It's always interesting to travel around the world and experience different cultures and traditions that may differ from what you believe to be the "norm". And even though most of the time these cultural differences spark nothing more but a delightful surprise, there are some characteristics that are difficult for people to wrap their heads around.

Have you ever thought that there are things that only your country does but seems that everybody else doesn't really understand it at all? Well, according to this askredit thread, those living in America definitely have this problem. After getting asked "What is something you didn't realize was typical American stereotype until you went abroad?", people flooded the post with an endless list of customs that only in America are considered to be normal. From garbage disposals and free public bathrooms to extreme portion sizes, there are some strictly American things.

Scroll down to read these answers and funny stereotypes, and don't forget to share your delightful cultural differences in the comments!

#1

The prices abroad don't add tax after the fact. You pay what the price shows. No need to figure the tax. Dumb that we do that here.

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Perry Swift
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, that's a total pain in the arse when you visit the states.

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#2

Being "friendly" to an extent. I checked in at a hostel and walked into the lounge area where people from all over the world were just chilling. I kinda introduced myself to the whole room, and someone goes, "you're from the states, yeah?" And I'm like, "yeah howd you know?" They said, "only an American will walk into a room of strangers and introduce themselves to everybody."

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Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

I don't see how that's a bad thing....?

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#3

When I went to Australia I found out very quickly that no one down there "roots" for a team - they "go for" a team. So when I said I root for the Red Sox I got a lot of weird looks

(Rooting means fucking in Australian)

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Schrödinger's Dog
Community Member
1 year ago

Oops...

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#4

Sugar. When I visited Japan, even some of their sweetest desserts pale in comparison to how much sugar is in American food.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 year ago

I absolutely hate how sweet things are here. EVERYTHING could do with at least 50% less.

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#5

How fat we are. Like, I know we are when compared to the rest of the world. But it made me realize what I think is fat in the US, is grossly obese in Europe. And what's not-fit, but not-fat in the US, is fat is Europe.

There are some hamhogs over there but my god, returning home was an eye opener.

At least we don't smoke as much, I guess.

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TC
Community Member
1 year ago

Sorry to agree with you.

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#6

The stereotype about us being loud is true. I never thought of myself as being loud until I went abroad and would hang up the phone after speaking in what I thought was appropriate volume to find everyone around me was staring at me, and realized how much more quiet they were lol whoops

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María Hermida
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything is relative. Come to Spain and you will start to think that, in comparison, you are as quiet as a mouse. It doesn't matter how loud you are, the average Spaniard is even louder. The level of tolerance to noise here is unbelievable.

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#7

Measuring walking/driving distance in blocks.



It's the unit of measure I use most frequently when giving directions - the restaurant is 3 blocks away, go south one block and then two blocks west, I live six blocks from the grocery store...



It wasn't until I studied abroad in England and got a complete blank look when I asked someone how many blocks away the library was that I realized using "block" as a measurement only makes sense in cities that were largely pre-planned and built on grid system. AKA: not many places outside the US.

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Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago

You have to remember that many town in Europe are actually quite ancient, far older than the USA.

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#8

Red plastic cups for parties. So much so that people outside US use them as an accessory to American themed parties.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 year ago

I would be so uncomfortable at an "American-Themed" party. I'm American, but I have absolutely no idea what the expectations would be.

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#9

Ok, so, this one is probably pretty obvious, and looking back on it it’s really embarrassing. My family took a European vacation when I was 17. For some reason, we decided to get KFC in the UK. (Because ‘Murica.)

My friend who came with us went with me to order and pick up our order. We ordered a family size bucket of chicken, and they asked us what kinds of side dishes we wanted. We said “Biscuits.” And the employees looked at us with the strangest look.

UK KFC: “You want . . . biscuits with your chicken?” Me: “Yes. Biscuits.” UK KFC: “We don’t sell those.” Me: “What do you mean you don’t sell biscuits. What are your sides?” UK KFC: “Chips?” Me: “You mean French fries? Ok fine. That’ll do.”

