Travelers share experiences that left them with culture shock


“It was a whole new and strange experience for me, but not in a bad way.”

Whenever you travel to a new or unexpected place, it’s easy to experience culture shock. So, members of the BuzzFeed community shared their experiences abroad that either totally shocked them or made them say, “Whoa, it’s different. ”Here are some of their stories.


“While visiting Japan, I couldn’t believe how clean the streets were. I realized that people take their garbage home. There are hardly any garbage cans outside in the spaces. public. “


“I’m from Portugal where food is an integral part of our culture and meals last most of the day. When I moved to UK lunch was a big change. Most people have a great lunch. light, like a small sandwich or a salad. Back in Portugal, almost everyone takes a break of at least an hour to enjoy a hot lunch. My British friends are still confused when I tell them I make lasagna or a hearty stew for lunch.


“I was shocked that in Mexican pharmacies almost all drugs are available over the counter. Even antibiotics and pain relievers, or drugs that require a prescription at home.”


“I was in Tokyo eating at a restaurant and at the table next to us, a mom left her two year old son at the table while she went to order. He sat there sweetly and quietly and even put on his own bib. “


“I couldn’t understand how long people typically delay for dinner in Spain. Even sitting down for a meal at 10pm is considered normal.”


“In Germany, we have seen young children take the train alone to and from school and return home for their lunch break. Children don’t do that in the United States ”


“In China, it was crazy to see scooters used as a means of transport for all. I saw Vespas loaded with large logs or children on their backs eating a bowl of rice as the mother sped through traffic. I even saw a mother breastfeed a newborn baby while she was driving. “


“I was visiting Germany and went to fill my water bottle at my hostel. The water cooler had two different taps. I filled my bottle and took a huge sip of it before realizing it. it was actually sparkling water. Free public sparkling water! “


“In South Korea, their convenience stores were a paradise. Eating out in South Korea is expensive, but the meals in the convenience stores were so good, gourmet, and much cheaper. in the USA”


“Seeing people naked on billboards in Europe has been a big change from what I’m used to. The United States is so careful when it comes to advertising.”


“While visiting the United States, I was amazed at the number of calories in American restaurant meals. The Cheesecake Factory offers pasta at 20.00 calories! Holy Cow is the equivalent of a day whole calories in a dish. “


“Ordering food from a vending machine at a restaurant in Japan was surreal. You order noodles from a machine, then you sit at a stand with a curtain, and someone delivers your food when it’s ready and closes them. blinds. It was a strange experience, but not in a bad way. “


“Where I grew up, the tallest building within 50 miles of my house was the five-story hospital. Going to New York and being surrounded by skyscrapers was pretty surreal.”


“I ordered fries in Belgium and the waiter drowned them in mayonnaise before serving them to me. There was no ketchup to find. This combination changed my world.”


“I am European and I was shocked at the size of everything in Canada. I always knew that North America had different dimensions, but it was crazy to see it for myself. Everything from cars, roads, portions, even the sizes of the refrigerators were huge. When I got home, the roads in Europe looked more like cycle lanes in comparison. “


“I was shocked to see that at McDonald’s in France you can order both beer and wine.”


“The unbelievably low price of beer in the Czech Republic. A group of us drank beer all night and our final bill was around $ 23 per person.”

Anton Eine / Getty Images / EyeEm


“In my home country I am of average height. In the Netherlands and Finland I found myself looking in many mirrors where I could only see the top of my forehead. I was so small by compared to the average woman out there. “


“The quality of fast food in London is much better than in America. I ate Pizza Hut twice on my trip there because it was so delicious. The quality of the cheese was amazing for fast food. . McDonald’s was also very good. “

Lauripatterson / Getty Images


“While visiting the United States, I was blown away by all the options in the grocery store. How many types of ketchup can a person need?”


“Large living spaces. I’m from Hong Kong where the average apartment size is around 300-500 square feet. If you are in an apartment or house over 1000 square feet, it’s super luxurious according to our standards. “


“When I visited my brother who lives in Switzerland, I was surprised at the degree of independence that parents give their children. I’m from the UK, where most parents wouldn’t dream of. letting a five-year-old go to school alone. My brother and his wife are perfectly happy to let their children walk to school unattended, and the route even includes train tracks. “


“I was in South Korea in the spring and it was raining constantly. The bus stop for Myeodong airport has no shelter – it’s right by the side of the road. When it rains, someone one (I guess shop owners nearby) leave umbrellas for people waiting for the bus. There were so many cute umbrellas hanging along the railing and no one stole them. They were just there for anyone to see. use them when needed, and that was a huge shock to me. “


“In Eastern European countries like Poland, pizza is served with ketchup or mayonnaise. I was not prepared for it.”

Have you experienced culture shock abroad or experienced something away from home that made you think, “Wow, is that really different? Tell us in the comments below.

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