13 Surprising Things America Doesn’t Allow (And 3 That Only We Do)

Ever wonder what everyday life looks like in different parts of the world? Well, thanks to some curious social media users, we’ve uncovered some fascinating and downright quirky customs and practices from around the globe. From unique shopping experiences to surprising legal loopholes, here are 16 trends and traditions that have left us scratching our heads and chuckling along the way.

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#1 Over The Counter Painkillers in Colombia

Composition with dietary supplement capsules and containers. Variety of drug pills
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“The second my friend landed in Colombia with us our local friends stopped at a pharmacy and got him a vial of something to inject because he had a cold. That was wild to me.”

In Colombia, you can skip the doctor’s visit and head straight to the pharmacy for prescription strength medicine. Many users were amazed when they discovered that you can buy opioids and even sleeping pills without a prescription.

#2 Grocery Shopping on Credit in Türkiye

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“It’s listed in a notebook by the store owner like “Mehmet owns the store 78 Liras” to be paid later.”

Forget cash or cards—some stores in Türkiye operate on trust. Users were surprised to learn that in certain areas, customers can simply jot down their purchases in a notebook to be paid later. It’s a throwback to simpler times when a handshake was as good as a contract.

#3 Kinder Eggs with Toys Inside

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“I grew up in Scotland, moved to the States 8 years ago. Kinder eggs with the toy are banned but a teenager can get access to a gun? Makes no sense.”

Kinder eggs with toys are banned in the United States due to a federal regulation that prohibits the sale of food products containing non-food items embedded within them. This ban was implemented over concerns about the potential choking hazard posed by small toys hidden inside edible items. However, some might say that easy access to guns poses the bigger safety hazard in America.

#4 Escaping Prison in the Netherlands

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“Yes, escaping in itself is not punishable in the Netherlands. Escaping from confinement is seen as an universal human drive and also people can not be forced to assist in their own punishment. In 2010, a woman escaped by digging a tunnel from prison. She was serving a 8 year prison sentence for attempted double murder. At the time of her escape she had 21 months to go. She was recaptured after six weeks, but did not get additional sentencing and just had to finish 21 months from the time of recapture.”

You may be stunned to learn that in Netherlands, escaping confinement is seen as a universal human drive, and even if recaptured, offenders may not face additional punishment. It’s a legal loophole that has led to some daring escape attempts and raised eyebrows worldwide. It’s the kind of thing that can never happen in America.

#5 Paid Surrogacy in the US

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While it may seem like a taboo topic elsewhere, in the US, women can be compensated for being surrogates. This practice has provided a lifeline for hopeful parents struggling with fertility issues, but it also raises ethical questions about commodifying childbirth.

#6 Camping Without Permission in Finland and Sweden

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Forget about booking a campsite, campers in Finland and Sweden can pitch their tents on private land without asking for permission. This unique freedom to roam, known as “everyman’s right,” allows outdoor enthusiasts to explore the wilderness with minimal red tape. Just remember to leave no trace and respect the environment.

#7 Coca Leaves in Bolivia

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In Bolivia, coca leaves, the source of the infamous drug, are as commonplace as coffee beans in other countries. While they’re illegal almost everywhere else, including neighboring countries, Bolivia embraces coca as an integral part of its culture and traditions. From coca tea to offerings in religious ceremonies, these leaves have deep roots in Bolivian society.

#8 Speeding on the Autobahn in Germany

Drive Fast
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Rev up your engines and let loose on the Autobahn, where there’s no speed limit in many sections. For adrenaline junkies and car enthusiasts, a trip to Germany means experiencing the thrill of pushing the pedal to the metal legally. Just be sure to keep an eye out for those flashing blue lights.

#9 Bride Kidnapping in Kazakhstan

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In Kazakhstan, love can take an unexpected turn with the ancient tradition of bride kidnapping, known as “ala kachuu.” While it may sound like something out of a movie, this practice involves a groom and his friends abducting the bride-to-be to initiate marriage negotiations. It’s a cultural phenomenon that’s as controversial as it is captivating.

#10 Public Drinking in Japan

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“Beer on the first train of the day to get you through your Monday? No problem. Plum wine in the park with your partner and all of your kids under some cherry blossoms? Have at it. Chugging Strong Zeroes in an alley with your friends because you’re too cheap to go to a restaurant? Not that I’ve ever done that, but you do you.”

