1. I can feel that glare from over here
Call someone out for rudeness in public, in the UK we just glare and tut until we develop a stomach ulcer from the built up stress.
2. USA! USA! USA!
I’m quite late, but I’m a European who just experienced Mardi Gras. A float went by that had the navy on it and everyone started chanting “USA”. I joined in for the craic and it was great fun. My American friend apologised to me after, and it was only then that I realised he probably saw it as me having to deny my nationality in a crowd, whereas I just saw it as a bit of fun drunken chanting.
3. You’re not seriously going to eat that are you?
I have lived in both Finland and the USA. Once I woke up in the middle of the day after a house party. I got up and found peanut butter in a cabinet and Jam in the fridge. As I started making a class PB&J the other people in the house surrounded me and gave me a face of confusion. Someone asked me “wait.. you are really going to eat that?”. I guess people in Finland do not eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.. they all thought the idea was gross.
4. Friendly or troll…?
I met some Americans a few years ago in France and was surprised by their warm and easy given invitations to come by next time I would visit the US; very guest friendly. Never used any of those invitations though.
I was not sure they meant it or if the invitations were merely a friendly gesture; in Holland invitations are not that given that easy.
5. No one says that
Calling black people “African-American”.
Nobody here says “African-Canadian”.
6. Don’t kiss guys in America
At first I thought it was very weird that when men and women said hello, they shook hands or waved at each other. Where I’m from we say hello cheek to cheek. It took me a while to get used to.
7. Money talks here
Endless, costly political campaigning.
In Canada campaigns are typically 1-2 months, with strict spending limits.
8. Germans don’t care
Asking “how are you” after meeting someone, in Germany it’s never spoken, because I guess we don’t care how you are?
9. Personal space
I’m from Denmark and was recently in the US. I was 99% sure I was gonna die a horrible horrible death when someone sat next to me on the bus even though there was lots of seats open. The world needs to know, we don’t like people in Denmark.
10. Pick a religion, dammit
The sheer number of different churches and Christian denominations. Here in Ireland we have 2 churches: Catholic and Protestant.
11. PDA? You can’t do that here
I kissed my SO in her home country of the philippines in front of the “elders” big no no , it was just a peck too.
12. In Turkey, it’s a big crime
Lobbying. It’s strictly forbidden in my country for political parties to receive funding from any corporation. Every political party is funded by the state itself based on the amount of votes it received in the latest election. Actually, here, “lobbying” is like a curse word that parties throw at each other from time to time as like the word “treason”. I can’t really wrap my head around how political campaigns receive huge amounts of donations from corporations and it is justified in the US.
13. Just, come on, America
Please stop using different narrators for David Attenborough documentaries. This is just wrong.
14. Sweet tea tastes different from iced tea
Apparently sweet tea is only in the states, and mainly in the Southern states.
15. America is good at enslaving the masses
Saving up for, and paying your children’s college tuition. Here in New Zealand, there’s a thing called StudyLink, which is basically a government-run interest free student loan that you automatically start paying back out of your paycheck when you graduate and earn over a certain threshold.
16. Sue those alligators
Lawyers’ advertising! When I was in Louisiana I remember an ad that was something like that: “HAVE YOU BEEN BITE BY AN ALLIGATOR??? WE CAN HELP YOU GET AN REPARATION”…
I thought it was HILARIOUS.
I’m in law school and here in Brazil lawyers are very serious and formal… not this midiatic thing.
American living in Australia here. In Australia when you don’t understand what someone says, it is rude to say “What?” You should say “Pardon?”. Saying “what” is too direct or confrontational or something. Most of the time people won’t say anything, but my girlfriend said once said “what” to her 19 year old boss, and her boss said “Who are you to say “what” to ME?” I try really hard to remember to say “pardon” but sometimes I get too focused on trying to understand the content of what people are saying, and it is easy to let habit override and let a “what” slip out.
For any Australians reading this, please know that in the US saying “what” neither polite or impolite; it is about as common as saying hello, and saying “pardon” all the time in the US would be a little bit weird.
18. What is it with you guys and tipping?
Tip the bartender at every order.
Whilst I understand why and how it works in the UK we tip when we receive good service giving it a sense that they’ve earned it.
Whereas in the USA it’s custom to tip on every drink as the wages are lower and the staff rely on tips to bump up the wage earned
19. Paid to leave
Not getting paid maternity/paternity leave. I know some employers pay leave, but where I come from all employers have to. It’s simply the law. I can’t imagine how expensive it can be for you to have kids. I guess you also have to pay for the medical cost if you don’t have insurance?
20. Seriously, what the hell, America?
Advertisements for medicine.
I watched very little TV in my time in The US. But, every other advertisement seemed to be for some kind of medicine. Seriously, if I’m sick, I’ll go see a doctor who’ll give me what I need. I think Americans just think “I have pain here – Must get brand name drug to solve the pain.”
21. Being a patriot
I wouldn’t say it’s weird at all, but patriotism is very different.
In a lot of European countries, if you fly your country’s flag at any time other than during the World Cup, it has a stigma of being associated with fascists and racists. Whereas in the US, I’ve driven down many streets, and see the US flag hanging from purpose built flagpoles built into a house.
I guess an equivalent in the US is the confederate flag maybe?
22. Advertising companies really own the airwaves, don’t they
Sporting competitions just stop to allow ads to be played on the TV coverage. Freakishly weird, everywhere else the sports just get played and the ads have to work around the sport.
23. “You lot are overworked”
Talking about work/ asking what a person does for a living in great detail at a social function/party.
I think this is in part due to America being such a workaholic country, work tends to be much more ingrained on the brain. When I’m out or at a party to unwind, the last thing I want to talk about is anything related to work. It’s such a killjoy. Ask me about what movies I’ve seen or where I traveled to, not what my daily work routine entails.
When I was living in America for a short while, it’d be unbearable going to parties where the bulk of the people I talked to would always ask right off the bat what I do for work and would want to know more about it.
How has there not be legislation in America for people to be entitled to a large amount of holiday time? You lot are overworked.
24. Americans are creepy
Guys asking out girls in random places like shops, on the street. That’s just creepy here.