Americans who have visited Europe, what was the most surprising thing to you while visiting there?

Americans who have visited Europe, what was the most surprising thing to you while visiting there?


Beer being significantly cheaper than soda. In America it's the other way around.


My FIL was delighted to find that, in Prague, beer is cheaper than bottled water.


That's why it's called liquid bread my dear friend.


>other way around. Inconceivable!


Went to Spain in 2011. Was shocked to see that everyone there smoked. Literally, every person on the street either had, or just had, a cigarette. I was about 12, so when I learned that people in Spain STILL live longer than Americans because of lifestyle and diet. After that I changed my eating habits and always try to have less anxiety in my life. The Spaniards definitely know how to live.. and party:)


I would have started smoking


How rare is it for people to smoke in the US ? Also, could it also be people's habit of walking more in Spain (and use the occasion to smoke) that made you see it more ? Might be more striking than in the US because of it idk


It's definitely not as common as it once was. (I'm almost 50.) People don't generally walk around smoking in the numbers I remember from my childhood. Also, in my state, for example, indoor restaurants are non-smoking, although you can smoke on an outdoor patio. Smoking is much less socially acceptable here in general than it used to be.


I think part of it is that younger generations are seeing how it affects the older. I lost one of my grandparents, the most important person in my life, at 65. they smoked so much the walls would turn yellow. I wouldn’t smoke even if it was still cool because of that.


Younger person here (early 20s), a lot of people my age vape or smoke weed. If you extended the definition of smoking to include vaping, weed, tobacco, etc. then I wonder how the overall rates would compare?


Not sure, but I’d expect that then younger generations smoke at somewhat comparable rates to older generations. Personally, I have no desire to smoke anything for the foreseeable future.


It is becoming increasingly uncommon. In the 90's it was everywhere and socially accepted. Now there is no smoking in most buildings except for bars for the most part. There were a lot of campaigns in schools and on TV against smoking and it seems like the concept of "smoking looks cool" kind of died here.


Not even bars. In my state anyway it’s prohibited


Cigarettes is pretty uncommon. Id say amongst white collar workers, its almost non-existant as far as i can tell. Blue collar its much more common probably 1/10 to 1/15. Especially amongst construction workers.


Cig smoking has been steadily dropping in the US, from 42% of adults in 1965, to 14% in 2018. E-cigarettes did well when we were encouraging kids to vape, and led to rising young adult nicotine use, but last year we stopped promoting and selling e-cigs to kids, which was a key strategy to increase nicotine addiction long term.


In Germany, naked people just casually chilling at parks.


OMG that famous photo of the nudist running through a park, chasing a wild boar who'd stolen his laptop... that was Germany wasn't it?


I hadn't seen that. Lol thank you. Amazing. https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/i5g77a/a_nudist_in_berlin_had_his_laptop_bag_and_pizza/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share


Oh yes, the pizza and the baby hogs... exquisite details.


Fully naked?


Yup.... Source: I'm from Berlin


I'm from BW, and never saw fully naked people in parks. Only on beaches. But I guess Berlin is... well Berlin. ;)


I was in Munich in Spring. Like it wasn't everywhere, but if you walked out of the busy areas of the parks, you'd come across it.


I was in the English Garden in Munich 2 years ago when I wandered into the naturist part of the park. It was a hot and sunny day so I stripped off, sunbathed for a while and went on my way .Nobody batted an eyelid.


This sounds like the life tbh


~8 years in Berlin and see more naked people queuing up for KitKat then in parks.


Where they keep their wallet?


For a second I thought you meant the chocolate bar...


Correct, it's even recommended to queue up naked for KitKat if you don't have an interesting personality. But that doesn't mean that you won't see naked people in parks or at lakes as well. I grew up in Berlin and the mother of my best friend was very into "FKK". I probably saw more dicks as a kid than as a grown up woman.


But go just across the border into France and it's illegal to be in public with your shirt off.


