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Europeans Explain Their Biggest Culture Shock Moments in America

By Mustafa Gatollari

Culture shock is real. Just ask anyone who's driven on American roads their entire life and then find themselves on the nightmare highway free-for-all that are Egypt's streets. Lanes and traffic lights are mere suggestions, and drivers use their car horns more than they do their turn signals. It's wild, wild stuff. And as weird as some foreign practices seem to us, our neighbors around the globe are just as flabbergasted by some of the things that go down in the U-S-of-A. 

I can still remember how confused a friend of mine from Bulgaria was when he saw commercials on cable TV. She just looked blankly at me and said, "But...you pay for it." I mean she has a point: If advertisers are funding our airtime on network television, then what are our cable subscription dollars going to?

I didn't really have an answer for her, because she's totally right. There are plenty of experiences that Europeans, like my friend, have when they first come to the U.S. and interact with a practice that seems crazy to them. This AskReddit thread has some pretty good ones.