I was worldly enough to know that “chips” meant “French fries”, but “biscuits” in the UK are cookies. My fat ass tried to order fried chicken and cookies. I am positive someone over in the UK is still telling this story at parties as an example of how disgusting Americans are.

Also on this same trip my father asked why our waitress kept saying “cheese”, when she was saying “cheers”. We really left a good impression across the pond.

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Dani
Community Member
1 year ago

Haha! This reminds me of a time when my family was visiting relatives in Japan and because we were from America, my great-aunt decided to take us to an "American restaurant." I loved it because their interpretation of American food was about equivalent in accuracy to our interpretation of Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

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#10

Small avocados.

Went to puerto rico. Was like, ‘yo ill have like 6 of those stuffed avocados’. Buddy was like, ‘yo gringo, i think you underestimate the size of our avocados here. Just have one and ill being you more if you want after’.

I had half of one. It was like a football.

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Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago

Small avocados are available in most European countries too.

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#11

Here in the States, pregnancy announcements/reveals/baby showers are mainstream but it's generally a BIG no-no to bring it up in Kenya. My mom found out the hard way. Essentially, asking someone when the baby is due is the equivalent of asking the person "when did you and your husband fuck?" which is considered EXTREMELY rude. The lady my mom asked was gracious about it but said "If we were not such good friends I would have slapped you!"

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Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
1 year ago

A guy from Pakistan I had just met asked me why I wasn't married. I told him in the US that's a rude question. His immediate response was to ask me again!

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#12

Garbage disposals in sinks.

When I moved to the UK, my flatmates asked how in movies people would stick their hands in the sink drain and it be ripped apart. I told them about garbage disposals and they were very weirded out.

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Blakkur Sverrir
Community Member
1 year ago

In most parts of Germany they are forbidden. The reason is that the scraps would feed the rat population under ground

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#13

Having your drink constantly refilled at restaurants. I just wanna drink a ton of water alright?

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Julia Christina Eneroth
Community Member
1 year ago

Here in Sweden many restaurants let customers get a bottle of water to the table. Then we can chose ourselves when we want to refill.

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#14

Buying stuff and the cashier putting your items in a plastic or paper bag. Went to Germany, and found it strange they don't bag your items. Everyone just brings their own bag or dumps their stuff in a back pack.

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Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago

That's because we're trying to save the planet, one unused plastic bag at a time. Having to pay 10p for plastic bags in supermarkets cut bag use by 80% in Wales in one year.

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#15

Root beer is apparently disgusting and an offense to most of the worlds palate.

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diane a
Community Member
1 year ago

Yep - tastes like Germolene ointment smells

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#16

I moved to England from Texas about six years ago. One of the major things that I noticed was that smiling and being friendly towards strangers was considered bizarre. This is a bit true in any metropolitan area, but especially in the UK. In Texas I was used to smiling at people, asking for directions if I needed them, and being friendly towards strangers. I learned very quickly that smiling at someone on the tube, or asking someone for directions on the street immediately makes someone think you’re trying to scam/rob them or you’re crazy.

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Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

Smiles and friendly talk is one thing Americans should share with others.

Enuya
Community Member
1 year ago

No, please, no. The one of only few things which I really love in my country is that I do not need to be extremly friendly and chatty with strangers. Do not take this away from me!

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Sandy
Community Member
1 year ago

I think this is only true in London, or big cities. everywhere else people will say good morning or hello when you pass each other in the street (especially the older generation) if you're walking a dog people always want to stop and chat to you and fuss the dog. complete strangers know my dogs name and say hello to her too. We're not rude! I personally found in the US people being overly polite were insincere about it, almost sarcastic.

TC
Community Member
1 year ago

I cannot imagine someone staring at me and smiling at the same time. Weird.

Kate Local
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

absolutely not true - what a stupid stereotype. especially when you try to lay it on the british. everyone there is friendly and smiling when they are happy, chatting with strangers when they want to, being sad when they are sad and being quiet when they want to. Like normal humans and like people in america too. some people are gregarious chatterboxes and some are introverts. people have good and bad days. people give directions.maybe they just didnt like YOU because you behaved like the worst stereotype of americans, which immediately makes people want to run away when they hear the accent. maybe because youre an arrogant idiot who says stuff like this.