Ja, it's fucking awesome. You don't know freedom until you've stripped in the middle of a public park on a sunny day.


As a German, this is the first time I hear this is a thing and my entire worldview is shattered.


In Denmark, nudity is not censored on TV and the topic of sex is discussed much more openly than in the United States.


Oh, I forgot this. Occasional language not allowed on US TV was surprising. Pretty sure I heard at least one "fuck" on broadcast.


Not just Denmark fyi, it’s everywhere. Americans are so prude if you ask any European. But at the same time violence and guns are totally acceptable.


Yep, we're prude until it comes to blood and gore, then you can watch the Saw movies on SciFi as long as the boobs are blurred out.


It's definitely not everywhere. It may be common in Europe but there are a lot of countries where it's culturally not acceptable to openly discuss sex.


The lack of free public restrooms.


As a hint look for libraries, theatres and other public buildings like that.


Libraries have payboxes, theaters only let you pee once you bought a ticket. It’s a hard knock life


Where is that? None of the libraries or museums in the three countries i've lived had that and nobody is watching the toilet doors at theatres or cinemas.


In Germany, at least the new cinema they built in my city has its toilets past the ticket control dudes.


Yeah, but once you found/paid for one wasn't the floor-to-ceiling cubicle wall nice?


That’s what pubs are for.


I didn't realize how much mental math I was doing when I would go to a restaurant. I'd look at the price of what I was getting, double it because my wife was getting something similar, add in drink price and any apps we might get, then add about %5 or so for taxes and %20 or so for tip and that is what I expect the final bill to be. In Europe you don't have to add anything. The price you see is what you pay. Every time we would get a meal I would be surprised when the bill came because there was no magic or invisible charge added on. I imagine if you grow up and live with that being the norm then the way we do things in America is frustrating and bizarre.


I can definitely tell you, that was the single most annoying thing when my family and I visited New York. It was so strange to not be able to rely on price tag! And when you're not used to doing the math, it really took some time for us to figure it out


As someone who moved from the UK to the US for 2 years it was so annoying trying to work out how much I got to pay lol. I would always forget and pick stuff up on the shelves and get to the counter and wonder why the handful of things I bought was more expensive at checkout lol.


The things that surprised me the most was how nudity wasn't an issue like it was/is in the US. Back when I was in High School in the early 80's, our Jazz Band went to Montreux Switzerland to play at the Montreux Jazz Fest. One of the gigs we played was in an outdoor amphitheater next to Lake Geneva. While we played, a very attractive lady walked up to a bench nearby, proceeded to completely strip off all of her clothing, put on a bikini, and then walked over to the lake. Needless to say, a band full of high school kids from the US seeing this completely fell apart and couldn't play lol.


Fruit juice is actual fruit juice.


Wait, what is it in the US?


10% juice, pasteurized, homogenized, fortified with flavor, with other added flavors, high fructose corn syrup, riboflavin, benzodiazepine, and a sprig of kale so it's healthy.


Benzodiazepine? I would like to try the juice to review it, as I would like to try new juices. Please tell me the name of the juice you have, thx ;)




My wife was in a restaurant in France years ago with the kids and asked for a table in the non smoking section. They put a No Smoking sign on the table.


Students smoking with teachers


Germany. Smoking everywhere. You could not escape it. Ugh.


The French also have a very French way of smoking. It's the way they hold the cigarette


How aggressively flirty Italian men are


I assume you didn't visit the north east of the country


The furthest north I went was Florence


Not north right? No offense to south italians but they have a pretty different culture then us north italians


South. You are correct in that assumption




The age. There are buildings in Amsterdam that are far older than the United States, and they're just... there. We lived in an apartment that was on one of the canals. it had been a granary, and was built around the time that America stopped being a colony. It made me feel very, very young, like a child in a room full of adults.


That always blew my mind when visiting Europe and even seeing some buildings showing the scars of World Wars 1 and 2 while having a newer building being right beside it.


