Things That People From Other Countries Find Strange About America
“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Thomas Jefferson , The Declaration Of Independence
It is strange that the poor people are fatter than the rich people.
Tourists from other countries are shocked at the large size of the portions, all you can eat buffets and the amount of food that we waste.
Mcdonalds hamburgers (the quintessential American symbol) look so much better in the pictures then they taste. It is the same with Hershey Bars and Kit Kats. I hope they don’t try cotton candy.
It is not prestigious to drink a lot of alcohol here. There is contempt for people who must drink a lot to be drunk. To drink excessive alcohol on a regular daily basis is to be an alcoholic.
Non-smokers seem more important than smokers in the U.S.
Most Americans do not carry cash. There are many payment options if you want to buy something. It is not an option to say you have no money.
If you come from a third world country and go into a supermarket you will be amazed at the many different brands of dog food . For some it is that we don’t feed our dogs table scraps but have special dog food.
We have many complaints about our educational system but foreigners always comment on the free high quality sports facilities, theatres and musical programs that we have in our schools. (if they haven’t been cut yet)
Americans are casual. The use of first names very quickly and with people who are above you (like your boss) is very odd to those who come from countries that don’t have this kind of familiarity.
In many cities, it looks like Americans have a lot of free time on weekdays. It appears that we use this time for long lunches, jogging, bicycling, tennis, reading, writing, going to movies and volunteering.
Cultural diversity is something we take for granted until we go to a country where everyone looks the same. When people come here it is one of the first things they notice.
Cars cars cars. Everyone has at least one car and uses it for short distances.
American manners with cars are really good. You must wait at an intersection, follow the speed limit and obey all traffic rules. It is interesting how many countries don’t follow these rules.
The United States looks big on a map but people don’t realize how big it actually is until they get here. (I felt the same way about Australia)
Foreigners are either surprised at how easy it is to buy a gun here or how nice it is to never have been shot at – depending on what country you come from.
It is odd to see people carrying around bottles of water on the street in a country that has drinkable water.
Walmart and Cosco are always a big shock to foreigners from countries without Tesco, – how big, how cheap, how much stuff we buy that we don’t really need. It was a shock for me too – so many different random things in one place.
Americans do not share their problems with everyone. Serious problems are for friends and relatives only. Sharing of positive emotions is correct for people you don’t know very well. There are many cultures that find that strange.
Also we shake hands upon meeting someone for the first time. We don’t hug, we don’t kiss on both cheeks (unless we are really from a country that does that or want to pretend we are). If we don’t know you, there is no other touching. Remember that one country’s customs are another country’s pepper spray.
When Americans visit their relatives, they often stay in hotels. This would be insulting in many countries.
Most Americans do not like it if you show up at their house uninvited.
There are many car seat regulations here for babies and young children. This is hard for people coming from third world countries where many don’t have cars to understand.
You can’t purchase alcohol here till you are 21 but you can buy a gun at or join the army at 18.
Parents can get arrested in the United States for physically punishing their children and don’t have that kind of accountability in many countries.
Bribery is illegal in America.
Americans smile if they are not from New York. Foreigners must be ready to smile in each and every situation. People from countries that do not smile have to learn to smile at people on the street, in stores, policemen, acquaintances etc. I had to learn that coming from New York.
Americans can make mistakes and fail and it doesn’t matter. The American philosophy is “Let’s try anyway.”