1. PARIS: A CHILD CRAPPING ON THE ENTRANCE OF DISNEYLAND
“Seeing an elderly Chinese tourist pull down her grandkid’s pants so he can take a crap on the sidewalk. It was in the entrance of Disneyland in Paris.”
2. ENGLAND: DRUNK WOMEN PUKING IN THE STREETS
“England! Believe me, I never saw, throughout Europe (and I’m Belgian, the country of beer) people drinking as much and as fast as an an Englishwoman does. Walk for 10 minutes on a Saturday night, see a girl peeing between two cars with like 100 people seeing her. Another girl running out of the pub puking her entire intestines. Smoke a cigarette and then a woman like falling on me with a man-like voice ‘oy mate, do you have a spare cigarette?’ I love England!”
3. BULGARIA: MAFIA GUYS KICK-FIGHTING IN AN ALLEY
“Getting ready to leave Sofia, Bulgaria and got to witness three men in suits having a kicks-only fight in an alley at like 11 AM. Even when punching would have sealed the deal, or when the target was too close to be effective with fisticuffs…only kicks. Asked another guy watching and he just said ‘I think they are mafia.’ I laughed but was left with more questions. What made him think they were mafia? The suits? The kicking? The alley?”
4. BRUSSELS: SHIRTLESS DUDES BODY-BOARDING ON OILED COW TONGUES
“I was waiting for the bus in Brussels after I got back from Liege and the entrance to the metro was behind us. There were a bunch of shiny, shirtless dudes (possibly in bathing suits?) taking turns body-boarding on top of cow tongues down the sloped entrance to the metro, which they had covered in oil…it was for them to be in a fraternity, which was also surprising. i had no idea that existed outside of the US.”
5. ATHENS: NINE GROWN MEN SHOOTING UP IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
“In Athens last December, I walked by nine (9!!) grown men shooting up in broad daylight in the street on a Saturday afternoon. Nice neighborhood too, like where tourists are. Two were literally sleeping on a blanket drooling on themselves. They were all 40+.
Very sad. I felt so bad.”
6. ITALY: PEOPLE SETTING THINGS ON FIRE AT A SOCCER GAME
“Going to a soccer game in Italy. When buying a ticket, they needed to know which team I was rooting for to determine where I could sit. Then, during the game, people were setting things on fire.”
7. GREECE: USED TOILET PAPER IN THE TRASH BIN
“The biggest WTF moment in Europe for me was in Greece. I didn’t know there were still places in the most developed parts of the world where you place your used toilet paper in the trash bin and not flush down the toilet.”
8. ROME: THE GRAND OLD UMBRELLA SCAM
“One time in Rome, it started pouring. As I sought shelter, I saw an older man selling one single umbrella. Strange as it was, I needed that umbrella, so I haggled with him and settled on 3 Euro (he had the upper hand in that transaction).
I wander over to a coffee shop to dry out for a little bit. When I go to leave, the umbrella is no longer in the bucket by the door. Upset at myself for being so trusting, I head into the rain again. Guess who I see? The same old man selling the same umbrella. I try to confront him about stealing back my umbrella, but he claims not to remember our interaction at all. It’s pouring and I have a number of miles to walk, so I go through the same charade with him again to re-procure the umbrella.
At least this time he took 2 Euro…”
9. MILAN: GYPSIES AND PILES OF TRASH
“Seeing gypsies in action was interesting. Coming in to Milan by train you pass some camps, and they are just filthy. Like a group of busted old campers surrounded by trash piles four feet high. Then you get into town and there are young women pretending to be crippled old ladies on almost every street corner begging for change. And then the kids are on the subway begging/pickpocketing in small groups. I certainly don’t hate gypsies, but now I see why Europeans are always so annoyed by them.”
