I know that the grass is always greener, and most of us are proud to be from the country we call home, but listen – everyone can improve, right? The easiest way to do that is to look around, see what’s working other places, and bring it home, right?
These 16 people have some amazing ideas of best practices abroad that would serve them well at home, if only their country would get on board.
16. This would require a cultural shift.
Speaking of, the one “standard” Japanese thing I’d like to see in the US would be the way you interact with servers at restaurants.
Rather than the onus being on the server to check up on you ever few minutes, you can just call out to the server when you need them and they won’t bother you outside of that. When you try to do the same thing in the US it just feels rude, like you’re specifically pointing out to your server that they’re neglecting you or something.
15. I would gladly fork over some change in exchange.
Make an attempt to keep public bathrooms clean FFS.
14. We can all use a mental break.
Shout out to my Swedish friends.
Fika is a social institution in Sweden where people take a break from work for coffee and socializing. It’s about slowing down, catching up with friends, and really not being so focused on work.
It’s the mindset that comes with it about self-care and not overworking yourself that I find so refreshing. In North America, coffee breaks at work typically still revolve around work talk that you don’t get a chance for a mental break.
13. Ain’t that the truth.
work life balance.
working to death is not the answer in an asian society that always wanna win or never lose face
12. I miss nap time.
Having a siesta mid day and then everyone staying up way later and hanging out
11. Find a bin, people.
Cleaning up rubbish.
I’m born in Ireland but i’m from Romania. They don’t clean up rubbish in Romania. This is for the simple fact that there aren’t empty trash bins to throw rubbish into.
This is most evident in touristic areas like beaches, hiking areas and rivers. There’s literally rivers filled with rubbish from tourists who don’t have the decency to hold on to the rubbish.
That’s what i would want in Romania.
10. There are upsides and downsides.
Germany here – good internet and mobile coverage.
9. What a novel concept.
When I was in France I was taken aback watching people argue about things… and not getting upset with each other.
As an Australian that was one of the most refreshing things I’d ever seen. In my part of the world people attach themselves personally to every little inconsequential opinion or viewpoint. If you challenge that viewpoint, people respond as if you’re attacking them personally and it turns to sh^t like clockwork.
It’s such a deep-seated attitude, we ended up with the phrase ”No politics at the dinner table”. Someone’s inevitably gonna get upset and then everyone’s having a sh^t night.
French don’t give a f*ck… they’ll debate politics, philosophy, religion, economics, all that sh^t until they’re blue in the face; the mood never drops, you don’t feel the energy in the room become more and more hostile.
So that was nice.
8. Smaller portion sizes in general.
More emphasis of quality over quantity in food.
A giant cup of watered down coffee is not as satisfying as a modest-sized but decent coffee. A giant chocolate bar made with crappy ingredients that just barely legally qualifies as chocolate is not as satisfying are a proper piece of real chocolate.
7. That would be a nice shock.
I’ve heard that other countries are much more generous with vacation time for professional workers than the US is. Probably that.
This has been the biggest culture shock I’ve had moving to Poland. I never had a job in the US that gave vacation days. Poland I think the minimum is 21 days. People seem way happier about work here in general.
Also, cashiers get to sit down! I worked a few different retail jobs where if you even leaned against the belt you’d be scolded. Seeing cashiers sitting down was hugely shocking at first.
6. Both of these.
It seems a lot more normal in the states to go to therapy, which I wish was a thing here in the UK. Obviously there is therapy here, but from my perspective here it seems like society only thinks you should go to therapy if you have serious diagnosed issues, when in reality it can help everyone from time to time.
Also bidets. Never tried one but it makes much more sense hygiene wise. Like, if you had poop on your hand you wouldn’t be content with just wiping it off, you’d (hopefully) properly wash your hands with soap and water.
5. It just makes sense, right?
The buttons at tables in restaurants in Korea that request a server.
It’s so handy and nobody ever gets pissed off that somebody hasn’t come to get their order.
4. I never realized this was a thing.
Showing the actual price of items in stores instead of having to add the tax on.
Seems like a small thing, but it can make quite a difference.
3. That sounds lovely.
Asian night markets.
Not many places you can go in the US at night to just walk around, hangout, get some food, other than bars.
Guess that’s why malls used to be so popular.
2. I would love this.
More emphasis on public transportation like Europe (I’m from U.S.).
Especially at night. Public transportation can be a real life-saver.
1. Night life doesn’t have to mean drinking.
I have a problem similar to this. In my country, night time is as active as daytime, even more so since people aren’t in work/school. Every cafe, shop, restaurant, patisserie, mall etc. are all open till midnight if not even later. Finding 24/7 open places aren’t difficult either. So it’s really active, and fun, and safe.
Now I live in UK and everywhere closes so early and the place turns into a ghost town, with only pubs open. I hate how I can’t just go to a cafe and spend my night there chatting with a friend. Or just simply walk down the streets that are busy and fun. Instead only choice is pubs or clubs and I have zero interest in any. I also hate the drinking culture here. Streets feels super unsafe since nowhere but pubs are open. I love UK in general, but I wish I could swap their drinking culture with our night life.
I live in the States and I agree with pretty much all of these. Whew!
What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments!