If you're heading overseas, you should know that it's not always a good idea to leave a tip. In places like Japan and South Korea, tipping is seen as an insult, so forget it if you find yourself there. Let the waiter or waitress know they did a great job if you feel compelled to do something; don't give them money!
Some may think leaving a tip gives the message that they are poor and need your money, which is why it's not a sign of politeness in these countries. So when traveling, do your research and make sure to brush up on customs and practices – don't leave any tips unless it's expected!
Sitting in the Back of a Cab
You might think you can get away with anything in a taxi, but several countries - Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Ireland - beg to differ. These nations take their egalitarianism seriously, and that means no backseat slouching for those in the cab – unless, of course, someone else is already there.
If that's the case, then expect to ride up front - gunning it, if you will! This kind of "one size fits all" rule certainly bucks convention when it comes to public transportation. But hey, it never hurts to try something new (or differently equal) every once and a while!
Drinking Coffee On-the-Go
Italians love their coffee, and they love it with a side of leisure. Sitting down to sip on an espresso in a cute little café has become something of a ritual for them — one that makes no exception no matter how busy life gets.
On the other hand, Americans may have the same desire for caffeine, but their only companions are usually a venti tumbler and a long commute. Us 'mericans don’t have the time, or so our jam-packed agendas tell us to sit down and chat over a cup of joe, which is why most prefer to get their java fix on the go.
Giving a Thumbs-Up
If you thought life outside the United States was just like here, think again! In certain parts of the world, a simple thumbs-up is anything but positive. In the Middle East, Latin America, western Africa, Russia, and Greece, giving someone a thumbs-up is actually considered very rude — similar to flipping the bird here in the United States.
Moreover, instead of meaning “good job” as it does in this country, a thumbs-up in those other regions essentially translates to something along the lines of “up yours!” So if you plan on traveling abroad in one of these locations anytime soon, it’s probably best to leave your thumbs out of it and just verbalize your praise instead.
Making a Peace Sign
Many people are familiar with the iconic peace sign, but some still make a serious mistake when using it. In the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, making this sign means something completely different when your palm is facing you. Flipping someone off may be funny in other parts of the world, but not over there!
So if you find yourself abroad and need to express peace or tranquility, make sure to turn your palm outward and press inward twice. Your message will be clear, and your friends won't be offended!
Laughing with Your Mouth Open
In Japan, laughing with an open mouth is considered immensely offensive and could easily hurt someone's feelings. And while you may not be able to contain yourself when something funny strikes your funny bone, there’s an easy solution to this seemingly rude dilemma...
When cracking up in Japan, always make sure to use your hand, a napkin, or whatever object you feel necessary to cover your mouth—it’s just the polite thing to do! So next time you’re about to burst into uncontrollable laughter in Japan, just remember that having manners trumps you being hilarious; it’s a small cost for big respect.
Customizing Restaurant Orders
It can be quite the faux pas to add any toppings to foreign food if you don't know their customs! For countries such as Japan and Korea, adding too much soy sauce or a bit of ketchup can be seen as an extreme insult. Cultural etiquette does vary from nation to nation, so it's important to do your research before making requests in a different country.
This is something to keep in mind when we travel abroad—after all, what works for us might not work for them! While it's natural for us here in America to add ketchup to almost everything, save that habit for local establishments only.
Calling the United States “America”
It's easy to get caught up in referring to the United States as "America" — after all, it's one syllable less than the mouthful that is "United States of America." Still, Americans often forget (or choose not to remember) that they share North and South America with a whole slew of other countries, cultures, and languages.
When traveling as an American-outsider through South America, it's at the very least polite to refer to yourself as "from the United States"; anything else may result in you being on the receiving end of some judgmental looks or comments.
Complaining at Restaurants
When dining out in the United States, it's your right to request something be fixed if your order isn't quite what you wanted. This can often result in a better experience for everyone involved—you get a dish that meets your expectations and the restaurant gets another shot at a happy table. However, badgering an English server about why your food isn't prepared correctly is a recipe for disaster...
In Britain, "sending food back" or otherwise being rude to restaurant staff about an order that was improperly made is considered extremely bad manners. A polite way to tackle this situation would be to quietly discuss what needs to be improved with a manager or a server before sending anything back; just try not to let on that you're American!
