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15 Things Europeans Do That Americans Find Absolutely Strange

Americans and Europeans share many similarities, but the two cultures also have some critical differences. One of the most curious aspects of European culture is their tendency to do certain things that make no sense to Americans. A user asked the forum, “Americans, what is something that Europeans have/do that makes no sense to you?”

Here are some responses he got!

LONG DRIVING TIME

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“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.”

TILT AND TURN WINDOWS

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“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 pulled out of a hat. That’s how amazed I looked.”

APARTMENTS WITHOUT KITCHEN

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

STARING

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“I dont know if it’s all Europeans, but Germans have a real big problem with staring like I owe them money.”

PAID TOILETS

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“Paying to use the bathroom in public spaces.”

DROPPING TRUTH BOMBS

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“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.”

NO SCREENS ON WINDOW

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“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 the UK).”

CARBONATED WATER

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

PLASTIC TUB IN SINK

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“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.”

CHARGING FOR WATER

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

SMOKING

smoking

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“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?”

POLICE SIRENS

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

SMALL POLICE CARS

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“The police cars themselves are so small. American police cars are big and bulky; they might need to make their garage door into a 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.”

CARPET IN BATHROOM

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“I’m from Europe myself (UK) and find it strange some people here have carpet in their bathroom. It’s disgusting.”

WEEK WORTH OF GROCERIES AT A TIME

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“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 daily. You may wake up and go to the bakery for freshly baked bread or stop by for fresh produce on the way home to make dinner.

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

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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.