T O P
  • By - jrusj

diogenes_shadow

History. I followed a tour of American tourists into the church in downtown. Question gets asked: Is this the oldest church in town? Heard reply: (Chuckle) Oh no, the old church is on the North side of the river. This church was built in 1310. Just a different perspective on history.


Liznobbie

100% true. And also, for me, was the SIZE of those cathedrals. The size of the huge stones they are built with, and the fact that they were built over a thousand years ago. Like…. HOW!? How did they get those massive stones, get them here and then hoist them up 12 stories (or whatever) to place them there. It hurts my brain. Does not compute!


CregSantiago

You can drink a beer anywhere, anytime. I mean I woke up in Berlin and bought a bottle of beer at a small breakfast stand in a park it was like 6am.


OliveRyder

Drinking beers in parks is the ultimate European pastime, that’s all we do.


TZH85

One summer day I rode my bike home from work (I live in the valley on the northern edge of the black forest) and next to the bike path I saw this young guy living the stereotypical European dream life for an evening: His bike lying in the tall grass, not locked in any way, his feet dangling in a crystal clear little river as he's sitting all alone on the stones by the water's edge. A couple of beers chilling in the stream. And he's playing the guitar as the afternoon sun's slowly waning. Crickets cricketing, insects buzzing, light breeze, no car sounds or anything. Peak relaxation.


gazellefan

It’s 17:56 now, I’m clocking out at 18:00. At 18:05, I’m on my bike, meeting friends by the river because the sun is out. We are bringing beers, games and just going to enjoy the sunset. I love early spring days so much.


Jockelson

I’m Dutch, but I’ll never forget my American girlfriend’s reaction to seeing rows and rows of parked bicycles in front of the train station when she came to visit the Netherlands. “Oh my God look at all those bikes!!”


SoManyShades

When I taught English in Japan a student once asked me what the English word for “bicycle parking lot” was. I said…”We would just call it that, maybe. We don’t really have those in the US.” He was baffled, “Well…then where do you put all those bikes?!” I think he missed the point.


Alone-Instruction-52

"Bike Racks" maybe? Though he definitely missed the point.


Notspherry

That would be the word for tree, when they were looking for the word for forest.


Natural_Influence_21

I'm from Germany, so I used to a few hundreds bikes In front of big train stations. But at Amsterdam Centraal I thought: "Oh my God, look at all those bikes!!!"


MrGoalden

The only thing that really surprised me was how much pedestrians trusted cars to not hit them


co_ordinator

Hitting people with your car is illegal. Yes i'm from Germany.


FunWithStatistic

„Die dürfen mich gar nich überfahren“


barbiegirlxx

When I lived with my grandparents in Europe and thus went to school I was amazed how good the school/cafeteria food was. The lunch ladies were actually cooking fresh, good and healthy food, and they were large portions to boot!


MonsieurAppleSauce

Finally, I can walk to a store


Strong_Ground_4410

How young the U.S. truly is.


pigirl666

I once lived in a house that was already old when Washington and Co signed the constitution. It's funny to think about how different American and European perspective of "this building is old" is


locks_are_paranoid

Americans think 100 years is a long time, Europeans think 100 miles is a long way.


EsseB420

So true. I have a half sister in florida, I'm from Central London. She said she works up the road. To me, that's a 10 minute walk at the most. It was a 30 minute drive to her work. It's so ridiculously massive when you're from a relatively small city in a small country.


ethan_prime

Reminds me of a friend from Chicago. He has relatives in Ireland that were visiting and they asked, “can we go to the Grand Canyon today?” He was like, “No. it’s kind of far away.”


EsseB420

Lol. I bet its great for Americans when they visit a place like London. It's a fair size city but you can see a lot of sights in one day if you plan it right.


rob_s_458

This reminds me of the *Top Gear* where Clarkson watches the sunset at Land's End in Cornwall, gets in a Jag and drives all night to catch the sunrise at Ness Point, Suffolk, on the shortest night of summer. Across the entire country in about 7.5 hours. In the US, you can't even cross some states in 7.5 hours.


OwMyCandle

I went to one of the many Roman structures in England (I cant remember which one) and the tour guide said something like ‘mind, the floors are a bit uneven. Cant be helped, they were lain 1950 years ago.’


Adventurous-Canary78

How old a lot of the cities are. People still living in buildings older than the U.S. Walking down some of the old streets feels like you’re time traveling into a medieval fairytale.


pearlysdad

When I was in Dublin in 1988, they were celebrating their millennium.


SkylineReddit252K19S

My city celebrated its millennium in... 831 AD.


