8 Funny Takes on European Quirks, as Noted by Americans

“Americans, what do Europeans do that you find really weird?”

Social media threads often uncover the quirks and cultural differences that make us scratch our heads in bemusement. From portable kitchens to bathroom light switches, Europeans seem to have a knack for surprising their American counterparts.

Let’s dive into a collection of curious and often amusing observations made by Americans about their European neighbors.

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#1 Kitchen on the Move

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Moving apartments can be a hassle, but imagine packing up your entire kitchen every time you change homes. That’s the reality in Germany, where apartments are often rented with unfurnished kitchens.

Therefore, some Berliners are known to transport their entire kitchen setup, appliances included, from one place to another. A baffling practice that truly leaves Americans scratching their heads.

“When you move, you take the kitchen with you. That is just mind-boggling to me.” – schroedingersnewcat

#2 Hamburger Flavored Cheetos and “American Food” Aisles

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Imagine wandering through a European supermarket and stumbling upon “American Food” aisles featuring peculiar items like hamburger-flavored Cheetos. This phenomenon raises eyebrows among Americans who’ve never encountered these curiosities back home.

“You guys have hamburger-flavored Cheetos in your ‘American Food’ aisle. Homie, we don’t even have those.” – tanis1110

#3 Bathroom Light Switches

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In Ireland and many other European countries, you might find bathroom light switches outside the door. A setup that leads to humorous anecdotes about family members accidentally flicking the switch off while someone is still inside. A quirk that baffles Americans accustomed to more conventional bathroom lighting.

“I can’t remember if this is Ireland-specific or a thing in the rest of Europe, but the bathroom light switch [is] outside of the door. Pray tell, Ireland, just how many times a father or a sibling has flicked the switch on and off or just straight up turned it off while you were doing your business?” – kurage-22

#4 The Love Of Football (Not The One You Know)

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Bonding over football, or soccer as it’s known in America, is a national pastime in many European countries. It’s a cultural phenomenon that showcases the passion for the sport, often leading to amusing conversations among colleagues.

“Two Germans will go into an office and shut the door as though they’re talking about something important. Nope, just soccer.” – Ok_Temperature_5019

“I have made up a theory that works most of the time in Germany: ‘If two people talk with each other and the subject is not said at the beginning of the conversation, it’s about soccer.” – horschdhorschd

#5 Garlic-Conscious Germans

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German coworkers’ sensitivity to smells can be amusing, showcasing an impressive level of consideration for office harmony.

“I think Germans, in general, are very determined to not annoy or disturb their coworkers. My German cousin, who loves garlic, won’t eat it any day other than Friday or Saturday because her coworkers would be offended by garlic breath if they were in a meeting.” – 10S_NE1

#6 Personal Space

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Personal space is often a cultural touchpoint, and Europeans seem to approach it differently. Americans find themselves amused, and sometimes frustrated, by Europeans standing closely in line, ignoring the invisible bubble of personal space they’re used to.

“I [lived] in Germany [for] 3 years, I loved everything about it, except one thing; personal space doesn’t exist in lines. I’d be standing in line at a store, and the next person behind me is breathing down my neck.” – [username]

Sweden was one country that stands out from the norm.

“Come to Sweden, you can use us Swedes as 2m measures (or 1m in crowded areas) because as long as you’re not in rush hour Stockholm, people have a very strong sense of personal space.” – ShrimpOfPrawns

#7 August

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The Unofficial European Shutdown Month of August often becomes a month of collective vacation for many Europeans. Offices, businesses, and even doctors’ availability can be scarce during this time. While Americans may find this widespread practice odd, it stems from the European tradition of taking extended summer breaks.

“I do find it a bit odd that everyone sort of agrees nothing happens in August. Like, for a whole month, you better not need anything done – even doctors seem scarce.” – zazzlekdazzle

#8 Multilingual Mastery

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Many Europeans boast impressive language skills, leaving Americans in awe. From speaking multiple languages fluently to navigating linguistic diversity across countries, Europeans excel at communicating.

“Not weird, but I’m always pretty impressed by their grasp of languages. Here’s Ivan straight outta the mean streets of Moscow, who speaks better English than I do, and he also speaks Portuguese and Mandarin.” – ceyeye3219

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