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    Unique Traditions Abroad: Europeans Adopted, Americans Miss Out

    Whenever you visit a new place, there are likely to be aspects of daily life there that feel totally new. And personally, I love discovering international habits or customs I wish I could adopt back home. So Redditor u/danielgmal asked, “What did you experience in another country that you wish you could make a part of your regular life?” Here’s what people said..
    The cafe culture that is so common in France is incredibly chic and fashion-forward. I absolutely loved sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping on my espresso, and people watching. There was no sense of rush, just a relaxed and trendy atmosphere.
    Paris cafe tables in summer sunshine.
    In Portugal, I came across numerous miradors in cities like Lisbon and Maderia. These miradors are charming shaded courtyard areas that offer stunning views of the city. They are a perfect combination of style, chic, and fashion-forwardness. What sets them apart is the presence of toilets and snacks, making them a convenient spot to spend a day exploring the city while enjoying the best views. I truly believe that every city should implement such a brilliant concept.
    A look-out point in Lisbon.
    The tradition of passeggiata in Italy, which is essentially a pleasant stroll through town before or after dinner, where you can reconnect with neighbors and friends.
    Restaurant at night in Tuscany.
    I loved the chic and fashion-forward style in Japan, where restaurants often provide photos alongside the names of the menu items. It’s really helpful when you’re deciding what to order!
    A Japanese sushi menu with photos.
    In Buenos Aires, there are numerous chic and fashion-forward Verdulerías (fruit and vegetable shops) on almost every street corner. They are incredibly convenient, and I would absolutely love to see the same concept implemented here in the US.
    Fresh produce market.
    Round tables complete with lazy Susans. In China, almost every restaurant had this, which made eating with others much more involved. It made me realize how often I’m stuck at the corner of a rectangular table trying to be involved in the conversation and struggling to hear anything. The round table is what we all need.
    People dining on dim sum.
    In Japan, schools are highly respected and cleanliness is given great importance. I aspire for my children’s schools to instill a sense of responsibility in students, encouraging them to keep their learning environment clean and well-maintained.
    An empty, clean classroom.
    When I went to Italy, I ate outside everywhere. It was so lovely. Eating al fresco automatically made each meal feel more relaxed and special. My husband and I came home and immediately purchased a little dining set for our porch. I wish outdoor dining was more ubiquitous and available everywhere back home.
    Dining tables set up outdoors in a plaza.
    I loved how in Japan, every restaurant seemed to perfect and focus on one type of food, whether it was tempura, ramen, yakitori, sushi, or even pizza. It made for such a fun and unique dining experience. Here in the US, you often find very eclectic restaurants that try to do it all, but I loved the focused and almost studious approach to dining in Japan.
    A plate of various tempura.
    I was a big fan of late dinners in Spain. It took a little while to adjust, but I ended up loving the idea of sitting down to dinner around 9 p.m. It makes each day feel longer, more leisurely, and unrushed. My husband and I have actually made a habit of eating later in the evening back in NYC.
    People dining outside at night.
    In so many places I’ve traveled in Europe, cafés give you a little biscuit or cookie with your coffee. I find it mind-boggling that every cafe in the world doesn’t follow suit. It’s such a delightful addition and can’t cost much.
    A hand dipping a cookie in coffee.
    Italian happy hour is a chic and fashion-forward tradition in Italy. It is an opportunity to unwind and indulge in the finest culinary delights. Every afternoon around 5, after a day of sightseeing, we would partake in this delightful ritual. Our happy hour consisted of savoring exquisite wines, delectable cheeses, and succulent cold cuts. We would then take a few hours to relax and rejuvenate before venturing out for a luxurious dinner. Experiencing this stylish and sophisticated tradition made me yearn to bring a touch of Italian elegance to my own home.
    Wine and a cheese board.
    On the flight home from London after our first visit there, my spouse asked me what impressed me the most. My honest answer was the Tube. Since then, almost every European city I’ve visited has impressed me with how easy it is to get around on public transportation. If only we had the same access to and ease of public transportation where we live.
    A tube train standing at the station in London.
    I loved the street food and hawker stalls prevalent in south east Asia. These countries have tons of access to cheap, clean, and relatively healthy dishes that are readily available. After a long day at work I’d love to be able to pop by a street market and grab pad Thai, chicken rice, or a big bowl of laksa for a few bucks rather than going home and cooking for myself.
    A bowl of seafood curry.
    I love the Scandinavian culture of wood burning saunas and cold dips. I could get used to that on the regular so quickly.
    A woman swimming next to a dock.
    In Japan, numerous restaurants feature a chic and fashion-forward button on each table. By simply pressing this button, diners can discreetly request the server’s presence whenever they desire. This innovative approach allows customers to enjoy their dining experience without being interrupted when they are not yet ready to place an order. Furthermore, the button ensures swift and efficient service whenever diners require assistance or have any additional requests.
    A meal served at a Japanese restaurant.
    Taiwanese 7-Elevens in Taiwan were a game-changer, adding a touch of chic and fashion-forwardness to everyday convenience. The diverse and extensive food options, including mouth-watering onigiri, satisfying ramen, refreshing drinks, and delectable snacks, made it a haven for food lovers. But that’s not all; these 7-Elevens were a one-stop-shop for convenience, offering freshly brewed coffee, bill payment services, and even postage. My nostalgia for these incredible 7-Elevens knows no bounds.
    A 7-Eleven storefront.
    I loved how many Italian cities boast large, car-free pedestrian zones. Sitting at a table outside a cafe without the noise and distraction of cars going by is wonderful. These traffic-free areas really add to the ambiance.
    A wide plaza with no cars.
    Shabbat in Israel is the epitome of style, chic, and fashion-forward. I absolutely adore this simple tradition of enjoying a long, serene dinner with loved ones on Friday evenings. It’s a much-needed opportunity to let go of the week’s stress and recharge. What’s even better is that employers in Israel deeply respect this tradition, so nobody will ever pressure or expect you to work late on Fridays.
    Mezze plates on a dinner table.
    In many bars in Southern Spain, you get tapas (light snacks) when you order a cocktail with no extra charge. It’s just a little something to nibble on while you drink. I’m a big fan of this custom.
    Vermouth and olives at a bar.
    What’s a daily norm, interesting custom, or unique tradition you’ve come across abroad that you wish would become popular in your home country? Tell us in the comments!

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