I’ve never been to another planet (yet!), but going to another continent made me feel like I’m actually on the other planet.

Even though Europe and USA are mostly similar, there are some significant differences. The first sign that USA was not exactly like my home country was clear the moment I stepped from the airport in Washington DC. I didn’t have to go far, the first sign was right there at the parking lot – Americans were all driving cars double size of what Europeans drive.

There were a lot of interesting moments on that trip that could be marked as a cultural shock, but I found and wrote here some stories that I find to be way more interesting than mine. Enjoy!

What’s that smell?

Reddit user Schlitzi wrote about his mother’s immigration from Korea to Germany:

“My parents immigrated from Korea to Germany during the early 70s, they met in Germany.

During the first year my mom was too afraid to eat anything of that “weird” German food, she depended on rice she bought through friends and the veggies she was able to identify.

In the end she got fed up and decided to visit a supermarket. While browsing the lanes she noticed a horrible smell wavering around. She first thought that somebody had puked but couldn’t see any evidence for that. In the end she ran away because the smell was too unbearable.


And that was how she got introduced to cheese.”

Scary people in costumes

Reddit user hobofats wrote about a family that moved to USA from China on a wrong day:

“When I was in high school, a student in my class told us the story of his family’s first night in America. They were from China, and moved into a house on October 31st, more commonly known as Halloween. They had never heard of this American holiday.

The entire evening there were people dressed up in crazy costumes coming to their door and ringing the doorbell, and the family had no idea why. He said they spent much of the night huddled together under a table with all the lights off in the house, completely terrified.”

You can find more funny culture shock stories in this Reddit post. I would love to hear some of your stories on cultural shock you experienced, so please share them in comments here. :)