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    15 Super-Cool Things In Other Countries That Americans Might Not Even Know Exist

    I need a cheese vending machine in my life.

    1. Grocery stores dedicated entirely to frozen foods.

    2. Bottled drinks that are kept warm 24/7.

    A warming station in a convenience store filled with bottles of hot tea and coffee
    Evie Carrick

    You'll almost always find a fridge of cold drinks at US grocery stores and gas stations, but in Japan, shops also have a hot-drink section that's stocked with warm grab-and-go bottles of coffee and tea. And if making your way to one of the country's many 7-Elevens isn't on the cards, you'll also find perfectly warmed drinks in the nearest vending machine.

    Check out: Here's What Japanese Convenience Stores Are Like Inside (Spoiler: They're Amazing)

    3. A highway network that's built for bicycles.

    4. And public share bikes that have built-in navigation systems so you can easily find your way around.

    5. Stoplights on the ground at pedestrian crossings.

    Nieuw soort stoplicht speciaal voor de smartphonegebruiker, Bodegraven heeft de primeur

    Twitter: @omroepwest

    One town in the Netherlands installed lights in the sidewalk that change colors with the traffic light. The goal? To let walkers looking down at their phones know when it is — and isn't — safe to cross the road. A similar experiment has also been tried in Germany and Singapore.

    6. Crosswalks where the elderly or people with disabilities can tap an ID card to request more time to cross the street.

    At some Singapore intersections you can swipe your Senior’s Card and the crossing light will stay green for a little longer, giving you extra time to reach the other side of the road. I find this very touching.

    Twitter: @stephendziedzic

    In Singapore, senior citizens and people with disabilities can tap their concession cards to request more time (up to 13 seconds) to cross the road.

    Check out: 21 Things Singapore Has That'll Make You Say, "Why Isn't This Everywhere?"

    7. Public drinking fountains with sparkling water.

    8. Price tags that reflect the *true* cost — after taxes.


    You know what would be cool? Actually seeing how much an item is going to cost before you get to the register (without having to do some serious mental math). When you're tight on cash, that extra 5%–9% in sales tax can put something you thought was affordable over your budget. In many places around the world, like Europe and Australia, the number you see on a price tag is the final cost — tax included.

    9. Cheese vending machines.

    10. Next-level toilets.

    11. Recycling bins that dispense food for stray cats and dogs.

    12. Free Wi-Fi across most of the country.

    Barunson E&A / Via Giphy /

    In Estonia, internet access is thought to be a human right, so to ensure that no one goes without, the country offers speedy complimentary Wi-Fi in most public places. Not only is it great for locals, but it also means that travelers don't have to worry about buying a SIM card or holing up in a café to get directions to Toompea Castle.

    13. And public trash cans that double as Wi-Fi hotspots.

    A public trash bin with modems, routers, and cords set up on top
    VictorVanguard / Via

    A couple of years ago, Singapore started trialing solar-powered "smart bins" that offer visitors and locals a place to drop their trash and connect to the internet — for free — within 30 meters (around 98 feet).

    14. Restaurants that let you order your meal from a vending machine.

    15. Money that's durable AND easy to distinguish.

    australian $50, $100, and $20 banknotes, which are all different colors
    Alfexe / Getty Images

    There's nothing worse than getting to the register and realizing your $20 bill is ripped down the middle — but that's what happens when your cash is made primarily of cotton. However, over 30 countries around the world use polymer banknotes, which are made from plastic. Not only are they prettier than US money, IMO, but they also last two and a half times longer.

    Check out: 25 Beautiful Banknotes That Make The US Dollar Look Like Trash

    Know of some things I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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    illustrated city skyline
    Jay Fleckenstein / BuzzFeed