10. GERMANY: TWENTY-MINUTE T.V. PORN COMMERCIALS
“All of the porn. Stayed with some host families in Germany for a month, after 10pm, like 20-minute-long pornography commercials would come on. Idk why they paid for ad time, the commercial alone was enough to get off (not that I ever did lmao). There would be racks with porn mags on them in gas stations just out in public, not covered in any way. One of the girls on the trip with me mentioned seeing a vibrator machine in a public bathroom.
It was a lot for someone who was 16 years old lol.”
11. SPAIN: GIANT STORK NESTS
“We were driving through Spain, and to the side of one of the roads, we noticed these MASSIVE bird nests in the high power electrical towers. They were at least twice the size of eagle’s nests that I had seen. And there were so many of them!
Then we saw these giant birds in them! We stopped by the side of the road and tried to take some pictures (didn’t have a great zoom lens, sadly). But no one else was stopping. It was so odd. We are accustomed to at least a few people stopping to watch the osprey, eagles, or other birds where I’m from.
So a few days later, we are chatting with a German tourist, and we bring up the birds…
I think she thought we were joking until we pulled out the pictures. Then she started laughing.
Storks. Those are storks. Of course, don’t you know that? They are everywhere and such a nuisance. Don’t you have storks in America?
Then she looked confused. Well, if you don’t have storks, who brings the babies in kids’ stories?
Um…how does that work?
And that was when we realized that the story of the storks makes a whole lot more sense when storks are nesting on every chimney, tree, or tall place….”
12. GERMANY: GRUMPY ELDERLY VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDES
“Spent a summer in Germany.
They had the cleanest/safest/best tasting tap water, but nobody drank it and they called it toilet water.
Also the older people in village seemed super grumpy and mean and would never smile or respond if you said hello or good morning, BUT if you asked them a substantive question, like how to get to the museum, they would spend 15 minutes telling you the fastest way to get there, the scenic way to get there, everything interesting you should do on the way there, why that museum isn’t actually that good and you should go to this other museum instead, all the different ways to get to the better museum, and where their grandmother used to live before the war.”
13. ENGLAND: NO INSECTS
“For me it was a lack of insects in England. Not that they don’t exist but I’m from Michigan with lots of swampy land around me. When I showed up at my dorm and saw there was no screen on my window I was just thinking about all of the bugs that are gonna get in my room. I got one fly the entire month stay there.”
14. SCOTLAND: BORED ABOUT BOMB THREATS
“In Scotland there was a bomb threat at a local gas station. The news anchor that was covering it interviewed locals about how they felt about this terrifying event. EVERY response fell along the lines of ‘I don’t know much about that, but I’m sure the government is taking care of it…back to my day,’ The faith in the government and not wanting to butt in blew my mind.”
15. AMSTERDAM: A GUY GETTING JACKED IN THE HEAD WITH A BOTTLE
“In Amsterdam I saw a guy get jacked in the head with a bottle, take two steps back and then pass out. All his friends scattered. Then the two old men shop owners were like, ‘lol, kids, amiright?'”
16. PORTUGAL: BEER AT MCDONALD’S
“I went to Portugal and Greece and they offer beer at McDonald’s! Awesome!”
17. SPAIN: AMERICAN TOURISTS WEARING SOMBREROS
“I was in Spain and I saw a group of American tourists wearing sombreros.”
18. HUNGARY: THOSE ANCIENT EXOTIC FACES
“The country of Hungary. I became fascinated with their history because they seemed so unlike any other European country. While the country is pretty modern and Budapest is very modern, they seem….ancient. It’s hard to explain. The language seems ancient as well….You know how when you go to a new country, and there are basically the same 10 faces repeated over and over? I’ve never seen the standard Hungarian look before. That was the one place I’d say the people looked ‘exotic.’ More so than people from places further east.”
19. ITALIAN BUMPER CARS
“I’ve lived in Asia for 10 years, so my opinion on things is a little different than your average ‘murican, but I am an American who visited the EU a few years ago. I live in Japan actually and the biggest thing I noticed, in Italy is, DAMN, people here actually use their bumpers for bumping. Cars are ALL dinged and dented up. Compared to Japan and the US, it’s crazy.”