What’s normal for you and me might not be normal for someone we know who lives abroad. Or their neighbor. One of the harsh truths of life is that reality isn’t always as objective as we might think it is.

In a viral thread, Redditors shared the best examples of what’s completely normal for people from their country and absolutely weird for foreigners. We’ve compiled some of the best answers that we hope will make you smile and laugh.

Scroll down and upvote your favorite things that are normal for some people, but are unusual for the rest of the world. If you enjoyed this list, why not share it with your friends? And be sure to let everyone know in the comments if you’ve got any of your own stories about what’s normal for your country, but that you realize to be strange when you go abroad.

#1

Going bankrupt from medical debt. (USA)

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Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
8 months ago

We don't just find it weird, we find it sad and we're worried about if you're okay.

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#2

Everyone rags on the US for using imperial, but can we talk for a second about how weird we are here in the UK for using both inconsistently?

You buy a pint of milk or beer, but a litre of coke and 25ml of whiskey

People know how many miles to the gallon their cars get, but you buy fuel at pence per litre.

You watch the weather forecast and the temperature is in Celsius but the wind speed is in miles per hour

Most people can tell you their weight in kilograms, and their height in feet, and if they can't give you kilograms they can probably give you stone instead, which is even older than pounds, which nobody uses as a unit of measurement, probably because of the confusion between lbs and £...

It's a glorious mess.

Koras Report

Nunya
Community Member
8 months ago

The US also uses Metric...and Imperial. Perhaps not that the extent described. But alcohol, soda, and other products are measured in liters, milliliters, etc. Milk, water, etc are in gallons, ounces, etc. medications are in milligrams but food is in ounces/pounds.

April Dawn Hale
Community Member
2 months ago

Depends on the size of the container. Cans of sodas are 12 oz, same with small bottles containing 20oz of soda. Most coffee shops sell coffee by the oz, same goes for fountain drinks at the gas station. I hate the flip flopping.

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Wyndmere
Community Member
8 months ago

What was that last part again?

Laughinmydreams
Community Member
8 months ago

Same in Canada, meat/veg. advertised by the pound, then listed by the kilo.

Amberly Middlemiss
Community Member
8 months ago

Move to NZ, we picked the best one and stuck with it ;)

Cody Eriksen
Community Member
8 months ago

We can relate to the drinks. Same here in the US

Duderella
Community Member
8 months ago

Ah yes, I am British and constantly use imperial and metric....

Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

Yeah we think you're weird... Xoxo/The rest of Europe

David Lyon
Community Member
8 months ago

don't forget your nose runs and your feet smell....

Mark Cain
Community Member
8 months ago

Simply buying a tyre for a car - mine is 225mm x 55mm x 18inches

European other
Community Member
8 months ago

But if you live there it's what you are used to !

Satirical Duchess
Community Member
8 months ago

Eggsacatly I'm British and I don't understand how life works over here

Chris Sprucefield
Community Member
8 months ago

Having lived in UK, I can relate to this "almost halfway there" way of things, and no, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever - it's a clusterf... , as the systems are utterly inconsistent and incompatible for easy translations. I came up with custom "good enough" approximations for quick translations, as i was still (and still are) operating in fully metric.

Isabel Care
Community Member
8 months ago

Cold temps in Celsius and hot in Fahrenheit.

Joseph Georgiadis
Community Member
8 months ago

Great post. But, 25ml of whiskey? Jeez! Unless you mean intravenously.... ;)

Caroline Driver
Community Member
8 months ago

Yeah, it is true. But perhaps once we FINALLY get this Brexit debacle ended for bad (I voted remain, just so you know) maybe we'll drop the metric and go fully into being the US's lapdog

JJM
Community Member
8 months ago

So true and well said!

eddy edward
Community Member
8 months ago

Legally in the UK, it's metric for weights (supermarkets, etc.); also liquids, except for beer and milk, which by law must be sold in pints. Speed and distance (and a person's height) are Imperial still. Yep, still confusing!

Loraine D.G. MacGinness
Community Member
8 months ago

Just shows how brilliant the British are ! Especially the older who dealt with Pounds, Shillings and Pence, also stones lbs. and ounces, now it's Pounds and pence plus grams, also having to cope with Cups in american recipes. Cooking in Fahrenheit and celsius, buying in litres !!

