20 Times People Got A Culture Shock After Relocating From A Less Developed Country To A More Developed Country

Published 2 years ago

Many countries are still developing and do not have all those facilities that a common citizen in a developed country (like the US or Japan) enjoys. When someone from a less developed country migrates to a more developed country, it’s quite possible for them to get some culture shocks every now and then until they finally get used to those things.

Someone once asked a question on r/askReddit “People who grew up in third-world countries, what was the biggest shock for you when moving into a developed country?” Many people replied in the thread with some interesting answers, scroll below to find out what surprised people when they moved to advanced countries.

More info: Reddit

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#1 Really Fast Ambulance

Image source: [deleted]

“My roomate’s coworker is from Guatemala. He says the one of the best things about the US is that when you call for an ambulance, one actually shows up even if you aren’t rich or important.”

#2 Being A Girl, You Can Live Alone

Image source: naimza18

“naimza18 wrote:
Being a girl, you can live alone.

gordonjames62 answered:
I have a daughter living in Toronto, Canada, and another living in Halifax Canada. They would never worry about physical safety or being robbed.

Then my oldest went to work with street kids in Bogata Colombia. It took her a long time to fully understand why people got upset with her wanting to go out for walks at night.”

#3 Garbage Truck With A Motorised Arm

Image source: LazerMoonCentaur

“LazerMoonCentaur wrote:

A Tsongan African man who was staying with me came rushing in the first week he was staying me and woke me up. He was extremely excited that there was a garbage truck with a motorised arm and was picking up the wheely bins as it went down the street “Have you seen this! Have you seen this!” He kept exclaiming over and over again, “Amazing, amazing!” It made me laugh very hard, but he was a lovely guy.

XandelSA answered:
South African here. The thought of a garbage truck with a motorised arm literally blows my mind. There’s absolutely no rules here that state where our bins should be placed which I imagine is the foundation you need before you can have a truck pick em up by itself.”

#4 Houses Without Walls Around Them

Image source: Cypher007

“I visited my cousins in the U.S once. I was suprised that your houses don’t have walls around them. There were only those fences at the side and back that pretty much anyone can jump over. Where I live the only houses who dont have walls surrounding them are those in compounds or subdivisions that have roaming security guards. Paid security guards not volunteers like the neighborhood watch kind of thing

edit: To the people asking I’m from the Philippines but its n̶i̶c̶e̶ interesting to see that other countries carry this t̶r̶a̶d̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ practice.

edit: Not really a wealthy family but not really a from dangerous neighborhood. It pretty standard here to have at least a 2 meter tall concrete walls if you have middle income but those poor ones just settle with barbed wire”

#5 4-Way Stops

Image source: 0m3gaMan5513

“My wife’s first time in the U.S she burst out laughing at how a 4-way stop worked, and just couldn’t believe people actually followed the rules.”

#6 Snow And Ice In Canada

Image source: Error_404s

“So I knew this guy who used to live in the middle of nowhere in Africa. For unknown reasons his family moved to Montreal, Canada when he was a teenager. I met him in highschool.

Everyday he’d bring a glass of water and sit by the window and all he would do is watch the glass of water throughout the whole course.

Eventually my friends and I started noticing so we went up to him and asked him about the glass of water and the open window.

He looked at us with big round eyes and told us “I’ve heard that if you leave water next to the window and it gets cold enough outside… The water turns INTO ICE!”

We all had a laugh and everyday came for an update on his water cup. Eventually winter did arrive. The teachers let us keep our winter coat in the classroom so that he could leave his glass of water next to the open window. Surely enough after a little while ice was starting to appear on top of the water.

He was so happy.”

#7 The Postal System

Image source: FreshPrinceOfH

“The postal system. The logistics of delivering millions of letters to millions of homes on a daily basis is astonishing. Especially at that price. The idea that I can send a letter across the country and have it reliably delivered the next or possibly even same day is truly impressive.”

#8 You Can Actually Live Off Minimum Wage

Image source: Jekaah

“I moved from South Africa to the UK and the fact that you can actually live off minimum wage is just incredible. Pay rent and bills, buy food and slowly furnish your house. It’s phenomenal.

Also the fact that most of the UK born citizens think this is a terrible place to live is just beyond me. I always get asked why’d I leave sunny South Africa to come to this “s***hole”. They just don’t understand how good they’ve got it.”

#9 Driving Discipline

Image source: TheGalagaGuy

“TheGalagaGuy wrote:

I visited Germany once with my family. We were about to cross the road when a Porsche came racing through. Living in India, we experience daily traffic mishaps and there is negligible concern regarding pedestrian safety and courtesy. So we were actually shocked when the driver literally halted to a stop and insisted on us crossing the road. There was no traffic light, no zebra crossings nothing and we actually were used to letting cars pass by before walking, so this was the biggest shock to us.

