Things from other cultures/countries that you’ll never understand!

CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
edited November 2017 in General Discussion Posts: 1,003
I thought this would be interesting. Is there anything that you have seen or heard from a different culture or country that you found odd or confusing? (Please no personal attacking or trying to start political wars).

Being from Texas I always found it odd when my cousins up north would ask me for a “pop”, I remember saying “You want me to punch you? What!?” So down south we’d always call soft drinks soda and up north they’d call it a pop.

Funny thing that I recently wistnessed, I work at a luxury private golf course/neighborhood. We recently had a ton of foreigners move to the neighborhood. Every now and then super early in the morning when I am driving a golf cart I’d see them driving straight at me.. They’d angrily yell at me or other people that we were driving on the wrong side of the road... I guess they forgot they weren’t across the pond anymore! LOL.

I am trying to think of some more instances but feel free to ask questions and vice versa! Also state where you are from. It’ll be easier to keep up with.

(Texas,USA)
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Comments

  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,532
    Right back at you, friend. When people down South say "Coke" meaning pop.

    :D

    I jest of course.

    I'm from Maple Grove, Minnesota. We're getting snow.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,467
    I'm from Upstate New York and we call it soda there. "Pop" means you're from somewhere else.

    Driving on the highways of Egypt, I was cautioned that a driver honking his horn meant "keep doing what you're doing, I'm moving around you" (rather than "get the heck out of the way"). They were right. It worked great.
    depositphotos_1008668-stock-photo-.jpg
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    edited November 2017 Posts: 3,532
    When in a foreign area, I can say "soda" but usually people pick out where I'm from anyway due to the Fargoish accent I've tried so desperately to lose.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,467
    In Asia or the Middle East I greeted folks on the street with "HAH-low", so they don't automatically tag me as American. (As if!) Plus I wear shoes, not sneakers/running shoes/trainers. Or flip flops.
    In place of "soda", I say "gin-tonic". Works every time so far.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,499
    In CA, we all say soda. In Oregon, everyone called it pop. At first, I didn't know what the hell they were talking about.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,532
    Maybe I should just say "fizzy, non-alcoholic drink" from now on.
  • Posts: 15,204
    I have this one thing I always notice when watching any American tv-shows (sitcoms, dramas, you name it) – shoes.

    big-bang-660x450.jpg?w=660&h=495

    If a character is indoors (at home or at someone else's home), the character is always wearing shoes. Not the typical 'indoor shoes' as I would call it, but sneakers or other 'outdoor-sy' shoes. Here in Norway, you always take off your shoes when entering someones home. Is this not a thing in other countries?
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,532
    I have this one thing I always notice when watching any American tv-shows (sitcoms, dramas, you name it) – shoes.

    big-bang-660x450.jpg?w=660&h=495

    If a character is indoors (at home or at someone else's home), the character is always wearing shoes. Not the typical 'indoor shoes' as I would call it, but sneakers or other 'outdoor-sy' shoes. Here in Norway, you always take off your shoes when entering someones home. Is this not a thing in other countries?

    Generally, we do not wear shoes in a house as a guest in America, unless the homeowner says it's okay to leave them on.
  • Usually you wouldn't wear shoes in somebody's home. Some people are cool with it and they'll let you know. Sometimes it depends on the occasion. There are certainly times—like during a dinner party where people are going from the kitchen to the patio—where you would be expected to keep your shoes on at all times. In a situation like The Big Bang Theory or Friends where the characters basically inhabit two apartments directly across a hallway from each other and they're passing back and forth, yeah, I'd imagine "shoes-on" would be pretty standard.
  • Posts: 15,204
    Ah, good to have that one sorted then. Have always looked so strange having characters (even those not going to and from apartments across the hallway) walking around their homes with outdoor shoes on.
  • CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
    Posts: 1,003
    I know a lot of people wear boat shoes and slides. It’s the cool thing to do because you can easily take them off and slide them back on. A lot better than unlacing your shoes and taking them off and putting them back on.
  • Posts: 15,204
    I wear slides, but only indoors. They're my 'indoor shoes', if you like. Boat shoes is strictly an outdoors thing.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,201
    Numbers!

