We all know that America is responsible for some of the greatest ideas in the world. We invented barbecue cuisine, we buy literally anything you can think of in bulk, and of course, the iPhone. What more could you ask for?
Despite all the amazing stuff we've invented, we're still pretty far behind on some major things. Our public bathrooms might be free, but they are decades behind. America may be the land of the free (soft drink refills) and the home of the brave, but we also have terrible chocolate. Check out all these things that we somehow don't have yet in America.
England Adds The Tax To Their Price Labels
Unless you're living your best tax-evasion life in the Cayman Islands, you probably have to suffer through mentally calculating tax on everything you buy. It's always a nasty shock when you get to the checkout, and it's way more than you think.
In other countries like England, they automatically add the sales tax to the tag, so there are no surprises.
Japan Has Phone Wipes In The Bathroom
Japan's back at it again with the great bathroom ideas. Cell phones are ten times dirtier than a toilet seat, which makes them one of the dirtiest possessions we own. But no one thinks to clean them on a regular basis.
I need a personal supply of these smartphone cleaners.
There's a Minimum Cocoa Requirement in Chocolate in Britain
Even fellow Americans have admitted that U.S. chocolate is trash in comparison to the real Cadbury stuff from Britain. That's because the laws are different.
In Britain, milk chocolate has to have at least 25% cocoa, but the U.S. only requires it to be 10%. American chocolate makes up the difference with regular sugar. Lame.
A Sink That Has Soap, A Faucet, And An Air Dryer All In One
Stop the awkward bathroom shuffle. The one where you have to wash your hands, but the soap dispenser closest to you doesn't work, so you awkwardly have to lean over the person beside you.
Then once you're done washing your hands, you have to get to the air dryer while dripping water across the floor. Bring in the three-in-one sink instead.
Australia Doesn't Have Candy At The Checkout
I understand why the candy corporations want to have chocolate bars in every grocery store checkout line, but please, give American parents one candy-free zone.
This Australian grocery store understands a no candy checkout line is probably the best part of any parent's week.
Prevent Getting Shocked In The Elevator
We've all been living a life doomed to static electricity shocks everytime we use an elevator. If putting up a sticker is all we have to do to stop the madness, why hasn't it happened already?
This doesn't seem like one of those things that will cost too much. Get on it, American elevator makers.
ATMS In Portugal Do So Much More
You can do so much more at an ATM in Portugal than withdrawing your hard-earned money. No, in Portugal you can also purchase movie and event tickets and other fun stuff.
Also, you can do less fun stuff like paying your utility and phone bills. But hey, this is more convenient right?
Japanese Bathrooms Have Sound Options
Pooping in public is already awkward enough, and everyone has their own way of trying to avoid becoming the center of attention. The most common is to wait until someone else flushes and use that 30 seconds of noise to your advantage.
This Japanese bathroom comes equipped with a button that makes a flushing sound so that no one will suspect you.
Bathrooms Outside America Don't Have Gaps
There is no rhyme or reason for America's bathroom to have that stupid gap between the stalls. Why don't the doors go all the way to the ground? Some people say its to keep bathrooms safe from assault and drug trafficking.
But if the rest of the world can get by with completely private bathroom stalls, why can't we?
No Space To Park Your Bike? Japan Has Plenty Of Room For It
If you're like a lot of Americans, you get frustrated when you can't find a decent spot to park your bike. It especially stinks when this happens because you're actually, you know, trying to help the environment and get some exercise in at the same time.
They've solved the bike space problem in Japan with some awesome underground garages. Even better, thieves can't get to them down there.
It Seems Like Everyone In Europe Goes On Month-Long Vacations
By law, every country in the European Union gets a minimum of four weeks paid vacation. Four weeks! In comparison, the average American worker gets two weeks.
And sometimes that's not even paid. No wonder everyone in Europe is so tan and laidback.
A Safe Place To Meet A Stranger
I will admit that safe spots for online transactions are gaining momentum in America. Although there aren't many designated spots like this one seen here, many people buying off Craiglist will suggest meeting at the local police station.
Word of advice: if anyone refuses to meet you at the police station or a safe meetup spot, then you probably dodged a bullet.