MaxThrustage added:
Coming from Australia to Germany this weirds me out too. I recently started cycling for the first time in 18 years, so I ride with the skill of a toddler and the grace of a drunk. But never once has any car honked at me, no one has gotten impatient as I wobble my way around them, no one has gotten mad about having to slow down because of this d***head on a bike. Back home I would have been mangled by now, but in Germany people are generally very accomodating. (Although I think it helps that I’m in a small city — no one’s in that much of a hurry here.)”

#10 Things Would Get Fixed

Image source: CheesyDigz

“That things would get fixed. I had a vending machine in my dorm building, it broke down and said well s**t guess no more vending machine. Absolutely flabbergasted when I saw the machine repaired and working”

#11 Clean Water

Image source: randomBlackbox_

“randomBlackbox_ answered:
drinking water directly from water taps

gnarley_quinn commented:
I tried to explain this to my kids. They had trouble understanding where water comes from before it arrived at the two.”

#12 Women Driving Cars

Image source: verticalstars

“Seeing so many women driving cars in USA was shocking to me.”

#13 Perfect Order In Everything

Image source: idontlikeflamingos

“How things actually work.

You can rely on your electricity not going out at least twice a day. If you buy something and it breaks, there’s warranty with little to no hassle. Internet actually works more than it doesn’t. Public transportation actually arrives and shockingly, it does on time. If you hire a service, it’ll actually be done and with an expectation of quality. The list goes on.

Of course it’s not perfect and there’s s***ty people everywhere, but that’s the exception, not the rule. And it’s a massive difference.”

#14 People Sometimes Don’t Lock Their Doors

Image source: desert_coffin

“That people here (Ireland) don’t lock their door when they leave and have no security bars on their (multiple) windows.

The general sense of safety and the fact that I could walk home alone at 4AM and still be safe, if a bit nervous.”

#15 Multilingual People

Image source: Atash

“Atash wrote:
When I first came to The Netherlands, I took the train from Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam. As I was sitting in the train, wondering how a country could be so flat, a guy, that looked like an obvious beggar, approached me and told me something in Dutch. I told him in English that I do not speak Dutch. Without hesitation, the guy proceeded to beg in fluent English. That was such a cultural shock…

Even after all these years in The Netherlands, I can not speak Dutch all that well, not for lack of trying but because Dutch people absolutely have no problem switching to English instantly the moment they realize I am not a native speaker.

ifeardolphins18 answered:
To be fair the Netherlands has a higher literacy rate in English than most English speaking countries. A Dutch friend told me that if you’re under the age of 40 and can’t speak English you’re basically shamed for it.”

#16 Buses Always Arrive In Time

Image source: woahwhatisgoinonhere

“Busses arrive on time and the estimated time remaining for arrival is displayed at each bus station. Also, THERE IS A FIXED BUS STATION”

#17 Cables Underneath The Roads

Image source: [deleted]

“Cables underneath the roads and not hanging everywhere”

#18 3D Shows

Image source: truckerslife

“When I was in the Marines I had a friend that was from extreme rural Africa.

So we took him to 3d shows and such. He had been in the US for around 6 months but even things like tv was an amazing luxury to him. Someone in the group picked up one at a pawn shop off post and gave it to him and he was just amazed that someone would just give him a TV.

Something nifty. He had it set up so direct deposits would go to an account his village had access to. His salary as an E2 in the Navy made his family semi royalty in the village.”

#19 Grocery Stores Full Of Different Food

Image source: ziggyjoe212

“ziggyjoe212 wrote:
Giant grocery stores are full of food and always fully stocked.

Coming from Ukraine to USA in the 90’s, my entire family’s jaws dropped for hours.

polishfurseatingass answered:
Hah, my dad’s from Munich and my mom’s from Kraków and the stories about their childhoods are sometimes so different because of that.

Like my mom will tell you how oranges were a delicacy that you only had for special occassions while my dad will be like “oh when we were bored we used to throw them at each other for fun”.”

#20 City Lights

Image source: [deleted]

“The lights. So many lights from street lamps, traffic lights, huge buildings lit up all night. Oh and the highways blew my mind. They were so wide and full of so many cars.

I was 6 and I’ll never forget that first drive from the airport to my new home in December. It was also my first time seeing snow.”

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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advanced country, askreddit, culture shocks, developed country, developing countries, migrants, moving to an advanced country, people from third world countries, surprising things in a new country, third world country
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