Culture shock

29 things that shocked travelers abroad

“Every time I visit the United States, I’m surprised by the amount of stuff.”

If you’ve ever traveled, you’ve probably experienced some sort of culture shock – an event or situation that made you feel very far from home. So Redditor u/TeamDodgy asked, “What’s the biggest culture shock you’ve ever experienced?” Here are some of the answers.


“When I ordered fries in Germany and the waiter drowned them in mayonnaise before serving them to me. It changed my world.”


“I moved to Italy when I was 10 and my mum used to give me money to buy candy. The candy I chose contained a fair amount of alcohol…which didn’t help. prevented anyone from selling it to a 10-year-old child.”


“See beer as a combo meal option at a Spanish McDonald’s.”


“My husband is from Portugal, and during our visit I realized that a beer or half a bottle of wine was cheaper than a bottle of juice. Also, the food at the rest areas along the highway is amazing. It’s not fast food, but a buffet of local specialties from whatever area you are in.”


“I studied in France and was shocked to see cafes and coffeeshops turn into bars at night. They just changed the menu and went from selling hot chocolate to whisky.”


“Getting pushed in a queue in China with no eye contact or apologies afterwards. I was so offended at first but then I realized everyone was doing it to everyone else so I walked away returned.”


“My Italian culture shock was seeing the locals bringing their children everywhere with them, including for dinner at 9 p.m. The children, even the little ones, behaved well, even when they were tired. a few passed out on benches next to their parents after dinner.”


“My wife is Japanese, and on my first trip we went to a yakitori restaurant to meet some of her friends. Now I don’t speak much Japanese – and the man sitting next to me didn’t speak not at all English.He offered a cup of sake, which I gratefully accepted.kanpai,’ and drank the cup. Then the man diligently filled my glass and again I agreed and emptied the cup. He filled it.”

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“We did this a few more times until I turned to my wife and said ‘I think this guy is trying to get me drunk! He keeps offering me more and more sake!’ She laughed and told me to stop drinking it. “If you drink it, it at to fill it!’ My efforts to be polite (finish what was offered to me) was actually contrary to what was polite in Japan (leave some of what was offered to show that you are satisfied).”



“In Spain they take siesta very seriously and actually close almost all shops, restaurants and businesses. Everything shuts down in the middle of the day.”


“Going to America from the UK and realizing that hardly anyone has a kettle to make a cup of tea.”


“Visiting Mexico and watching all the locals walking around comfortably in long sleeves and long pants. The temperature was 95°F.”


“Walking into a Japanese convenience store. They are amazing. My local 7-Eleven has sticky floors and disgusting prepackaged sandwiches. 7-Elevens in Japan are spotlessly clean and have a great selection of gourmet lunches and dinners Not only do they have a cold beverage section, they have a special heated unit for hot beverages.”


“I had an Aussie roommate who was studying abroad in the States. We went to dinner one night and I had mozzarella sticks. He couldn’t believe that in America we just fried cheese and then eat it.”


“Seeing the inequality in India. It blew my mind. In Delhi, you see people sleeping on the ground in the dirt right next to the mansions. Visiting the Taj Mahal was the most eye-opening experience. far the most beautiful – perhaps the most opulent – man-made structure I have seen on earth, but surrounded by the saddest poverty imaginable.”


“How much beer is consumed in the Czech Republic and how much cheap It is. You can’t even get a soft drink at a bar for less than a beer. I did some research and lo and behold, Czechs have the highest beer consumption in the world.”


“In America, strangers smile at you when you make eye contact. Back in my home country, you might get beat up for it.”


“America has everything behind the wheel! There are cafes behind the wheel, ATMs behind the wheel. Even liquor stores behind the wheel!”


“Having to pay to use public toilets in many parts of Europe. I’m from Australia where there are free and clean public toilets everywhere.”


“The contrast between old and new in China’s major cities. China is such an ancient country that you have ancient temples and monuments (a few thousand years old) right next to hypermodern shopping malls.”


“My friend and I were walking around Reykjavik, Iceland, and came across a stroller outside a store. There was a baby inside the stroller, all bundled up, and no one was looking at it. apparently abandoned child road looking for the parent Turns out the mother was right in the shop across the street Iceland’s crime rate is so low and people trust each other so much that it is perfectly acceptable to leave your baby unattended on the sidewalk.


“everything really is biggest in America. At Walmart I saw the biggest package of M&Ms I have ever seen in my life. And it said ‘medium’ on the packaging.”


“I am from the United States and have visited several places in the United States. The biggest shock is the size of the food and drink portions. A normal size meal in the United States is easily enough for two people in the Kingdom -United.”


“I was visiting Toronto and dropped my wallet in the middle of town. About five minutes later a guy stopped me and showed me the wall and the ID at the inside. He’d arrested people trying to figure out who he belonged to. Not a single one was missing something.”


“The fact that you can drive for eight or nine hours in one direction and still be in the state of Texas.”


“I was born in Korea and moved to the United States when I was 6 years old. It was there that I first realized that Americans ate something other than pizza, burgers and hot dogs. I was shocked.”


“I visited Albania and there wasn’t a single chain of stores or restaurants. It was a weird experience to be in a big city and be completely unable to find a McDonald’s, Subway, KFC or Starbucks.”

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“Going on vacation to Tokyo and watching 5-year-olds walk home from school or take public transportation without adult supervision.”


“Every time I visit the United States, I am surprised by the amount and variety of food in American supermarkets. Compared to small Asian markets, it’s a big change. I always think about how there is so many different types of produce, even things that are out of season. How the hell do they sell all of that?”


“Trying to cross the street in Vietnam. There are very few crosswalks, and in most places you look for a gap in traffic and go for it. In Hanoi, you walk slowly through traffic. “There’s no gap. You just maintain a slow walking pace and the traffic will separate around you. It’s scary AF the first time you do it.”

Have you experienced culture shock while traveling to a new place? Tell us in the comments below.