Free Mouthwash In The Bathroom
We're already giving out free toothpicks and mints in restaurants. Why not go all the way and offer free mouthwash? I could have avoided so much embarrassment if the local sushi place had one of these.
I'd gladly trade my third free refill or Dr. Pepper for a shot of free mouthwash after a meal.
Free Museums That Don't Have The Judgemental 'Donation Fee'
In Europe, museums are viewed to be a public service that anyone should be free to access. I know America has many 'free' museums, but they all ask for "donation upon entry."
And when I only donate a dollar, I can feel their judgment burn through to my soul.
The hotels in Japan have mirrors that are heated so that when your shower gets nice and steamy, you can still see yourself.
It seems like a silly invention, but anyone who's had to get ready immediately after a shower knows that wiping the mirror over and over can get annoying.
Norway’s Prisons Are More Like a Vacation
In Norway, it’s possible that you’ll go to prison for committing a crime, but prison life isn’t all that bad. Rather than focus on sacrifice and punishment, they rehabilitate their inmates with a place designed for solitude and reflection.
Norway’s minimum security island prison requires inmates to stay there, but other than that, they’re provided with a good life where they can relax. According to the BBC, Norway has the lowest rate of repeat offenders in Europe.
Eat In Isolation In Japan
The people of Japan understand that we don’t always want to be social. That’s why they invented a restaurant where you don’t have to even talk to anyone. It’s called “low-interaction dining” and was first seen in Fukuoka in 1960.
The trend was started at Ichiran restaurant, where they created ramen isolation booth restaurants that allow patrons to see which table is available on a chart, seat themselves, and fill out a paper to order. Their food is then served through a curtain, where they can enjoy their ramen in peace.
New Zealand Will Totally Pay For Your Toddler
New Zealand cares about your baby. They want to to make sure their young citizens are given the best shot at life before they’re even in school. That’s why the country offers 20-22 hours of free child care each week.
The government pays for daycare for toddlers part-time to give them a good start at development. Imagine if we had free day care in the U.S.!
Toilet Slippers Are Customary In Japan
Since you're expected to remove your shoes and wear slippers when visiting any home in Japan, you might think you'd have to wear those same slippers into the bathroom. Not so.
You can keep your main house slippers clean by wearing special "toilet slippers" provided by your host, allowing you to keep your normal slippers pee-free.
Moving Trucks That Open From The Side
Am I looking at a transformer right now? Nope, it's just another genius Japanese invention. I didn't even know how much I wanted moving trucks that open from the back and the side.
Moving is a nightmare. Anything that will make it easier to get that way-too-heavy couch out of the truck and into the apartment sounds like a great idea.
What A Grate Idea
Women know the struggle of trying to look nice wearing dress shoes while simultaneously navigating around a city that is anything but high-heel friendly.
This clever redesign of a city grate includes footsteps to follow to prevent people wearing heels from slipping and getting stuck.
England Simplifies Milk
What's up with all the different types of milk here? One percent, two percent, half and half... it can get tricky up in the dairy aisle.
In England they do it better. Milk is either whole or skimmed. You can make your selection without thinking about it for two hours.
Subway Workers Get Everyone On Board
Don't worry about missing your train in Japan. If the subway car is too full, a uniformed employee will help stuff you in.
These people are called Oshiya and fortunately, they wear white gloves. For sanitary purposes, ya know?
To Go With Our Lunchables
Americans live for fast food and single-use containers, so you'd think that an alcohol juice box would be right up our alley. Yet here we are in the 21st century without vodka juice boxes.
America needs to get on this quick so I can start bringing one for lunch. Check out Australia's easy way to give parents a break in the grocery store.
Sweden Encourages You To Put Your PJs on And Stuff Your Face
Have you ever heard of hygge? It’s this pretty awesome concept that Swedes practice. It’s basically wearing the most comfortable clothes you can find and curling up on the couch with delicious food and something to entertain yourself.
Cold winters can be harsh in Sweden, so their country is pretty much a judgment-free zone when it comes to lounging around the house with scented candles and a pile of chocolate. We should all adopt this.
Hot Springs Are Kind of a Big Deal in Taiwan
In Taiwanese culture, hot springs are a go-to method for letting go of stress and unwinding. Hot spring bathing is a health ritual in this part of the world, where many of them can be found.
