Bad Habits of Austrians

Dogs are not legally allowed to poo as they wish - but generally their owers view it like that

Poo as they wish: Dogs enjoy much freedom in Austria

All nations have bad habits - picking the nose, partying like there was no tomorrow, permanent nagging about the weather. Here′s a short list of naughty things that Austrians tend to commit, as a warning what to expect when you are travelling.

1.) Dog-pooh everywhere

Especially Viennese seem to believe that it is a fundamental human right to let the own dog take a shit wherever it likes and whenever it likes. Playgrounds, sidewalks, doorways - you name it, they find it.

2.) Ignorance of the World

This is particularly bad with people born before 1980 - those who grew up in a nation surrounded by barbwire and communist countries still think that the World ends at the borders of Austria. Many Austrians don′t care about the EU, foreign policies or social/economic/scientific developments outside of the own country.

3.) Smoking

It is intolerant to ask a smoker not to blow smoke straight into your face, even if you suffer from a chronic lung disease. At least according to a high percentage of Austrians - almost 50 percent of the total adult population smokes. More in the East, less in the West of the country.

4.) Think negative

Most Austrians will do their very best to criticize everything in the most negative way that is possible. Regardless of what kind of change/innovation/novelty it is - it′s bad!

5.) Open rudeness

After living in England for several years, it was quite a change to move to Vienna, where people treat each other in a much more aggressive and openly hostile way if they think that you did something wrong. At least they are honest and you know what they think of you - which is not the case in England.

6.) We pee everywhere

This totally includes myself - Austrians are 100 percent free of shame when it comes to a wee in the woods or elsewhere. If there are no toilets around, it′s up to the bushes to meet our needs.

7.) Public signs of affection

Highly motivated kissing, excessive grabbing of personal areas of your partners body and other highly public signs of affection are common sights in Austria. You will have to accept it as part of the country′s culture that a high degree of sexuality is tolerated by the general public.

8.) Binge drinking

An increasing issue among young people, but still less of a problem than in many other countries in Europe. Public drinking is allowed essentially everywhere in Austria, but due to binge drinking problems, alcohol free zones are discussed in several cities including Vienna.

9.) Anti-social attitudes

Upon moving back to Austria, I was amazed over and over again how the people here don't give a damn about those living around them. Be it a neighbour, who enjoys listening to loud music at 4 a.m. despite of me ringing the doorbell, be it co-workers, who start a vicious argument after my request to stop smoking when I am in the room. Tourists might experience Austrians as a kind and friendly bunch of people, but this is quite a limited view.

10.) No hand washing after toilet

Obviously I can't say anything about this issue regarding the female half of the population, but as for the male one: maybe 15 to 20 percent of all men wash their hands after going to the toilet. Something to keep in mind next time you shake hands with an Austrian. By the way, I can proundly announce that I am among the few who do wash their hands.

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Further Reading

Things I like about Austria, things I dislike

Culture & Lifestyle in Austria

Things NOT to do in Austria