Brenda Pereira
Community Member
1 year ago

We visited the UK a few years ago and I found it to be just the opposite. People were very eager to help if you needed directions or anything. They also smiled back and said hello when we were on the tube. Maybe it's not that way anymore.

Steve Haigh
Community Member
1 year ago

Being from the UK, I often stop to help people with directions and have never had any problems stopping anyone else whenever I am in a town I don't know. Admittedly, with GPS, almost nobody needs to ask for directions anymore.

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Yaz Cam
Community Member
1 year ago

That varies by state. You do that in NYC and you will get ignored or stared at like you have issues.

Chris Miilu
Community Member
1 year ago

Not always; when I lived in CT, and asked directions in NYC, people always took time to help. The other thing about New Yorkers is that they don't miss much. One morning, late and hurrying, an arm came out and moved me out of the way of a steam grate; I would have broken my high heels. The man didn't stop, just pulled me to a safe place. Once walking to the Ferry, a man came up and told me I was being followed. He was going to the Ferry, so he walked with me. I remember a man who noticed a large man who crammed in beside me on a bus and started talking; the man stood next to my seat until I got off. There were times during windy days when people joined arms to get to a building. New Yorkers have a pragmatic view of "helping"; that is where I learned "There but for the grace of God go I"; it is also where I learned to have coins or dollar bills for the women who begged from doorways. One of them was a famous ballerina who had a nervous breakdown; her world was begging.

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Metra Amirhosseini
Community Member
1 year ago

I live in Texas (born and raised) and I hate all the "Hellos" and smiles. I don't want to smile and say hi to everyone on the street....so I don't. I'm not trying to be rude. The worst is when I am walking to school with my kid. One lady even asked why I don't say Hi back to her and her kid. She was very upset with me, like I was being rude to only her. I was like, hey I don't talk to strangers.

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
1 year ago

Also Americans expect a lot of customer service, like major arse kissing. Not really a think when I lived in the UK.

Coco
Community Member
1 year ago

You must be in a really rough area, because in the rest of the UK people smiles and asks for directions as in anywhere else in the world. ;)

Irene McIver
Community Member
1 year ago

He mentioned the Tube (London underground railway) so that explains it: London does tend to be more like that than anywhere else in the UK I've been to, and especially in my native Scotland. Glasgow is well known as one of the friendliest cities, and I hope the Texan OP is able to visit Glasgow some time and experience the difference.

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Alex K
Community Member
1 year ago

if a smile is fake, why do it?

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

I found scottish people to be extremly polite and friendly. Maybe shy but very friendly.

Laura Bradshaw
Community Member
1 year ago

Scottish shy? Maybe by American standards but Scots are far from being known as shy here lol

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Ana B.
Community Member
1 year ago

In France, it's kind of the opposite. Now, you're not supposed to have CONVERSATIONS with strangers, but when you walk into a small store it's RUDE not to say 'bonjour' to them. You even acknowledge passing random people on the street!

jo_shortland
Community Member
1 year ago

Not everyone thinks it's crazy, we should all be nicer to each other

Elfmonkey
Community Member
1 year ago

*laughs in Finnish* As a Finn living in the UK (now north, London some years back) and I find Brits very friendly and chatty in comparison. Reading this list makes me think I'd really hate living in the US, being the introvert that I am...

Laura Bradshaw
Community Member
1 year ago

Direction asking is fine we will help but smiling at us while staring is weird to us unless it's a quick nod and smile

Julie Zanussi
Community Member
1 year ago

Country folks are alwYs friendly and city folks are pretty snobby, lol! I love the friendly country folks.

Just saying
Community Member
1 year ago

It depends where in England you are. The further North you go, the friendlier people get.

Si
Community Member
1 year ago

Disagree

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Ryo Bakura
Community Member
1 year ago

It depends on our moods. Catch us on a bad day, we'll probably blank you, or tell you to get lost. You want to speak to someone who is always friendly? Visit Cornwall. Those dudes are nice as hell, even though it's like a completely different country to the rest of the UK.

tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 year ago

No smiling at strangers in NYC. Just don't.