The crystal clear water is clean and can be used as drinking water. The water is beneficial for skin, while the relaxing outdoor environment is like a hug for your soul.
Lunch Is Super Important In France
In France, lunch is the most important meal of the day and what's not to love about that? The French are also given a longer time to enjoy their mid-day meals than we are here.
On the flip side, it might be harder to stay awake at your desk following a luxurious long lunch break.
You Can Drink Everywhere in Brazil
Ok, we’re not saying that we’re all for public intoxication, but drinking laws in the U.S. have become pretty tight. In Brazil, on the other hand, the drinking age is 18 years old, and is not often enforced. Even better, you can drink anywhere you please.
Whether you’re in a car, or on the beach, pop a beer and enjoy yourself, because you’re in Brazil.
Finland Has More Saunas Than People
The people of Finland know how to survive the cold. They stock up on saunas. In face, there are more saunas than Finnish people in the country, if you can believe that.
But they’re not your creepy, icky, typical gym sauna. Finns go the extra mile to make their saunas as beautiful and relaxing as possible. You can come across them in barns, lakeside cottages and cabins with a view.
Japan Has More Kit Kat Flavors
OK, plain old chocolate Kit Kats are good. But in Japan people get to choose from 15 different flavors like pear, edamame, apple, and sweet potato.
Some sound better than others, for sure. But I’m kind of needing to get my hands on some strawberry Kit Kats right now.
Trying To Diet? Go To France
The concept of "all you can eat" is pretty foreign in France. Instead, restaurants serve you just the amount they think you should be consuming. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on how hungry you are.
Studies keep proving that Americans tend to eat everything on their plates, whether they are full or not. So the French might have the right concept when it comes to portion size.
Graduates In Norway Get To Party Like Crazy
High schoolers everywhere tend to celebrate some after graduation, but Norway takes the prize for hardest partying.
There, they have something called a russefeiring. This is where you rent a brightly-colored bus, wear fun clothes, and party for 17 straight days. I'd go back to high school for that!
#13 Fans, Rejoice! 13 Isn't Taboo In Japan
For all you huge #13 fans, Japan might just be the place for you. The pronunciation of "four" sounds like the word for death, so people tend to avoid it the way we do with 13.
Elevators often won't have a fourth floor, and there's even a word for fear of that number: "Tetraphobia."
I Know We Can Purchase Alcohol Wherever, But We Need The 7/11 Wine Brand ASAP
Our liquor laws are archaic, but at least you can buy booze in any corner store in America. And even though we have these privileges, we're still exempt from the national treasure that is the 7/11 brand wine.
Why does Japan get 7/11 wine and America doesn't? I need to try the Yosemite Road chardonnay ASAP.
Something We Didn’t Even Know We Needed
What’s not to love about this Scottish product? It’s a whiskey-flavored condom. Seriously. Even better is that it's called the McCondom.
Whiskey probably got you to the point where a condom even comes into play… why stop drinking it just because you’re playing it safe?
You'd Think Americans Would Want To Walk Less
Why are moving sidewalks limited to airports? Everyone knows that Americans will avoid walking if they can. In other countries, they take the moving sidewalk to the next level and attach them to escalators.
Now you can go upstairs and across an entire floor without taking a step. We're living in 3018.
The Word Pulp Apparently Just Isn't A Thing Everywhere Else
Pulp seems to be a distinctly North American word. These orange juice containers hilariously call pulp "juicy bits."
The Norwegian word for pulp is "fruktkjøtt" which translates to "fruit meat" which is equally hilarious. Can I get a glass of orange juice, with extra juicy fruit meat? Thanks.
America's Drinking Laws Are Archaic
Americans love to drink, so why are our drinking laws so out of date? Canada's legal age is 19, and in most European countries it's 18.
Not to mention, the carry laws are way more relaxed. In most European nations you can just walk around drinking a bottle of wine, and nobody cares.
I've Never Seen A Costco Where People Actually Obey The Laws Of Society
If you're ever wondering how American's act when there are no rules or regulations, just step inside a Costco. It's complete anarchy. People everywhere, yelling, no order.
This Costco in Japan is absolutely mindblowing. Do they do this themselves or is there a Costco police officer enforcing it? How do we get this to happen in America?