Cultural differences are what makes us all unique and what greatly contributes to the excitement of travelling when you get to discover some particularities of a destination that aren't too or at all common in your home country. Eating rotten fish might sound slightly (and literally) off to you, but it’s totally normal in Sweden. Having two passports from the same country is common in Russia, but might not exist where you live. And the practice of eating fried Mars bars might not be the most popular one in North America, but it’s common in Scotland, or seeing police driving Lamborghini as their work car in Italy might not be seen anywhere else.

Check out the list of some strange things from that are only common in certain countries, vote for the weirdest ones, and let us know if you've experienced them in the comments.

#1

Luxembourg's Public Transportation Is Free

Luxembourg's Public Transportation Is Free

In 2020, the public transport was made free for all locals and visitors alike.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

The efficiency gains must be tremendous.

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#2

Nepal's Flag Is Non-Rectangular

Nepal's Flag Is Non-Rectangular

The only modern country in the world with a non-quadrilateral flag is Nepal and it is said to derive from Hinduism.

Balathasan Sayanthan Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

Stop trying to fit in... do your own s**t

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#3

There’s A Lamborghini In The Italian Police Fleet

There’s A Lamborghini In The Italian Police Fleet

A few years ago, a Lamborghini was added to the police vehicle fleet in Italy, and it’s probably quite fast and, well, impressive to look at.

massimomormile Report

mulk
Community Member
2 months ago

I think they have only one Lamborghini

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#4

In Scandinavian Countries, Parents Leave Their Kids To Nap Outside In Cold Temperatures

In Scandinavian Countries, Parents Leave Their Kids To Nap Outside In Cold Temperatures

Most Scandinavian parents think that it's healthier to expose their children to as much fresh air as possible. Therefore, they leave them outside to take their naps.

Bjonsson Report

Mere Cat
Community Member
2 months ago

A Finn here. I know babies that didn't want to nap inside at all, my sister's kid as one of them. Slept like a dream outside, even in extremely cold weather. And was completely warm and happy when woke up. It's all about proper clothing, sleeping bags etc. :)

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#5

In Japan, Traffic Lights Seem To Be Blue

In Japan, Traffic Lights Seem To Be Blue

As the word for green originally didn't exist till later and 'blue' was used to refer to both green and blue, Japan uses the most blue shade of green that is legally possible.

David McKelvey Report

Titas Burinskas
BoredPanda Staff
2 months ago

Actually, it's quite colorblind-friendly.

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#6

Bathtubs Made Of Wood Are Used In Japan

Bathtubs Made Of Wood Are Used In Japan

The ofuro baths are for sitting and soaking in hot water and are not frequently found around the world.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Very tiny bath tub. Don't think my fat a**e would even fit in lol.

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#7

Colombians Drink Hot Chocolate Cheese

Colombians Drink Hot Chocolate Cheese

The sweet cocoa drink is consumed with savory cheese slices. And if you've tried it, you know that it's quite delicious, but surely not common elsewhere.

einalem Report

Iggy
Community Member
2 months ago

This actually sounds fantastic.

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#8

In France, Milk Is Not Refrigerated

In France, Milk Is Not Refrigerated

Most of the milk sold in France is pasteurised at UHT (ultra high temperature) and therefore doesn't have to be stored in cold.

nikolai chernichenko Report

Shelp
Community Member
2 months ago

...and doesn't look like that either

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#9

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu

This place in New Zealand is said to have the longest name and it's 85 characters. Have you tried to pronounce it?

Wikimedia Commons Report

Shelp
Community Member
2 months ago

Well it seems quite easy to pronounce, consonant/vowel/consonant/vowel etc. Just take a deep breathe and go

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#10

People In The UK Have A Competition To Roll After A Giant Cheese Wheel

People In The UK Have A Competition To Roll After A Giant Cheese Wheel

The annually held Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling is a competition where people race down the 200-yard hill chasing a giant wheel of cheese.

Dennis Lam Sweden Report

Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

And in 2020 they rolled a Babybel cheese down the hill since the event had to be cancelled.

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#11

Some East Asian Countries Wore Face Masks Pre-Pandemic

Some East Asian Countries Wore Face Masks Pre-Pandemic

In countries like South Korea, for the safety of others, people would wear face masks even when having a common cold prior to the pandemic.