Yasmin Janette
Community Member
8 months ago

I understood that completely

Stan Chung
Community Member
8 months ago

not fully metric yet. I admit to still using feet for height and some furniture measurements.

Rob Spicer
Community Member
8 months ago

Same in Canada

rhyan lumilay
Community Member
8 months ago

Uhmm here in my country we don't bother about Celsius or Fahrenheit we just know it's cold or it's hot :-D and also we use the American and British way of everything that we also mixed them and it's totally acceptable whether you use one from another it's funny how they influenced us.

Non-New-Toni-An
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

I know in America they love to say 'a cup of this or that', (in recipes I mean) that's pretty funny as well, you mean a mug or a tea cup? Big difference guys LOL

Non-New-Toni-An
Community Member
8 months ago

Heh it is pretty weird... I have always measured my weight in stones, can't imagine I will ever switch to kilos or pounds just cause some other ppl do, I will probably stick to what I know

Cale Scrimgeour
Community Member
8 months ago

Morons

Rose Brien Harrington
Community Member
8 months ago

The reasons for both being used is that society is getting acclimatised to going metric and some older people (like me) are still stuck in the old ways for some things. But at least we are TRYING. The US is doggedly being awkward about it.

Natalia Brown
Community Member
8 months ago

I was taught metric at school (unless we were weighing ourselves!) but then I entered the adult world and it's all over the bloody place!

Bluebell Rizzi
Community Member
8 months ago

My country is weird

Saulo Frota
Community Member
8 months ago

i guess that's what you get when you try to colonize the whole world

Radek Suski
Community Member
8 months ago

I think it’s similar in Canada

Bill
Community Member
8 months ago

But officer I was going 80, oh 80 km/hour. Doesn't work in Quebec like it used to

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Lesley Watts
Community Member
8 months ago

Bring back imperial measures.

ispeak catanese
Community Member
8 months ago

I think it's the same in Puerto Rico. Litres of gas and milk, km and miles used interchangeably, it's a wonderful mix.

Michelle Muirhead
Community Member
8 months ago

Too true!

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
8 months ago

We've tried to adapt to the metric system, but of course some things are hard to let go of. It's especially hard when all the road signs are in miles. It would cost a fortune to change all those. I prefer the metric system but am still more used to talking about people's heights in feet and inches. But at least we try...

Tegan Frid
Community Member
8 months ago

Basically the same in Canada, except our gas is in dollars and cents, we do use pounds, and we're always confused when a BBC program uses stone.

Id row
Community Member
8 months ago

My biggest peeve is the use of stone as a measure of weight. "He weighed 12 stone, 5 pounds" Why not just pounds if you're going to use it as a remainder anyway? I don't want to have to do math every time I see a stone measurement. "Ok, let's see...14 x 12 + 5". Just use pounds ffs.

Analyn Lahr
Community Member
8 months ago

We buy Coke in liters too.

Callie Ge
Community Member
8 months ago

Stones always was used in the UK, it’s the USA that only every used lbs for a persons weight, 16 oz to a pound, 14 pounds to a stone 12 stone to a gross.

Nathalie Langevin
Community Member
8 months ago

Same in Canada. My husband is French and still hasn't figure out how to get around with this. To top it all, we very rarely tell how far something is, we rather say it in time to go there: How far is the supermarket? About five minutes!

Bill
Community Member
8 months ago

I have to do mental gymnastics to convert metric to Imperial for the measurement to make sense to me.

Eli Christman
Community Member
8 months ago

One that really throws me off is the weight in stone.

Rachael Marrast
Community Member
8 months ago

Why is this the only one that's in a different language?

Ryo Bakura
Community Member
8 months ago

I think it's more to do with adapting to the influx of multiple nationalities we've allowed in over the years. Rather than forcing them to learn something new, like America does, we've appropriated both metric and imperial into our daily lives so everyone can understand. Also, anyone who uses Fahrenheit is nuts. When that drops below zero, you guys are already dead, whereas using Celsius, we know that single digit temperatures means it's time to wrap up.