Gëë Bëë
Community Member
1 year ago

Only in the south. Come up north and this is pretty much normal. x

Valerie Burnett
Community Member
1 year ago

I come from the north of England and felt exactly the same when I moved to London

Daria B
Community Member
1 year ago

This one is pretty sad, actually. And I say so as a European myself and as an awkward introvert.

justpassingthrough 123
Community Member
5 months ago

literally only in the cities and mainly in London. They are miserable, my friend almost got beat up because she smiled at someone! it was shocking. Come to Wales instead, totally different experience!!

Liz Sahlin Johansson
Community Member
1 year ago

I’m far from American (US). I’m Swedish, but unswedish in that way : I like to start conversations no matter how simple and trivial the conversations might become with totally strangers. On the bus, in the queue, at the grocery store you name it! I talk. And get the same reaction like you. With a little twist 😉. It all depends on WHERE in Sweden I try this stunt! Stockholm is a nono! Gothenburg it’s definitely a YES! But it’s difficult to know “the right place” in advance...😕

Carolina Saf
Community Member
1 year ago

No problem asking for directions, as long as you don't smile like a starving alligator.

Carolina Saf
Community Member
1 year ago

You can ask for directions without any problem, just don't grin like an alligator whilst asking. ;)

Abigail Bethany
Community Member
1 year ago

Just move to the North of England and you'll fit right in!

Sooke
Community Member
1 year ago

In the south of England we smile and speak to everyone.. don’t do it to a Londoner though 😂

Nic Dunning
Community Member
1 year ago

Try going to the North East of England. We smile and chat up here.

Crochet lady
Community Member
1 year ago

People commenting they don't want people to smile and say hi sound really sad.

Myriam Ickx
Community Member
1 year ago

In Belgium it's perfectly OK to smile at people, to ask directions, to spontaneously help someone who looks lost, or to join in the conversation while queuing at the local bakery or butcher... but within limits.You just feel how far you can go and when it's too much!

Tobias Meiner
Community Member
1 year ago

You must have found yourself in some rough neighbourhood. People in German countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) are usually very friendly, so are southerners (Italians and Spaniards). Slavs and Scandinavians are way more reserved, but still polite.

Lisa Chambers
Community Member
1 year ago

lol so moody, resting b!tch face it is when I have zero plans to scam/rob or intend to act crazy.

Nikki Ferguson
Community Member
1 year ago

Come to Australia...we're pretty friendly and I'm always getting stopped by people asking for directions

Joyce Berman
Community Member
1 year ago

It's the only country that I've been in where they seem to purposely give you wrong directions. I've had people in NYC ask me if I need directions somewhere. Not in Europe.

CultOfBambi
Community Member
1 year ago

That's very true in London - not as much elsewhere in the UK though. Surely in places like NYC it's the same though? You'd probably come across as a complete hick or nutcase being friendly to strangers on the subway.

Rebecca Painter
Community Member
1 year ago

We do that in New Zealand, apparently we sometimes freak Americans out by being to sincerely nice... sorry.

Marjorie Mizumoto
Community Member
1 year ago

Thats because you didn’t come to Brazil, here we kiss strangers to say hi

Philly Cashion
Community Member
1 year ago

I've recently move to Nottingham from Birmingham, 2 cities in the UK. In Birmingham saying hi to your neighbour was weird, which was weird to me because in South Wales everyone was super friendly. Nottingham is like the most Welsh-like place in England. I love it, people are friendly and lovely! Although being called duck 5 times per minute is quite jarring. When my house exploded at 4am, a neighbour came running down the street with a duvet yelling "Your house exploding woke me up! I brought blankets!" it was odd, but very nice, we'd only been there for 3 months! Another neighbour spied on the house for us and fed us info, the council were always baffled how we seemed to know things from the other side of the city. Especially about the 5 near break-ins they never told us about.

