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

  • Quality of chocolate – It’s just not as good. Sorry folks, but a Hershey bar is the most overrated thing I ever tried. And the Kit Kat was horrible. The chocolate was oily. Yes, oily. I have no idea why. (This reminds of my trip to Walmart. I knew it was big. I just didn’t imagine it would be this big! The astounding variety of pretty much everything is just overwhelming)
  • Incredible wastefulness – I was aghast at the amount of stuff people wasted every single day. Food, electricity, water, paper…in India, we reuse stuff until it can only be thrown away. But on the positive side, recycling is big there, so I guess it is mitigated in part.
  • Obsession with fitness – I saw loads of people running/jogging on the sidewalks. A lot of people I knew cycled or ran marathons for 50 miles plus. This was a stark contrast though, to the average person I saw who was usually overweight. (I attributed it to insane portion sizes, as mentioned in an answer. I always ate the same sandwich for lunch and dinner)
  • McDonald’s not upto the mark – This was a shocker for me. McDonald’s is like one of the best known brands of America, and the quality was arguably worse than what I get here. And I’m non-vegetarian. The burger doesn’t resemble it’s pictures at all. One (really bad) choice for vegetarians, and that was it. I went there once, and didn’t want to go again. On the other hand, Starbucks seemed totally worth the hype for me. They have great coffee.
  • Patriotism – The flag was everywhere. Literally. I came to know students are supposed to pledge allegiance to their flag since Kindergarten.! (I can’t fathom how they pronounce allegiance). On the other hand, they are blissfully unaware of the rest of the world (A high school kid thought Taj Mahal is in Washington DC). But I loved how all students were involved in some sort of extra curricular activities or the other.
  • The awkward public transport experience – It’s just so bad I can’t even say anything. (Not the big cities) My outings were severely cut short due to this. Cabs were insanely expensive. And I could kill cab drivers who asked for tips on top of that.
  • Monotonous Cities, Cookie-Cutter Homes – This is my personal view, but the Downtown areas of almost all cities looked similar. Give or take a few things. The suburbs all looked the same. I was so weirded out by the Cookie Cutter Homes, which all looked like the same person had built it. Also, it was amusing to know that all the construction was wooden. Sound traveled too much. And I hated the weird landscaping. It seemed the whole country is sloped. Even apartments were built on slopes. I found it very funny. In India, each city looks different. Vastly different!
  • Street Performers – The street performers around Union Square, Times Square were really entertaining. And I was amazed how much money they collected. I saw people give 20s. I doubt Indian street performers would ever see that kind of money.
  • Religion – I always thought that America must be very laid-back about religion, like Europe, but that was not true. And one of the weirdest things I encountered was a Jewish person (in the black suit) preaching to us on the subway to believe in God, and Apocalypse or something, and giving us “Trillion dollar” notes with this stuff written on it.
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