Gayatri Malhotra Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

And I think it should be common practice when you have a common cold

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#12

In The Netherlands, Stairs Are Usually Very Steep And Narrow

In The Netherlands, Stairs Are Usually Very Steep And Narrow

To some foreigners, staircases in the Netherlands might look more like a health risk than anything. Historically, the buildings were built up rather than out, saving all the centimeters possible.

Kirsten Loza Report

Hecking Heavy
Community Member
2 months ago

Fall down the stairs with more fall this time! Yay!

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#13

In Ecuador, The Trash Trucks' Tune Is Similar To What Ice Cream Trucks Play In The USA

In Ecuador, The Trash Trucks' Tune Is Similar To What Ice Cream Trucks Play In The USA

If you are visiting Ecuador, you might mistake the garbage truck tune with an ice cream tune and get highly disappointed.

natibal Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank f**k our trucks don't have a tune, especially when they can come at 6am.

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#14

You Can Walk From The North To The South Of Monaco In About An Hour

You Can Walk From The North To The South Of Monaco In About An Hour

Due to the size of this country, you can easily walk the length of the whole country. How convenient!

Google Maps Report

Hecking Heavy
Community Member
2 months ago

Vatican City is also another country you can walk across in less than 60 minutes!

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#15

There Are 'Bra Studies' In Hong Kong

There Are 'Bra Studies' In Hong Kong

At Hong Kong polytechnic, you can major in Bra Studies, where Top Form manufacturer has its lab and factory.

tinaxduzgen Report

Iggy
Community Member
2 months ago

That was uplifting.

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#16

In Italy, Restaurants Include Service Charge

In Italy, Restaurants Include Service Charge

You are not expected to tip in Italy as it is quite normal for the service charge to be added to the bill.

tripadvisor Report

Shelp
Community Member
2 months ago

Same in most of Europe as far I know. I don't even understand how people in the US can expect the waiters to rely uniquely on tips in order to survive, and how some people still want to do that job.

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#17

In Italy Cappuccino Is More Of A Breakfast Drink

In Italy Cappuccino Is More Of A Breakfast Drink

Italians associate milk with mornings; cappuccinos are traditionally drank as a morning beverage.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

I always thought espressos were a morning drink to get you going.

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#18

Fried Mars Bars Are A Thing In Scotland

Fried Mars Bars Are A Thing In Scotland

This food item of questionable health value originated in Scotland in a fish and chips shop. It's battered and deep-fried. Would you like to try?

Peter Shanks Report

Iván Galarraga
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

it's actually quite delicious, but wait till cool down unleast you want to burn your tongue with hot chocolate

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#19

In Thailand, There Is A Nationwide Water Fight In April

In Thailand, There Is A Nationwide Water Fight In April

If you are into water fights as much as Thai people, you should participate in Songkran, the Thai New Year's national holiday (13th of April). The water fight is a part of ritual cleansing during the celebration period.

Phuket@photographer.net Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Sounds like fun, I know my kids would have a blast.

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#20

Bamboo Poles Are Used As Drying Rails In Singapore

Bamboo Poles Are Used As Drying Rails In Singapore

Don't be surprised seeing clothing drying on bamboo poles in this country—the bamboo material is widely available, making it quite a popular tool to dry things.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Mike Morton
Community Member
2 months ago

Oh hey that's my country

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#21

In Thailand, People Remove Their Shoes Before Entering A Building

In Thailand, People Remove Their Shoes Before Entering A Building

One of the things related to feet etiquette in Thailand is taking one's shoes off before entering a building—that's to keep dirt from the outside outdoors.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Mia Quest
Community Member
2 months ago

All Arabs and Asians do that too :)

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#22

There Are No Street Names In Costa Rica

There Are No Street Names In Costa Rica

Although some streets might have names, they might not necessarily have signs, so the addresses in Costa Rica are still described by local landmarks.

Wikimedia Commons Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
2 months ago

It appears that mailing addresses are on a grid, regardless of the street pattern. I have relatives who live in a US municipality that does this too.

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#23

In Some Parts Of Highways In Germany, Speed Limit Is Only A Recommendation

In Some Parts Of Highways In Germany, Speed Limit Is Only A Recommendation

On the federal highway system AKA autobahn in Germany, the speed limit in certain places is only a recommendation and drivers can choose to drive as fast as they want.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Ritchat
Community Member
2 months ago

That's not 100% correct. We do have speed limit on the Autobahn and they have to be obeyed. But we do have a sign that cancels the last speed limit. THEN you are allowed to drive as fast as you want. So it's only allowed on specific sections of the Autobahn.