    E.g. Twelve million five hundred people inhabit a region that is only twenty-five percent of the country's total area.

    In Europe: "12 000 500" or "12.000.500"
    In America: "12,000,500"

    In Europe: "0,25"
    In America: "0.25"

    It's so darn confusing!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Numbers!

    E.g. Twelve million five hundred people inhabit a region that is only twenty-five percent of the country's total area.

    In Europe: "12 000 500" or "12.000.500"
    In America: "12,000,500"

    In Europe: "0,25"
    In America: "0.25"

    It's so darn confusing!

    I'd like to distance myself from this drivel and side with our American cousins. Its clearly 12,000,500 and 0.25.

    Thank God we opted for Brexit if this what Brussels plans to foist on us one day.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 11,087
    In Australia, you simply turn the numbers upside down.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,201
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Numbers!

    E.g. Twelve million five hundred people inhabit a region that is only twenty-five percent of the country's total area.

    In Europe: "12 000 500" or "12.000.500"
    In America: "12,000,500"

    In Europe: "0,25"
    In America: "0.25"

    It's so darn confusing!

    I'd like to distance myself from this drivel and side with our American cousins. Its clearly 12,000,500 and 0.25.

    Thank God we opted for Brexit if this what Brussels plans to foist on us one day.

    Well I'm sure it's nothing to get worked up over, really, @TheWizardOfIce. As far as I can tell, those morons in Brussels don't care about how numbers are written and they probably have more important things to do than impose commas and points on you. So don't get angry, you're quite safe from the dreadful prospect of having to type "0,25". In the end, I myself command both systems. I don't care which one is used to be frank. But since most of my science textbooks use the American system, that's where my personal preferences gravitate towards. I honestly fail to see what Brexit has to do with this, except to hammer a sense of nationalistic pride, which matters even less to me than Ron Jeremy's sex life, in this discussion.

    Another thing is of course the metric system. Some people get angry when the fahrenheit versus degree debate is brought up. Since I'm reasonably intelligent, I'm capable of using both. Besides, really smart people express temperatures in kelvin, but I digress. Then there's the mile versus kilometer, the BTU versus the joule, the pound versus the kilogram, and so on. Again, not a problem, but for the more mathematically challenged, it would be useful to eliminate all systems but one. Of course we have more or less done that, except that a minor few countries have chauvinistically clung to their own system. So while most people on planet Earth use the 'International System of Units', some stubbornly refuse to yield. Survival of the fittest and all that... We'll see which system will last. ;-)
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,467
    There's the difference between the UK and the US pint.
    Doesn't seem so important when either is in front of me, though.
    s-l225.jpg
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited November 2017 Posts: 9,117
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    except that a minor few countries have chauvinistically clung to their own system. So while most people on planet Earth use the 'International System of Units', some stubbornly refuse to yield. Survival of the fittest and all that... We'll see which system will last. ;-)

    Well if it boils down to a war over miles, pints and ounces v km, litres and grams the US and UK v the EU would be a no contest. And Trump is mental enough the world could end over such a trivial spat.

    Angela and Macron would have to go grovelling to Russia and China (Christ alone knows what measurement system they use but in 20 years we'll all be using it I guess) to protect you.
    There's the difference between the UK and the US pint.
    Doesn't seem so important when either is in front of me, though.
    s-l225.jpg

    Speak for yourself. Watered down American beer or a flaggon of foaming English ale? There's a chasm of difference. Although to be fair this is one area the Europeans have the edge even if they do measure it in ml.
  • Posts: 15,204
    I'm enjoying half a litre of cold delicious beer right now. :-D
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,467
    I do. With a positive outlook.peanuts.jpg
    And you go, @Torgeirtrap. Lead the way.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,227
    The French. Don't understand them at all.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2017 Posts: 23,883
    re: the shoes thing. It's been my experience that prevailing year round climate in the country plays a role, as does type of flooring and types of shoes (as has been mentioned).

    As an example, in cooler parts of the US and in Canada I've noticed shoes off as a rule . However, I've been sometimes advised by hosts to keep them on when there was wooden or laminate flooring in the summer. I've also seen guest slippers to wear indoors (including in cooler basements) in some Asian homes in both countries.