From morning commutes to picnics under cherry blossoms, public drinking is perfectly acceptable in Japan. Whether you’re sipping sake on the subway or enjoying a cold beer in the park, the Japanese embrace the freedom to imbibe outdoors. Just remember to drink responsibly and recycle those cans.

#11 Trespassing in the UK

No Trespassing
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Believe it or not, trespassing isn’t technically a crime in the UK, at least not in the same way it is in other countries. While property owners have the right to ask trespassers to leave their land, simply crossing onto someone’s property without permission isn’t a criminal offense. This unique legal quirk often surprises visitors and highlights the UK’s emphasis on civil remedies for property disputes. So feel free to wander off the beaten path and explore the British countryside, as long as you do it respectfully.

#12 Christmas Tree Tradition in Latvia

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“Latvia: we can legally cut our own Christmas tree in state owned forest.”

In Latvia, getting a Christmas tree is a hands-on experience—literally! Residents can legally cut down their own Christmas trees in state-owned forests, adding a festive touch to the holiday season. This unique tradition brings families together as they venture into the woods to select the perfect tree, creating cherished memories and fostering a deeper connection to nature. So grab your axe and get ready to deck the halls Latvian-style.

#13 Food Additives in the US

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Ever wonder what’s in your food? In the US, certain preservatives, dyes, and miscellaneous chemicals that are commonly used in foods are banned in many other countries. While these additives may be deemed safe by US regulators, other countries have stricter standards when it comes to food safety. So next time you’re browsing the grocery aisles, take a closer look at those ingredient labels; you might be surprised by what’s allowed in American foods.

#14 Tropical Shirt Fridays in Australia

Hawaiian Shirt
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“That you can wear a crazy tropical shirt to work on a Friday (Hawaiian shirt is another name). It’s called tropical Friday. Yay for Australia.”

It’s a fun tradition that brings a touch of the tropics to the office and fosters a laid-back atmosphere to kick off the weekend. So break out those floral prints and embrace the island vibe, it’s time to say aloha to the weekend.

#15 Legal Fireworks in the US

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While fireworks may be banned in many countries due to safety concerns, in the US, they light up the night sky in spectacular displays of patriotism and celebration. From Fourth of July extravaganzas to New Year’s Eve festivities, legal fireworks bring communities together and add a dash of sparkle to special occasions.

#16 Pocket Knives and Multitools in Poland

Pocket Knives
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“Pocket knife/multitool/Swiss army knife. No problem in Poland, but most knives are not allowed to be openly carried in most other countries.”

While a pocket knife or multitool may be a handy accessory in Poland, travelers should exercise caution when crossing borders. In the United States, the laws regarding carrying pocket knives vary from state to state and even within municipalities. Generally, it is legal to carry a pocket knife as long as it is not classified as a switchblade or gravity knife, which are often subject to more restrictive regulations. However, the specific laws and restrictions regarding the type of pocket knife, blade length, and intended use can vary, so it’s essential to be aware of and comply with local regulations when carrying a pocket knife.

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10 Subtle Signs of a Wealthy Person

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While taking my daily scroll on the front page of the internet, I came across an interesting question. Someone asked, “What are subtle signs of wealth?” Here are the top responses.

10 Subtle Signs of a Wealthy Person

12 Essential Things That Are Frozen In Time Since 2020

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As the world gradually finds its footing after the unprecedented upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that the effects are still lingering in various aspects of our lives.

12 Essential Things That Are Frozen In Time Since 2020

11 Incredibly Valuable Pieces of Advice That Most People Initially Ignore

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In this list, we’ll explore the words of wisdom that, at first glance, might have seemed ordinary but turned out to be life-changing for those who heeded them.

11 Incredibly Valuable Pieces of Advice That Most People Initially Ignore

10 Unusual Hobbies That Are An Immediate Red Flag For Most People

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Hobbies can tell you a lot about a person, and sometimes, you stumble upon some that instantly raise your eyebrows. On a recent social media thread, users got into a spirited discussion about hobbies that are major red flags. From peculiar pastimes to downright disturbing activities, these hobbies have sparked quite the debate. Let’s dive into some of these eyebrow-raising interests, as discussed by various users.

10 Unusual Hobbies That Are An Immediate Red Flag For Most People

12 Of The Craziest Things Overheard on a Plane

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Air travel can often be an amusing, sometimes bewildering, experience. So fasten your seatbelts, and let’s take a look at what some folks have overheard during their airborne adventures.

12 Of The Craziest Things Overheard on a Plane