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#24

In Slovakia, A Live Carp Is Kept In A Bathtub Before Preparing It For Christmas Dinner

In Slovakia, A Live Carp Is Kept In A Bathtub Before Preparing It For Christmas Dinner

A Christmas tradition in Slovakia is letting the carp that is meant for dinner swim in the bathtub for a few days to clean its tract, since it's a bottom feeder. And, well, people don't take baths unless they want to share the tub with a fish.

Andrij Bulba Report

Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

It is also killed in the tub and people keep a scale from the carp in their wallet to attract money. Thankfully, we have never done it, but it is still a thing.

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#25

Sitting In A Sauna In Finland Can Be A Competition

Sitting In A Sauna In Finland Can Be A Competition

World sauna endurance championships were so famed that people from different countries would compete in this extreme activity in the homeland of saunas—Finland.

Hotel Arthur Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

If I remember rightly a guy died a year or two ago whilst doing one of these competitions. I can barely last 5 mins in a sauna.

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#26

People In The Netherlands Don't Use Curtains

People In The Netherlands Don't Use Curtains

It seems that the Dutch don't mind people looking into their homes. This might be coming from Protestant religious traditions and the notion of 'I have nothing to hide.'

storebukkebruse Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Eek, I would absolutely hate that.

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#27

Russians Have 2 Passports

Russians Have 2 Passports

Citizens of Russia have two passports: one national passport that serves more like an ID and a passport for travelling abroad.

mmamontov Report

Samantha PandaNotBored
Community Member
2 months ago

The Russian train stations are something else . Each one different, each one beautiful. You can travel from Moscow to St Petersburg economy for around £4 Stay in a YMCA instead of a small room , they are much cleaner and very cheap . The Russians have a wonderful dessert , it’s like a doughnut, but much much more yummy . Cheap too !

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#28

South Koreans Think That Writing In Red Ink Is A Bad Omen

South Koreans Think That Writing In Red Ink Is A Bad Omen

In the past, writing someone's name in red in the book registry meant that the person is deceased.

Crystal Report

mulk
Community Member
2 months ago

"red pen shop": oooooh noooooooo

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#29

In Brazil, Hair Lightening Is Just As Popular As Hair Removal

In Brazil, Hair Lightening Is Just As Popular As Hair Removal

Some women in Brazil like to bleach their body hair rather than remove it completely in order to keep the light fuzz.

Andrey Report

Iggy
Community Member
2 months ago

It's a good idea. A lot less painful.

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#30

Unmarried 25-Year-Olds In Denmark Get Covered In Cinnamon

Unmarried 25-Year-Olds In Denmark Get Covered In Cinnamon

This messy tradition derives from spice sellers in 16th-century Denmark who were famed to be single and were called 'pepper men' and this makes a perfect extra excuse to party more. So why not?

Steven Worster Report

Birgit M
Community Member
2 months ago

Whoa! I once had a Tequila Gold that comes with a piece of orange covered in cinnamon. I accidentally inhaled a tiny bit of that powder and nearly choked to death!

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#31

Some Streets In Japan Don’t Have Names

Some Streets In Japan Don’t Have Names

Due to the different addressing system in Japan, the blocks have names instead of the spaces between them (streets).

wikipedia Report

Nizumi
Community Member
2 months ago

I vaguely remember that addressing mail in Japan works like this: Country, province, city, ward, block, house, person. Kind of a "drill down" method of writing the address. Neat!

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#32

People In Singapore Reserve Seats In Public Eateries

People In Singapore Reserve Seats In Public Eateries

As you need to order food from the counter and risk not being able to find a seat, Singaporeans leave anything from umbrellas to packs of tissues to maintain seats reserved for when they return with their purchased meal.

CELSprojects Report

Dark_flame
Community Member
2 months ago

Not limited to Singapore, I'd say... I'm from Northern Europe and it isn't an uncommon custom here

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#33

There's A Dessert In Turkey That Contains Chicken Breast

There's A Dessert In Turkey That Contains Chicken Breast

Shredded chicken breast in a milk dessert, anyone? Tavuk göğsü is a sweet served in Turkey that might be not to everyone's taste.

a 1 u c a r d Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
2 months ago

Doesn't sound very appealing.

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#34

While Taking Photos, Dutch Say “Smile At The Little Bird”

While Taking Photos, Dutch Say “Smile At The Little Bird”

Surprisingly, instead of saying "cheese" (after all, a lot of cheese is made in the Netherlands), the Dutch say "Lach eens naar het vogeltje" ("Smile at the little bird").

