11. That it’s possible to weave through Cairo traffic with the skill of a seasoned rally driver, while driving a manual transmission car, frequently using the horn and sipping tea (by holding the saucer, not the cup) at the same time. Shout out to our taxi driver in Cairo.
12. From a tropical country near the equator, I was surprised to know that the sun would set completely before 4 pm during winter or having the sun still up at 10 pm during summer.
13. I was surprised that in the southern US (and many other parts of it too, I’m sure) you actually need a car to get anywhere. As in, it doesn’t just make life easier, it’s a near impossibility to go places without it, even if you’re in a major city.
15. The way time is experienced differently. I’m from the USA, and when my dad and I, fortunately, had the money to go to Italy through a college program as a teen, the first thing that struck me was how laid-back people were there. In a lot of places, it was a very stereotypically slowed down lifestyle, with people walking down the street, drinking during the afternoon, conversing, and just causally dining outside. People didn’t seem to be in a rush for anything, and while I’m sure they have their problems as well, there was much more “centeredness” across the country. People were much more focused on what was happening right now and what was in front of them. This was in 2008 though, so before the explosion of smartphones and social media.
17. New York, soooo many people. London, sooo many people
I’ve been in Sydney quite a few times (I’m Australian) and it’s nowhere near as busy.
18. I walked out of Penn Station when I first arrived in New York, looking up at the buildings taking it all in and my first interaction was with a homeless guy who shouted at me in the local accent “Welcome to New York asshole”. It was exactly as I imagined!
19. North-Western Australia.
I knew it had a reputation for being ridiculously hot. But legitimately didn’t know earth got that hot and humid, I thought I was going to pass out leaving the airport.
20. I moved to Denmark a couple of years ago and the biggest culture shock for me was Julefrokost.
Julefrokost translates to “Christmas lunch” which sounds like a nice, wholesome lunch to celebrate the holidays. The first time I went to one, my husband warned me not to eat anything beforehand because there is a lot of food. I didn’t think much of it, I mean we have Thanksgiving in the U.S. so I just assumed it was a big lunch. No.
No. We have nothing like this in the U.S. Julefrokost is on an entirely different level.
You see, it’s a lunch only in name. What it really is, is sitting down at about noon, and not getting up from your seat again until midnight or later. The food never stops coming. The schnapps never stops coming. It’s course after course after course and the Danes can drink you under the table any day, so combine that with strong liquor over a 12-hour stretch and you are likely to die.
My first Julefrokost, I sat across from my husband’s uncle, who kept my shot glass full the entire day. I was drunk by 2 pm and full to the point of bursting at 3 pm. I have never been so sick as I was the day after my first Julefrokost.