Being Super Late
Americans are known for valuing punctuality, but if you're late in Germany, you might as well start packing your bags. Showing up late to meetings and social events is one of the ultimate faux pas there – it’s seen as a sign of disrespect and conveys that your time is more important than someone else's.
If you're traveling to Germany anytime soon, be sure to give yourself plenty of extra time; better to arrive early and make a great impression than leave them wanting more. Nothing says "I don't care" louder than showing up off-schedule.
Showing Up on Time
If you're someone who enjoys arriving 15 minutes early for events, prepare yourself for a significant shift when visiting Argentina. Rather than showing up exactly on time, it's best to arrive a bit later — nearly an hour. Though it may seem like an egregious lapse in punctuality, arriving late is considered by many Latin Americans to be respectful and polite. By being fashionably late for your appointments, you can demonstrate your awareness of other cultures and show that you appreciate their customs.
So the next time you travel to Argentina, don't fear the potential repercussions associated with being on-time; instead, enjoy the luxury of a leisurely arrival and make sure to watch out for those timeless Argentine handshakes!
Getting Doggie Bags
Traveling abroad can be a great way to experience different cultures, but it can also be anything but relaxing if you don't help preserve cultural norms and customs. That is especially true in some countries in Europe, where restaurants take the notion of having food “to go” quite seriously: ask for a doggie bag, and you're likely to get quite a few stern looks!
Taking food to go is more than an insult to hospitality; it's actually considered a major health hazard because most restaurants don't package their leftovers for travelers as they would for commercial transport. Because food poisoning isn't exactly part of anyone's travel itinerary, remember to leave your leftovers at the restaurant—or at least phrase the request politely.
Making the “OK” Sign
In certain countries, the “OK” sign might get you in a lot of trouble—it has been co-opted by white supremacists in the US, and in France, the same gesture has long been seen as an insult to denigrate people or things. Depending on their culture, some people may find an "OK" sign rude, offensive, or even deeply hurtful, so it pays to do your research and check what hand gestures you shouldn't make before visiting a new country or attending an international event.
It would be wise—and respectful—to stay aware of any negative connotations associated with the nonverbal communication of different cultures and only make gestures when absolutely sure of their meaning.
Putting Your Hands in Your Pockets
People in Turkey take talking with others very seriously, so you can forget about throwing your hands into your pockets when engaging in conversations! Not only is this behavior seen as disrespectful and rude; it could also be interpreted as a sign of arrogance.
Cultural norms have a lot to do with this way of thinking, and those traveling to Turkey need to bear that fact in mind when making conversation. Thankfully, other body language cues such as eye contact, hand gestures, and facial expressions provide plenty of other ways to express yourself without offending anyone.
Using Your Left Hand
Using your left hand is a major no-no in many parts of the world, especially in India, where it is thought to be unclean and disrespectful. In reality, though, this taboo isn't relegated to just India—Africa, Sri Lanka, and even countries throughout the Middle East also consider it a major faux pas. It's almost as if someone is willing to take the risk of offending others by using their left hand—almost like they're purposely slapping them in the face!
Although this may not apply everywhere, it's important to note that being aware of cultural etiquette is essential for having smooth relations with other regions.
Opening Gifts in Front of the Giver
If you're in an Asian country and someone gives you a gift, whatever you do, don't open it right away! In India and China, it's considered extremely rude—and will make others think that the only reason you were given the gift was for immediate gratification.
Unless the giver insists, take some time to open your present at home—or at least get out of view from those who gave it to you. It would be thoughtful to send a thank-you afterward. After all, it’s proper etiquette to show some restraint when receiving gifts!
Requiring Personal Space
Americans sometimes get a bit rattled when they travel overseas and experience people's cultures that don’t necessarily adhere to the same social norms of personal space that we do. We might want to back up an extra foot or two, but in a lot of countries, people are simply accustomed to being close together — especially in densely populated areas.
It can be an adjustment to foreigners who expect plenty of space all the time, but with some understanding and willingness to open up, it can be surprisingly refreshing. So before you stretch your arms wide and yell, “Get outta my bubble!” while abroad, remember that your own personal space just isn't as important elsewhere.
Chatting with Random People
In the US, it's perfectly normal for people to break the ice and strike up a conversation with a complete stranger in the store or on the street. But in many other countries, this can be extremely off-putting. Even something as seemingly innocuous as asking “How are you?” can come across as rude or aggressive when someone isn't used to such friendly interactions with complete strangers.