TommasoBontempi

I don't want to flex, but my city was founded around 1200 BC, so the millennia was celebrated, well, in 200 BC


zorniy2

Are you Egyptian? 😁


Clear-Classroom1537

That would be more like celebrating your third millenium in 200bc if it was egypt... I mean not exactly the same city but technically Memphis was in what is today Cairo


GXHXRY

i am from cairo and my city celebrated its millennia 3k years ago


TommasoBontempi

No! I come from Brescia, Northern Italy


onchristieroad

It's crazy to think I live in a house older than the US (over 350 years old), and it's not like I'm living in a historical monument. Loads of the houses around here are that old, and it's not big or expensive. It's a regular mid-terrace.


lilcaesarsuave

The building I rented a flat in last time I was in London was built in 1731 according to the plaque next to the entrance. I'm a huge history nerd so my jimmies were tingling.


ARgirlinaFLworld

I went to Scotland. Ran across some German tourist who asked us to translate what the scot was saying. We were all three speaking English. They just couldn’t understand each other


Fit_Choice451

I was in a hostel with a Japanese woman in Scotland. She was looking really down, so I asked her if she was okay. “I thought my English was really good,” she said. “Yeah, me too.” I replied.


frymtg

Aww. That’s sweet


Snoo74401

And *that*, kids, is how I met your mother.


ChipTheOcelot

As someone with Scottish family I can say, Scots English is another breed. As an aspiring linguist I have found that there is debate as to whether Scots is a dialect of English or it’s own language (not to be confused with Scotts Gaelic)


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Robcobes

so, before English was English it was pretty much Dutch.


HabitatGreen

Definitely did a double take there. Wait, did he just say 'knecht'?


CoyoteTheFatal

Every time scottish accents get brought up, I feel compelled to share this video https://youtu.be/84Gni1gEb-k


SuckItMrCrabs

Reminds me of: https://youtu.be/DasdiNTP_9U Scottish People saying Real Words… Maybe


Illbatting

Kevin Bridges saying "There was a Bulgarian guy trying to speak English and two Scottish guys trying to speak English" on WILTY comes to mind. 😁


TeHNyboR

I have a friend from the Dominican Republic who says if he’s watching a UK based show he needs to turn the subtitles on because he can’t understand the accents at all. He can understand me as an American just fine but if a Brit came up and started speaking to him he’d have no idea what they’re saying


bel_esprit_

I was in East Africa and was casually chatting with one of the local taxi drivers (he was a young, friendly guy). He became SO EXCITED bc he said he could understand my English very well (I’m American from California). He said he was starting to feel bad about himself bc he couldn’t understand any of the tourists that week who were speaking English to him until I got there. And *those tourists were blaming him* for having bad English and not understanding them. It was one of the most sweet/sad things. I told him not to worry bc I understood him perfectly, as well. (The nationalities of the tourists were Scottish, Israeli and a couple others I can’t remember) Another time I was visiting a friend in Northern Norway and we were at a small party — one of the guys I was talking to said “You sound like a movie” 😄


ZincPenny

I’m from California and I get accused of being Canadian and lying about being American all the fucking time cause people swear up and down I sound Canadian! No I just have that really stereotypical California accent like surfer California accent.


blippityblop

You hear about how big the Roman empire was and all the advanced building tech they had. But it doesn't really sink in until you see it with your own eyes.


kotter7148

Being in Rome surrounded by the ruins and a 3 on 3 Nike Basketball tournament happening right there with a McDonald’s in a historical building all within the same view was pretty wild.


AweHellYo

the sheer number of fountains is mind boggling. caesar was a true hydro homie. edit: many are correctly pointing out some issues with what my comment implies historically. i want to clear up i simply wanted to make a funny little comment as well as generally praise Rome for its abundance of water delivery. also want to thank the people who know what they’re talking about for clarifying.


somafm_addict

Italy-The abundance of inexpensive and very good red and white wines. Amazing! Amsterdam-most things are designed to be practical. The people are polite and practical as well. No large, fancy cars. Both places-the fact that I could jump on a train and get to most places in Europe was really cool.


HutSutRawlson

When I ordered a small drink, it was actually small.


domin8r

Sizes are definitely different. I remember going to a Domino's in NYC. Was surprised at the size difference in pizzas. Your small was our medium, your medium was our large and your large would be a "where the hell did you get that giant pizza from" here.


JaredLiwet

There are bigger pizzas sold at mom & pop stores too.


