Visiting another country can give you a case of culture shock, as we learned when Redditor AppleberryJames asked the online community: "Europeans who've visited the US, what made you go WTF?"Europeans who've visited the US, what made you go WTF?"
Portion sizes and adverts for drugs would be the big two. All the other differences would be either stuff you don't experience on holiday or within the kind of differences you'd expect from another country. But the meals were just unbelievably massive, and having people hawk serious medication to you through the TV was very jarring.
Oh, and the number and duration of ad breaks as well. One night me and my dad were in some small town on our way to somewhere else, decided to watch Silence of the Lambs on TV. The ad breaks towards the end were insane, completely ruined the film. They managed to put one in the middle of the finale. Remember the bit where Clarice finds the well, and then the lights go out? That's where they put an ad break. F*ck me sideways.
"Oh and the general weirdness..."
Being carded to get on a bar when I was 29 years old. I'd been drinking in pubs in England for 13 years without having to show ID.
Oh and the general weirdness surrounding alcohol. Us Brits went for a drink at lunchtime once and our American friends were referring us to AA.
Honestly...WalMart!! Went there to buy a sim card and some groceries. Also found out that I could also buy pet fish, car parts and shoes..ALL IN ONE BUILDING?!
Also, while in the queue to the checkout, we were next up and they just decided to close the lane? We had to re-queue somewhere else.
"The size of everything."
The size of everything. Still shocks me that driving from NYC to Cleveland, OH takes twice as much time as a trip across my country. Airport security is also overwhelming (and extremely boring).
"I was going to count..."
I was going to count the number of American flags I saw on my two weeks in Florida.
I gave up on the ride from Miami Airport to South Beach.
"The one thing..."
The one thing I wasn't expecting from the US is how polite 99% of the people I met were.
Lots of thanks, good wishes and very friendly people
"The political ads..."
The political ads on TV that do not promote but instead demonize candidates!
"So and so is a devil from hell that will eat your newborn for breakfast if you vote for them! Don't do it if you love America!" Scary music and black and white footage included. Weird, very weird.
Was staying with the nicest family ever. They worked extremely long hours and lived in the suburbs. I wanted to cook for them as a surprise and set out to the store on foot, with an empty backpack for the groceries. Had to walk along the curb of, and then cross, an 8 lane highway to get to the store. Had to stop a really really old man from bagging the groceries. Then was stopped by police on the way back. They were very friendly, just wanted to know where my car had broken down.
Ended up explaining to me that there was basically zero infrastructure for walking out in the burbs. They took me home. On the way, I saw a sign "gas 99 cents a gallon, Bud's Xmas Gift to the Community", blew my dad's mind when I told him later. Got home, thanked the nice officers, made a vegetable casserole. When my wonderful host family came home, they were blown away but also extremely worried. All in all, I would say that no matter how crazy America may be or seem, Americans make up for all of it. They are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people I have ever met.
"I think the internet..."
Years ago, it used be striking how much violence was allowed on tv, while anything even remotely resembling sex was censored.
I think the internet, cable tv and syndication of TV shows has blended the cultures in this regard.
Jay walking and the lack of pavement/sidewalk on many roads. I found it so hard to just get from one place to another.
Secretly, we all fear having birthdays like the one in Sixteen Candles, where nobody shows up and we're forced to deal with how lonely we feel as people. But sometimes, people have things happen on their birthday that put Molly Ringwald to shame.
It stinks to have your special day go sour. Moreover, it hurts, that if whatever happened was bad enough, you will never be able to not associate your birthday with that awful thing.