25 European Things That Don’t Make Sense To Americans

Published 7 months ago

When you visit another country or continent there are some things that may seem strange or confusing. From language to cultural traditions to behaviours, there are significant things specific to a certain place that tourists can usually pick up on rather quickly. 

When one Redditor asked Americans, what things Europeans have or do that don’t make sense to them, Netizens had plenty to say. Scroll to check out some of the most popular responses below.

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Image source: BurnerForVices, Carlos Lindner

Was just in southern Italy and it was hot as balls but everybody acted like they hate AC.

We’d go out for the day and when we came back, housekeeping had turned off all the AC units.

Driver wore a full suit but every time we got in the car, AC was off. We’d ask him to turn it on and he would but on low. Ask him to blast it and he would for a minute then sneakily turn it back down.

It’s like they’re reptiles or something.

#2 No a/c, sure fine, but then no screens on your windows so all the bugs get in? (Not sure if this is all of Europe, but def the UK). Also no top sheets?

Image source: Curiosity13, Darrin Henein

#3 Im from Europe myself (uk) and find it strange some people here have carpet in their bathroom. ITS DISGUSTING

Image source: ArtisticAustisic, Ryan Christodoulou

#4 My British grandma always had a plastic tub in the sink to soak dishes. It seems so weird to have a sink in a sink basically.

Image source: Ejacksin, Bibi Pace

#5 It’s not that it doesn’t “make sense,” but the first time I saw those windows that can be moved a bunch of different ways, you would have thought I was seeing a rabbit being pulled out of a hat, that’s how amazed I looked. Tilt and Turn Windows

Image source: Weird-Traditional

#6 I’m Canadian, but it’s always baffled me that some Europeans consider a half hour’s worth of driving a long time. That wouldn’t even get me out of the area I’d consider local

Image source: TwoFingersWhiskey, Austin Neill

Gustav Gallifrey: A friend i hadn’t seen for a long time moved to a town 100km away. In Australian terms, that’s practically just around the corner.

#7 Better chocolate. Why can’t we have nice chocolate?

Image source: HibibitySkibibity, Tetiana Bykovets

Jihana: Because since WW2 Americans are used to the taste of butyric acid. It used to be used to keep the milk from spoiling, now it’s added because Americans actually prefer it that way.

#8 In Germany, apartments don’t normally come with a kitchen. It’s purchased/installed by the Tennant. Sometimes you luck out but not usually.

Image source: Widegina, roam in color

#9 You all give us so much grief for having bathroom stall door gaps, and then have a one foot wide piece of glass to keep water in the shower…

Image source: billsdabills, ONNE Beauty

#10 Beans on toast.

Image source: PimpCforlife, Nik

#11 Football hooliganism. You’ll beat people just for wearing the wrong shirt to the wrong bar. Its a horrendous practice

Image source: dosetoyevsky, Wikipedia

Tobias Reaperand you guys do it to people for just being a different colour

#12 Saw that mostly in the UK, having 2 separate faucets for hot and cold water?? What the hell lol? Washing my hands was the worst.

Image source: Athlete_Aromatic, danilo.alvesd

Phendrena: Long long ago, in a time forgotten…. Hot and cold water are kept separate to prevent contamination, cold water comes into the house directly from the mains supply and is safe to drink. Hot water was provided by an Immersion heater generally located in the loft of a house and as it sits there it is considered unsafe to drink. Water bylaws prevent hot and cold from being mixed – this still applies today, water is NOT allowed to mix until is exits the tap.

#13 The smoking. I stayed with a host family in France and my 16 year old host sister smoked like a chimney, as did all her friends. Like you’re so young. Why?

Image source: 101bees, Andres Siimon

#14 Charging for bathrooms and charging for water (at restaurants) are both things that I would have expected Americans to do and Europeans be the ones making fun of it.

Image source: Optimistic_Futures, Juan Marin

#15 To all you Italians: why can’t I have a cappuccino past noon??

Image source: alotistwowordssir, Harris Vo

#16 As an idiot american with 2 parties I only understand left wing and right wing, europeans have a party for everything. It’s confusing, but I wish we weren’t a 2 party state tbh

Image source: LukmanAbdulkahSilvia, Werner Pfennig

#17 The cute sounding police sirens. In America the police sirens seem like an urgent, semi-deranged warning to GTF out of the way, like **S**T’S GOING DOWN AND I’M NOT THERE!!!!! MOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!”**

Image source: Alpha-Sierra-Charlie, Max Fleischmann

Meanwhile every European police siren I’ve heard just kind of politely annoy you out of the way. Like “bee doooo bee doooo, pardon me but a spot of bother has occured and I simply must hasten to it, pardon me as I simply must attend to it, pardon me.”

And the police cars themselves are so small. American police cars are big and brawny, like they might need to make their own garage door into building. The European police cars I’ve seen, where they even put the people they arrest? Granted, I’ve only seen European police stuff on TV so there’s probably a lot I haven’t seen.

#18 I’m from the Midwest and my family is from the Netherlands. So the society that wouldn’t dare offend you in any way and the society that has no problem dropping truth bombs on you. It’s rough.

Image source: philophilo, Priscilla Du Preez ??

#19 Lack of public restrooms

Image source: offbrandbarbie, Buchen WANG

#20 It’s not that it makes no sense but I’ve always been curious how carbonated water became the default in many places

Image source: thedevilsgame, Mineragua Sparkling Water

#21 It makes sense to me, but it still seems marvelous to me that in France (other places I’m sure, but I learned this in French class) it is common to buy groceries every day. You may wake up and go to the bakery for fresh baked bread, or stop by for fresh produce on the way home to make dinner.

Image source: dishonourableaccount, Tara Clark

Yes, having walkable grocery stores nearby makes it easier, it seems so much easier to buy 3-4 days or a week’s worth of groceries at a time.

#22 Why you guys like to put bathroom light switches outside the bathroom?

Image source: XXMAVR1KXX, Steve Johnson

HawkmoonThis is mandatory as a safety measure: the switch must be placed out of reach of the shower or bath to avoid touching it when you are in the water.

#23 Idk if its all Europeans but Germans have a real big problem with staring like I owe them money. Also paying to use the bathroom in public spaces.

Image source: Neat_Serve730, Mikail Duran

#24 Monarchies

Image source: Apprehensive_Gap_368

#25 The poop shelf in Dutch/Belgian toilets.

Image source: liz_teria, Giorgio Trovato

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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American opinions, European behaviours, European countries, European habits, odd European habits
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