Master Markus
Community Member
8 months ago

Whenever people mention "stone" I think it's so bizarre because I don't think anyone outside of the British Isles use that.

Ian Carter
Community Member
8 months ago

A glorious mess, that sums up the last 1000 years of history, everything we do is a compromise that upsets everyone, just look at the church,Northern Ireland,Devolution,Bexit. why piss one set of people off when you can piss everyone off thats the British way, but well just moan and have a cup of tea.

Sonya Jersey
Community Member
8 months ago

uk is like the transition country for the rest of europe :) going from imperial to metric

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
8 months ago

ROTFL, MIL is Brit, this is so true! Painfully true! I am metric, Hubby is standard, and she's at a loss, apparently!

Andy Mutch
Community Member
8 months ago

Keeps Johnny Foreigner on his toes, what!

Japu Uhuclan
Community Member
8 months ago

Brexit today please.

Ryo Bakura
Community Member
8 months ago

Quiet, you.

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Out2Sea
Community Member
8 months ago

The USA may be one of the few countries that uses the imperial system, they are also the only country that has put a man on the moon !

Bill
Community Member
8 months ago

For now

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Gwyn Plaine
Community Member
8 months ago

I totally 100% agree with this. It's a hot mess of tradition plus stupid stupid E.U. forcing us to change, ending up with everything cramped in a mixing bowl on full speed without the lid.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
8 months ago

The majority of laws in the UK were still decided and made by the law makers in the UK, not the EU as, shock, we have always had sovereignty (you can look it up). It shocks me how few people actually know this and yet think they have an 'informed' opinion. But, yes, let's be hugely bothered by the methods we use to weigh and measure things - because that's one of the most critical changes in the last few decades.

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Katchen
Community Member
8 months ago

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Thank you! Every time I see someone from the UK get down on the US for the imperial system my first thought is “what about stone as a measure of weight?”

Lucas
Community Member
8 months ago

It generally speaking isn't people from the UK doing that - a lot of people still use imperial or a mix as it clearly says above. Also, should just point out that the fuel is SOLD at pence per litre and, as we then toddle off to work out what that means in terms of fuel economy at the miles per gallon our cars do, it was something that was exceptionally unpopular and forced upon us.

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#3

upset? have a cup of tea

happy? cup of tea

bored? cup of tea

literally any feeling? cup of tea

edit: yes, I’m from the UK, tea is our answer to all of life’s problems.

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Lucas
Community Member
8 months ago

Yep, tea. I'm in the UK. My sister got married and had an afternoon tea party. FFS. Celebrating with bloody tea.

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Reddit user Ojlol2’s thread on the ‘Ask Reddit’ subreddit got more than 63,000 upvotes in a day, as well as over 48,000 comments. Wow, now that’s a lot of people wanting to share their experience about how normality can differ from nation to nation.

From bizarre actions to eyebrow-raising phrases, there will always be things that seem out of place, as long as different countries, cultures, and ethnicities exist. And it’s a wonderful thing because a shift in your perspective can lead to more creativity and a more objective understanding of yourself.

#4

Unsuccessfully helping your dad look for one of his missing thongs and then watching him squeeze into one of your mum's so he can go out into the back yard and get the laundry. I'm told the rest of you (incorrectly) call them flip flops. (Australia)

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Lady Laura
Community Member
8 months ago

I was picturing the dad squeezing into tiny thong underwear. Quite the mental image!

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#5

Eating with our hands.

In 1969 (the same year the man landed on the moon), Miss Gloria Diaz coveted the Philippines' first Miss Universe Crown. During the preliminary Q&A, she was asked "Is it true that you Filipinos use your hand when you eat?" To which she replied "Why? Do you use your feet?" and went her way to winning the crown. (Phillipines)

NorqMarash Report

nanashi
Community Member
8 months ago

HAH I would definitely use that response in the future!

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#6

Tax not included in advertised price (USA)

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Foxxy
Community Member
8 months ago

I just find that weird.

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The United States of America is one of the most powerful countries on Planet Earth, but it doesn’t mean that everything its citizens do is the norm across the world. Some things are minor differences. While some take you aback, make you stop, and keep you awake at night thinking about the cosmos, Multiverse theory, and humankind as a whole.

