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15 people share the weirdest or scariest thing they've experienced in a foreign country.

15 people share the weirdest or scariest thing they've experienced in a foreign country.


Traveling can be such an expansive and eye-opening experience. You see new places, meet new people, and open your eyes to all the cultural diversity the world can offer.

A positive time abroad can shift your philosophy on what matters in life, challenge your preconceived notions about the 'right' way to structure your life, and connect you to yourself in new ways.

But traveling can also make you vulnerable to being taken advantage, you can find yourself lost without a map (literally and metaphorically), and see sides of people you'd rather not. And sometimes, you experience things that are just plain weird.

In a popular Ask Reddit thread, people shared the weirdest or scariest thing they've experienced in a foreign country, and it's truly a wide range.

1. From zubaz69:

A beh*ading in the public market square in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.

2. From darthsmitten:

Detained on the border of Romania and Hungary by Romanian police, put into jail for a few hours and my passport confiscated. When they led me through the darkness to lock me up in some dingy back room jail cell I genuinely thought I was going to be hostel’ed

3. From fleurdwoman:

I got lost in an underground city in Tukey as a child. I stepped away from my parents and group to look at something, and when I turned around, they were all gone. I couldn't find anyone who spoke English for a while until finally a man who spoke a little English helped me find my way back to the surface to wait for my parents to come back out.

Thankfully, one of the women from our group was already there because she had gotten claustrophobic. Being 'lost' was scary enough, but not being able to communicate terrified me. Then, when my parents came up, they didn't even realize I had been lost. So that became the scariest thing, realizing I wasn't exactly 'safe' with my parents' inattentiveness.

4. From dromard666:

A few years ago I'm in Saudi Arabia on business. The company CEO had advised me to use Uber there, because it would be easier than talking to a cabbie who probably didn't speak English. At the end of the trip, I get an Uber to head back to the airport. I notice that the driver blows right past the airport turn-off. It feels like we're heading out into the desert.

Pretty quickly I'm starting to get nervous. I try to ask what is going on, but the guy just looks in the rearview mirror and smiles. A few miles later, he's finally taking a turn into, not the airport, but a Saudi air force base! He pulls up to the gates, and out come the guards, yelling at him and pointing their weapons. Now I'm practically crapping my pants in the back seat! WTH is going on?

I'm going to be sh*t or arrested trying to enter a Saudi base illegally because of a f**king Uber driver! The guy eventually backs up and turns around. We get back on the highway, go a few miles and he turns off, again. This time, he chose the entrance for all the highway coaches (buses) for people going to the Hajj at Mecca!

It's Ramadan, and the place is packed with Muslims making the sacred journey. It's another repeat of this idiot getting himself yelled at again for being in the wrong place. At least this time the guys doing the yelling are not armed, but still.

We're back on the highway again in a few minutes, and for the second time, the guy drives right past the correct airport turn-off. I'm in the back wondering how hard I can punch the CEO in the face without getting fired. FFS now where are we going? He follows the highway into town and does this big arc and now we're driving parallel to the previous path of chaos, but about 5 or 6 kms away.

The airport is on my right now (it was to the left, previously). This time he takes the first exit, but I'm not familiar with it, but it's the airport, so I'm not complaining. As we get closer to the terminals, I realize we're on the wrong side of the airport (like domestic flights versus international flights).

He needs to reverse his course, drive all the way around the outside along that big loop, again. F**k that. I'm getting out without saying anything. At least I'm at the airport, and maybe there's a shuttle. Nope, no shuttle. There are, however, about 50 cab drivers all offering to take me, somewhere, but all they can say is 'you need cab?'

That's it. One guy sorta steps forward. I'm asking for someone who speaks English and he finally brings a young guy around. In addition to saying 'you need cab?', this guy can also say 'no problem, I drive you there.' It's progress. I show him my airline ticket and he realizes right away I'm on the wrong side of the airport.

I ask him how much to go to the other side, and he says it will be the equivalent of $50USD. For a 10 minute ride! Seemed like a better rate than Uber. FWIW I wrote a complaint to Uber. They reimbursed me immediately.

5. From fleurdwoman:

One of the scariest things was being evacuated out of Turkey during the first Gulf War. From sitting in class and realizing the 'bomb drill' wasn't a drill when I saw the bomb-sniffing dogs walking down the hallways, packing up what we could at home, and waiting for flights out. Having 'red alerts' going off as we waited to be evacuated out.

The last red alert went off as we were being bussed out to the plane. I remember them telling us to get on the floor of the bus and thinking, 'What's that going to do if we get hit?'

6. From Natasha_T:

I was in Costa Rica a few months ago for a volunteer project to clean up plastics from the local area around Jaco Beach. I stayed in the Punta Leona resort as a worker (since they have a contract with the volunteer program) and on the first night when we all went to our dorms to sleep.

Roughly 30 minutes into our sleep, there was an ear-splitting shriek outside of the dorm that was so loud it made the whole house rumble. I have sensitive hearing so I was up instantly and so were the other girls but they were more annoyed than scared.

'What was that?!' I looked to the girl that I had been talking to the most earlier and she waved her hand.

'Howler monkeys do that sometimes. Just ignore it.'

7. From SeaOfFireflies:

Taking an overnight ferry during a People to People program in the summer with a bunch of high schoolers. Overnight from Italy to Sicily. Bunch of younger to middle-aged dudes not in the group were constantly hitting on the girls and were trying to proposition them back to their cabins on the ship. A few of us saw some trying to follow us back to our own rooms and a male teacher had to intervene.

