While we're on the subject of cultural/national differences, let me throw out another obvious measure: airport baggage carts.
Traveling the world over the years, I have noticed distinct differences in these things. At some point, I realized that they reveal characteristics of the nation in which they are found. One gets a first glimpse of the preview of the country and its people, when one arrives at the airport.
The best baggage carts are found in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. These things are like top-of-the-line Mercedes: well-engineered and solidly built. They are capable of riding escalators. Despite being in countries with high fees and high taxes, they are free. And, despite being in high-wage countries, where supermarket carts must be rented and returned to the rack to receive reimbursement, workers collect them and return them to the pick-up point for new arrivals.
The worst baggage carts are in Britain (and its former colonies). These things are like English cars of the 50's and 60's. They are not worthless, but almost. Each of the four wheels has a mind of its own, which makes the bloody things almost impossible to steer. The invention of wheels on luggage has relieved a lot of frustration at Heathrow. Of course, the Brits would never accept good ideas from abroad and would not spend money on convenience for the masses.
Baggage carts in the United States are what one would expect, if you know the country, but surprising to all first-time visitors that still harbor illusions of a land with streets paved in gold (a few of this species still exist). Carts are of basic quality (although design is questionable) and, of course, they cost money. Someone is making money off travelers, but the expense is touted as a benefit. Perhaps, the spirit of competition to these things is what prompted the invention of wheeled luggage...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.