the next border. But in general we tip for good service, not bc we have to. A rude waitress won't get tipped by me. Also we usually remove our shoes before we enter a home. And yep, "free" healthcare.
Not giving your debit/credit card to your server but doing it yourself
Sitting a foot away from a complete stranger and then completely ignoring them.
Americans get so bend out of shape over naked children running around the beach.
On every beach in Bulgaria I've been, naked children is the norm, women sunbathing in monokini is considered absolutely normal, while naked men are okay only in the nude sections of the beaches. And every beach has a nude section.
Not enrolling your kid in extracurricular activities. In Europe, some kids are enrolled in a sport or club and the older ones are mostly responsible for getting there and figuring out their schedule. In America, some parents are so obsessed with kids sports that the whole family's existence revolves around it, or they get judgemental when they hear that a kid isn't involved in any sports or clubs.
Almost every car having a manual transmission. when i visited ukraine, i only saw rich people with automatic cars
Bidets? I was born and raised in the US and I think they're efficient and far more hygienic than TP, but apparently most other dudes in this country think it's gay to clean up after your business is done lol
In Germany, looking for a apartment doesn't automatically mean it will come 100% with a kitchen. 90% they don't have them in and you have to buy them yourself.
Underage drinking seems more of a crime in the US - in most cases of a kid is caught with alcohol in the UK it's just confiscated and poured away. Strictly speaking the age you can drink alcohol is really low as well, so long as you're home with a parent I think it's like 5/6. When you're in a restaurant you're also allowed low percentage alcohol like cider with a meal so long as you're with an adult.
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