Things are very different in the developing world. Many of the things we take for granted simply don't work the same way.
1) We believe exhaust fumes are bad. In the developing world nobody bothers fixing the exhaust systems of their vehicles and most of the buses and cars you take vent exhaust right into the passenger compartment. I've gotten some horrible headaches on buses and in taxis.
2) We believe seatbelts save lives. Even though Central Asia has one of the worst accident rates in the world nobody wears seatbelts. Many vehicles don't even have any. If you do find one and put it on prepare to be questioned.
3) Our sidewalks are level. In the developing world sidewalks often have big holes in them. Or unexpected protrusions like 30cm bits of rebar.
4) Our man-holes have covers on them. Many of them are missing in Central Asia and if you aren't careful you could literally fall 2 or 3 meters down into the sewer system. The drivers simply seem to know which ones are missing so nobody feels the need to replace them.
5) Our stairs are all the same height. That way if you walk up or down a flight of stairs you know exactly what to expect from each step. In Central Asia it is common for one or two steps to be different heights from the other ones.
6) We have streetlights. In Central Asia there are no bulbs in the streetlights which means that at night the streets and sidewalks are pitch black. See #3- #5 above to get an idea of what this is like.
7) We light hallways and stairwells in hotels and other public spaces. Not so in many Central Asian hotels. You often need a flashlight just to get to your room at night. We found one great Internet place where the stairwell was inside the building and thus completely black. The second stair from the bottom had a wire running across it about 15cm above the floor to hold the railings together. It was like they were trying to kill people, but everyone we watched knew it was there and just stepped over it. Maybe Central Asians see a different spectrum of light than I do.
8) We take electricity for granted. In Central Asia power cuts are common. In the daytime we often see the sad icecream vendors watching their stock melt in the sun. At night we always have a flashlight nearby. It is common to wake up for the bathroom only to find the power out. Later, when the power comes back all the lights you accidentally left on during the blackout come back on to wake you up.
9) We take running water for granted. Often the water just stops for half a day or more. This means warm showers are hard to come by since they require a convergence or running water and power that can be alarmingly rare.
10) We put gutters on our buildings. This doesn't seem like a big deal except that when it rains all the water runs off buildings onto the sidewalks below instead of flowing nicely away. This also means that in humid places buildings are constantly dripping nasty stuff onto the sidewalk.
11) We use P traps in our plumbing. For those who don't know, a P trap is that little loop of pipe that is on all our drains. It stays full of water and it keeps sewer gases from flowing up into the bathroom. They aren't used here, which means that most bathrooms effectively have several large vents directly into the sewer. For this reason we generally prefer shared showers and toilets because our rooms don't smell like stinky toilet.
12) Our sheets match our beds. For some reason we often end up in beds with only one sheet, one blanket, and an old mattress which is bigger than both and still wrapped in plastic. There is no good way to sleep with this setup but if you ask for extra sheets everyone thinks it is very strange. Often we use our sleeping bag liners.
13) We believe that electricity can be dangerous and treat it with respect. In the developing world it is a toy to be played with. There are exposed wires everywhere and it pays to look around in the light so you don't grab a bare wire at night instead of hitting the light switch. I've seen houses wired with a coathanger thrown over the powerlines. In China the wiring was so bad in the caver house that the wires would catch fire when the kettle was plugged in. Eventually the cavers simply rewired the place themselves. Even the power company doesn't do things right. One of our caving friends saw Chinese power engineers connecting two large wires at a power station by twisting them together and wrapping duct tape around them.
14) We believe Coca-Cola and beer should be served cold. In Central Asia they are stored in fridges but most people don't plug them in. Tricky. Yesterday we had a beer in a frosty mug at a nice hotel. Great idea keeping the mugs in the freezer, except the beer had been in the sun all day.
15) We don't allow little children to play on the highway, or near the backs of donkeys, or with large knives, or in a coral full of horses, or with cows, or .... Enough said.