    In the UK shoes were generally on for guests, at least as I remember when I lived there, & despite the rainy climate. However, it depended on the original background of the host (they brought their cultural norms over). Also, some of the old homes were quite cold, resulting in lots of sweater/pullover (or 'cardigan') use, which is not so prevalent in US/Canada.

    They call it 'pop' rather than 'soda' in Canada too. I recall the term 'soft drink' somewhere too, but can't remember where they called it that.
    --

    In terms of things I'll never understand in foreign lands: not much really. I've lived in many places and so I suppose I'm sort of immune to being surprised by cultural differences, and sort of expect it. I have not been to Tokyo, Seoul or Shanghai however, and I think those places would definitely surprise me in a positive way as they are quite advanced and yet quite different.
  • edited November 2017 Posts: 15,204
    Make that one litre! *hic*
  • Posts: 4,618
    Since I've heard about, I can't wrap my head around the "Right on Red" thing they have in the States. Here, when the traffic light is red, we stop ! And wait until it's green again to move, even if we want to turn right ! Unless there's a little orange arrow telling us we can do it, but otherwise, les flics will want to have a word with you if you do that in front of them.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2017 Posts: 23,883
    Gerard wrote: »
    Since I've heard about, I can't wrap my head around the "Right on Red" thing they have in the States. Here, when the traffic light is red, we stop ! And wait until it's green again to move, even if we want to turn right ! Unless there's a little orange arrow telling us we can do it, but otherwise, les flics will want to have a word with you if you do that in front of them.
    Yes, that's a good point. Some jurisdictions and interesections will have a green arrow for turn right.

    There's also a flashing yellow which generally means proceed with caution. Canada has a flashing green which allows left turns subject to pedestrian priority.

    One thing I noticed in L.A. was that the amber signal lasted for a very short while, and folks generally came to a stop when the light turned that colour. In Toronto in contrast it lasts for quite a bit longer normally and so more folks attempt to speed through prior to it going red.

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned roundabouts. I know people who are unfamiliar with them always get confused.
  • CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
    Posts: 1,003
    Gerard wrote: »
    Since I've heard about, I can't wrap my head around the "Right on Red" thing they have in the States. Here, when the traffic light is red, we stop ! And wait until it's green again to move, even if we want to turn right ! Unless there's a little orange arrow telling us we can do it, but otherwise, les flics will want to have a word with you if you do that in front of them.

    Very common. It’s pretty normal. Although there’s a huge complaint in our town right now. Certain section gets blocked because you have people getting off of work and school turning right on a red light. Which blocks the traffic from the opposite side from turning left. Kinda confusing I know lol.
  • It's basically as if you had a stop sign—or as if your orange light were always on. You only have the right of way on a "red right" if all other through traffic is clear. It makes sense. It's such a brief turn you couldn't possibly impede any other traffic unless you can see someone coming (in which case you shouldn't go).
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Digitalia
    Posts: 40,500
    In some countries, a pedestrian can t cross the street on red even if it s clear. What s up with that? If I go to Sweden and do that, people look at me funny.
  • Posts: 4,618
    It could be worse : you're doing it in Germany, you get a fine. Happened to me while I was stationed in Trier. In France, you can do that in front of a policeman, he won't even bat an eye.
  • Posts: 15,204
    bondjames wrote: »
    re: the shoes thing. It's been my experience that prevailing year round climate in the country plays a role, as does type of flooring and types of shoes (as has been mentioned).

    As an example, in cooler parts of the US and in Canada I've noticed shoes off as a rule . However, I've been sometimes advised by hosts to keep them on when there was wooden or laminate flooring in the summer. I've also seen guest slippers to wear indoors (including in cooler basements) in some Asian homes in both countries.

    In the UK shoes were generally on for guests, at least as I remember when I lived there, & despite the rainy climate. However, it depended on the original background of the host (they brought their cultural norms over). Also, some of the old homes were quite cold, resulting in lots of sweater/pullover (or 'cardigan') use, which is not so prevalent in US/Canada.

    True, climate might be a factor some places. Still, with wearing outdoor shoes inside, you are dragging dirt inside your own/someone's home. Shoes off when entering, no problem!
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