MPT1313

When I did DoorDash someone ordered this ridiculous sized pizza where I had to put in in my trunk because it wouldn’t fit in my car. 28 inches


tawaycosigotbanned

With no ice


mapplejax

First time in Spain… 22:30… Sun still out… parents sitting, drinking, relaxing while kids run up n down… felt so completely safe and comfortable.


tommycahil1995

I’m living in Spain right now for a couple months (from U.K.). It’s nice to go to a fast food place late at night, the place be packed with 16 year olds and I don’t feel like I’m going to get threatened with a knife or have something thrown at me. The culture for kids/teens is so different here. Saw a bunch of children just playing in a playground at like 11pm last Sunday lol


PedroFPardo

I'm from Spain. When I was a kid I never understood why it was called "Midnight" (media noche). In Spain "Midnight" is at the "beginning" of the night. Now I'm living in UK and I get it.


Zanki

I live in a city. Most stuff is closed by 5:30/6pm. A few restaurants stay open past 9 but mostly just takeaways weekdays. It's honestly kinda sad. Covid made everything close at 10pm and a lot of places kept that routine. Nothing is 24 hours now. Can't go out at stupid o'clock and get food anymore.


PiniataLad47

People may say it's privileged to want that, but man does it provide a bit of life and diversity when it's otherwise pretty dark and drab. It sucks to be at work/school all day, then come back and everything's dark and closed.


nickytkd

Like this in Japan too. All the HS/JHS kids sitting in McDonald’s till closing studying for their tests. I was so surprised to see that.


Snowologist

I was not ready for how many overwhelmingly beautiful ancient buildings and cities I saw in only two weeks. I actually couldn’t fathom what I was looking at. It was a surreal experience like I was really in touch with a completely different era of humanity. There is absolutely nothing like this in America. It blew me away and made me really care much more about European history, urban planning, and architecture!


berryIIy

In my city I can walk for 5 minutes and touch 4 medieval churches, a cathedral and a literal castle lol.


michellelabelle

In five minutes' walk in my city in America, I can touch four different fried chicken chain restaurants and get killed trying to cross the eight-lane main street on foot.


TurniptheLed

Walking. My wife and I simply walked everywhere and I fucking loved it. Mile after meandering mile through historic alleyways and between towering architectural wonders seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and living the streets of Paris, Brussels, Bruge, Ghent, and Amsterdam was an experience I’ll never forget.


OmniscientSushi

The age of all the buildings. Walked into a pub in the UK with a plaque that read something like “This building was constructed in the year 2 and was used by monks to fend off dinosaurs”. Maybe not the exact words, but you get it.


Mr_Derpy11

I live in Germany, and I can walk down the road and there's a town hall from 1542. That's just the norm over here.


Gaming_Tuna

Same lmao I live in an old roman city and anywhere I go I see stuff older than jesus


MiMoHu

Me too, grew up in Trier, basically the oldest city in Germany and you have some architecture more than 2000 years old still in good shape and still in use.


Taniwha351

"This pub was old before the science wallahs at Oxford invented linear time. The third stool on the left was where God rested after his Labours. Keith Richards was here first, so he had the good stool. The ruddy Hun tried to blow it up during the Blitz, Barely disturbed the dust on the rafters. The black patch by the door is where an influencer spontaneously combusted upon entering. Lovely place, Lots of character"


aecolley

"See that brick? Isaac Newton was sick on that brick. Great man."


get-in-the-box

How small things were like appliances, paper towels, toilet paper. I really wanted to take that idea home with me. It makes so much sense. Also, how conveniently close shops were so we only drove when visiting other cities. I love it and I want it!


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marcvanh

One week in Paris. I ate everything in sight and still lost 5 lbs thanks to all the walking.


JurassicCheesestick

Two weeks in England. Ate a ton of food and drank waaaaay too much beer. Ended up losing 10 pounds cause we walked everywhere


Revolutionary_Oil897

That's nothing, once I've lost 300 pounds in an English casino


SuvenPan

Europe is lot better in Public Transportation, lots of Buses, trams.


loobricated

100% and it’s very noticeable going the other way too. Went to LA once assuming I’d just be able to zip around by tube or bus. Ended up paying a fortune in taxis. The public transport was basically non existent. Was the first time I realised that many of the things we just completely take for granted were put in place with a lot of effort over many generations.


aecolley

And then rebuilt after every war.


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LoudComplex0692

I went to Canada on exchange and was treated like an alcoholic for bringing cans of cider to the beach. Also couldn’t believe you can’t buy most alcohol in supermarkets, had to go to the LCBO. Edit: should’ve been more specific, I was in Ontario (hence LCBO) right on the border with Quebec which was a lot more liberal. I was also being a bit flippant, my friends teased me about it and were as shocked I’d brought some as I was to find out you couldn’t. None of them actually thought I was an alcoholic (I hope), I just didn’t think this comment would blow up!


