20 Travelers Share Weird And Unexpected Experiences

Culture shock is a phenomenon that many travelers experience when visiting a foreign country. It refers to disorientation and confusion when encountering unfamiliar customs, behaviors, and social norms. Recently on an online platform, people have shared some of the worst culture shocks experienced while traveling.

1. Mob Violence in East Africa

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As a voyager recounts, a harrowing episode unfolded in East Africa when a thief tried to snatch a motorcycle battery and paid a gruesome price at the hands of an enraged mob. The assailants savagely slapped the man's skull with the exact item he aimed to rob as law enforcement looked on, idle and impassive. The traveler was shaken, concluding that East Africa can be a place of unnerving uncertainty and peril.

2. No Shoes, No Socks, No Cares in New Zealand

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Startling to a voyager, the prevalence of shoeless residents in New Zealand left a profound impression. A curious spectacle not confined to any particular locale or circumstance, the traveler was taken aback by the sight of barefooted individuals frequenting ubiquitous spots such as Starbucks, malls, public transit, and the very thoroughfares they traversed. The laissez-faire attitude towards footwear was a startling cultural revelation for the traveler, prompting a re-evaluation of their assumptions and norms.

3. Racial Insensitivity in Greece

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Upon arriving in Greece, a traveler ventured into a local t-shirt shop where the owner asked where they were from. The traveler replied with “Chicago,” the closest major city to their hometown. The owner admired the city, stating that she had always wanted to visit, and added, “I love black people!” The traveler was taken aback and unsure how to respond to the unexpected and uncomfortable comment.

4. Offensive Views in China

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An American tourist residing in the impoverished provinces of China was left reeling from the most profound culture shocks. Among the myriad of jarring encounters was a perplexing exchange where locals expressed gratitude towards the traveler for dropping the atomic bombs on “those Japanese monkeys.” Yet, the shock only deepened as the traveler conversed with a person who held the outrageous belief that all black people had AIDS and were responsible for propagating the disease across the globe. These entrenched, offensive, and deeply-held convictions left the traveler utterly dumbfounded and speechless.

5. Moscow's Train System and Culture Shock

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A Reddit user shared a riveting account of their journey from the United States to Moscow, besieged by culture shock in the first fortnight. The sheer enormity of the city, 18 times the size of their hometown, was overwhelming, and navigating through the maze of streets proved to be a formidable challenge. The most memorable of their culture shock experiences came on the second day when they were lost in the train system for hours. While the train system was efficient, the traveler soon discovered that navigating without prior knowledge was daunting.

6. Soviet-Era Views on Petitions

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A curious traveler embarked on a journey to Germany with a friend of a friend hailing from the Soviet Union. As the group traversed the bustling streets, they were approached by a man seeking signatures on a petition. The concept confounded the Soviet-born companion, and when the traveler explained it to him, he offered a startling observation: “In my country, if you want to change the government, you just disappear.” This jarring comment served as a poignant reminder of the vast differences in political systems and freedoms across the globe, a sobering realization for those who may take their liberties for granted.

7. Driving in Poland and India

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A wandering soul narrated a riveting story of culture shock during their transition to Poland and subsequent driving experiences. Bewildered, they observed that motorists operated under the assumption that speed limit signs were posted in imperial rather than metric units. Their worldview was further shattered during a trip to Calcutta, India, where they bore witness to driving a completely different order. Upon returning to Poland, the traveler realized that while Polish traffic was still chaotic, it was not as insane as they had initially assumed.

8. The American Milkshake Experience

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An individual shared a captivating anecdote about their inaugural trip to the United States, marked by a remarkable culture shock incident at a Houston airport diner. Placing an order for a milkshake, they were astonished to receive a cup twice the size they anticipated, complete with the shaker used to make it, ensuring that no delectable ice cream would be left behind. The experience left an indelible impression on the traveler, and they felt a wave of reassurance washes over them, confident that they were in for an unforgettable experience in the land of the free.

9. Chinese Toilets: Holes in the Ground

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A seasoned traveler shared their experience of encountering Chinese toilets, essentially just holes in the ground. The traveler found the experience even worse in the countryside, where no walls and people squatted in the open. To make matters worse, everything falls into a smelly ditch beneath, leaving a lot to be desired regarding hygiene. The traveler mentioned that you could actually see all the poop in the ditch, which was quite shocking for them.

10. Touring Egypt with Government Security

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As the final user embarked on their journey to Egypt, they were warned of a potential culture shock awaiting them. To ensure their safety, they enlisted a personal tour guide and a government security guard. During their expedition, the traveler's mother inquired about the Egyptian government, to which the tour guide replied with high praise. However, a hushed whisper from the guide later warned the traveler's mother to refrain from discussing such topics with the guard present, as it could lead to dire consequences for the guide. This realization sent shivers down the traveler's spine, illuminating the harsh reality of speaking out against the government in Egypt.

11. Being a White Celebrity in Asia

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Imagine being treated like a celebrity just because of your skin color! An adventurer shared their awe-inspiring culture shock experience while exploring parts of Asia. They were approached by locals who couldn't stop gushing about their good looks and even attempted to set them up with their friends, daughters, and themselves! This was a stark contrast to the Western culture, where personal space is highly respected. It was an eye-opening experience for the explorer who discovered how personal space varies widely across different cultures.

