21 "Unspoken Rules" Of Daily Life In Other Countries That Visitors Are Always Shocked To Learn

If you think about the country or city you live in, there are probably a lot of social norms, local customs, and unspoken rules that outsiders might not be privy to. So redditor u/palbuddy1234 asked, "What is something tourists don't know about living in your country?" Here's what people said.

1.Japan: "That super crazy expensive fruit you see in the store is for gifting. It costs more because it's grown to be very pretty and packaged well. Reasonably priced fruit also exists."

Boxes of neatly arranged ripe strawberries with green stems
Enchantedfairy / Getty Images

2.Switzerland: "Almost everything is closed on Sundays, including grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, etc. In a pinch, you can go to train stations, airports, or even a little corner shop where there are 'emergency food items' that are marked up and have minimum credit card limits. Think frozen pizza and overpriced milk. Others who live close to the borders shop in France, Germany, etc."

A cobblestone square in a European town is surrounded by pastel-colored buildings with outdoor seating. People are casually walking or sitting in the area
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

3.Mexico: "Everything is centered around the family. Restaurants always have huge tables because it's always multiple generations and big families out to eat. Restaurants have family meals more often than not."

A group of people dining together at a table, with various dishes including steak, salad, and fries, and drinks on wooden table. Hands are holding utensils
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

4.Norway: "We have so many hiking trails and little cottages where you can stay overnight for next to nothing. If you like hiking, definitely come here. Just know that when the trail info says it takes four hours, it actually does take four hours of active walking. I have met so many people complaining about the length of the hike because they are in normal shape and expected the trail would take less time for them."

A family of four, with two children in backpacks, hikes through a grassy field in a mountainous area
Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

5.Netherlands: "We are not hospitable people by culture, and we always eat dinner at 18:00. If there are visitors in the house, we gently shoo them out if it is near 18:00. Dining with a Dutch person is quite rare."

Row of traditional European storefront buildings with varied architectural designs and a few bicycles parked outside
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

6.Taiwan: "Cash is still the number one form of payment, and many places may not accept cards at all."

A person's hand holding coins near a food stall, with food items being cooked on a grill and another hand using tongs to pick up food
Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

7.Spain: "Shops close in the middle of the day, not because of the siesta, but because it is a MANDATORY lunch break forced by the companies to hire only one person for the morning and afternoon shifts. Workers are not sleeping; they have lunch and kill time until the afternoon opening hours."

A street view of an apartment building with multiple balconies. Shops and cafes occupy the ground floor. Pedestrians walk along the sidewalk
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

8.United States: "If you don't tip, the server doesn't get paid. The tip is not a little extra, and you're not being generous if you say to keep the change. At places where you're expected to tip, such as a restaurant, the staff gets very little in the way of wages; they work for the tip. If you decide not to tip, you've just made the waitress work for you for free."

A person in an apron writes on a notepad, possibly taking an order in a restaurant setting, with their face not visible
Willie B. Thomas / Getty Images

9.Japan: "People very rarely visit each other's houses. Houses are small, walls are thin, and people are private. Even families tend to do larger gatherings at onsens or restaurants instead of anyone's home. If people don't invite you to their homes, don't be offended."

A narrow, stone-paved street in a quiet Japanese town, lined with traditional wooden buildings and lush greenery on either side
© Marco Bottigelli / Getty Images

10.Singapore: "You can walk out at 3 a.m. to the most 'dangerous' part of town, and you will still be totally safe."

Singapore skyline at sunset with Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer. Gardens by the Bay visible, people walking, and a poolside area in the foreground
John Seaton Callahan / Getty Images

11.Serbia: "There is no splitting bills in a bar or restaurant. Everyone argues about that, and the most persistent or cagey person pays it as some kind of a 'win'."

A hand holding a clipboard with a receipt attached, reviewing the items and prices listed
Grace Cary / Getty Images

12.Belgium: "We do, in fact, eat fries almost weekly, but the waffles are a more rare occurrence."

Two hands holding cones of French fries topped with mayonnaise
Berezko / Getty Images

13.Taiwan: "Kitchens are seen as unnecessary in many apartments because eating out is so cheap and convenient."

A table with various Chinese dishes: a pot of calamari with vegetables, fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, and a green bottle
Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

14.Mexico: "We're more formal here than in the US. We dress every day and don't wear athleisure. Most people do hair and makeup for basic errands or family days. Shorts and flip-flops are rare, even in beach towns. Think smart-casual to get groceries."

People walking and cars driving in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, with surrounding buildings visible in the background
Ferrantraite / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15.Italy: "October is possibly the best month to visit Italy. We still have nice temperatures pretty much all over Italy, and you don’t have the same amount of tourists that you find in the summer."

People enjoy a sunny day at a beach with clear water and historic white buildings along the shoreline
Franz Marc Frei / Getty Images

16.Peru: "It's insulting to serve yourself without everyone else first. I would never refill my beer without ensuring everyone else's glasses were full around me."

Two pints of beer on a wooden table, with one hand holding a glass. A blurred potted plant with pink flowers is in the background
Photo By Rafa Elias / Getty Images

17.Japan: "Trash is a very, very big deal. Some places have 10+ categories of garbage, which must be sorted, cleaned, and placed out on the morning of the appropriate day, not the night before. People take this quite seriously."

Recycling station with six bins for different types of waste: plastic, burnable trash, paper, pet bottles, cans, and non-burnable trash
Liyao Xie / Getty Images

18.United States: "Public transportation is pretty much non-existent in most of the country other than huge cities."

Highway traffic moves in both directions under a scenic sunset, with various vehicles including trucks and cars
Tomassereda / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19.Lithuania: "Most of us are welcoming people. If you are our guest, there will be food at the table, and there will be a lot sometimes. If it's a quick and unexpected visit, you will get tea or coffee and some sweets! If you are a close friend/relative, there is a big chance you'll get some food packed to take with you 🤭."

A pot of stew with chunks of meat and onions beside a bowl of roasted potatoes and carrots on a set table
©tasty Food And Photography / Getty Images

20.France: "If you go to buy bread in Paris between 6 and 7 p.m. you will have a line at a good bakery store. That's not a cliché. It's true we do buy bread quite often if not every single day."

Close-up of several freshly baked baguettes standing upright in a basket
Serts / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21.Australia: "Too few people are really prepared for how fast the Australian sun will burn them when they get off the plane...If your SPF isn't 50+, it might as well go in the bin."

Crowded beach scene with people sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing under umbrellas. In the background, buildings and greenery are visible along the coastline
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

What's something that many tourists might not know about the country where you live? Tell us in the comments or in this anonymous form.