#7

Bears on motorcycles driving on roads, drinking vodka and playing balalaikas.

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...

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Hahaha! Gotcha. What I said was untrue. Russia doesn't have roads.

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Katchen
Community Member
8 months ago

Ha!

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#8

Putting broken glass bottles on the walls around your house so burglars cant jump it and rob you. I moved to Canada and they don't even have walls around the houses! (Brazil)

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Guido Pisano
Community Member
8 months ago

It is not so common but you can find also in italy

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#9

Having a reality tv star as president (USA)

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Emerald Joanna
Community Member
8 months ago

Or an actor as president? Or a non-American actor as governor? Americans must think that people in the public eye are automatically qualified to run things...

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For example, one thing that is really odd is how Americans write today’s date by starting with the month, then writing down the day, and ending with the year. Most countries in the world start with the day or end with it. While we’re on the subject, how is it that the US still uses the Imperial System? It seems like the American War of Independence didn’t get rid of all of Britain’s influence over the colonies.

#10

In my high school (US) we had a group of australian students come to live a day in the life of an american high school. They all thought it was so bizarre and cult-ish that every morning we had to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag with our hands over our hearts. I couldn't agree more that it is, indeed, bizarre and cult-ish.

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Katchen
Community Member
8 months ago

Agreed. It’s creepy af.

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#11

Direct democracy in Switzerland. It often baffles me when I read what the government can pull off in other countries without ever involving the population. Like...yea, you get to elect representatives but it often seems to me that those people then elect someone who elects someone who elects someone...is it really still democracy if you're about five steps removed from the actual decisions? (Switzerland)

SyrusDrake Report

OhForSmegSake
Community Member
8 months ago

Yeah, I wish more countries had Direct Democracy

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#12

Men holding hands in public as a display of friendship is normal in Afghanistan but super weird in the west.

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European other
Community Member
8 months ago

And men who are friends do that in Tanzania

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Constantly tipping everyone, no matter how well they did their jobs, also causes a lot of people to shrug and give Americans peculiar looks. Japan’s a real wonderland in that regard: there’s almost no tipping.

#13

In my country you bike everywhere. Cars aren't used much. For longer distances you mostly use train and public transport. Also being 6 foot is normal (The Netherlands)

Dutch_Dumbass Report

Pamela24
Community Member
8 months ago

6 ft = 182 cm

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#14

I have two to share since I'm half and I get to see those every year. Dead. We celebrate dead and we have parades about dead. We laugh about dead. Dead is our friend. In Mexico we treat dead with love and fun.

Also in Japan we celebrate kanamara Matsuri. Wich is basically a parade about fertility with dicks everywhere. Small dicks. Giant dicks. Dicks as food.

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
8 months ago

This means during Kanamara Matsuri you can tell someone to go eat a dick without sounding suspicious.

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#15

Small talk in Poland actually is quite sincere. If someone asks you what's up, you tell them exactly that it's s**tty etc.

daneelr_olivaw Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
8 months ago

Yep. And it's not being negative. It's being *honest*.

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#16

Being left off of maps (New Zealand)

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Emerald Joanna
Community Member
8 months ago

We are just toooo tiny...hehe

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#17

Whole restaurants cheering when a plate or glass is smashed (UK). Once was in a Canadian bar/restaurant on holiday and a waiter dropped a tray of glasses, the local looked horrified when i was out of my seat screaming “wheyyyyyy”

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Carrie de Luka
Community Member
8 months ago

Alongside the suggestion to 'sack the juggler'

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#18

Leaving your baby alone outside for their nap, even if it rains or snows. (Norway)

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
8 months ago

Lithuanian there, was sleeping in balcony straight out of hospital (born at the end of November), this is also very common in Estonia

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#19

Being middle-class with a property having a 6' wall, electric fencing linked to an alarm, automated gate and garage doors (with security clamps over the gate motor to prevent theft of the motor), security gates over every door, burglar bars, and a house alarm system with infra-red sensors linked to armed response with a reaction time of under 3-4 minutes. (South Africa)

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Catherine Waite
Community Member
8 months ago

This was something I found very hard to adjust to when I moved to South Africa from the UK. I went from if you forget to close a window or lock a door odds were you would be fine. ~To nope nope nope, you do that and you're probably coming home to an empty house if lacking said security features.

