21 Tourists Explain The Weirdest Things That Americans Don’t Realize Are Weird About Their Country.
Non-Americans who have been to the US were asked: "What is the weirdest thing about America that Americans don't realize is weird?" These are some of the best answers.
1/21 If you walk into a busy bar and shout "USA WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!" 99% of the time someone somewhere in the bar will repeat it back.
2/21 Really nice and clean cities, until you take two steps into a back alley and you realize that they just shoved the dirt under the rug. It is weird.
3/21 Probably not the weirdest but I recently realized Americans have to register to vote. In here it's just: you're 18, you can vote.
4/21 Brit travelling in America at the minute and there's a few things I've noticed. Smiling at people on public transport, someone smiled at me on the light rail the other day and I had a mini panic attack.
5/21 Not so much weird, but I was actually really surprised at how big of a subject food is in your general conversations.
Maybe it was just the people I met, but seriously. Every time someone mentions they're going to a specific town, "oh you gotta try that pizza place there", people talking about new burger joints that opened or how they're going to this restaurant that serves pancakes with bananas or whatever.
The image about Americans and food in France is that you guys don't really care - you always eat at fast food restaurants or just microwave everything because you don't care, quantity over quality. But that is so untrue - oh god, how much you care about food.
We definitely have differing standards of quality in food & drinks compared to you guys, but dammit if you guys aren't passionate about it.
6/21 Having tax added on when you get to the till i.e. price tag says $5, you take a $5 bill out of your wallet, then bam, you're asked to pay $5.86 or whatever.
7/21 I guess one thing that's odd is that the average American seems a lot more attuned to the outdoors than we are. I've seen Americans sporadically ask their friends if they want to go on a night hike or go hunting. Generally if you hunt animals in the UK you're part of the nobility.
8/21 I find it weird how you're trusted with guns but aren't trusted not to eat the toy inside kinder surprise eggs.
9/21 Commercials for antidepressants and surgeries. Generally advertisements for prescription drugs.
10/21 How much everything can change from state to state. Different police, different traffic rules, different alcohol policies. It's goddamned confusing.
11/21 Canadian who lived in the US for a couple years. I may be way off, and please educate me if I am. I always thought States were like provinces in other countries, but it seems more like each state is closer to being it's own country and counties are more closely compared to provinces. The amount of power each state has within itself is quite a bit! And the federal government is something unlike any other. When I saw this, the name of your country "the United States of America" became more of a description than a country itself!
Of course, I know that in reality the US is a country and the States are not, but the amount of diversity and autonomy between each state is nothing like I imagined anywhere else I've seen.
12/21 The spacing. I know the US is a huge area (and of course big cramped cities like NYC are exceptions), but the size of the roads and parking lots just seemed really strange as a central European.
13/21 As a Canadian, the raptor sized turkey legs sold at amusement parks lol.
14/21 All the commercials for lawyers. On the side of the road... In television... In hotel rooms... Okay, the last one was only in one hotel room but most of the time you couldn't go anywhere without seeing any adds for lawyers.
15/21 That there are a lot of squirrels.
16/21 Your lack of inhibition with strangers.
I spent a month travelling from East to West and stayed with my best mate in NYC for a few weeks. While there I decided to top up my red hair dye as it had seriously faded. One disaster later (boring story) and my hair actually came out illuminous pink/red instead. I'm talking pretty out there from my usual red, but I thought, 'fuck it, it'll fade soon enough and I'm travelling, why not just rock it for a bit?'
What I did NOT expect was for all the comments on it by complete strangers! I live in Scotland and we're a fairly friendly, cheery, chatty bunch when we want to be, but it's usually during an ongoing exchange. Such as when you're being served by someone in a shop or restaurant, after having established base contact you might then venture out with 'Oh I love your hair/clothes/bag' whatever. It's pretty rare (though not unheard of) for someone to just pass you in the street and make comments like that.
I was blown away by how often it happened over there. I'm a fairly sociable person myself and enjoyed it. But it constantly surprised me. I'd be walking down the street in my own world and I'd hear a 'hey, awesome hair!' from someone just passing me. It was great.
17/21 The size of (non alcoholic) drinks. Seriously, y'all need to slow down on those.
18/21 Asking strangers "How are you" without expecting an actual answer. It always felt so weird to answer with a "How are you" myself.
19/21 How your toilets are full right up with water; how's a guy supposed to piss quietly?
20/21 The gaps between the doors in public restrooms - you could look someone in the eye through those a bit too comfortably!
21/21 Driving above the speed limit, constantly!
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We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.