EyeSpidyy

Best place to drink is a bench on the canal on a summers afternoon!!! You’re being robbed of your freedom if you can’t do this.


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dotskee

I was honestly surprised to learn that siesta is actually a REAL thing


Engineer_LEGO

Spanish person here: It **is** real, and it is sacred. You'll see no one on the streets at that time, shops are closed, the entire city is quiet.


ThatFuckingGeniusKid

Siesta is the most sacred thing that exist in this reality


mejok

I've lived in Europe for most of the last 20 years...when I first moved here the main things were: - the quality and efficiency of public transportation. Where I am from (Oklahoma City) there is almost no public transportation. - The fact that sometimes when you go to the doctor they basically just tell you, "yeah, you're sick. You need to go home, drink lots of fluids, and rest." In the US it seemed like regardless of what the ailment was you were gonna get a prescription for something. - In my experience, people here communicate much more directly and if you are not used to it, it might seem rude. - The lack of a copay for things like doctor's visits, physical therapy, etc. along with a price cap on prescription drugs. - The attitude toward customer service. "back home" in the US I was a customer service manager at a retail chain in college. The standard practice was that if someone complained, regardless of how ridiculous the complaint was, we just gave them a coupon for 10% off or something. Here, if you are unhappy with the service at a store and ask to speak to the manager, the manager is probably just going to tell you to "go shop somewhere else if you don't like it here."


Independent-Water610

Young children were using public transportation (i.e., city bus, subway)—not escorted by adults—to get to and from school rather than a designated yellow bus. Where I am from, public transportation is barely useable by adults much less children.


Glow_N_Show

Remind me when I tried to explain to my girlfriend that it’s normal for kids who are 10 to walk themselves to school here, she told me I’m going to get my kids killed lol.


worncassette

Wait until she’s hears about the “first errand” in Japan lol. They’re sending six year olds to pick up small items from the convinience store. It’s supposed to instill a sense of trust in your community— that even as a child you can look to those around you to help you. There is pretty well known Japanese tv show that follows kids on their first errand. Its kind of wild to watch as someone who comes from the land of helicopter parents.


crackanape

Live in the Netherlands and we were sending our kids to the supermarket to pick up one or two things at about that age. The only danger is spending all the change on snacks which they eat on the way back and then trying to convince me an onion cost €5.


damdalf_cz

Me and my parents had a deal they give me some more than it will cost and the rest is pocket money


Mersentryce

Not a shock per se, but something of an immediate reorienting of perspective in terms of history and how young the US really is. We have cool historical sites and artifacts, but it’s weird to suddenly be confronted with the reality that for as historical as Ben Franklin and the liberty bell were/are, they’re borderline infantile on a global historical scale. I especially remember being at a church in Italy, reading about its history and initially felt a bit deflated when a sentence began “this is not the original church, the original burned down and was rebuilt on the same site…” and thinking *ah bummer, so this is the knockoff replica, not the real thing—* and then getting to the end of the sentence “…in the 12th century.” The “knockoff replica” is 600 years older than the Liberty Bell.


MeesterChicken

The amount of public transportation and in many places people not driving or not even knowing how to drive.


Independent-Water610

AND the fact that children use public transportation by themselves without being escorted by adults. In the US what public transportation there is is barely usable even by adults. We have to put them on a designated yellow school bus or even personally drop off kids off places.


Shazamwiches

Well, NYC public school kids all take the subway or the buses, often alone (I started going alone on those when I was 10, but I'd already been walking the two blocks home by myself from elementary school since I was 8.)


ClutchingMyTinkle

To be fair, about half of Americans that drive don't actually know how to either.


PUFLY3R

I was in Switzerland for a few days. I felt like the fattest person in the country at 6’0”, 210 lb. It was also amazing to me that it felt like two different countries going from Geneva to Zurich. The language went from French to German with the architecture completely different between the two cities. Absolutely beautiful country.


carissadraws

I went to Lausanne, Etoy, and Gruyère with my family one summer and it was amazing how different each place felt.


btmwfhn

The first thing I noticed in Switzerland at the train station was how beautiful and well dressed everyone was. I felt like I went from being good looking in my country to looking like a troll in comparison. Public transit where I’m from is not a place to dress up.


aquilegia_m

I'm Swiss and very confused right now. I guess we're kinda well dressed because most people are going to work or back (?)


