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Old 01-09-2014, 10:33 AM
 
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I've only been to a few places outside of the U.S., and there weren't too many notable culture shocks, but a few are worth mentioning in this thread. Here goes...

England: Many people I visited there had much smaller refrigerators than we have in the U.S. And, they did not refrigerate eggs. Personally, I think Americans over-refrigerate. The "pub culture" is pretty prominent there and it's a family affair. Whole families (even small kids and dogs on leashes) visit the pubs--it's a sort of community center. It's not just about drinking--it's a meeting place of sorts. I kind of liked it! This is a very odd one---but I noticed that a lot of older people had really bad feet. It was so prominent that I made a mental note of it. I've never seen so many older folks with bunions, hammer toes, and generally knarled up feet. And for the record---I did NOT see a lot of people with bad teeth. This joke has gone on long enough, in my opinion. I saw no more bad teeth there than I see every day here in the U.S. Restaurants serve much smaller portions--we eat too much in the U.S.

France: I need to dispel a myth about the French being snooty & rude. The French were not rude or haughty to me--not even close. I speak basic French, so perhaps that's the key. Also, I firmly believe the vibe you're putting out comes back to you. Good vibes out, good vibes in---easy. I found the French no more snooty or rude than people I meet in the U.S. every day of the week. The French love their dogs--and you see people walking dogs everywhere you go. You see that here, too---but it was very pronounced there. France (Paris, in particular) seems much more comfortable with cultural diversity. In other words, I didn't intuitively sense outward racism toward any minorty groups. It's hard to put a finger on--but I just sensed it was different than the U.S. I also noticed that people dress up more when they go into public. Women looked very sharp---no pajama pants, snarled up hair, or house slippers in public (all of which you see a LOT in the US). The French are proud people who are not fond of the "Americanization" of their cultural mainstays. I don't blame them--it's nice to have your own culture and to protect it. I feel the same about anyone's culture---even our pop/celebrity/consumer-centric version in the US.

Mexico: I live in Mexico City six months out of the year (have done for the past almost four years)---and there are so many differences it's hard to know where to start. I have posted many times in the Mexico category in World Forums---so if you're interested, you can look there.

Very interesting to read the posts about the Asian countries. Hopefully I will be able to travel more in the future to experience it firsthand. Fun thread!!!

 
Old 01-09-2014, 10:38 AM
 
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Ooooops! Just realized I posted in the Asian category about places not in Asia. Sorry! Moderators: If you want to delete my post, go ahead. My bad. Not paying attention, I guess!
 
Old 01-09-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Many people find the concept of the Eastern toilet in China to be a cultural shock when coming from the USA.
LOL! Personally, I hate squat pots. They're inconvenient. You dare not use them without removing your pants to avoid having stuff in your pocket drop in and you having to fish out your keys, wallet, etc. And to get the pants off, you need to take your footwear off, although that's not a big hassle if you're wearing flip-flops. On top of all that, you have to perform a circus balancing act while in the midst of conducting your task. When I've got such business to attend to, I'd prefer it to be with a bit of comfort.

Asian Toilets: A Step-by-Step Guide to using the Squat Pot
 
Old 01-09-2014, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
LOL! Personally, I hate squat pots. They're inconvenient. You dare not use them without removing your pants to avoid having stuff in your pocket drop in and you having to fish out your keys, wallet, etc. And to get the pants off, you need to take your footwear off, although that's not a big hassle if you're wearing flip-flops. On top of all that, you have to perform a circus balancing act while in the midst of conducting your task. When I've got such business to attend to, I'd prefer it to be with a bit of comfort.

Asian Toilets: A Step-by-Step Guide to using the Squat Pot
They ain't that for me, just takes getting used to. Why do you have to completely remove your pants anyway? I'd rather not be stepping on the dirty sides anyway.
 