Berlin is an extreme of that example.


LOL, I've had conversations with European friends about this. They come to the US and do historical tours while sightseeing and the tour guide is like this building was built in 1830, oooo~ and they're like cool, so was the building our Tesco is in


The pub in my village in the Cotswolds is older than America. It was even used by King Charles I when he was on his final March to escape Cromwell (didn’t work though as he still got the chop).


There's a pub in Ireland older than England!


I happened to be in Germany when America hit its bicentennial in 1976. We started making a big deal of it as July 4 got close and the locals let us know one town next to our post had been there more than 1,000 years. We were mostly young, male American soldiers, so we didn't let a little history get in the way of our celebration. It's always stuck with me, however.


It's hard to imagine it being surprising as a European. The church in my home town was built in the 1100s. It's not much of a landmark, just your regular town church. Also 10min away from my parents' is the oldest standing building in the world (as of now), built around -4700 BC. But that's a special thing


For you 100 years is old. For us 100 miles/160 km is far.


Most all of the roads were quite narrow... sometimes it was almost impossible for two cars to pass each other without both having to veer off the road a bit, which in the city wasn't always possible. Or some one way alleyway streets in major cities would be so narrow that anything larger than a compact car risked getting stuck. Mostly due to the roads and buildings being built long before the car was invented. Germany was the exception, though this may be partly due to much of the country being bombed out in WW2 and then rebuilt.


Really enjoyed my visit to France but the road situation was surprising in a lot of ways. In Paris, there's this one section near (I wanna say the Arc de Triomphe) the taxi had us merging through with like 5 unmarked lanes of traffic in just like a free for all, and it made me nervous the whole time. Also there's so many tollgates going cross country. And roundabouts, but that's a good thing I think. Also near Saint Malo there's like this bridge that we got stuck behind and it full on took like 5 minutes to open and close. The locals knew to expect this and they jokingly brought out a bottle of wine to another nearby car.


Ireland was the same way, very narrow roads. Another thing that threw me off was that America has highways and freeways all over the place. I'd see a short distance between two spots, and think we would be there in a couple hours. But when it is all back roads, you're driving like half a day.


How loud Americans are. I live in Columbus, OH so it isn't noticeable on the daily. But when I was in Europe you could hear Americans talking 3 blocks down.


How to find Jim Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise cemetary, Paris? Follow the smell of weed and American voices.


What was funny for me studying abroad was the amount of times Europeans assumed a loud, annoying group was American...only for me to say "Nope, those are Brits...nope, Scots." The loudest were Australian. Not a lot of big groups of Americans travelling outside those guided tours.


Being loud is a great way to piss off the locals in the northern "Scandinavian part" of Europe. Completely opposite in southern Europ, like for example Greece or Italy, they are a bit louder and has slightly more "tempered conversations". All ways something I have to adjust too when I leave Scandinavia for Sothern Europe, also the smaller personal space (that is a hard one for me). Remember one time, just gotten on to the ferry after getting up early flying down and standing around for an hour waiting in like 30*C (pretty warm for a Scandinavian like my self), finally we get to sit down. Then there is this local Greek girl having a loud conversation on her phone, I mean both me and my father are a bit sensitive to loud noises (especially when tired), but hey where were in Greece people are just louder so it was fine... Until this hung over American lady whent up to the young girl (who I might suspect didn't know English) and started screaming at her for being to loud annoying pretty much everyone. While louder than what I'm use to locals aren't something that piss me off (I'm the one visiting them after all), the American lady really pissed me off and really had to bight my tung not to say anything.


>also the smaller personal space (that is a hard one for me). I know finns have a hard time with the whole 2 meter social distancing. They can't wait to get back to the normal 5 meters


I have to say, I’m very impressed that you wrote “bight my tung”. I could practically hear you bite your tongue when I read that...sounded like it hurt though.