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12. Waiters as Respectable Career in Italy

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Italy is known for its exquisite food and stunning architecture, but did you know that being a server in a restaurant is considered a respectable career? A curious wanderer shared their culture shock experience while dining in Italy. They realized that tipping 15% of the bill was considered generous, quite different from the tipping culture in the United States. The traveler had to adjust to this unique cultural difference during their visit to Italy.

13. Closed Businesses on Sundays in Italy

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Join the young explorer on their family trip to Italy, where they discovered a mind-blowing revelation – most restaurants and businesses are closed on Sundays. This revelation shocked the 13-year-old, who was used to bustling Sundays of shopping and dining out in the United States. In Italy, however, Sundays are reserved for rest. The junior adventurer had to adapt their plans and embrace the slower pace of life on Sundays, learning to appreciate this unique aspect of Italian culture.

14. Australian English Was a Challenge

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When traveling to a new country, you expect the language to be somewhat familiar. Well, not for this globetrotter who moved to Australia at the age of 20. They were in for a surprise when they encountered a heavy accent and slang. The traveler offered to get breakfast for their friend, Shane, who responded with phrases like “Oi Maccas Fair Dinkum mate!” and “Had to ruck up early for the physio and my ute was out of petrol so stopped at the servo and asked the Sheila if they had brekky but noooouaahho just lollies so I've been getting aggro.” The traveler was left completely baffled and had to ask if Shane wanted a burrito or not.

15. No Free Time Concept in Cambodia

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Have you ever thought about how much time you spend working versus relaxing? A bold adventurer in Cambodia hired a tuk-tuk driver and struck up a conversation. They asked the driver what he did in his free time, and the driver's response left them stunned. “What do you mean? I sleep!” The adventurer realized that the driver's entire life was consumed by work, and he had no time for leisure. This was a humbling experience for the traveler who became more aware of their privilege.

16. Beijing Bikini and Toilet on the Floor

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Traveling is full of surprises, and sometimes they can be bizarre. A curious voyager shared their amusement and shock while exploring Beijing, China. They couldn't help but laugh at the “Beijing bikini” trend, where older men tuck their t-shirts into their necks to expose their bellies. But that wasn't the only cultural norm that left them shocked. Some parents allowed their children to defecate on the ground, which was definitely a culture shock for the traveler.

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17. Pizza With Ketchup in Eastern Europe

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Prepare for a taste bud rollercoaster in Eastern Europe! Our curious adventurer stumbled upon a cultural shock that left them utterly surprised. Imagine ordering a pizza and finding it served with ketchup or other sauces. This unexpected twist on a classic dish was something they never anticipated. While it may be a common practice in certain parts of Eastern Europe, for the traveler, it was a delightful yet bewildering experience that won't fade from memory anytime soon.

18. Overwhelming Security in Heathrow

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The world traveler had a surprise when they arrived at Heathrow Airport after a long-haul flight. Instead of a warm welcome, they were met with heavily armed security guards who carried more firepower than the entire police force back home in New Zealand. The sight starkly contrasted what they were used to and left them feeling uneasy about the varying levels of security measures worldwide.

19. Cellphones Without Running Water in Honduras

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While exploring Honduras, the intrepid voyager discovered a culture shock that challenged their preconceptions about access to technology and basic amenities. They were not surprised to find that many locals lacked running water and electricity, but they were shocked to see the same people owning modern devices like cell phones and laptops. It was a reminder that technology can bridge gaps in many ways, but access to basic necessities remains a significant issue.

20. Shocking Billboards in the US

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Imagine driving through the States after coming from Canada and being confronted with billboards that challenge your cultural norms. That's exactly what happened to this cultural explorer. Their eyes widened in disbelief when they encountered a billboard boldly proclaiming, “Jesus would keep the baby.” Such religious messaging starkly contrasted their Canadian experience, leading to an immense culture shock that left a lasting impression.

Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

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Crime is at an all-time high in the United States, and people are fleeing the most dangerous cities in favor of safer places. Here are the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States today.

“Watch Your Wallet” 10 Tourist Traps Everyone Inevitably Experiences

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When it comes to traveling, every city has its charms and its traps. However, some cities are more known for their tourist traps than others. In a popular thread on a social media platform, travelers were asked which cities they believed to be the biggest tourist traps. Here are the top 10 cities that made the list.

“The Italian Countryside For Me” 10 Places To Move To If Money Were No Big Deal

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The United States is home to some of the world's most stunning natural landscapes, from towering mountain ranges to breathtaking coastlines. When asked where the most beautiful place in the United States is, users on an AskReddit thread had no shortage of stunning locations to share. Here are ten of the most popular responses:

“Don't Be A Mooch” 10 Things Canadians Will Judge You For If You Don't Do

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When it comes to travel trailers, there are a lot of different brands on the market. This article will discuss 10 of the best travel trailer brands on the market today. We will describe the features of each brand and give our top pick for the best product. So whether you need space for two people or the whole family, we have you covered.

States People Are Leaving (And Where They're Going)

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It's no secret that people are moving around the United States a lot lately. Ever since the rapid increase in housing prices and the rapid decrease of employment since the pandemic, people have been searching for more affordable places to go.  So where are all these people going? Let's take a look at some of the states that are losing the most people and where they are ending up.

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