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
3 months ago

The efficiency gains must be tremendous.

Val Izhakevich
Community Member
3 months ago

Mm, not really. Most of the people working there come from neighbouring countries - in their own cars.

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Dave P
Community Member
3 months ago

it's also a very tiny wealthy country with a very tiny transit system. Big difference when you have only 600,000 people in a country used as the EU financial HQ with banking laws similar to the swiss that allow the rich from other places to hide their money for a fee.

Truth Monster
Community Member
3 months ago

Luxembourg is also tiny.

Ryan Deschanel
Community Member
3 months ago

And extremely rich.

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Yvette Desmarais
Community Member
3 months ago

They are doing this in some US cities as well. Kansas City Missouri has made their public transportation free.

Montana
Community Member
3 months ago

This is a must for all Europian capitals

Ozacoter
Community Member
3 months ago

At least for unemployed, poor, ill and old people

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Anna Banana
Community Member
3 months ago

Some cities in my country have free public transport as well. Not only does it encourage people to leave their cars behind, it's also quite cost-efficient because you don't have to maintain the ticket machines, employ controllers, etc.

Suzy the observer
Community Member
3 months ago

A good way to reduce emissions.

Lia
Community Member
3 months ago

this should be in every country

Aunt Messy
Community Member
3 months ago

Same with Vienna - in the core.

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 months ago

Just returned from Lux yesterday. It's a city which should be visited by all Europeans to see their money at work. Nothing is expensive enough for Luxembourg - the architecture, the public spaces, the trams (with LED lights in seats because, you know, you can), the electric buses. Trams run every 4 minutes, buses scoot around empty (granted, it's covid, but still). There is so much new construction you would not believe it. Where a normal nation puts a concrete sidewalk or wall, Luxembourg has individually carved stones laid precisely next to each other. This is what a super-rich place looks like.

Kerryn Thomas
Community Member
3 months ago

Same in the very centre of Melbourne

Vasana Phong
Community Member
3 months ago

Was this due to the pandemic or something that was in the works? Very nice of the city

Mark Evans
Community Member
3 months ago

It's similar here in Scotland. Bus travel is free for anyone who is elderly, Physically disabled and Mentally Disabled. It's been a god send.

Deborah B
Community Member
3 months ago

I wonder how much of an effect it had on car use? I would expect convenience of public transport to be a more important factor than making it free instead of just low-price.

Sue User
Community Member
2 months ago

It used to be free in downtown Portland. But then the homeless would ride all day to be warm, so no more.

Daniel Callaway
Community Member
2 months ago

Free here in Kansas city, Missouri too.

Jill Tremblay
Community Member
2 months ago

Nice !!!!! America isn't that good at "common sense" things.

Mel Schmidt
Community Member
3 months ago

Here on Camano Island, and all of Island county is free. outside of the state trans.

Rod Egret
Community Member
3 months ago

Makes total sense!

Spinaap
Community Member
3 months ago

the idea is that is more expensive to have ticketing, validation and check-ups for such a small public transport system ... better to make it free (don't know how reliable it is tho, but it should be fine)

Essex Eagle
Community Member
3 months ago

It only has 600,000 living there before everyone starts calling them a paragon of virtue, it was also only done due to their terrible traffic jams.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
3 months ago

Please bring this to Britain. An increase in services would also help.

Jim Kendzior
Community Member
3 months ago

Well, it's not free - just covered by taxes

Biana Weatherford
Community Member
3 months ago

It's free in my town. I don't take advantage. And when I'm out of town and think about using the bus, I'm FLOORED by the price.

Hiie Posti
Community Member
3 months ago

Where are the big shocking news? This isn't normal for other countries?

Don't Look
Community Member
3 months ago

but the government did that because people drive there and the traffic is apparently ridiculous. No one intends to take the free transport. It's costing the government 500m euros.

Saico Hipe
Community Member
3 months ago

It has taken me many years of learning about other countries to truly appreciate what a sh*t hole the United States actually is.

jamie1707
Community Member
3 months ago

and with all the red necks, evangelicals and 'patriots' who don't know the difference between socialism and communism, it could get shittier yet.

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Siah avis
Community Member
3 months ago

Amazing. It would probably reduce the use of cars. They probably have to have a really good system

Timmy Pillinger
Community Member
3 months ago

In the UK we have free bus passes for the disabled and over 60s. Which makes me wonder whether you might save on admin by just making all busses free...

rgr8
Community Member
3 months ago

I wish I had this in the US. I can't drive, and I can't always get a ride places. And biking/walking isn't always efficient. But the bus costs money.

ejfs
Community Member
3 months ago

MY COUNTRY!!! :D <3

Max Thompson
Community Member
3 months ago

That sounds nice

Kirbi
Community Member
3 months ago

I thought it said L'manberg and I'm like " Hol' up "

BobLeon Angel
Community Member
3 months ago

"In 2020, the public transport was made free for all locals and visitors alike." as a single person that lives here i pay that stuff with my taxes. matter of fact, 33% of my salary disappears to cover taxes, welfare and luxuries like this. There is no such thing as a Free meal. Plus - outside of City areas, there is still a need for Cars - Especially everything north of Ettelbruck...

Allan Miller
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow! Public transportation should be free or inexpensive everywhere!

D H
Community Member
3 months ago

Nothing the government gives away as free. Who pays for it, the tax payers.

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dhiguthila
Community Member
3 months ago

I live in LU and I really cannot understand why it's free. If you think that before it got free, our national monthly pass was roughly at €50. With that one could ride anytime, on any means, anywhere within the country. Most of the people here can afford that. I would say free to those who cannot.

Lev Pertsov
Community Member
3 months ago

I also live in LU and the point is not the money. The point of free transportation is to discourage driving and reduce traffic.

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Austin Bromenschenkel
Community Member
3 months ago

its because it is a socalist country

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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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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

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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
3 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
3 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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