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21 Ridiculously Cool Things That Are Normal In Other Countries, While Americans Don't Even Know They Exist

Heated sidewalks, toilets that cover up poop sounds, and more.

People on Reddit are sharing the surprising things other countries have that they never knew about until they traveled abroad — and their stories will make you want to visit all of these places ASAP.

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Here are some of the top-voted responses:

1. "Even if you walk close to a crosswalk in Switzerland, cars start to slow down or completely stop for you to pass. Sometimes you even feel bad for the driver because you don't want to cross the street and they still stop for you in case you did."

—u/Human_Reading_2021

2. "Heated toilet seats and bidets in regular shopping malls in Thailand."

—u/Ronniespector

3. "You can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just like in a paper cup. I'm talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's."

—u/Doomhammer10 (quoting Pulp Fiction)

A plastic cup with a cover and the McDonald's logo, containing what looks like beer, outside a McDonald's
Getty Images

4. "Heated sidewalks in Finland! Absolute lifesavers for me, who had no idea how to walk on ice. No trash anywhere, either."

—u/momochicken55

5. "Went to Japan, and my god, there are so many minor conveniences, like semiprivate toilet stalls with running-water sounds so nobody hears you poopin'. Amazing transit, vending machines everywhere with coffee (and sometimes beer and cigarettes!), pay-by-distance bus fare...I could go on. Convenience stores sell good food, not just greasy, 2-day-old wieners."

—u/psychocolato

6. "Amsterdam. Knew they biked, but didn’t expect multilevel bike parking lots every mile. Jesus Christ, I loved it there."

—u/leckycherms

A bicycle parking lot in Amsterdam
Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

7. "The incredible security in Seoul...I forgot my backpack in a small cafeteria, and after 25 minutes, it was completely untouched in the same spot. You could walk at 3 a.m. with your cellphone in your hands, and there'll be no fear about anything."

—u/Lightthecandle123

8. "China. Almost every store and vendor, including street food and vegetable stalls, uses mobile payment."

—u/viv_cwm

9. "When I went to Japan and ordered food from any type of chain that is also in the US, like McDonald's, Denny's, or Burger King, it looked like the picture on the menu or the commercial. It was truly bizarre. In the US, if you get a Big Mac, it looks nothing like the commercials. When you get a Big Mac in Japan...it looks like the one in the picture. It's as if somebody back there was painstakingly putting that burger together perfectly."

—u/landob

A Japanese McDonald's menu
Yamaguchi Haruyoshi / Corbis via Getty Images

10. "A few years ago, we went to Italy and I made my wife go on a side trip to Herculaneum and Pompeii for a couple of days. In Herculaneum, we were wandering around in town when 5 p.m. rolled around, and within 15 minutes, the streets were filled with people, not hurrying past one another, but just standing around talking, having an ice cream, drinking a beer, or whatever."

—u/axnu

11. "Singapore is unbelievably clean! As soon as I stepped out of the plane, I swear I did not see a single speck of dust at their airport. Even the toilets were squeaky clean and completely dry. Every day I go out to explore the city on foot and come back to the hotel with almost no dirt on the soles of my shoes."

—u/Fragrant-Seaweed-606

12. "A fishing pond in the middle of Tokyo."

—u/StripeyMiata

A fishing pond in Tokyo near a train platform
Tzer-chin Chang / Flickr Vision

13. "How trusting people are in Turkey. I got a taxi to the nearest major city, 45–50 minutes away. When we arrived, I tried to pay the driver. He wouldn't take payment and instead asked what time we would be heading back. He said he would meet us where he dropped us off, then drove away. When we were ready, there he was, big grin on his face, waiting. There would have been nothing to stop us from jumping into another taxi and only paying one way, but this guy trusted us not to rip him off. He got a big tip."

—u/PastaAndApathy

14. "In Prague, when you open a camera in the street, it's like a force field! People automatically move aside not to stand in the way."

—u/itamarc137

15. "When I visited Munich, the bottle returns were pretty dope. Buy a 24-pack of beers, get a third of your money back by returning the bottles."

—u/MsindAround

Three brands of German beer, including Beck's
Sean Gallup / Getty Images

16. "Japan has no garbage cans anywhere on the streets, but their streets were pretty damn clean somehow."

—u/pineappledaddy

17. "I was surprised at how much time the Balinese people spend on religious ceremonies, offerings, and worship. Yet despite being some of the most religious people I’ve ever encountered, they were completely nonjudgmental and understanding of others."

—u/AgentMandarinOrange

18. "How cheap and efficient the subway/train system is in Seoul. I grew up in Toronto, and taking the train 30 minutes is like $10.40 each way. When I went to Korea, it was like $1.25 to ride from one end to the other. You could be on that train for two hours, and if you get off the train for 30 minutes or less, they don't charge you to get back on."

A train in Seoul
Jung Yeon-je / AFP via Getty Images

19. "In Germany, when I bought a beer in a convenience store and they offered to open it for me so I could enjoy it on my walk."

—u/Jinjonator91

20. "When we traveled to Germany, we were stunned to see everyone standing on the right side of the escalator so that people could actually pass. Everyone."

—u/garzaculta

And finally...

21. "Teapots in every English hotel room, like Bibles in US hotel rooms. Like, tea is practically a fucking religion."

—u/dirtymoney

An electric kettle in a hotel
Edansa / Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.