Amber Ravenscroft
Community Member
1 year ago

I think that's mostly just big cities, in the rest of the UK people smile and say hi and ask directions all the time ☺️

Janelle Collard
Community Member
1 year ago

That's actually kind of sad. :(

Chris Miilu
Community Member
1 year ago

Years ago Europe was a yearly trip, I remember asking a Bobby for directions in a part of old London with lots of winding paths; he looked down and informed me that was not part of his job. Promptly bought a city map. Also was told by a sandwich seller that lettuce was not provided, water cress was, for a small price. These are just minor differences, part of travel.

Derek Giroulle
Community Member
1 year ago

This general aloofness is something that goes with the stiff-upper-lip in England, the Fins, norwegians and the danish have that kind of behaviour too In the rest of europe your friendlyness will be met in kind (mostly)

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
1 year ago

Maybe cities are like that but I have not found this to be true. I am super smiley and friendly and people seem to like me for it when we travel to the UK. My husband is from Kent. I think it's one of the reasons he fell for me; I was very different from what he was used to.

Nevyl Doust
Community Member
1 year ago

Wow, and I thought the poms were friendlier than that. May be something to do with all the scare mongering the right wing politicians are into.

rick hctep (Rick45)
Community Member
1 year ago

You must have been in that most detestable place called London, I am English but live up North, I used to drive heavy trucks for a living, but if you had to deliver anything in or around the place was like being in a different country as nobody spoke English, even the parking meter leeches or the cop I met could not direct me to the address I needed even though after walking about and speaking to all these non English speaking bastards I was parked only twenty feet from where I needed to be, Now if you had been staying North of that place like the dump of a town I live in you would have found everybody polite and friendly even all the foreigners that have moved into my town have all changed since they moved here into civil polite happy people, but for FS keep away from that cesspit called London.

Anna Repp
Community Member
1 year ago

I was the other way around... My parents brought me to the US when I was 17 and later I started dating a guy who's been in the US longer, but was from the same country as I. I remember him taking me hiking and when we passed people on the trail he said "hi" and they said "hi" and sometimes "How's everything" and I panicked! "Why did you say hi to them? Do you know them? If you don't, then why did you say hi? Are you lying to me? And if you are not, why did they say hi to you? Are they trying to go after us?" It was very scary and weird to me to have people casually passing me buy in the middle of a wilderness and saying "Hi, how are you."

Florence Hastings
Community Member
1 year ago

Everyone here (denmark) smiles and says hi to people we meet on the street, except in copenhagen, they don’t even make eye contact there.

Megan The Viking Traveler
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

HAHAHA that is amazing. I lived in London and Hastings and experienced the same thing. And the fact that if you jay walk....you are dead. But the UK is wonderful!

Captain Marvellous ♥️
Community Member
1 year ago

Here in NZ we are all extremely friendly, smiley and chatty to everyone! ^^ ESPECIALLY to strangers.

Kira Leseman
Community Member
1 year ago

I live in Fort Worth Texas and I can’t remember the last time I haven’t said at least “hello” to someone in the elevator I’m taking. I always say hi and tell them to have a nice day when I get off or they get off.

Kim Conroy
Community Member
1 year ago

we do that in Australia. simple courtesy.

The dude
Community Member
1 year ago

Damn straight. That takes some getting used to when you’re American traveling abroad, although I’ve noticed the same thing in New York. We greet strangers with a “good morning” or “how are you”?, but apparently that is very odd behavior in most other countries.

Amy Pattie
Community Member
1 year ago

Texans are such sweet people. Australians could learn a thing or two about honour and hospitality from those guys.

Laura Ess
Community Member
1 year ago

Not the case everywhere. Go to Thailand and everyone will smile at you, at first. But be obnoxious, or impolite, or rude about the Monarchy there, and YOU ARE IN TROUBLE.

HoffLensMetalHedLovesAnimalsUK
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah this is seen as odd over here, over friendly people get given looks of "who is this weirdo?", don't get me wrong you can sit down and start chatting and getting to know people but announcing yourself to everyone like this would just get strange looks and maybe some quiet muttering because ultimately, no-one gives a shit.

Malgorzata Wieruszewska
Community Member
1 year ago

Actually when I moved to England I found them annoyingly smiling all the time and being too friendly . Texas would probably kill me then.

