|: In North America people in general have a tendency to put down others who don't look or follow the norm. You folks in Europe are a lot more "anything goes" than we are.
I experience this "follow the norm" attitude a lot here in Germany. Back when I started roller skating it was an activity for little girls. You just didn't roller skate when you were an adult. Showing off an expensive bicycle was OK, however. In Switzerland I experienced people as being much more relaxed. Expecially in city which are situated at a lake (which is the case for almost all Swiss cities).