I've been to Europe, but this is a Japan story. Went to Japan a few years back. We were flying from one part of Japan to another on a plane full of Japanese. There was another group of Americans behind us. My wife and I were polite, quiet, knew the etiquette, don't be loud, etc. But this family did not get the memo at all lol. They were loud as fuck, yelling, talking, gabbing, flagging down the stewardess. They ended up being really nice people, just really excited and loud and didn't know to keep it down. Hell, they would have been way out of place on an *America* flight. I feel like they'd just probably never been on a trip like that before or maybe even a plane and just didn't have the understanding to keep it down. It was embarrassing because I was worried everyone else was going to think they were with us and that we were also dicks ha.


There's always one. Usually a boomer. Usually male. Last one I heard was in Prague, just walking down the street, heard this American guy say - "Brexit...now there's a dumbfuck idea if I ever heard one..." (which is true). I kind feel like these people think they're the main character on a television show or something.




And for that to come from the SPANISH - holy shit...they are some loud people in general themselves...


Well you just described boomers in general.


Me and a few other Americans were a bit flabbergasted that the KFC in London didn't sell mashed potatoes.


Not related to Europe but fun KFC fact; in South Asia, you can buy rice and curry from most major KFC locations.


I heard that one before! Apparently you yanks eat KFC with gravy and mashed potatoes. In Germany and Sweden I was able to get it, but it costs extra. The odd thing, Sweden had mashed potatoes established in their "korv kiosks" as fast food, waaaaaay before everything else. Guess somebody did their market research not finely tuned enough or did not care.


Or their market research department figured that non-Americans wouldn't want mashed potatoes and gravy.


Interesting! I didn't know you had mashed potatoes with that in the US. I think here in Sweden (and likely the UK and Germany too) mashed potatoes is seen as kind of boring old traditional food, so when KFC was launched here, ironically, people probably thought it didn't seem American enough.


The drinking. Holy cow! It's over the top....and I live in Wisconsin. We're all amateurs here.


Seeing men casually peeing alongside the highway.


*Laughs in india*


You need to specify. I went to France and was shocked to see this. Doesn’t happen in the UK


I just saw a guy yesterday in Uxbridge just peeing next to a church, close to the city centre. It was maybe 5 in the afternoon. I also saw a guy in a top part of a double decker squatting between the seats and pissing through his pants. Once in soho I saw a guy coming out of a club, pulled his junk out and done his business in front of everyone.


Why did you pull his junk out?


Had business to do


Um, yes it does. I once peed in a lay-by with two unrelated truckers.


Saw a drunk girl pulling her pants to the side, skirt up and peeing between cars after going to the club. She didn't see me coming and was laughing when I passed next to her on my way home.


Asking for a water and getting bottled TV static.


Let me guess, Germany?


Germans love their sparkling water.


Visited Germany for two weeks. The dogs were allowed everywhere. I love that. You could take your dog shopping in the mall, or on the bus. There were so many delicious pastries that I've never heard of and they all looked awesome. I only got to try a few. The public transportation was much cleaner and better. There were a lot of non white people which was a little surprising. Idk what demographic percentages are though. It seemed like every barber was Turkish for some reason. People with dark brown hair (eastern European or maybe Turkish people) were treated with a little more caution for some reason. Edit: one other thing. The language, I could read something in german once in a while and understand what it meant despite that I don't speak German. Like a sign on an apartment building that read "die besten platze die staadt" (probably spelled wrong). And I was able to work out on my own it meant something like the best place in town (although I originally took staadt to be akin to "state" so I took it as "best place in the country." Also lots of German words seem to have a connection to archaic English words (or vice versa). I heard someone refer to a pen as a "kugel Schreiber" and to write is "schreib" (again probably spelled wrong). And I feel there's a link between the old word "scribe" and "schreib." I found tons of words like that. I understand that a lot of European languages have a linguistic history, however it's interesting to see it in practice rather than just be told about it in a classroom


English and German aren't that far apart, both part of the west germanic language family. Well, the *english* part of english at least, half the language is borrowed from somewhere else at this point.