Old 01-09-2014, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
They ain't that for me, just takes getting used to. Why do you have to completely remove your pants anyway? I'd rather not be stepping on the dirty sides anyway.
There are a number of reasons. For one, stuff in your pockets can end up dropping into the bowl. You also have to have your feet on the side footpads which are far enough apart that it might not be so easy when your pants are dropped around your ankles. Also, it's not uncommon for the floor and the surface of the bowl to be wet which can get your pants wet. There are squat pots that can be mechanically flushed, but most that I've ever seen tend to require scooping water out of a large water pot and sloshing it into the bowl to "flush" or rather push your deposits down the drain line. Some places may have a deep sink filled with water for that purpose. Toilet paper is not recommended to be put into the bowl as it can potentially clog the drain line. For disposing used TP, some places have a basket to put it in. That's not an attractive sight or smell. If there's no basket, then into the bowl it goes and hope for the best. Needless to say, all that splashing gets the bowl and floor wet. Most places I've seen have nails or coat hooks to hang your clothes on. Some places don't have any TP available. If you don't bring your own, you'll have to resort to using the water scoop to wash any fudge stains from your behind and use fingers fingers to do the scrubbing. If you're wearing flip-flops, you can put those on before standing on the footpads. But for the most part, the footpads should be reasonably clean from all the water sloshed around.
 
Old 01-09-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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China --- no toilet bowl. Very hard for foreigners to get used to squatting.
Toddlers walking around or being carried by their parents in their Crotchless trousers.
Toddlers peeing every



Portugal --- the first few days were quite hard and a bit of a shock as people did not speak any English to me.
My very first experience of being in a country that only speaks their own language. It was a bit of hard
at first understanding what they were trying to say but after awhile, I was able to understand the language
especially when reading it because of many familiar words that are the same as my language.




UK --- I agree about the UK having small fridges. What we had before was the smallest one ( one supposed to be used only for the bedroom ). It was quite hard to store food because of not having enough space.
I agree with TotallyTam about the pub culture in the UK. Yes it is a family place. I liked it very much when I was there.
Women dress up more especially when going out at night. They also use make up more than other countries. Even 11 year olds wear so much foundation and mascarra.


Spain --- didn't feel so different to me. My Spanish is just basic but I didn't feel anything different when I first visited
Spain. It was Semana Santa when I first went there, so I was very surprised when I saw their cultural practises
that are also practised in my own country.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 02:35 AM
 
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In China, toddlers peeing everywhere in the streets with their parents next to them.
Dog meat available at every village or towns in some parts of China. Cats in cages, will be slaughtered for cat meat, less common nowadays.

Portgual, is indeed relatively poor and backward by western european standard. A lot of brown skin fat women but look like european except for the skin color.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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^ don't the Philippines have a lot of squat toilets too Hermosaa?
 
Old 01-14-2014, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
^ don't the Philippines have a lot of squat toilets too Hermosaa?
We do not have squat toilets. It is a Chinese culture, but even the Chinese in the Philippines do not practise that.
 
Old 01-15-2014, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,241,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
We do not have squat toilets. It is a Chinese culture, but even the Chinese in the Philippines do not practise that.
Why there's no squat toilets in public establishments in the Philippines? Especially in Manila? - Yahoo Answers

I was going to say I don't believe you, or you might not have been to the poorer areas, but I guess that's the reason for it.

Not just Chinese culture, squat toilets are found all throughout Asia, from the Middle East, India, SEA, China, even wealthy Japan, although how common they are varies from place to place. In most shopping malls, restaurants, homes nowadays in Singapore they have western style toilet seats. But if you plan to go to rural areas of much of Asia, and even many cities, be prepared (and always carry tissue paper with you, unless you're content to use a hose or even a bucket). It's no big deal to me anymore (used to be), really, you just have to get used to it. In some ways it's healthier than using sit-down toilets, and if you have to do a number 2 also more hygenic.

http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Squat-Toilet

http://goasia.about.com/od/Customs-a...uat-Toilet.htm
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