Thought Catalog

16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here

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A lot of people around the world have ideas of what America is like, possibly thanks to Hollywood, or their local news channels, and maybe from what they’ve heard from families and friends. But then, they came here, to the grand old United States and their minds exploded. Taken from Quora.
** RCB **
** RCB **

1. Rakib Islam

I am originally from Bangladesh and here are a few things that I find hard to explain to peeps back home.

  • Fruits and vegetables are way more expensive than meat and poultry.
  • That, generally speaking, the poor is more obese than the rich.
  • A lot of couples adopt children, sometimes in spite of having their own, and treat them exactly like their own. (To me, this alone is a marker of a great people)
  • By and large, people do not carry cash.
  • That you address your boss (and some of your professors) by some abbreviated variation of their first name. And that applies to pretty much everyone, regardless of how much older they are than you.
  • Parents can get arrested for physically punishing their children.
  • Severe poverty, homelessness, etc, no matter how limited, actually exist. Even in America.
  • A name as common and as easy to pronounce as mine is almost invariably incomprehensible to most Americans.
  • America is literally HUGE. My home country is roughly the size of Florida, one of the fifty states.
  • In spite of the society being openly hedonistic and liberal, the social norms and standards still have very strong conservative religious influences.
  • People don’t really care about the FIFA World Cup even though USA qualifies.
  • The importance of credit rating/ credit score.
  • Return policy.
  • The history behind Thanksgiving.
  • Black Friday and the frenzy associated with it.
  • Amazingly friendly, hospitable and helpful people. Yet, a very conveniently private lifestyle.
  • That, American foreign policy is a very inaccurate reflector of public consensus.
  • Grinding. The dance form.
  • That you cannot purchase alcohol unless you are 21 but can purchase a gun if you are 18.
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