Things I Wouldn’t do in America

Have you ever traveled to a different country or even a state, and their norms don’t seem at all “normal” to you? When I first arrived in Italy, there were so many different things happening left and right that was normal to them, but it was overwhelming for me. You mean the vehicles won’t even slow down for you?

  1. Eat a panini every day for breakfast. Italy doesn’t have normal breakfasts here like in America. It is definitely far from eating at IHOP. Most Italians will buy some type of drink and a pastry, and that’s it. Good luck waiting until lunchtime.
  2. Going along with different breakfast styles, Eat your food standing up in a bar (cafe, restaurant). What I’ve learned is that it actually costs more to sit down in bars (They are cafes, but are called bars because they also serve alcoholic drinks) than it is to stand up and eat. Which I guess now that I think about it more, it does make sense. Anyways, the only time I eat standing up is in my house kitchen, and when I’m in a rush. There’s no way I’ll be going to Panera Bread and eat my bread bowl standing up.
  3. Walk in the middle of the road. I feel like walking just slightly on the road in America you can get hit. The roads in Italy are city roads, so they are smaller. So small that two cars can’t be going opposite directions on the same road, cyclers are lucky they can even fit most of the time. It is so much easier to walk in the middle of the road and really any area of the road you prefer. You just have to avoid vehicles and dodge humans, but not their dogs. Never dodge the dogs.
  4. Speaking of avoiding vehicles, they will NOT stop for you. I think the whole two months I’ve been here, there have been a few occasions where a vehicle has let me go forwards–and that’s rare. Vespas? Forget it.
  5. Not say “Excuse me” while passing by someone. When I first got to London, the people were faster walkers than I am, and didn’t move out of the way. They also never said “excuse me.” Most of the time I say, “Scuzi,” or “Scuza,” depending on if the situation was formal or informal (I guess I learned something from Italian), but other times I go without saying it. I considered myself of local after living there for three-and-a-half months. Not language wise, but tourist season just started in the beginning of March, and all I wanted were my emptier streets and shorter activity lines back.


Needless to say, everywhere you go will be different. There are probably so many things in the country you live in or are visiting in, you would never do where you grew up. I mean I would certainly not drink a cappuccino at 8 pm and then be completely wired, but hey, everywhere is different. Going off that, it’s not a thing to drink cappuccinos after dinner, mine was just offered to me for free. BUT, do learn about other cultures and spot out similarities and differences from your culture, you might learn something new!


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