In some cultures, it's just not done — so before you embark on your next international adventure, it might be worth considering that simply talking to strangers could put you in a very awkward situation!
Getting Free Refills
If you’re heading abroad, get ready to lighten your wallet. Whereas Americans might be accustomed to being able to grab a refill at most restaurants and cafes here, other countries unfortunately don’t always follow the same rules. That said, if you go to grab a refill on a drink, chances are it can end up costing the same — or sometimes even more — than buying a brand-new beverage.
So while international travel promises cultural experiences and beautiful scenery, don’t forget that when it comes to ordering what you drink, every sip will come at a price.
Smiling at Strangers
Smiling is drilled into Americans from the moment they're born; the universal expectation is that everyone should smile and be friendly with one another. However, if you venture outside the United States' borders, it quickly becomes clear that this isn't necessarily understood in other cultures. Instead of a pleasant reception, a stranger in a different country may be met with some alarm or confusion when they flash their signature pearly whites.
After all, smiling isn't as much of an ingrained cultural notion elsewhere. A brief lesson in cultural anthropology may just save Americans from an awkward double-take when overseas.
Finishing Your Plate
Going to a foreign country can often be an overwhelming experience; the customs are quite different. Eating everything on your plate is a cultural norm in the U.S., but certainly not in other countries like China, the Philippines, Thailand, and Russia. If you find yourself vacationing in one of these places, remember to leave a bite of food behind when you're done with your meal — it's considered polite!
If you finish everything on your plate, your host may feel as though they rushed the meal or didn't provide enough grub for their guest. Save someone's feelings (and taste buds!) by reserving a bite!
Not Greeting Someone
This "yikes" moment can be avoided if you follow the simple rule and always greet someone properly when you find yourself in France. Whether it's a shopkeeper, a stranger on the street, or your tour guide, a casual "Bonjour, Madam/Monsieur!" is the perfectly polite way of entering their company; it signifies mutual respect and ensures you don't give anyone the wrong impression.
Despite being rather traditional compared to other countries, a friendly greeting makes social interaction in France all the more enjoyable — not having to worry about unintentionally offending someone or receiving a frosty reception. Pronounced properly with a smile, it's like a universal password phrase of good manners!
Not Declining Gifts
American culture may tell us to graciously accept gifts given with love, but customs in other parts of the world indicate that politeness also comes with some specific protocols. In Japan and China, for example, it's considered polite for a recipient to refuse a gift multiple times before eventually taking it into one's possession.
Plus, not opening the gift right away is another sign of respect! Western civilization may express appreciation differently, but we can learn from these cultural norms when someone bestows us with the honor of their loving gifts.
Asking About Employment
When you're trying to make new acquaintances in the Netherlands, there's one question you should absolutely avoid: asking what they do for a living. While your intentions may be innocent — to break the ice — it could come off as classist. Considering the Dutch have a comprehensive social welfare system, you can't assume that someone is employed just because they have employment-like duties.
If anything, before making any assumptions, try knocking on the proverbial doors of conversation by getting to know more about the person's hobbies or interests. Not only will it show that you're interested in who they are and not their socio-economic status, but it’ll most likely make for an interesting chat!
Blowing Your Nose
It’s an unwritten social law that if you’re in America, it’s not polite to blow your nose in a restaurant. While that might seem like a no-brainer to some, it applies worldwide! In countries such as China, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, being so bold as to clear your nostrils out in public is considered far too impolite; you’re better off reserving those kinds of activities for more private spaces such as your own home or bathroom.
This may make blowing one's nose easier said than done in certain situations, but resist the urge to do so in a public place and save yourself from becoming an outcast!
Showing the Soles of Your Feet
A cardinal rule for visitors to Arab, Muslim, Hindi, or Buddhist countries is to never show the soles of your feet. This gesture is seen as a sign of disrespect due to the belief that feet are not just the lowest part of your body, but also the dirtiest — so much so that even accidentally showing them to someone else can be offensive.
Being aware of this cultural tradition will take some careful self-monitoring, but an effort should be made nonetheless if you don't want to be rude while in these countries.
Keeping Your Shoes on Inside Someone’s Home
Visiting someone's home is a great way to get to know them in a more personal setting, but if you've ever been invited over for dinner, chances are you didn't take off your shoes - unless it was a brand spanking new carpet. But did you know that in many Asian and Caribbean cultures, it's customary to always take your shoes off when entering someone's house?