Shim Report

Russell Ellwardt
Community Member
2 months ago

Because, in the 19th century when photos were taken in studios with long exposures, photographers had a little bird figure indeed to focus people's attention and thus their view. This is not a Dutch thing. Just like most entries in this thread, this one is crap.

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#35

In Sweden, Rotten Fish Is A Food Item

In Sweden, Rotten Fish Is A Food Item

Lightly salted and fermented Baltic sea herring has been in Swedish cuisine since the 16th century and it's famed for its extremely particular taste.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Dark_flame
Community Member
2 months ago

I don't know anyone who's tasted it tho, born and raised in the capital of Sweden

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#36

Swedes Cool Their Drinks Outside

Swedes Cool Their Drinks Outside

A perk of having cold winters in Sweden is that you can cool your drinks outside in the snow. Perhaps a few countries take advantage of infinite alcohol cooling opportunities outdoors.

GregMontani Report

Dark_flame
Community Member
2 months ago

Think this might be quite usual in most countries with cold winters?

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#37

In The Netherlands, It's Common To Answer The Phone With 'Hoi'

In The Netherlands, It's Common To Answer The Phone With 'Hoi'

No matter how bizarre it sounds, it's normal for the Dutch to answer the phone with the very old-school 'hoi,' that even gave the roots for the nautical term 'ahoy.'

idleman Report

A H
Community Member
2 months ago

I live here in the Netherlands, speak Dutch, and I don't understand how this is weird. "Hoi" just means hi and it isn't 'old school' at all

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you! Exactly!

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Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

Again, other countries do the same and we say "Ahoj", literally pronounced the same as "Ahoy".

Abigail Coty
Community Member
2 months ago

I text 'hoi' instead of 'hi'. I didn't know this was 'weird'!

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Sweetie Dahling
Community Member
2 months ago

Since when is 'hoi' old-school? It's more colloquial than 'hallo'.

zenitsusunshine
Community Member
2 months ago

in japanese, we say もしもし(moshi moshi) to answer the phone

Eliška Hůlková
Community Member
2 months ago

And what does it mean?

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Thunder
Community Member
2 months ago

Hoi means hi in Dutch so yeah of course we say thay to anyone

Oerff On Tour
Community Member
2 months ago

This is because we have CALLER-ID. We store all numbers in our phones so we know who's calling. Unknown or "important" numbers we answer with our names.

Iggy
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Alexander Graham Bell had wanted the telephone to be answered with an 'Ahoy-ahoy' or 'Ahoy-hoy'. At the time , 'hello' was an expression of surprise rather than a greeting.

Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
2 months ago

Mr. Burns answers the phone "Ahoy-hoy". The joke is that he's so old he uses the original phrase.

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Something
Community Member
2 months ago

In other news, people in different countries speak different languages.

Violet Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

I took a semester of Russian language many years ago. Apparently Russians don't say hello, they pick up the phone and say "I'm listening."

H Edwards
Community Member
2 months ago

It always amused me to hear my Italian friend answer the phone with 'pronto'

I_put_the_ace_in_disgrace
Community Member
2 months ago

Not true. We usually say "hallo, met [insert first and last name]. Met wie spreek ik?" Which translates to "Hello, with [insert first and last name], who is this?" And we only say hoi which translates to hi if we already know that person, are on an informal basis and see who it is

Wes Nishi
Community Member
2 months ago

Doesn't Mr Burns say Ahoi-hoi?

NeonDisco
Community Member
2 months ago

I say 'Yellow' instead of 'Hello'.....heard Homer say it about 20 years ago and I've answered my phone that way ever since.

Sac Shim
Community Member
2 months ago

...but isn’t it more of a language thing? In Italy they answer “Pronto”, in Japan “moshi moshi”. “Bizzarre” to who? The title says “Seem Normal In Some Countries, But Not In The Rest Of The World”. But this “rest of the world” seems like it’s centred to the English speaking countries. It’s like the Americans calling other country’s currency as “funny money” to me.

Rissie
Community Member
2 months ago

Different countries use different languages. What a revelation!

HellVetios
Community Member
2 months ago

Hoi is Hello in Swiss german

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
2 months ago

So? Why's that weird?

Brier Random
Community Member
2 months ago

Bizarre? No. It’s called “another language”.

Kaisa Koo
Community Member
2 months ago

In Finland it's hei or moi, so once I mixed these two accidentally and it came out as "hoi". I was tired, had to reply quickly to a cute guy at work.