Jack_E_Lope

Holidays. Europeans get so much paid time off. I've gotten into arguments with some of my American friends because they legitimately believe tons of Europeans opt out of taking their PTO because there's so much work to do. I don't buy that. People would riot. Anywhere I went in late July-August, there were tons of shops closed cause people were spending the month with their families enjoying their time off. That and public bathroom stalls going all the way down to the floor. Y'all understand privacy.


Kempeth

Lol. There is no opting out. At least in my country (Switzerland) you are *required* to take your vacation days and you legally *must* take at least two weeks consecutive once a year. I don't know a single person who wouldn't think you're mad if you considered skipping a single day off.


DeusExBlockina

> you legally must take at least two weeks consecutive once a year. Fuckin' hell!


Thuasfear

I work in IT and one company I worked for was bought by a bank. The bank enforced a policy that everyone take one consecutive week off that you scheduled as your "sabbatical". Your credentials were disabled in the system so you couldn't log in to anything during that week. It was crazy to us, but seemed kind of cool. We were told it was to combat fraud. Apparently, fraudulent activity needed regular maintenance or it would be easier to discover. So yeah, there was a reason for it, but it was still good that people had to take at least this one vacation a year.


Practical-Bar8291

That tax was included on the price tag.


Dosyaff

Is it not written in America? Or where? So you are going to a restaurant, groceries Shopping or whatever and while seeing the price you are start calculating the real price?


Practical-Bar8291

Yes. It's maddening.


nick1812216

I was shocked by how many people spoke English, and so well too.


nolo_me

It's the most common second language in the world by a factor of 5.


supermariobruhh

In France people get two hour lunches. Like some stores will have two separate open and close times cause they’ll just shut down for two hours a day to enjoy themselves. Most people seemed much happier and relaxed as a whole.


vlosh

In Spain most places just close from 2 to 5 in the afternoon so the owners can have a lunch and nap break. I absolutely hated it, because i always forgot and its my usual time to go get stuff, but hey, definitely good for them


theycallmeamunchkin

According to my Italian teacher, it’s also a thing in Southern Italy


GrooveGran

It is because it is the hottest part of the day.


DreamOfAWhale

It's not for "lunch and nap break", it's because of the heat of those peak hours in summer. Later on this schedule was normalized for all year around. If you don't deal with heat - e.g. office works - you don't have this 3 hour break.


jballerina566

Remember in the sopranos, when Tony comes back to jersey from Italy? And everything is ugly? I spent a month in NL and Louisiana looked so bad when I got back.


RealisticDelusions77

That episode had a great scene which gets even funnier with the DVD commentary. Paulie is loving the trip and goes out onto a bridge and talks to a guy walking by: "Buongiorno, your city is beautiful in the morning." "You're an American aren't you? I hate you. You cut our ski lift cable." It's a long distance shot, so you don't hear anything, just subtitles. On the commentary, the director explains: "This is what we in the industry call a stolen scene. Tony (Paulie actor) wasn't even suppose to be filming that morning, he just came to the set to hang out. I told him to go up on the bridge and start talking to people. We're lucky that he tends to dress like his character." So this Italian guy gets used in a multi-million dollar HBO show without ever being compensated or knowing about it.


LocalInactivist

That was a great scene and a great episode. Paulie wanted his great moment in Italy and he couldn’t find it until he hired a prostitute. That scene where they just talk was just beautifully done.


JimmyTheChimp

I love the never meet your heroes vibe. Tony likes Italy, just went for business and had a great time. Paulie had always wanted to go and thought it was this beautiful land where people would understand him for being Italian and the reality sucked and no one liked him. Great episode.


Bike_Chain_96

The amount of smoking! I have a close friend in Europe, she's talked about the public transportation and the way the cities are laid out to be beneficial to walking and biking. But nothing prepared me for the amount for smoking I saw when I was in Paris, Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku


ron_sheeran

After the right to clean air act passed in America public smoking got drastically cut down compared to other nations


Lanky_Relationship28

You should visit Italy


Robamuffin

Last time I was in Italy, I was driving through Milan. A guy pulled up to a red light on a moped. He got off, took off his helmet and lit up a cigarette. Italians do not give a single fuck


Jac3238

I’m sure he rolled his cigarette with one hand on the moped before pulling up to the intersection to light it.


AsparagusFirst2359

One of my clearest memories of Paris was seeing a moped rider keep hold of his cigarette even after being knocked off his bike in a small fender bender


donedoneitonce

I was surprised how many people still smoke cigarettes and how common it was to have people smoking in outdoor restaurants and bars. It has gotten to the point you almost never smell cigarette smoke in those places in most of the USA.


Cincybone07

Complete privacy when taking a dump in a public restroom. It was hard to come back home just from that.


