Which was the last country you visited or how many countries have you visited so far? What if I ask you what was the weirdest thing or the most interesting thing you encountered in a foreign country? So many, isn’t it? Yes, when you travel around the world, you see and experience so many different things that you don’t in your country. Today, let me take you to those memories again, and those who have not been to any country will surely be surprised to know them:
1. Cow urine (gomutra) is considered holy by some Indians.
This one can be disgusting to witness not only for outsiders but for a lot of Indians as well. There are still many in the country who hold cow urine to be special and holy. They claim that it contains special hormones and minerals, therefore, they drink it.
2. Safety just an idea in the Philippines.
It is said that buses in the Philippines are so crowded that after all the seats are occupied, they fill the aisle with plastic chairs. How unsafe! What if the passengers need to exit the bus in any emergency? Not just that, even after all those seats are filled, teens are sent to ride on the roof of the bus.
3. People piss and shit on the streets in India and China.
The next time you come to India or China, don’t be surprised to see people peeing in public or shitting on the streets. It’s just a normal thing for many people of these two countries. And you can witness the sight of women carrying their kids down the street, then holding the kid a few cm away from the sidewalk to do their ‘business’.
4. There are absolutely no addresses in Costa Rica.
If you want to go somewhere in Costa Rica, you have to know the landmarks around that area. There are no home or office addresses. For many, it’s a pain in the ass to get home from the bar. There’s absolutely no addresses in Costa Rica.
5. There are half-built houses everywhere in Belize.
Everywhere you go in Belize, you will be surprised by the sight of houses just half-built. It is said that the houses are kept unfinished because there’s a policy that if they don’t complete their houses they don’t have to pay property taxes.
6. Military personnel are everywhere and carry AK47s in Rwanda.
The next time you visit Rwanda, don’t be surprises to see military presence EVERYWHERE carrying AK47s. You just walk in to a shopping mall and you’ll see f*****g armed guards with AK47s standing in front of the doors to make sure that you don’t steal anything.
7. Straight men walk around holding hands in the Middle East.
When in the Middle East, seeing grown men, apparently straight, walking around holding hands together is just a perfectly normal thing. It’s a sign of close friendship, rather than the signifier of a romantic relationship. This is despite the extreme social taboo against homosexuality in most parts of the Middle East.
8. People throw napkins on the floor of the tapas (pintxos as they call it) place in Bilbao.
People of Bilbao believe that having a lot of napkins on the floor is a quality indicator for the restaurant.
9. Plagiarism a normal thing in the Philippines.
Believe it or not, it is said that students here can even pay people to write their senior thesis papers for them! It is also said that almost everyone had at least one person plagiarize their part.
10. Restaurants sharing plates, bowls etc. in Korea.
It is said that most restaurants in Korea serve food family style, and for them the culture of sharing plates, bowls etc. with each other is just a normal thing.
11. People stand perfectly in line while boarding public transit in Taiwan.
In Taiwan, everyone waits in line to board, and the strangest thing is no one will ever push or shove the other to get on first. Everyone just waits for their turn. And one won’t see groups of people taking up the whole sidewalk there, either.
12. Roofs of houses serve as backyards for dogs in Ecuador.
It is said that in Ecuador, it’s completely normal to use the roof of their house as a backyard to let their dog roam around.
13. Adult men hitting on underage girls in Morocco and Tunisia.
What the fuck, guys, seriously.
14. People walking around shopping centers and city streets with no shoes on in Australia and New Zealand’s Auckland city.
In Australia, it is quite normal to see people walking around barefoot in shopping centers. So also in New Zealand’s Auckland city. There are just normal people in normal clothes downtown with no shoes on.
15. People sunbathe topless in London.
It’s just a normal thing for people in and around Central London parks to stay in the sun in their underwear. It is said that a bit of sun would come out and office workers would sit out in their lunch breaks without tops.
16. People sit and watch a film till the roll of the credits is over in Japan.
It’s a courtesy to the filmmakers, and the less-celebrated members of the crew. Sometimes all the recognition these people get is their name buried in the credits, and Japanese folks seem to understand that. This really seems like a thing that should be a part of all cultures.
17. Common ‘Quiet Prayer Time’ all at once by all citizens in Samoa and Philippines.
It is said that in Samoa, in the evening time around 7 in most villages, dozens of men would go out in the road and blow on conch shells to mark the ‘sa’, or a quiet prayer time. It is illegal to be walking anywhere, to be loud, etc, for the length of the 5-10 minute. Likewise in Philippines, it is said that, in the afternoon, once an announcement is given, everyone would at once give up anything that they do and stop to pray.
18. The level of expensiveness in Switzerland is mind-boggling.
It is said that when one mention the price of things in one’s country when in Switzerland the answer one gets is: “Welcome to Switzerland”. A pint in Switzerland is €8. A plate of spaghetti in a smallish restaurant is €30. While in Italy, lunch with two pizzas and drinks in an upscale restaurant is just €24. Nobody really exaggerates when they tell you Switzerland is expensive.
19. Children and infants are spotted in bars in Spain.
It is said seeing children and even infants in bars in Spain is not something to be surprised at as it’s quite normal there.
20. Cock fights and openly sold magic mushrooms are common in Indonesia.