𝕁𝕖𝕟𝕟𝕪𝔹𝕖𝕖
Community Member
2 months ago

I text people hoi instead of hi

Marianne
Community Member
2 months ago

Same for nothern Italy.

Donkey boi
Community Member
2 months ago

'hoi,' that even gave the roots for the nautical term 'ahoy.' Ahoy, a call used to greet someone from a distance. In other words, they say 'hello'.

cookie panda
Community Member
2 months ago

bruh thats how i say hello to my friends lol

Baby Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

lots of my friends who were born and raised in america answer the phone saying hoi or text hoi instead of hi

A_BadlyDrawnBearPic
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Hoi i is tem

Marie Chamuleau
Community Member
1 month ago

Is it so weird? And we say “Hallo?” And then we say who they are talking with 😒

backatya
Community Member
1 month ago

ahoy there

Rob Williams
Community Member
1 month ago

Hoi is just Dutch for hi...

Brent Hollett
Community Member
1 month ago

"Isn't it weird how other countries speak a different language!" - Every American.

My O My
Community Member
2 months ago

In germany (at lest where I live) you usually answer the phone with your last name. Nothing else. I always feel like it's a hassle to be called

Ruth Beaty
Community Member
2 months ago

My youngest daughter (we are American, not of Dutch descent though) once picked up our house phone and answered it hoy hoy. Became a family joke for many years and no one knows why she did it, lol. She was about 13 at the time.

Martha Higgins
Community Member
2 months ago

Sounds a bit like "hi."

markdorlas.ml@gmail.com
Community Member
2 months ago

This is not done a lot. Some people might do it but the polite way, considered correct is to say: "Met ... *your name*". The equivalent of saying: "*your name* speaking".

Kelsey Schärer
Community Member
2 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Kameralni
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Czechs say "ahoj".

Linda Jansen
Community Member
2 months ago

only normal sinse mobile phone use, Because if you call them you always know who will answer.

Om
Community Member
2 months ago

in Mexico we answer with "¿Bueno?" which means "Good?" (yes, accentuated as a question)

Strahd Ivarius
Community Member
2 months ago

It was Edison that popularized in the USA "hello" instead of Graham Bell's "Ahoy" when answering the phone

Ans W
Community Member
2 months ago

Hoi is a sort hello.

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

In Greece we say "empros" which literally means straight forward or ela which means come! Also hello but not always.....

Lori Jabi
Community Member
2 months ago

In Switzerland we also say Hoi to people we know and it's just like hi. Not bizarre at all I think.

Bonniebluebutler
Community Member
2 months ago

My Alabama Granddaddy answered with, "all RIGHT?"

Dark Pigeon
Community Member
2 months ago

the amount of times that I called friends and they only said 'hoi' is.. well.. pretty rare. Yes, I am Dutch.

Not A Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

No it's not. For goodness sake. It's normal here to answer the phone with your name.

Danieletc
Community Member
2 months ago

"HoyHoy" was Alexandar Graham Bell's suggestion for the answer, but "Hello" won out.

FunOldGuy
Community Member
2 months ago

Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to say "Ahoy" when they answered the phone. On the Simpsons, Mr. Burns answers that way

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 months ago

Do you know why AGB wanted that?

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James the boba boi
Community Member
2 months ago

I thought this was normal...

Asy EnderDragon
Community Member
2 months ago

i say hoi sometimes just as a meme reference (temmie from undertale)

Prashant Karnath
Community Member
2 months ago

Wait a second... does 'Hi' come from 'Ahoy'?? My mind is about to be blown....

Jos de Hundt
Community Member
2 months ago

No we don't. We say our name

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#38

The UK And Some Other Countries Still Drive On The Left Side

The UK And Some Other Countries Still Drive On The Left Side

Driving on the left side of the road is a feudal heirtage of the days when it was more convenient to hold and use swords in the right hand and have any opposing traffic on the same side in order to fight them.

David Dixon Report

All Lives Matter
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes we do, is this weird??

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#39

The Swedish Use A Special Cheese Slicer Instead Of A Knife

The Swedish Use A Special Cheese Slicer Instead Of A Knife

The Swedish are so serious about cheese that they use a cheese slicer (which is said to have been invented by Norwegians) instead of a regular knife.

Wikimedia Commons Report

Dark_flame
Community Member
2 months ago

Didn't know this was uncommon in other countries, they seem to be available in other European countries as well?

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