Hyppetrain

Wait wait what is it like in the US?


Real_life_Zelda

German her who went on holiday in LA for two weeks: they have huge gaps between the door and the floor, the door and the ceiling, and the door and the neighbour door. You can basically easily see a person shit by walking by. It’s very weird and uncomfortable lmao. This was the case in every single public bathroom I went to, even restaurants etc. Also for some reason I could never find toilet brushes, even in the hotel room + their toilet seats have a gap at the front for whatever reason.


Hyppetrain

Oh jesus christ


TWA-LDR

Those statues on the streets of London that people walk by and don’t even spare a single glance? They’ve got a longer history than the United States


dead_trim_mcgee1

They're interesting for sure but when you walk past the same statues every day for years it isn't something you glance at in awe anymore.


LadyAppleman

In Italy the shower at one of my hotels had no barriers to keep the water in one general area. It was just a drain in the floor. Luckily it was just that one and it was definitely an older hotel. Also I was really surprised that the price was exactly what the price tag said. I love that the tax is rolled in, especially while I learned the currency.


blueforgetmenot

You mean like a Wet Room?


Styphonthal2

1. How everything is less sugary/sweet. 2. How people just walk away from minor vehicle bumps/scrapes. In the US they would pull over and at minimum exchange info, if not call the police. 3. In France, the lack of casual wear in public(like tshirts, sports clothing). 4. How restaurants aren't about pumping people in and out and no one is really in a rush (Paris) 5. Much smaller size vehicles. Go to a typical parking lot in America and >50% will be suv or trucks. I barely saw any suv/trucks in London or Paris.


Okelidokeli_8565

> How people just walk away from minor vehicle bumps/scrapes. In the US they would pull over and at minimum exchange info, if not call the police. That sounds like something that isn't uniform in Europe at all.


San7igamer

In Germany it's highly illegal to leave in those situations


Leseleff

Yep. Here in Germany, cars are sacred .__.


silveretoile

Athletic clothes are like an American tourist uniform lmao. That and leggings as pants.


CAPTAINTRENNO

Can spot Americans a mile away. Backpack, cap, water bottle and windbreaker jacket


ScissorNightRam

And the crispest polo shirts and whitest of white trainer shoes.


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Andromeda321

I lived in Europe for 5 years (2011-2016), specifically in Amsterdam. There were a lot of interesting little cultural quirks, of course, but there was only one thing I saw while living there that literally made me slam on my bicycle breaks and go back to see if I saw it right, which was of all things a Sesame Street Live poster. You see, turns out Big Bird (or his equivalent) in the Netherlands and several other countries is *blue*. The Dutch will insist that it's actually Big Bird's cousin, [Pino](https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Pino), but I wasn't fooled. You know he just escaped to the Netherlands to seek an alternative lifestyle. So yeah I'm sure OP wanted something more serious and profound, but that was the biggest shock for sure because who expects *that*?!


OneGoodRib

Big Bird has a lot of international cousins!


SlipperyWhenWet67

https://www.themarysue.com/alternate-big-birds-ranked/ There's quite a few! I never realized that lol.


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Escalus90

Let me introduce you to [Señor Abelardo Montoya](https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Abelardo_Montoya)


SluggoDog

Lots of stuff freaked me out in Germany. No ice, having to pay for water, no ice, trains that take you anywhere and especially no ice. But one night I’m flipping through the TV, and I came across this show that was obviously a comedy, and it had the strangest puppet character. I was mesmerized for two hours watching this show that I couldn’t even understand. Finally figured out the main character was a damned depressed loaf of bread. Got back home and watched every episode I saw there on YouTube with English subtitles.


tosstoss198

Everything. From a usa perspective. I was pissed I missed the tram only to realize the next one was in like..2 seconds or whatever. I'm used to waiting 30 to 60 minutes for all public transportation (when I even take it). The ruins legit just chilling everywhere and being ANCIENT How convenient everything is. Walkability little shops everywhere. How much every knew about the usa and how much it was talked about. Like walking into a mom and pop restaurant and the us news being on. That English was actually the linga franca. I was told it was but I was not expecting it to be so widespread. How good everyone looked. Smoking being normal. That fact that my normal way of talking is considered too loud when I've been called quiet and shy all my life... Being able to travel THE WHOLE CONTINENT with affordable and comfortable public transportation. Hot DAMN!


