5. Matthew Kane
When I travel overseas the biggest misconception I find about American culture is that people think all Americans eat at Mcdonalds every day and Mcdonalds is the extent of American cuisine. The USA is a HUGE country, with delicious cuisine and culture varying from city to city and state to state. We have tons of different food options, restaurants, and food styles, enough to make your head explode. Our export of fast food culture and wimpy, frozen burgers has given our food a bad image. Most of us only eat at Mcdonalds for one of three reasons (excluding those who love a good Big Mac..I am not hating on Mcdonalds):
1. We are 10 years old and want a chicken mcnugget happy meal and to play in the balls at the playland
2. We are at a rest stop on the turnpike and are starving
3. We have 5 bucks in our pocket and want something fast with tons of calories to get us through the day
The other problem that I find is that when visitors come to the US for vacation they go either to New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, or Disneyworld. If you truly want to experience America, journey to where most Americans live, the midwest, south, southwest, northwest, New England etc. The US has more than 300 million people and only 20 million live around the New York area (only 1.5 million actually in Manhattan). If you only visited NYC or other international tourist destinations you wouldn’t get the full picture of American life and culture because it’s so different everywhere you go. Each state is like travelling to a new country.
I’d bet that people would be quite surprised by the distribution of wealth in the U.S., or lack thereof. Granted, many countries, especially non-OECD nations, have it much worse. But I’m willing to bet that most foreigners would be shocked to see the level of poverty in some areas of America.
I guess I’m just going off the stigma this country has as being the biggest consumer, strongest superpower, biggest spender, etc. But it only takes a visit to just about any American city to find out that it’s not all perfect here.