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"Foreigners Might Be Alarmed, But It's Not Considered Offensive Here": People Are Sharing The Common Customs From Their Home Countries That Tourists Find Extremely Bizarre

"We casually drop this into conversation without even thinking about it. Visitors might be alarmed, but it's totally normal here and isn't meant to be offensive."

When something is so commonplace around you, it's easy to assume that it's the norm everywhere. But turns out, there are lots of customs and traditions that are standard in one place, yet they might seem completely bizarre to outsiders.

Redditor u/zelvod asked, "What is something that is totally normal in your country that is mind-blowing to foreigners?" I rounded up the responses (plus more from the BuzzFeed community), and here's what people said.

1. France: "Being nude or partly nude at the beach. Every beach here has naked people, and no one cares. It’s just normal."

Female sunbathers on beach.

2. Czech Republic: "Kids are allowed in all bars and pubs. As a Czech person, this is totally normal to me, but my American wife was blown away by it."

Top view group of friends toast with glasses of beer.

3. The US: "Prescription drug commercials. I thought the fact they have these in the US was a running joke. But finally, I went to America, and when I played a YouTube video on my phone, guess what ad played? You guessed it, a prescription drug commercial."

A pharmacist ringing up medicine.

4. Luxembourg: "Where I live in Europe (Luxembourg), voting is mandatory. In fact, you can even get fined for not voting in an election."

A person voting in a ballot box.

5. Brazil: "In my country, it's not very common to see places for rent or for sale with appliances already installed. Sometimes, homes don't even come with built-in cabinets. People just buy their own and take everything with them when they leave the place."

A kitchen and dining table.

6. Spain: "While visiting Spain, I couldn't wrap my head around how late people generally eat dinner. Even sitting down for a meal at 10 p.m. is considered normal."

People eating outdoors at a restaurant at night.

7. Italy: "Pizza in Italy is not like pizza in America. In America, you get a pizza pie to share, but in Italy, they’re meant for one person. You get a fork and knife with which to cut it yourself."

Personal pizzas on a table.

8. The US: "Going all out on holiday decorations. I couldn't believe the intense love of decorating. There are Christmas competitions like best street for lights or best tree decorating. It's so serious!"

A suburban house with Christmas lights.

9. The UK: "Having washing machines in our kitchens. Apparently, in the US they have a whole other room for that. Only very posh people have a separate room for laundry machines in the UK."

Modern mustard yellow domestic kitchen.

10. Japan: "Vending machines that serve full meals. Ordering food from a vending machine at a restaurant in Japan was surreal. You order noodles from a machine, then you sit at a booth with a curtain, and someone delivers your food when it's ready and closes the blinds. It was a strange experience, though not in a bad way."

A ramen vending machine.

11. The US: "Drive thru restaurants everywhere you look. They are so much more common in the US than anywhere else in the world. It seems like every street, even in the suburbs, has a drive thru. This is definitely not the case in Europe."

A drive thru KFC restaurant.

12. Germany: Most German restaurants expect you to sit for dinner for an extended period of time to the point where the waitstaff will actively ignore you. They'll always keep an eye on your drinks, but they allow you to enjoy your meal without constantly interrupting. In that same vein, waitstaff won't bring your check until you indicate you're ready."

People eating outdoors at a restaurant.

13. Romania: "People don't leave a tip when dining in restaurants. Tipping is not necessary here because our waiters get paid a living wage. If you do choose to tip, it's simply your way of stating how satisfied you are with their service. I usually leave a small tip unless I don't have any cash or the service was really bad."

A person signing a restaurant check.

14. The US: "The fact that the legal drinking age is 21 is really weird to the rest of the world, especially since at age 18 people consider you an adult."

15. South Korea: "Convenience store food can be seriously gourmet. Their convenience stores like 7-Eleven are heaven. Dining out in South Korea is pricey, but the meals served in convenience stores were so good, gourmet, and a lot cheaper. It's nothing like the convenience store food you'd find back home in the US."

A lunch bento box in Korea.

16. Sweden: "People don't share a single comforter in a shared bed. Rather, they each have their own. My Swedish husband was blown away by the fact that most American couples use a single comforter."

A couple sharing a comforter.

17. Australia: "Addressing everyone, even elders and teachers, by their first name. We are a very informal nation. Almost everyone is called by their first name."

18. Sweden: "Extremely generous paid time off. Sweden requires employees to have four consecutive weeks off in the summer. When my Swedish wife told me that, my brain short-circuited. I've gotten used to it now, but when I tell Americans about this, they are seriously confused."

People on vacation at the beach.

19. Italy: "Most windows don't contain screens. The last time I was in Italy, I accidentally left my hotel room window open. That night, I spent an hour killing mosquitoes in the room and still got 20+ bites."

Old colorful buildings in Rome.

20. The UK: "Generous, paid maternity leave. When I hear about maternity leave in the US and people getting as little as six weeks unpaid, it's heartbreaking. I’m from the UK, and we get nine months off paid. The thought of leaving my baby at six weeks old to go back to work would have killed me."

A woman holding her pregnant belly.

21. Portugal: "Lunch is the largest meal of the day. In many other places I've visited, lunch is a little sandwich or small salad, and that’s it. Home in Portugal, almost everyone has a big, hot lunch and breaks from work for at least an hour to eat. It’s still very funny to my British friends when I say I’m making lasagna or a hearty stew for lunch."

A woman serving herself food.

22. Australia: "We swear a lot. Like a lot, a lot. We casually drop the 'c' bomb into conversation without even thinking about it. Foreigners might be alarmed, but it's totally normal here and isn't meant to be offensive."

23. Japan: "There aren't many public garbage cans, but streets are still pristine. While visiting Japan, I couldn't believe how clean the streets were. I realized that people actually carry their garbage home with them. There are almost no garbage cans outside in public areas."

A street in Japan

24. The Netherlands: "Going everywhere by bike. Going to a funeral by bike, to a Michelin star restaurant for dinner by bike, picking up a Christmas tree by bike, etc. These are all things people do in the Netherlands."

Bikes parked by a canal in Amsterdam.

25. New Zealand: "Walking around barefoot. Most of us live near the coast where the weather is good. It’s not unusual to see someone walking around the supermarket without shoes."

Walking barefoot outside.

26. Bolivia: "Bagged milk. It's almost the only way to buy milk in. It comes in 1-liter bags. Even chocolate milk for kids comes in small bags."

A bowl of cereal

27. India: "We have matrimonial ads in newspapers and sites to find grooms and brides. This is something you wouldn't see in western countries, so people find it strange. The ads are mostly published by parents. It's like supervised Tinder."

An Indian couple on their wedding day.

28. Mexico: "Most drugs are available over the counter in Mexican pharmacies, even antibiotics and pain medications, or drugs that require a prescription back home in the US."

Pill bottles on a shelf at a pharmacy.

29. Denmark: "Leaving babies outside to sleep in a stroller, even in the cold. This is also the normal thing to do in Denmark. All midday naps are outside in a pram. Same goes if you are at a cafe. It's quite normal to leave your child outside as long as you can see them."

A baby sleeping in a stroller.

30. Malaysia: "Using at least three different languages in a single sentence. I live in Malaysia, and nearly everyone does that here since everyone speaks at least Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil."

A street in Malaysia

31. The US: "When I was younger, I always thought that sororities and fraternities were just a concept made for movies. I liked it, but it didn't seem like it could be real."

A man wearing a green "college" sweatshirt.

What is something that is completely normal where you're from that might seem strange to foreigners? Or something you've seen abroad that has shocked you? Tell us in the comments.