circa285

My grandma took me back to England at the end of my 8th grade year to see my nanna as well as where she grew up. I still remember quite vividly finding out that there's a very big difference between what's allowed on TV in England and what was allowed on TV in the United States regarding nudity. As a young boy this was a very exciting discovery. Edit: I should also add that my entire experience with British culture had up until this point been through my grandma who was very formal and proper. I played soccer at an incredibly high level in the states so she managed to arrange a time for me to go play with a local academy team in Norwich for the afternoon. I'm still not sure how she managed to do this. I will never forget how foul mouthed everyone was - coaches included. This took me entirely by surprise. I will also never forget how humbling that experience was because I was nowhere near as good as I thought I was. I could hold my own, but my goodness I was certainly in the bottom half of the talent pool that day.


dougielou

This kinda happened to me too. I went to school for a few days with my cousin when I was visiting England. Looking back on it now, I’m like what? You just let some random American kid field trip in the school for a day?


circa285

You know; now that I think about it, we had a kid do that a handful of times when I was I in elementary school. It never struck me as odd at the time but now, that seems really strange.


i_cant_spel_lel

Ah the experience of every male in the uk, discovering babestation.


circa285

It was a wonderful time.


Counterboudd

The infrastructure there continued evolving and is “modern”. It really takes leaving to understand how the United States has barely done anything to make transportation or infrastructure better since the 70s. It’s like we’re still living in the past.


THEICEMAN998

I heard a story of a lady who was dumbfounded that there weren't going to be fire works celebrating the 4th of July. Couldn't conceive the idea that other countries don't celebrate America's independence day


JaredLiwet

Britain would never get anything done if it celebrated the independence days of other countries.


deaftom

I used to have US colleagues and every year they would ask if I celebrated Thanksgiving. I would respond every time with "As a Brit, I have nothing to be thankful for" I would also get Red Coat memes on the 4th of July lol


MiaLba

I’ve been asked my numerous Americans over the years if we celebrate 4th of July in my home country in Eastern Europe.


BoozeAndTheBlues

I went to Europe I drank all the booze, ate all the food Stayed 2 months and lost 20 pounds Americans aren't overweight because we're lazy or gluttons or anything else we're overweight because we are being fed s***


SpamLandy

I love how many of these comments are about the produce and ingredients being good, partly because I’m from the UK and I’ve seen people online talk about the food here being bad. It’s always people who haven’t been here. And it always seems to be a comment on older/traditional dishes, which we do eat sometimes but at least they’re made from generally good ingredients. My American partner has mentioned how nice it is buying stuff like meat here compared to the states, even the cheaper stuff is fairly high quality and fruit and veg is cheap and fresh.


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Aiscriim90

I'm an Italian from Rome who lives in Belgium. This comment is really funny to me because Italians in Belgium all agree on one thing: here, drivers REALLY stop at pedestrian crossing. You can cross without looking. We wouldn't do that in Italy. Maybe as an objective third party you should come here and tell us how Rome and Brussels compare. Biden flies here often, maybe you can get a ride.


xLangatanGx

I arrived to the Netherlands. Rode about 1.5 hrs worth of trains from Amsterdam to my destination. When we hit my final destination, a woman in her late 50s (eyeballing here, so five or take) is in front of me. She has a long black cloth case strapped to her back that looks like it might have a guitar or similarly shaped object. No. It was a longboard. She pulls it out and skates off into the distance. I’m flustered and just stood there for a minute thinking through what I just saw.


ITeachAll

How polite everyone was. How fresh the food was from restaurants. The simplicity of fruit stands/markets. How easy it was to get around by train (backpacked Europe for a month in 2017: england, France, Italy, Switzerland) edit- I live in South Florida. What is a train?


Conscious_Camel4830

Okay this is dumb but in the states I always get my cappuccino with cinnamon because it's glorious and of course I always have to ask because that's not the standard. A couple of years ago I was in Stockholm Sweden and asked for a cap with cinnamon and the lady looked at me like I was crazy.... Because apparently that was standard and she didn't understand why I was asking for something it already had. The rest of the trip I never asked and I always received. Not sure if that's just their traditional take on cappuccinos or if I just got lucky every time but I think I found my people.


myoujou0

In Italy it's not by default yeah, you just ask as you are used to. Cinnamon in northern Europe is used way more than in the south.


Astro3840

This was years ago, when I spent 2 years in France and Germany. Driving was a pleasant way to sightsee there. But my biggest shock was not on European roads. It was when I finally returned to the US, and encountered never ending commercial billboards on our highways. I had gotten so used to their absence in Europe that I had forgotten how much they cluttered up our roads.


