6 Things that are “Normal” In Other Countries, But Not in the U.S., According to Reddit

published Oct 21, 2019
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Traveling to other countries is the best way to understand the similarities and differences you share with how people live across borders and oceans. While some things are pretty much universal no matter where you go—dogs cute, chocolate good, sky blue—others are surprisingly different, so much so that what one country sees as “normal” makes everyone else go “huh???”.

A recent Reddit thread asked, “What is normal in your country but seems weird to the rest of the world?” and the answers were honestly fascinating. Here are a few commonplace things that happen in countries around the world—including one in the U.S. that you’ve definitely complained about:

Sweden (and other Scandinavian countries)

“Leaving your baby alone outside for their nap, even if it rains or snows.” —e_ph


“Putting cable ties, branches, fake eyes etc on helmets, buckets and hats in spring time to scare away the birds. Magpies are vicious bastards.” —LostBetweenthePages


“Having a garbage can in the bathroom for used toilet paper.” —Nishinpai

The Netherlands

“In my country, you bike everywhere. Cars aren’t used much. For longer distances you mostly use train and public transport.” —Dutch_Dumbass

The Philippines

“In the Philippines, it would be people living with their parents. Everybody I know whose parents’ homes are in the city choose to live there. With the relatively low wage to cost-of-living ratio, it is not unusual for married couples to share houses with their in-laws.

I work remote and I still live with my parents and pay zero rent. Of course, I pay all the bills, feed them and do all the home repairs and chores.” —Levelup94

Germany (in addition to Finland)

“Going into the sauna naked while sharing the sauna with the other sex(es). German sauna culture is very easy:

  • In public saunas, usually everyone is naked. If you feel uncomfortable, you can wrap a towel around your waist and/or chest. Between sittings you’d usually wear a robe.
  • Most public saunas have half a day or more during the week reserved to females only. Check their website for details on that, if you are interested.
  • Be prepared that it will get crowded in the sauna when “Aufguss” are scheduled. Aufguss is the process of throwing scented water on the heater to increase humidity.
  • I don’t know a public sauna where swimsuits are allowed. If there are pools, you’d swim naked but you can wear swimsuits there if you want to.
  • As long as you are in the sauna, you don’t want to get too romantic with your spouse or whoever you are with. There is a difference between nudity and promiscuity. There are special clubs reserved for that. (I was asked to tell that these are so called sauna clubs. Hence I called them clubs. Basically those are brothels.)
  • In hotels you will often find a small sauna. Unwritten law is, the first to enter the sauna decides if it’s fine to be naked. But in hotel saunas, it’s way more common to wear a towel than in public saunas.
  • Private saunas of course are up to the owners and/or users. Do what you are comfortable with—naked or towel.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S….

“The cracks that are just wide enough to be able to see in and out of public restroom stalls. (United States) I’ve heard it’s thought of as weird since many other countries enjoy the luxury of privacy.” —B1yPhon3