They do call English Anglo-Saxon, Saxony being part of Germany. And there were also some royal family ties that played a part (and explain why we pronounce things like school or schedule differently than the English). I was in the Army and got spoiled by that about Germany, and it wasn't too bad figuring out some Spanish in Panama. But when I went to Japan I was completely lost.




Europeans tend to dress a bit better for dinner. Men typically don’t wear shorts out to dinner. I own linen pants because of that, having been to Southern Europe (France, Italy, Spain) in the summer.


Did someone tell you? Did you realize yourself? Did you read it somewhere online?




May I have more context if you are comfortable?




Oh wow... yeah this does happen a lot in Europe :( But don't you have classy restaurants that require some good attire to even ask for a seat?


Generally speaking in the US if a restaurant, even an expensive one, is on the beach they are very flexible on dress code. You wouldn't wear sandals to an upscale restaurant in the middle of a city.


Context matters here. "restaurant on the beach" could be a lot of different things. If you are at a resort (beach restaurant) or going to some taverna in greece, no one would bat an eye even if you went wearing nothing but a speedo. Barcelona might have a large beach but that doesn't automatically make it a "beach town" where you can just look like a surfer dude or whatever wherever you go. It's a proper city. I'd imagine they probably wouldn't let you in to a proper restaurant in Manhattan wearing flipflops. And if you took some docks down and created a big beach there, that wouldn't automatically change the dress code in the restaurants there.


I grew up in a vacation area in the US Midwest. There are a some nice restaurants you can boat to, and they are a hilarious mix of people dressed up fancy for going out to dinner and then people who show up in swimsuits. I love it lol.




Ah don't worry I live in Italy and still sometimes receive bad looks for my outfits!


I did that too. Went to Paris with flip flops. So i bought some heels and walked around on those the rest of my stay.


It was kinda strange not having large stores like Walmart or Target everywhere. I was still able to get everything I needed, but I'd have to go to multiple small stores.


When I moved to Germany, I was really excited to see the Autobahn. I had heard that it was a highway where you could drive as fast as you wanted to! Well, I got on the bus to take me to my processing center and someone on the bus said "hey, we're on the autobahn!" It looks just like any other highway. I was disappointed haha


What were you expecting it to look like? A nascar track?


Explosions. Mad max type combats is what I would be hoping for.




Yeah, or a very straight road. I dunno haha


The autobahn is the name for the entire highway, where there are sections with essentially no speed limit. It’s just like any other motorway!


How reachable everything is. Even in rural areas. I live on the west coast of the US and now understand why international tourists expect there to be some kind of logical transit link. Ha. Or, the flip side—how non-accessible hotels are. In NA you can safely assume that elevator means accessible. I’ve seen some really strange setups overseas, and traveling with a wheelchair must add an extra layer of wtf.


So, weird story that requires some backstory: for a while, my father and stepmom owned a house in Stockholm, NJ. My stepmom is Swedish, so the requisite jokes were made. Eventually, they moved back to Sweden to help take care of her elderly parents. They get into this Swedish gameshow that occasionally has a segment where they show the route driving from one place to another and you have to guess the two places. One night they're watching this program and they get to this segment and it looks familiar. Then really familiar. Eventually my dad turns to my stepmom: "Is that Route 23????" They were driving from NYC to Stockholm, NJ. It was a route we'd driven approximately eight million times, on Swedish TV. Super weird. The reason I mention it in a reply here is because they threw up a map showing where Stockholm, NJ was, and the route there from NYC. They put Stockholm.... in far upstate New York. The 40m drive they'd shown would have taken about 12 hours. Europeans have NO idea how big the US is.


The excellent infrastructure. I am from Texas were there are virtually no useful trains, but in Europe they are everywhere. We used trains almost exclusively to travel around.