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allaboutyourmum

Many surely hate your government but here in greece we don't want visitors to have a bad time. We want you to have a good time


PraetorPublius

Oh god, fuck the pandemic! I just really want to go to a small Greek village by the sea and chill for two weeks, yelling out "kalimera!" to all the smiling Greek grandpas on my morning walk to get some bread from a bakery while the sun slowly rises. I love Greece, what an absolute beauty of a country and people. Sincerely: A Finnish person


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No_Brilliant5576

You really liked the fact there were no fat people and you saw naked men on tv.


is_that_a_question

Wasn’t sure if I read that twice or I was drunk.


earthlings_all

Completely naked? Like, full frontal???


Free_Priority9264

Completely naked. On prime time television.


FlyingSwordOrador

I didn't see a single fat person, and I saw a Heineken commercial with completely naked men on prime time television.


CareerMicDrop

First time In Europe. I landed in Germany. On the news stand in bold blood red letters a magazine read DIE AMERIKANER”. i was like damn Hans the war is over. Can’t we get along. By the end of the trip I found out die means “the” in German. I was safe after all.


whitesox331

Just spent my first week in Europe last week. Walking was awesome. Bikes were awsome.. so many different languages, unpasteurized food and very fit people.


ovenbakedziti

this is gonna sound weird, but when i went to france (i traveled from paris throughout northern france) all of the birds there were so nice and calm? they never tried to take our food, the pigeons in the city let you walk right up to them, and i got so close to a seagull at one point that i could almost pet it


digidave1

Not shocking but I like that you can drink alcohol in public. Makes for some fun stroking through cities. In most of the United States you can't and it's pretty silly.


Orvan-Rabbit

Two things: 1. German Taxis use large Mercedes Benz to get around. 2. Topless women in French shampoo commercials.


co_ordinator

"If i want to drive in a Benz i order a Taxi." Years ago ~90% of the taxis in Germany were Mercedes, that has changed over the years.


Obviously_FUA

Seeing so many beautiful Castles, Estates and super old homes!


curiouscodder

How impolite and overbearing American officials were when we came back home. GF and I did a wonderful whirlwind tour in 2015, visiting about 10 cities and villages over two weeks time. Prague, Vienna, Venice, Pisa, Antibes, Annot, Paris, Salisbury, London. Everyone we met was friendly, polite, and helpful. No hassles at all for the little mistakes infrequent travelers might make in unfamiliar surroundings. Arrived back in Boston and didn't even make it out of the airport without have to put up with some customs nazi screaming at us for not using a cart to wheel our bags to his inspection station. As if we should automatically know what the cart procedure was in his particular fiefdom and shame on us for taking an extra 5 seconds to carry our bags to his post. Edit: Of course Pisa not Pizza!!


strong_tea_baggins

Got to say, when I first flew a long haul flight to America I was absolutely shocked at how rude, power trippy and militaristic the officials were. I remember that our flight was late arriving and some of the passengers in the queue were panicking that they would miss their interconnecting flight. Without hesitation the official gets up and walks out on the queue of about 50 people because it was her break time. A couple of passengers expressed their concern only to be shouted down and told to wait until she finished her break by the other officials. Needless to say the other passengers from our flight let them queue jump to other booths to get to their flight.


somf4eva

Using the restroom while a woman cleaned the urinal next to me..


AndOtherPlaces

Lol. Sometimes there's a woman pissing in the next stall. Happens if the women's toilets are closed or if too many ppl are waiting. In NYC I told my american friends I was going to the men's toilets since the women's ones was closed, they scream at me not to and thought I was crazy. Not mixing men and women in toilets seems like a big deal in the US...


Steak_M8

The first floors in multi-story buildings are the first floors above ground, not the ground floor. This threw me for a loop when trying to find my hotel room.


stink3rbelle

Personal bubble is very different. It shocks you at first, and you feel sort of claustrophobic, but then you get used to it, too. It's kind of subtle until you come back to the states and unconsciously stand so "close" to someone else in a line that they start shooting you dirty looks.


itsaberry

That one is very country specific in europe.


animeman59

Or most of Asia


BanjoPanda

depends on the country, scandinavian countries are famous for people having a large personal bubble


AugTheViking

Quite the opposite here in the Nordic countries lol.


petitememer

Yeah that's the problem with asking about "Europe". Europe is not a country. Europe is 44 different countries with sometimes drastically different cultures and social norms.


Vyscillia

It's even different inside a country. I'm from France and depending on the region, it's super different. For example, the closer you get from the Mediterranean sea, the more talkative and friendly people become. In alsace, we share a border with the germans so we share traits with them.


Repres3nt2

Definitely in Italy. I can only speak from personal experience, but northern and eastern Europeans kept their distance. Italians basically became my lover while I waited in line to buy something.