Mark Kelly
Community Member
1 year ago

Here in Canada it happens too.

Ian Carter
Community Member
1 year ago

NO NO NO! this is not true you mean London not the UK, in the north we all talk to each other its just southern people that dont

Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
1 year ago

Same in most large cities, including NY, and LA.....

Uchman
Community Member
1 year ago

I disagree about the directions part. I lived in London and people will ALWAYS help with directions if they can, in fact when my wife used the tube with baby, she never had to ask for help as there was always people helping her with the baby buggy.

Alison Cross
Community Member
1 year ago

I don't know what part of the UK you moved to, but that is not the norm. Though the British are known for being quite reserved at times, they are very friendly. As I was born and raised in Britain, prior to moving to the states, I know what I'm talking about.

Liz Berger
Community Member
1 year ago

This isn't true for all of the US. I grew up in the Northeast and a stranger smiling at me in public for no reason, or saying hi just to say hi, would honestly scare me. I mean I've lived enough places to understand it's a regional difference, but it still freaks me out.

Foxxy
Community Member
1 year ago

Very common practise in Australia.

Heather Ions
Community Member
1 year ago

If you go to the north of England it’s the complete opposite. 😂

Gina Corbett
Community Member
1 year ago

Can't agree with this - but I'm Irish and we talk to everybody. We'll know your life history in ten minutes

Victoria Rey Piuma
Community Member
1 year ago

Ok... in Amsterdam It's ok to smile. Only not constantly. But when you accidentally make eye contact a smile and a nod or a hey is perfectly acceptable

Mariaf
Community Member
1 year ago

That;s just UK. Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe are totally different that way.

Community Member
1 year ago

You don't need to ask for directions. That's what Google Maps is for.

Rafaella Bueno
Community Member
1 year ago

This is a large urban center thing, from my experience, not really a US/Europe thing. People who come here (São Paulo) from smaller cities usually have that impression too, and I had the opposite when living elsewhere.

DE Ray
Community Member
1 year ago

I wonder, really, why so much of the world blames Americans for being "overly friendly" when they tend to come off as either anti-social or openly hostile. So many Europeans I have met have responded on first meeting with a level of rudeness that would never be seen in public here (unless there was about to be a fist fight).

Shirin Kamer
Community Member
1 year ago

Smiling comes naturally to me, perhaps I inherited it from my mom.....but this has landed me into trouble....people mistake my smile....so i have trained my self not to smile at strangers. ....ah it is very difficult to control.

Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

So you can't ask for directions?

Laugh Fan
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes, you can. Most people are helpful, honestly.

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Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
1 year ago

what happens if you need directions?

Bartek Piętak
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

I moved to small town in South England few years ago and I love it. Mostly friendly and helpful people keen for a small talk but also single situations when someone will give you a look cause your not british and want to make you feel they're better then you. The closer you get to London the weirder the people seem to be. I always look for an excuse if I have to go to this horrific overcrowded dirty and overpriced place.

Gina Corbett
Community Member
1 year ago

I'd really not agree with that - but I live in Ireland and we talk to everybody

Justin Reynolds
Community Member
1 year ago

Brits are just stuck up/. Trust me. I fuck brits up all the time. They cant HANDLE shit. Bunch of pussies on an island lol

...
Community Member
1 year ago

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All those Brits have their knickers in a was all the time anyhow.

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#17

Ranch flavor Doritos in the Netherlands are called "Cool American" flavor.

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Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

Hahaha.. the only time 'muricans are cool overseas.

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#18

Keeping AC on 100% of the time in the summer.

Visited Madrid for about a month to see the exchange student we housed, and found that they typically only turn on AC at Night to sleep or when it reaches a damned 105 deg F.

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anisub
Community Member
1 year ago

in Switzerland no one has an ac in their house but our houses are also better built than your wood houses haha^^ that's something i don't get, you have these hurricanes and storms and everything but your houses are so poorly built..

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#19

Massively wide roads/lanes. The whole of Ireland made me feel claustrophobic, but when I got back home the roads felt like way too much wasted space.

