1. Note pad
In Malaysia, after high school, people pretty much writing on line format (like shown in the right hand side of the photo above), just like in the USA. Years ago my MIL gave me a note pad like the one on the middle of the photo, where it has a big square with three horizontal lines inside. I couldn't get used to it. I found it hard to read writings in these square formats. Wouldn't it save ton of money if note pad producers simply print papers with lines?
2. Comma vs Full stop
In France, a comma is used as a decimal mark compared to full stop in most part of Asia and English speaking countries. So 12.34€ (twelve Euro thirty four Cents) are written as 12,34€. In my job I deal with numbers everyday, I struggled at the beginning but now it just comes by naturally. However, I have to deal with this difference frequently as it produces many mistakes.
a) When working with Excel. I have data coming from different systems, some of them are using Comma standard, the others are using Full stop. We have to use a Macro to turn all these data into the same standard. Sometimes data extraction coming from the same source changed from Comma standard to Dot standard, or someone sends me an updated file which changes all my Comma to Dot resulted in formula mistakes all over the sheet.
b) When using group reporting tools. Our group reporting tools are using the Dot standard. So we have to enter data accordingly. I have many painful experiences being trapped in situations where data entries didn't match the awaiting results just to realize that my 12,34€ has become 1234€ in the reporting system. In one tool, we have an automatic function to feed an Excel file to the system. It has a bug : all the numbers after the decimal marks disappear after loading. The support team told us that it would be too complicate to load these fraction numbers, but we can enter the numbers manually. Hah? How about entering hundred of lines of data manually?
The map above from Wikipedia shows countries who use Comma vs countries who use Dot or Full stop. I'm surprised to learn that more countries (67) are using Comma than Dot (42). But in terms of coverage Comma standard covers 24% of the of world population, much lower than 60% coverage for the Dot standard.
3. QWERTY vs AZERTY
France uses AZERTY computer keyboard compare to QWERTY layout in Malaysia and in USA. I get use to the AZERTY keyboard now that I have problem switching to QWERTY layout back in Malaysia. It is easier to type those French accents : é, è, à, ç, ù (only use in one word “où” = where in French)
I'm not complaining here, I just want to point out that as an expat I have to constantly adapt to standards practicing in my host country. It is not a problem switching to one standard, it is just painful when we have to juggle between different standards practicing in different countries.