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#20

We have no sun here. Around this time of year everyone start asking each other "You been taking vitamin D?". It doesn't matter if you're talking about feeling sad, dealing with the flu, or missing limbs... you been taking vitamin D bro? (Canada)

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Geoffrey Holland
Community Member
8 months ago

It depends on where you are in Canada obviously. We have plenty of sun here on the West coast.

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#21

To get money back when you bring empty plastic bottles to the supermarket. In Germany its called Pfand. Each bottles makes 25 cents.

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Katchen
Community Member
8 months ago

I wish we had that where I live. I remember buying soda “gegen Pfand” in Germany and turning the bottle back in.

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#22

On Valentine's day, men don't give any gifts. Only women give gifts, they only give it to men, it's always chocolate, and they get it for all the men in their lives, including coworkers. Then there is a day on the 14th of March where the men reciprocate. The gifts are only from men to women this time, and are chocolate or jewelry or nice clothes, and the amount spent is directly related to the amount of chocolate received. (Japan)

videovillain Report

Cat on a bike
Community Member
8 months ago

That is actually brilliant!

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#23

Eating most of the organs of an animal, I had some people look at me in disgust when I told them how tasty the brain and the heart of an animal are (Romania)

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Heins Zhammer
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

that's the main problem with today's western culture-when thinking of a chicken you get chicken breast or a leg rather than a chicken medley. post-CCCP countries (romania, bulgaria, poland, lithuania, the whole eastern block and the balkans), much like still asian and african cultures, utilized not so long ago the whole animal and did not waste any parts, hence the brain (stir fried), gut soup, bone soup, blood sausage, lard with bread, cow tounges and many other delish dishes.

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#24

I think tips are a thing in other countries, but in America you have to tip almost everywhere you eat or you get hardly judged by everyone. And if the tip isn’t big enough, they judge you too. It’s so dumb.

StellaChar Report

Wil Vanderheijden
Community Member
8 months ago

In civilised countries employees are paid a proper wage and their tips are an extra for them. Tips are considered a token of appreciation on how well the server did. Bad service means no or very small tip. In America servers rely on their tips to get a decent income.

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#25

People are always shocked at in my country: 1) our “public” restroom stalls are constructed in such a way that you can pretty much see what a person is doing in there thanks to a constant crack between the door and its frame... 2) I say “public” in quotes because most of our so-called public restrooms are in private businesses who don’t let our surprisingly very large number of homeless use and since there is no actual fully public restroom to use, said homeless often piss and sometimes even s**t in our streets. Oh- and we have a higher percentage of our population in jail than literally every single nation on earth. (USA)

stos313 Report

Wil Vanderheijden
Community Member
8 months ago

A lot of people refer to the US as "Backwardistan" or "Dumbfvckistan" since the tangerine toddler took office.

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#26

Strangers sitting totally naked skin to skin in a steamy room heated to +80 to +100C... and us having competitions on who can last the longest in there. (Finland)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
8 months ago

Some 50 years ago this was unthinkable in Austria but today it's common for strangers to sit naked in a sauna, except for the skin-to-skin part. Even the slightest touching is totally inappropriate.

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#27

In my friend's country, Easter is when gangs of boys roam the countryside, pouring water over girls and beating them (gently) with sticks. The girls then have to thank them for it. I thought that was pretty weird. (Slovakia)

himit Report

Heins Zhammer
Community Member
8 months ago

same in poland still in rural parts of the country

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#28

Queuing politely (UK)

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Si
Community Member
8 months ago

I don’t understand the mentality that it’s okay to push in front of somebody who’s already waiting.

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#29

Putting cable ties, branches, fake eyes etc on helmets, buckets and hats in spring time to scare away the birds. Magpies are vicious bastards (Australia)

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OhForSmegSake
Community Member
8 months ago

I'm 30+ and I've never been swooped. In fact I used to take refuge from the school bullies underneath the magpie trees because the birds would swoop the bullies but not me.

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#30

Calling a Traffic Light a Robot (South Africa)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

...and a gas station a garage, and a pick-up truck a bakkie.

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