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Pollypocket81
Community Member
1 year ago

But... its a beautiful country :)

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#20

Going out to a restaurant. In America, you are seated ASAP, and then they bring you drinks, appetizers, entree, desert and then check as quick as they possibly can (if it's good service) for a total time of 45 minutes to an hour and a halfish. Staying past this time is seen as a bit rude. In Europe, going out to eat seemed to be more of an event that you slowly enjoyed for a longer period of time. First, they you bring you drinks and an appetizer for the first hour. Then the second hour is the entree and desert. Then it's more drinks for another half hour or so. I don't know if it's because we were American but it seemed like the wait staff everywhere we went was annoyed that we were rushing them, when we just thought it was bad service and didn't understand the routine.

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...
Community Member
1 year ago

Who has 5 hours to spend at a restaurant?

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#21

Road trips...at least just jumping in the car and driving a few hours without giving it much thought. I live in a large western state and it seems at least every other weekend my family and I were in the car traveling for a few hours to see some site, go into Mexico or another state.

I have relatives in Switzerland and they were going to drive us to the Frankfurt airport and I was blown away how big of a deal it was to them. My uncle had the car inspected, shopped around for gas, and printed off travel and weather reports. All for a trip my dad would have said "hey lets do this this weekend, in the car kids!"

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Bruce Robb
Community Member
1 year ago

In the US, 100 years is a long time. In Europe, 100 miles is a long distance.

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#22

Having plenty of *FREE* bathrooms around for the public to use.

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Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Oh good lord yes. If a county council tries to close one, there is a heck of a protest. We demand plenty of public loos.

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#23

I doubt this is restricted to America in any way, but when I studied abroad in the UK, the lack of public drinking laws was a bit of a culture shock. Being able to walk outside with a bottle of beer was very freeing

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Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago

If anyone visits Finland the alcohol laws here are very confusing - also for us Finns. You can visit a store that is open 24hours but you can't buy alcohol drinks between 9 pm and 9 am. If you want alcohol drinks that have over 5,5% volume of alcohol (like vodka that often has 40%) then you have to buy them from a separate store called Alko that is not open 24/7 and is often closed on sundays and holidays. It is also not a good idea to drink alcohol on a public place because police may confiscate your drinks. Also alcohol is really expensive here so many Finnish people buy alcohol from Estonia or Russia. But at least you can buy alcohol and visit bars when you are 18 years old.

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#24

I was struck by the extent to which nobody talks to strangers in northern Europe ... Even in big cities in the US, people will talk to each other sometimes in line, on the subway, etc. Not deep conversations, but it isn't weird to make casual conversation.

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C Bragg
Community Member
1 year ago

Maybe I was born in the wrong country, I hate small talk and I don't smile at strangers.

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#25

How large grocery stores are here. My wife is not american and we lived in China and were in HK all the time... they had large international stores that were great and she didnt really grasp the size of american grocery stores till our first week in the USA and there's 150 feet of cereals on one aisle

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Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

You could house, clothe and feed a small village in some American superstores.

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#26

S’mores. I was in New Zealand having a bonfire on the beach and someone went and grabbed a bag of marshmallows and then everyone just ate them??! By themselves?! And someone from Sweden asked me if s’mores were a real thing or only on tv. I was flabbergasted.

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Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

I hope you introduce it to them and changed their lives.

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#27

My British friend makes fun of me for how much cheese I use in my cooking.

Doesn't stop her from inhaling my potato casseroles, but there you go.

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KarmaQueen
Community Member
1 year ago

My husband would be in heaven. He always says "the more cheese the better."

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#28

I am not American but visit the U.S alot and I tell you,almost all Americans has this habit of giving the 'half smile look' to anyone,that is not just normal anywhere else

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KarmaQueen
Community Member
1 year ago

Not sure what this means? Half smile look when confronting someone as they walk past you, to be nice?

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#29

24 hour stores.

It's weird not being able to buy random sh*t at 4am...

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Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
1 year ago

Makes no sense... We have lots of 24 hour stores over here?

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#30

At a buffet in Germany, I had to pay for ketchup

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Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

That's strange. Here in Finland ketchup and mustard are usually free part of the buffet food.

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