20 Things Americans Find Strange About Europe, As Shared In This Viral Thread
Americans who visit Europe tend to get quite a few culture shocks there. After all, every other continent has its own quirks and flavors that outsiders might not understand at once.
There is a Reddit thread where someone asked “Americans, what do you think is the weirdest thing about Europe?” and many Americans listed some of the things that they found the most bizarre in Europe. Scroll below to see some answers, and if you like reading such stuff, check out our previous posts here and here.
More info: Reddit
High quality food at low prices. You can eat great, healthy food for cheap in many European countries. In the US, the healthier, higher quality food is often the most expensive.
Trains go to every major city
It’s crazy that everyone doesn’t drive a huge empty truck 1 mile down the road, instead they walk. Crazy.
How few fat people there are. It’s awesome, but your food culture is different enough to lead to a significant difference in obesity in the general populace
The sheer grasp of language I’ve seen from some Europeans is wild.
Back in the early days of minecraft I used to play on a server with an English kid and a German Kid. The English kid would randomly speak Welsh and the German could jump between German, French, and English all the time and I was there like “Guys, I can barely English, can we dumb it down for the yankee.”
Otherwise healthy people smoking cigarettes
The history. Can’t wrap my brain around that. I live in a farm house built in the 1920s and that is considered old.
It seems that European countries try to make life easier for their citizens? That’s f*****g crazy to us in America.
In Spain and I think other European countries, there is a thing called a Siesta. Shops and businesses shut down in the middle of the day and people can relax and destress from work. In America, work culture is so toxic, people skip breakfast and only get 30 minutes at work to rush through a fast food meal. Crazy.
Public transportation is another one. I noticed how drastically better it is in Europe. People in northern European countries ride bikes, trains, etc. to work. And it all flows smoothly, on time for the most part, and is much more calming to sit in read in what would be considered a luxury train car in America, versus sitting for 40 minutes to an hour in bumper to bumper car traffic, with uglier views, mostly of concrete. It’s just better in Europe because it’s less car-centric. No traffic jams. People just walk to get groceries calmly in a few minutes. In America, you have to carve out time, and a separate day, because going to run errands is so stressful, from fighting through traffic to crowded spaces, etc. It’s just not designed to be a pleasant experience. It’s all just consumerism and how to squeeze more money out of people.
Education is another that should go without speaking. I will leave it alone because I could go on forever as a teacher in America, but I believe our citizens still rank near last across all subjects.
Healthcare is another. U.S.A. is the only developed country that does not provide healthcare to its citizens without some wealthy company making a profit first.
Everything about America makes life miserable. No wonder people are suicidal and we have a lot of suicide mass shootings. Most Americans would be shocked if they traveled to Europe and paid attention to how things worked there and how much better life can be by doing things that way.
Idiots will probably comment that America is great because we have freedom. Dumbasses don’t realize that people have that in other places too and Americans are being scammed into living suboptimal lives.
That you use the metric system.
That it totally makes sense and we don’t.
We probably don’t use it for spite.
Labor rights and public services.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. I wish we had all that here. But it’s deeply unfamiliar. I have European coworkers who *expect* vacation. We’ve got a British manager who *expects employees* to take vacation.
S**t is wild.
“Americans don’t know what old is, Europeans don’t know what big means”
That some stone roads that were built like 600 years ago are holding themselves together better than the paved roads.
Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don’t mean just like in no paper cup, I’m talking about a glass of beer.
And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald’s. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
They got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the f**k a Quarter Pounder is. They call it a “Royale with Cheese.”
A Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it “Le Big Mac”. What do they call a Whopper? I dunno, I didn’t go into Burger King.
But, you know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of ketchup? Mayonnaise. God damn! I seen them do it, man, they f*****g drown them in that s**t.
The oddest thing I found in Copenhagen was that when we tried to go get food around 9pm, nearly everywhere was closed. We were in a busy part of the city but it took us so incredibly long to find a place open late. I don’t live in a huge city but I can throw a rock from my house and it will bounce off half a dozen places open until midnight or later.
Edit: This is not a complaint, just an observation. I loved Denmark.
The fact that you cross international borders like we cross state lines. The fact that you can wake up in Germany, drive all day, and go to sleep in Spain.
that health care thing. i want that
Image source: anotherorphan
I’m surprised nobody has said ‘the price you see in the shop is actually the price you pay’, because as a Brit the idea of taxes not being included in the displayed price is absolutely mind-boggling to me.
Edit: after some good back and forth in several threads I’ve softened my stance on this – I can see how when the next town might have different tax rules, it would make it easier to tell when you’re being ripped off etc. But it still feels weird after 30+ years of just seeing the price you pay.
All those damn trains, public transit, and walkable cities. I like being stuck in my gas guzzler and nearly dying anytime I use a sidewalk.
alot of people use public transport, like the kids, teenagers, old people .etc use the bus and train so commonly, in america basically everyone has a car or gets driven by a car
You have to pay to use public restrooms