Just beware: some places will judge you harshly if you keep on those socks! And remember: when in Rome (or anywhere outside of America), do as the locals do.
Going Topless at the Beach
Attending a beach in South Korea won't be peppered with shirtless men — quite the opposite, as toplessness among male beach-goers is heavily discouraged. Not only would it be socially unacceptable, but it could even lead to legal issues if caught! While this isn't a common occurrence in other countries, South Koreans are more modest when it comes to swimming and lounging by the sea.
It's considered a controversial topic that leads people to debate the importance of body positivity and openness. So if you're planning on taking a trip to South Korea for some waves and relaxation, don't forget a t-shirt for dad too!
Inviting People to Help Themselves
Americans living abroad may encounter confusion if they invite a foreign acquaintance to make themselves at home in any gathering, as many countries don't abide by the cultural attitude of “mi casa es su casa.” It's not insulting; it's just odd.
Many Asian countries require that you wait for explicit permission before taking part in another person’s domain; jumping ahead and assuming access won’t win you many friends, so be aware of your surroundings when visiting and err on the side of politeness!
When you’re invited to someone’s home in the United States, it's not considered rude to refuse food. In fact, it's commonplace — to prevent overburdening the host. But in Lebanon and many Arab countries, refusing food offered to you is one of the rudest things you could do.
So if you're ever fortunate enough to visit these places, remember: eat up! After all, it would be a shame to look ungrateful when hospitality is held in such high regard.
Touching and Hugging Others
While it's normal in many parts of the world to hug a friend or acquaintance when greeting them, that behavior might be frowned upon in countries like China, Thailand, Korea, and the Middle East.
If you're traveling around these areas, it’s best to stick with a wave or a handshake for the time being — unless your friends specifically tell you otherwise. Marking your distance by at least an arm’s length is not only polite but will save you from some awkward moments as well!
Doing “Bull Horns” with Your Hands
Rock concerts may be the perfect place to throw up those "devil horns," but that salute doesn't always mean the same thing in different countries. While the American sign stands for “rock on!”, it means something completely different in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and parts of South America.
In these countries, throwing up the horns translates to “your wife is cheating on you” — whoa indeed! So if you plan to take your favorite rock show overseas, make sure you brush up on local customs before going wild with those hands.
Showing the Palm of Your Hand
Although at first glance, putting out your palm may simply seem like an instinctual way to signal someone to stop, it can be interpreted very differently in some cultures. In both Greece and Pakistan, raising one’s palm outward is seen as a sign of aggression.
This fact may come as a shock for those unaware of the cultural variance—so if you find yourself overseas in either of those two countries and need to make an emergency pit-stop, don't rely solely on your instinct! Maybe try a less antagonizing request like waving or shouting instead.
Crossing Your Fingers
Crossing our fingers in Vietnam isn't the same sign of wishful thinking or superstition that it is in many western cultures; rather, it's indicative of something far more risqué. You see, in Vietnamese culture, crossing your fingers creates a gesture that mimics an intimate part of a female body that is usually kept covered up – quite the contrast to our seemingly innocent use of the gesture!
So if you're ever taking a trip over to Vietnam and see someone crossing their fingers, you may be in for some awkwardness, realizing that what they mean could have an entirely different meaning than what you expected.
Beckoning with Your Hand
In the United States, it's a lot easier to simply call someone over using your voice in a crowded or noisy environment. But when traveling to the Philippines and other countries across Asia, that same gesture can land you into some serious hot water! Yelling out a person's name is considered rude and insulting — almost like you're calling them a dog!
Instead, Asians prefer calling someone over with their index finger, raising it up, down, and then pulling it toward themselves as if they are "summoning" them. Some cultures consider this gesture polite and inviting; however, others, such as the Japanese, have deemed beckoning as highly offensive. Be sure to brush up on cultural nuances before visiting a foreign destination and avoid inadvertently hurting anyone’s feelings.
Showing a Lot of Skin
In America, there's nothing wrong with wearing a few shoulder-baring tops and donning a bikini at the beach—heck, it's practically a summertime tradition. But in some Asian countries, like Cambodia, things are different: while heading to the beach may be a weekend activity stateside, glimmering with bronzed skin from fun in the sun comes with an unspoken understanding—exposing too much skin as a woman is inappropriate.
Although fierce debates about modesty rage on around the world, encouraging self-respect and valuing personal autonomy can fall perfectly in line with how one chooses to dress—regardless of where you live.