I read somewhere that Houston’s main train station gets only a few trains a week. In a city. I live in a British town of about 5000 people and we have about 560. Half to London, half the other way.


> Houston’s main train station Houston's Amtrak station gets only the Sunset Limited, which is a long-distance train that goes 3 times a week from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Texas doesn't really have much in the way of intercity trains. Houston also has a local metro system which is slightly busier (3 lines!)


That so much stuff closes around 5 pm and has very limited operating hours


When i was in the USA i was very surprised to be able to find a Walmart open at 3am in some small(ish) town. There was a guy there buying a tv! At 3am lmao.


This and in some countries, you cannot buy even basic food except from a 7/11 or some overpriced convenience store on Saturdays. Basic food stores are closed in the morning. I guess people party and enjoy the night before and don't weak up early. I am an early bird so it was surprising to me.


The super markets in the netherlands are generally open from 09:00-21:00 mon-sat and from 12:00-18:00 on sundsys


07:00-23:00 is becoming more common though, or 07:00-21:00


All the men are uncircumcised.


The people in France were nice to me! Everyone told me Parisians were a-holes. Not true at all, I loved the city and the people.


I had the same experience. I found Parisian's to be kind and helpful.


It depends on the country! Europe is a continent with various people and various mindsets. I guess the biggest thing is just how much they value your free time and vacations. In America, you're lucky if you get 10 days off your first year here with no sick days. Need to get something fixed? Take a half day and do it on your own time, not the company's. In Europe, it's a lot more relaxed. They have *tons* of bank holidays, at least 20 days of vacation at *minimum* and have weeks off for festivals and other things. In Spain, they went out and enjoyed their life *everyday*. They didn't wait for a weekend or for an occasion. They ate super late and the night life is amazing. People in Europe don't live to work, they work so that they can live - in America it feels like we do the opposite. Everything centers around work, you're literally making life decisions and running red lights at times to get to work on time. Want a vacation? Need to plan it around work. Work, work, work. Europe? Want to go on a vacation? Do it. Want to take some time to yourself? Do it. Need a few weeks to work on your house? Do it. Live, live, live. So yeah, I love Europe and the mentality of the European people, imo, is far superior to Americans in terms of daily life. With that said, next European to say Americans are lazy and don't work hard is going to get me getting on a 7 hour flight and you best be ready to catch a fade! No one works harder than North Americans, outside of East Asians, that much is a *fact!*


>20 days of vacation at minimum And interestingly, you usually get more than the law required minimum. In Czech Republic, the legal minimum is 4 weeks, but any half decent employers would give you like 6. And you HAVE to take it. Even if you didn't want to abadon the American work ethnic, you're out of luck. Your boss will just send you home with 100% paid vacation. Because otherwise they could get in not so little amount of trouble. Same with working hours. Nobody can force you to work more than 40 hours a week, and not more than 12 hours a day.


You make it sound as if Europeans are, basically, quite a lot more free than Americans in some ways. Do you feel that's true? Whenever I hear about 'The Land of The Free' from Redditors it doesn't really sound very free...it sounds very limiting... (except for the freedom to own guns).


In Europe you're free to break a leg or get a serious illness without worrying that the treatment will bankrupt you.


And the freedom to be a kid and make mistakes without being tried as an adult.


US citizen living in Europe for nearly ten years - I've never felt freer than I do now. So, so much less financial and survival stress, so much more privacy, so much more free time. It's wonderful.


Can you talk about the privacy aspect? I'm curious. I've heard about better healthcare, more vacation time etc. but not about privacy per se.


I don't know what he refers to, but in Europe a company can't sell your data to others, so you may disclose some information to your employee, or your insurance company, and that information won't be sold (legally) to a third party so they can target ads at you, or increase your insurance price or whatever.