Later that night when in the room with the three other girls we heard our door being tested to see if locked. I was fully prepared to claw the eyes out of any motherf**ker who successfully got in but it was a f**kin scary sleepless night.

8. From Omikron_1:

Few years back I was in Russia (I don't recall what was name of that place I was in) and well. If I remember it correctly then I was in some smaller town that looked like ghost town. You could see outside only few people and buildings looked abandoned. Also almost no cars. Prety weird and scary, but the peek was at one of outer edges there was a small forest and small wall in front of it.

Nothing else around. Just small forest with small clean untouched concrete wall. And on some trees in that small forest I saw hats just hanging from there. I sadly don't have photos of that place, but I know I never will return there.

9. From Lost_Feature8488:

I used to teach English in Japan. I didn’t get off most nights until 9pm, so it was close to 10 by the time I made it to the train stop near my apartment. One night I’m walking home and the street is dead, except for this elementary school boy walking towards me and whistling.

In Japan, whistling at night is said to attract demons so I was a bit unsettled by his behavior. The kid just kept whistling. I hurried home, demon free. I also used to find long thick black hair in my apartment in places I’d recently cleaned. I don’t have thick black hair, my hair is fine and red, so that was weird. I also didn’t have guests with hair like that so, who knows!

10. From dont_u_know:

When I was in my senior year of high school, we went on a field trip to India we were gonna write our senior projects at an orphanage where our teacher knew the owner, I went to a certified U.N school whatever that means.

Anyway, we were on our way to this giant temple and we stopped at a smaller one for a break and snacks. There were people everywhere and since all of us are white, except one dude, we got a lot of weird looks from the locals and a lot of giggles.

I was talking to four other girls when the security guard asked if he could take a picture with us, that's when all hell broke loose, everyone wanted to take pictures with us. So when I started walking back to the car, this dad followed me and kept hounding me for a picture and said that I am a b**ch wh*re for not taking pictures with his children. We left shortly after.

11. From slicedbread1991:

I have a friend that's from South Africa. He was going to go back for a bit to visit some family and friends. He invited me along. We stayed with one of his friends who live in a really old colonial house in, quite literally, the middle of nowhere. This house has a fence around the entire property. We were returning to the house one night. It was very dark. No street lights or anything.

We pulled up to the gate to the property. I was in the passenger seat so I hopped out to open the gate. As I opened the gate I thought I heard something run past me, but a bit in the distance. I was a bit spooked so I quickly closed the gate after the vehicle passed through. When I fully closed it I heard the same thing run past me, but this time much closer.

I knew I wasn't just hearing things this time. I was absolutely freaked out. Here I was in the middle of nowhere in a country with plenty of animals that can quite easily tear me apart. At this point, I started running back to the vehicle. As I was running I heard the same thing run after me, but it was gaining on me. As I reached the door the thing reached me.

This time, I could see it and it was indeed an animal. It was the house owner's friendly dog excited to see me. I never felt so relieved in my entire life. I thought for sure I was going to die.

12. From Milhent:

When I was in Turkey my friend and I (F23 and F28) were walking through a small market just browsing. We stopped next to one shop to take a look on something. Owner immediately jumped in trying to persuade us to buy (which is normal) or for my friend (and only her) to go with him upstairs to see more goods.

When we refused and turned to walk away he grabbed my friend by upper arm and hauled her to the stairs. We both were screaming and hitting him but he only let go when I twisted his thumb making him loosen his hold. My friend had huge bruise on her arm for the rest of vacation.

13. From GlassHalfFullofAcid:

When I was in Mexico with a friend, we had a creepy dude tailing us. We're both attractive women, so when we first saw him looking at us, we didn't think much of it. But we then started walking back to our room (had to go through the dark, outdoor spots in the resort) and he started following us.

We both sensed something was off, but by that point, he had started following within about 6 feet. It was pitch black and I didn't know how to avert the obviously dangerous situation. I started saying things like, 'Where's the rest of our group? They're taking forever!' and I slowed my gait A LOT to keep us in at least a little light.

When a few other people appeared on the path (a family with young children), we went up to them and said, 'we thought you guys got lost!' They were bewildered, but let us walk with them. The man literally disappeared once this happened.

Keep in mind I'm a pretty savvy woman that doesn't spook easily, but I was chilled to my bones in this situation. When I write it out, it sounds silly! But it was definitely sketchy.

14. From toad__warrior:

Driving in Costa Rica. Amazing place full of super nice people. Some of the roads were paved or hard-packed dirt. Most were ancient and in real bad shape. Biggest potholes that I have ever seen in my life. I am not kidding when I say there were plenty of potholes two feet deep. I was advised to get an SUV with full insurance, which I did and was thankful for.

Other interesting things - very religious country. Shrines all over the place with lights on them - in stores, on corners in the middle of nowhere. First time I saw an entire family ride on a vespa type scooter. Really impressive, especially on those roads. They also sold some form of moon shine on the side of the road in reused plastic bottles. 10/10 would go back.

15. From 3veryoneisasuspect:

When I was 10 years old, I had this weird dream of 2 men and 1 woman in bathing suits. The woman had one leg so she had one arm around one guy's shoulder and the other arm around the other man's shoulder and their backs were facing me. I thought it was a weird dream but didn't think too much of it.

A few months later, I went to El Salvador with my family for spring break. On the second to last day, we went to a water park and I somehow got separated from my family. I was looking around and I saw the same 3 people that I had seen in my dreams months prior. The only thing is that there were black bars around them so I could only see them and nothing else. I didnt talk to them or see their faces.

Sources: Reddit
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