Paying with Older Money
If someone handed you a crisp, clean bill, would you take it? In all honesty, you may think it was fake because American money stays in circulation for a long time.
However, in some countries, older cash is a no-no. Some shops may refuse money if it’s crinkled, worn, or looks like it’s been around the block.
Pointing with Index Fingers
It's wild to think about how many subtle social cues we take for granted in the United States. Pointing at something or someone is probably one of the most well-known and accepted gestures—but if you happen to be traveling to certain parts of Asia or Latin America, it may not be so obvious. In this case, rather than using a mere index finger, people from places like China, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, and Latin America opt for more delicate methods when they need to point at something.
Filipinos use their lips, while other countries use a combination of multiple fingers. It just goes to show that different cultures have plenty of their own way of doing things–and our tendency to take them for granted can have embarrassing (or even offensive!) consequences.
Eating in Public
We're an on-the-go society that doesn't consider eating on the street a big deal. Going abroad can lead to some interesting surprises though; if you’re looking to take your Japanese street snacks back with you, be prepared for the sideways glances you might get. Eating in public is still considered low-class and rude in Japan, which is why many older generations continue to prefer that food stay within their own four walls.
It's different times now, though; younger folks don't seem too fussed about it. Nonetheless, as someone who prides themselves on being polite, surely it wouldn't hurt to think twice before scoffing down Pocky sticks at Tokyo Station!
Talking About Mental Health
American culture is based much more on self-expression than in the UK, so it's no surprise that we’re usually quite open about how we're feeling. We don't hold back on voicing our opinions! We're also eager to share any great advice we may receive from our therapist. In the UK, however, it's seen as better to keep those details, and emotions in general, under wraps.
Anything deeper than a discussion of the weather would probably be considered inappropriate. It's just how things are done in many parts of the country — though it can definitely be a little awkward for us Americans who are used to talking openly about our feelings!
Having Pumpkin Mania
Every September, Americans begin to go crazy for pumpkins — painting them, cutting them into jack-o-lanterns, and of course, enjoying pumpkin spice treats! However, it's not the same in other countries where the gourd doesn’t have quite the same draw.
Don't expect to find a pumpkin spice latte at your favorite Italian café anytime soon, folks -—but it looks like some places are starting to catch on! After all, who can resist that tasty combo of cinnamon and clove?
Measuring with the Imperial System
As one of the only three countries that use the imperial system for measurements, the United States is separated from much of the rest of the world. For this reason, Americans may ultimately find it easier to switch over to the more widely used metric system. Adopting this common standard could save a lot of hassle when dealing with global trading partners and make international communication much simpler.
Also, given how complicated some conversions can get between different units of measurement, such as cups, teaspoons, yards, and miles, maybe we all need an easier way. So why not finally join hundreds of other countries in utilizing metric measurements? Making the switch may just be an essential step toward progress.
Writing Dates MM/DD/YY
For anyone outside of the United States, seeing a date written as MM/DD/YY can be incredibly confusing. In fact, even those in the U.S. can often get thrown off when they see a date in the wrong format — especially if it can make sense either way, like February 10th (2/10 vs. 10/2). It's usually pretty obvious to everyone else traveling abroad that Americans just have their own way of doing things.
Don't worry, though — as long as you know to take your date swaps with a grain of salt, you should still manage to get off the plane at the right time.
Throwing a Baby Shower
Baby showers are part of the average American's first-time experience with motherhood; however, for many other countries around the world, it’s a concept entirely foreign. Celebrations marking the impending arrival of a baby are kept to an absolute minimum in some places, since bringing too much attention to the unborn child can be considered bad luck.
It’s ironic, then, that in other parts of the globe where such superstition is taken seriously, Americans have become known for their elaborate celebrations surrounding babies who have yet to enter this world!
Turning Right on Red
For those visiting from abroad, seeing someone turn right on red is an absolute shock. Common sense says that when the light is red, you need to stop — but not here! In America, a right turn on red is allowed so long as the path ahead is cleared.
So don't be alarmed if you're visiting and see someone ignoring colored lights; just remember, when you're elsewhere in the world, it remains illegal and should be avoided!
Eating Giant Meals
Americans may love their big meals and oversized candy bars, but this phenomenon is not great when it comes to our health. Studies have shown that people from other countries are more likely to gain weight if they come to America, thanks to our over-the-top portions.