My personal extension to ‘The Land of the Free’ is ‘Where you’re free to do anything as long as it’s making your employer money’


Elevators are tiny


That tipping isn’t normal? I remember when I left cash the waitress tried handing me change back and gave me a weird look.


I visited Rome once about 20 years ago when I was still in my 20’s. After checking into the hotel, it was time to have some dinner! We went out and found an authentic-looking restaurant. My favorite “Italian” meal here at home was, and still is, Fettuccine Alfredo. I thought that surely in Italy “theirs” would be exquisite! The waiter came by to take our orders, and I (tried) to order “Fettuccine Alfredo”. The waiter looked at me rather quizzically and indicated that he wasn’t familiar with it at all. Had I been fluent in Italian, perhaps I could have ordered something similar - but, I was not. I then had to open up the menu and select something. Later on during the same vacation, I asked about it again at another restaurant and got a similar response. As I later learned, the dish was created by an Italian chef but then proceeded to become very popular in America - not so much, if at all, in Italy. Live and learn! What we here in the U.S. might (mistakenly ?) think of as being quintessentially “X” may be all but unknown to the locals when you travel abroad.


Do you normally order things that aren’t on the menu?


It sounds like they didn't even bother to read the menu because they just assumed what they wanted would be on there. I don't think they intended to go off-menu. But still, at least give it a quick glance and make sure your preferred dish is listed!


I mean, I won‘t sit down in an American restaurant somewhere and order Buffalo Hot Wings or something without checking the menu first


Exactly my thought too. Saying that my mum encouraged me to ask for rearrangements of things that are on the menu (she worked catering for 20 years) so I'd have more options as a vegetarian e.g. asking if I could have a sauce with a different pasta shape on the menu. But i wouldn't ask for a whole different dish.


What you're suggesting is fine though some places in Italy (and *definitely* in France) would probably just say "no, it's made this way so that's how we make it" but I certainly see no harm in asking. Ordering something that isn't even on the menu is just rude.


Goes to nice sushi restaurant, "I'll have a burger."


Most “Italian” dishes that we Americans know are in fact better described as Italian-American. Spaghetti with big meatballs in a red sauce is not really a thing in Italy (as I understand it). Italian friends, please do correct.


Meatballs in tomato sauce is definitely a thing in Italy, and while they're smaller on average than in the US, the key difference is that they're not typically served on spaghetti. If there's pasta at all, it's served first dressed in some of the sauce, and the meatballs follow as a 'secondi'. Most Italian-American food has pretty direct links to things Italians would recognise, only bigger, smashed together into one plate, and with way more cheese.


Corroborated with how my Italian grandma made things. Pasta with marinara was still a huge deal - mostly because her red sauce is the best people seem to ever have once they tried it - but meatballs were distinct separate dish and were enormous to only ever have one, and she always talked some smack to me about how much cheese I used. The Italian-American cuisine style is pretty interesting because there's also so much history of the development of that food itself within the country as its own sort of entity after Ellis Island and major Italian empowerment in the 20th century.


there is actually a dish that is not exactly fettuccine alfredo as you know it (and would certainly never come in a jar!!!) but is basically just pasta and cheese and butter. It's much better I would say!!


Cacio e Pepe?


Cacio e pepe is just; pasta, cheese and black pepper.


Similar with many other foods. Tikka masala was created in an Indian restaurant in England and fortune cookies were created in California.


In Scotland in 2011 in most pubs I went to for breakfast I heard a massive amount of early-mid nineties grunge/rock/alternative a lot of it from the us I love the time period/genres but wasn’t expecting it.


Was this in Glasgow by any chance?


Weather and moods are somewhat connected. Scotland and Seattle have some similarly gray, rainy weather. Might be why grunge feels right at home.


That tipping is not a thing. They immediately know you’re an American. Roman roads are still in use. Refrigerators are tiny.


How people who were not desperately poor used public transportation AND it went everywhere. Frequently.


