I made my maiden Europe trip along with husband for 2 weeks to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges and Paris in mid last year. I found many things fascinating as well as shocking even though having read about most of them beforehand. This article describes the culture shocks I came across as an Indian in a foreign country.
- You can drink tap water. I mean, go to your hotel washroom, fill a water bottle and drink. If I do this in India, most likely I will have a mild case of diarrhea the next day.
- Smoking openly everywhere, even in front of kids. In India, people do smoke but what I observed within close family is that they avoid smoking in front of kids. Holding pram with one hand and cigarette in another, that's what I saw in Europe.
- Almost everything is so flexible. I'll give an example. We had to catch a eurostar train from London to Brussels but ours got cancelled. They conveniently shifted us to an earlier one without batting an eyelid. If that was the case in India, at the most, Indian railways would have refunded our money. Also the intercity train ticket concept where your ticket is valid for any train in a day is amazing.
- Weather is so pleasant during spring. I just applied lacto calamine lotion, not even a heavy foundation but my face was as fresh as it was in the morning even after a tiring day. Call it lack of pollution or the superb weather.
You can see my photo in Starbucks, London around 3PM when we stopped to have a coffee after a busy day sightseeing. If it was India, my skin would become dull and dusted by the pollution.
- Such. Beautiful. Churches. Period.
- Pedestrians are given importance. Like if there's a green walking sign, every vehicle will automatically stop. I so felt like a queen in the starting. But then again in Amsterdam, I saw a biker giving middle finger to a gentleman when they had a close encounter (I didn't see whose fault it was). So I was back to being the meek pedestrian, stumbling behind husband and muttering to him to be careful else we will get the finger too.
Along with these culture shocks, I have also added few random clicks from my trip which you are welcome to go through!
Let me know in the comments what culture shocks you faced in your trips!