Things you've seen abroad you wish were adopted world wide

Restaurant Food Weight - All over Europe in every restaurant any food item has a portion weight listed. So even if you don’t know what 500 G of french fries looks like, you quickly get a sense of what you’ll need for a full stomach. It helps with confusion so even if you don’t know what you’re ordering you’ll know how much you’ll need for a meal and it cuts down on bullshit portions at tourist trap eating establishments. Brilliant.

Airport Taxi Booth - The taxi scam out of a foreign airport is one of the first hassles you’ll deal with and sucks some joy out of the first impression of anywhere you go. At Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand they have it figured out. You walk to the booth and tell the person there where you want to go, you pay a standard fee based on distance and they print off a ticket with the destination in Thai. You show it to a cab driver and they take you there, only then do you give them the ticket, they bring it back and get paid. It’s perfect, the local economy is helped out, there are no communication barrier issues, you know you’re not getting screwed, and you know you’ll be dropped off exactly where you’re supposed to go.

What have you seen you wish would be adopted everywhere?

Roundabouts. I used to think they were dangerous until I went to Milton Keynes north of London. I counted 13 roundabouts between there and the Nissan Tech Centre in Cranbrook, flew threw them with no issues, even though I was driving on the wrong side of the road (at least to me).

Another roundabout lover. You can drive around St Martin/Sint Maarten all day and never see a red light because there aren’t any traffic lights on the island.

French pay toilets:

I think they’ve been tried a time or two in the US, and I’m sure the implementation would be problematic, but I marveled at their convenience and how clean they were.


I’ve been in a number of Latin American countries where (men) peeing in relative public is commonplace – enough to see graffiti that says (in Spanish), “Don’t pee here. You’re not a dog.”

It’s rather unthinkable to not have reasonable, accessible options for using the bathroom when you’re out and about, and it is understandable that many businesses aren’t eager to open their facilities to the public.

TL;DR: this is why we can’t have nice things.

So many roundabouts in my Florida community. Unfortunately people here aren’t taught how to navigate them properly…


I have lived in Europe my whole life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. Cite?

  1. Taxes already built into the retail shelf price in stores.
  2. No coins other than quarter equivalent.

That would be nice


I agree that it sounds like a good idea, at least in principle. But it is a myth, this assertion is not correct. Steakhouses might write on the menu what a small, medium-sized and big steak weigh, but I don’t recall any other example.
Europeans will tell you how much they will fill your glass.

The freaking metric system. FFS America, Myanmar and Liberia: stop being stupidly obstinate and join the rest of us (I’m an American who adopted the metric system decades ago).

(re: Sanisette) We have a few of these in San Francisco, including one at the cable car turnaround on Market St. They do work remarkably well. But they are often monopolized by street people using them as a place to do drugs without being interrupted. I understand you get 30 minutes for your quarter (if it still is a quarter). I was thinking maybe they should shorten that. And lack of public toilets has been a real problem during Covid, since all the fast food restaurants and most of the gas stations on which I used to depend have closed their toilets to the public. I’ve had to stop what I was doing and go home because I couldn’t find anywhere to “go”.

The thing I would like to import from abroad is not a thing, but a practice: the no-tipping culture in places like Japan. I like not having to worry if the people serving me can live on what they earn from their jobs.

+1. Iceland is the same. France also (so friends who live there told us; though after decades of tipping it’s hard to get your head around the change. No pun intended.)


Alcoholic beverages in vending machines and at places like Denny’s. I’ll take a shot and a beer with my Grand Slam breakfast please! Tokyo is so damn cool.

The Japanese vending machines for both hot and cold drinks.

Red for hot, blue for cold…

I’m curious when no tipping started in France? We were there briefly about 3 years ago, and I thought I remembered leaving tips when we ate, but it’s not a clear memory.

Credit card terminals brought to your table at a restaurant. Also, the acceptance of contactless cards as payment for just about anything.

In Australia, there are public showers in airports (I saw them at Sydney and Darwin, at least; I don’t know if they have them at every airport). And it’s extremely nice to be able to take a shower after you’ve just gotten off a long overnight flight, but can’t check into your hotel until the afternoon. Or the inverse, where you have to check out of your hotel in the morning, but your flight from Darwin to Sydney is a redeye. So to kill time you rent a bike and ride around in the hot, humid, Darwin weather, and then have to head to the airport. As I understand some US airports have showers in the first class lounge, but I’d like to see them available for everyone. The ones in Australia were free to use, although you have to provide your own soap and towel, but I wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars to use them.

The metric system
Celsius for temperatures
Good mass transit
Universal health care
Capsule hotels
Bathroom stalls that /actually/ provide privacy
Christmas pantomimes

Who needs a card any more? Your phone is sufficient in many places.

Menus and prices outside of the restaurant.

Vacant/occupied for bathroom stalls.