When you are traveling, every once in a while you are struck by little cultural differences abroad. For instance, while driving from Croatia to Italy we noticed that there were (to us) an unusual and surprising number of red trucks on the road. Within a 4 hour drive we counted at least 40 of them. Semi-trucks, vans, delivery trucks, you name it. You may ask why this caught our attention and why it is worth mentioning. Well, we had plenty of time to think about it during our drive.
In the United States, a red car implies that the owner likes to show off a bit, that they like cars that are fast and flashy. Red cars tend to get more speeding tickets and attract the attention of police. If you buy a red car, it is a conscious decision and you are making a statement. It screams “look at me!”. Sure, there are lots of red cars in the US, but they aren’t as common as other colors. A red truck is even less common. You just don’t think of a huge, lumbering truck as “sporty”. If you see a red truck, it’s probably a fire truck or a Target delivery truck.
So, as we were driving along on the European highways, we began to see one red truck after another. The more we saw, the more odd it seemed.
It’s a little thing, but to me it represents one of those “Ah Ha!” moments that make travel so interesting. When you realize that something that is just understood to you, isn’t understood to everyone around the world.