Thought Catalog

30 Non-Americans On The American Norms They Find Weird

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It’s easy to forget that what’s normal for us is completely strange to others, but it’s nice to take a step back and hear what’s considered odd, straight from the mouths (or fingers) of foreigners. For more check out the original post on Reddit here.

1. orde216

Your toilets are too low down and the stalls have massive gaps around the door so that people can see in.
You can put a man on the moon but can’t design a setup whereby I can have a shit in comfortable privacy. Sort it out America.

2. funfwf

A few things:
political correctness. Americans are so scared to insult people or be considered racist. I’d joke around with someone then later get a text message from them apologising. It was quite humorous. Edit: I sometimes had the question “y’all and new zealanders don’t like each other right?” I had to explain that making fun of someone usually meant we were cool with you.
Why is bread in the USA so sweet? Sandwich bread, hamburger buns, taste like cake but Americans have no idea what you’re talking about because they’re used to it.
Fried sushi. Yep the yanks have gotten one of the world’s healthiest foods and “fixed” it. Fucking delicious though. I miss it.
Soft drink is free flowing, everywhere. McDonalds you get a gigantic cup for a dollar – it comes with unlimited refills. Even at a restaurant if you half finish your coke the waitress will bring you another one. The first time you’re like “hey i didn’t order this” but then you realise it’s free.
I loved the service in the US at restaurants and bars. I realise they’re doing it for tips but it shits all over service you get at home in Australia.
At bars you order a mixed drink (say a vodka coke) and they’ll free flow the alcohol! And so cheap! We used to frequent dollar drinks places… EDIT: By this I meant they don’t measure out the alcohol in the drink. In Australia the bloke pulls out a little shot glass and will give you not one drop more than a 30mL shot. In the States the dude just pours the bottle over you cup for a while then adds some soda. EDIT AGAIN: I’ve since been informed that the extra booze was all an illusion. Turns out the drinks taste stronger because in the US they had 44mL compared to our standard 30mL.
I spent 6 months living in the USA this year, I had a great time but there are some peculiarities. I’m Aussie.

3. alithia

Portion Sizes.
Flags everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
Price tags without tax included.
Tipping: We don’t do it in Australia. For someone who has never had to do it, it was incredibly hard for me to wrap my head about how much is appropriate for the service. I find it especially hard because overall I find the service too pushy. Please leave me alone :(.
Randomly talking to strangers: On talking to folks randomly. I don’t mean polite conversations. When I participated in student exchange there seemed to be a disproportionate amount of really probing conversations. Things I normally wouldn’t chat about on a first conversation. I am pretty private as a person, so I admit this skews my view.
Advertising prescription drugs.
Everything being designed around cars.

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