Only been to a couple European countries, but compared to the US, "life" and family seem to be prioritized over occupation.


That the further south you go the less common toilet seats become. Also a lack of top sheets


Yes. Southern France. Nowhere was there a seat on the toilet. Also, public bathrooms (including the ones in nice restaurants) were DISGUSTING. In general, France was kind of dirty. I liked it! But it was significantly less clean than I'm used to in the US.


The lack of toilet seats is something else... And then you get to the hole in the ground you just have to squat over, eugh


sidewalks seemed pretty clean. germany was entirely litter free


<_< >_> Looks around at all the rubbish and random furniture / electronics on the Berlin street I'm currently on. Not sure what part of Germany you were in.


The lack of casual communication like nodding at someone as you pass them or smiling. This was Germany so...


Yeah i hear that the Small talk and stuff like that is really important to americans. Though of course it matters where In Europe or America, here In Finland we dont talk shit.


How nice and helpful everyone was. I was under the impression that most of the world absolutely hates Americans. Turns out they just hate our government, specifically the military. And they hate the stereotypical touristy Americans, but that's understandable, I hate them too. Also it was cool as hell to see buildings that're four times older than my home country. *And they're in better shape*


Difficulty understanding English in Scotland. Absolutely loved Scotland.


I was doing OK until I went to Glasgow. I literally guessed at what the server was saying. Ended up with something I didn't order but it was great nonetheless.


Haha. Food in Scotland was surprise too. It was some of if not THE best I've had in Europe IMO. Tight race with Italy.


Nudity on television.


For me it was the overwhelming sensation of same-ness. Essentially despite us mostly not speaking the same language, and some cultural idiosyncrasies these people are just like me, And thats awesome.


No accommodations for people with disabilities


went to Ireland (my ancestors are from there) and holy shit the Northern Irish really don't like the Irish.


I'm a dual-citizen and was raised jumping back and forth between the two but... people here don't drink enough water but are somehow fine. I don't know how or why but water glasses are always tiny and people rarely finish a carafe at the table. Carrying around water bottles like Nalgenes are very rare here - and in fact I often get lovingly mocked for having one. When is everyone else drinking water? I feel like I go through my Nalgene frequently and am still thirsty all the time.


The obsession with carrying water everywhere in the US is a pretty new phenomenon. I don’t think it really started until about 10 years ago. Somehow we survived.


Unless you’re sweating a lot, you only need to consume about 1.5 liters a day. This includes liquids in food. Just drinking a few glasses a day is usually enough. Though take sweating into account, and drinks that dehydrate you, like coffee.


I was surprised how jumpy I got sitting in the passenger side of a car in England. I didn't realise I'd be phantom driving in my head and think I'm going to crash every 5 mins


I went to Ireland and Northern Ireland in the mid-80's. While I know intellectually that there are some old buildings and such, it didn't really sink in until I stayed in a BnB that was older than the US. Of course, a close second was the violence in NI. The hotel at which we stayed ceased existing two days after we left because it was blown up.


They're reluctance to give me a damn cup of ice at the restaurant. Or they would bring the smallest cup filled with ice that would immediately melt when liquid added. I didn't know Americans had it so good with ice till then.


Might get downvoted for this But in Europe, gay men were less racist or "perference". In the U.S. it's normal for guys to say "white only! Just a preference!" Or "All-American men only" which just code for white I didn't encounter as many of those men in Europe. They seems to be less focused on race and view men more on nationality than on their skin color.


I've only been to a few countries: Spain - how different the food culture is; amount of Islamic influence (very cool) Germany - how much effort they spend to restore historical sites and how open they are about the history; also how much graffiti there was England - Some of the Londoners had very thick accents In general - It's hard as an American to appreciate depth of history without visiting other continents. The oldest building in my city was built in 1882!


I went to Italy in 2012. Apparently warm milk is acceptable, and I swear I drank a gallon all by myself in a single day when I got back because I missed it being COLD so much!