It may be fun to indulge once in a while, but it's important to remember the healthier eating habits of other cultures too! After all, our unsustainably large "super sizes" aren't doing any of us any favors.
Requiring Massive Variety
It's no surprise that people in the United States expect to have a variety of options when shopping for food at the supermarket. We love having access to different flavors, different lifestyles (diet, low-fat, low-sodium, etc.), shapes (big or small), and even sizes (round or square).
There's no limit to how many choices we want–and unfortunately, most places overseas don't meet our standards. On the bright side, for those living in the states, there's something for everyone at the grocery store!
Obsessing Over College Sports
In America, college sports are a huge pastime; you’re likely hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t planned their day around watching March Madness or the College Football Championships. Tailgating is a way of life here. The concept of having a pre-game party in the parking lot might not make sense to other countries, but it’s practically an American tradition.
Of course, this means that other nations don’t get a similar level of excitement and fandom when it comes to college sports. Thankfully they have their own cultural pastimes that we can gawk at in turn.
Going into Debt for College
It shouldn't be any surprise that Europe is perplexed by the high costs of higher education in America. With universities charging exorbitantly high tuition, international students are paying as much as five times more than what locals pay. It's no wonder why so many Europeans look at U.S. education costs with incredulity — it's just a cliché to say money doesn't grow on trees.
Thankfully, some countries like France and Germany are defying conventional wisdom by providing free tertiary education to their citizens, ensuring that affordability isn’t an inhibitor of access to quality education. Of course, students still have to factor in living expenses and textbooks, but compared to the steep prices stateside, they’re practically giving it away!
Trick or Treating
Halloween may just be the best holiday ever — after all, where else can you dress up in creative costumes and collect free candy from your neighbors? Unfortunately, a significant chunk of the world is deprived of this awesome experience courtesy of countries that don't recognize Halloween as a legitimate holiday. Yes, it's upsetting!
U.S. citizens might take this one day of celebration for granted, but some folks would love to join in on the festive shenanigans. Here’s hoping more places come around and make Halloween an international phenomenon!
Eating Dinner Early
Eating dinner around 5:30 p.m. may be the norm in America, but it's definitely not something that’s realistic elsewhere. In fact, most people around the world will barely start their dinner before 8, if not later!
Not to mention, dinner time in other places is usually lighter than here in the States, where a full-course meal at night is pretty standard. So if you find yourself dining out and finished before your friends are served appetizers, don't worry — it just means you have more time with them afterward!
If it seems like Americans never get more than a couple of days off for vacation annually, you're not imagining things. A report by the Center of Economic Policy and Research found that one in four US citizens don't have any guaranteed paid leave when they need some time off.
That unfortunately means an awful lot of working 'til you drop! At least, come comparison, countries like France, Germany, and Spain grant their citizens up to a full month off each year plus a few extra days to boot – sure would be nice if we got similar perks here in America...
Avoiding Harsh Critiques
Trying to keep up appearances and not be too blunt is a phenomenon ingrained in much of American culture. We're so caught up in courtesy, political correctness, and saving face that we often forget that honesty can be more polite than beating around the bush. In some situations, addressing an issue head-on with an honest "no thank you" could save all parties involved a lot of time and energy.
That being said, it’s important to keep respect in mind when expressing an opinion. If a disagreement arises or someone incorrectly perceives your response as rude, consider taking the conversation offline and talking it out rather than using social media or other public platforms.
America’s unending optimism can be a source of much amusement. We all know the power of the phrase “have a good day,” which is absent from European interactions. While our American urges to brighten someone else’s day may come from a place of sincerity, they can also be met with an eye-roll (and probably, rightfully so).
After all, inevitably, life will happen, and people may or may not have the good day we wished for them; nonetheless, it brings a certain contrast between American and European culture, as Europe tends to lack that cheerleading aspect that we Americans are known for!
Carrying in the Open
Carrying a weapon in public is considered a strange phenomenon in many other countries, and it's an issue that sparks fiery debate, especially in western society. Considering that outside of the USA, only police officers typically have the legal right to carry arms, the idea of open carry is almost inexplicable.
The thought of citizens roaming around with weapons on their person would give pretty much any foreign visitor pause; they may even consider it flat-out frightening. This kind of behavior just isn't seen in most other parts of the world, making it some pretty bizarre (if not disconcerting) behavior by American standards.