The United States of America is the land of the free and full of opportunities. It is one of the largest economies in the world and it has always amassed people for the life one can create there. But, like every country, it has its own way of functioning and the people living there have their own culture. And if you are also attracted to this country and would like to travel to the United States or you are planning of moving there, you should expect to encounter things you‘ve never seen before or things done differently to what you are used to.
A few days ago, Reddit user Ymij asked people to share some things Americans don‘t realize exist only in the United States. And people had a lot to say. The post got more than 10k answers and Bored Panda gathered a list of some of the most upvoted responses.
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GoFundMe being an acceptable replacement for a health care system
Image credits: GTrav44
Tipping as a wage subsidy. Many countries don’t have tipping and those that do generally tip a small amount for good service.
Also displayed prices not including taxes or other fees.
Image credits: Impossible-Buy-4090
Literally being too poor to go to the doctor, but have too much income for any kind of assistance
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Assuming that everyone on the internet is American until proven otherwise.
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Pronouncing corruption as “lobbying”
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People who angrily DO NOT WANT healthcare.
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The pledge of allegiance. If you tell people here that in America they make kids stand up and recite some prayer to a flag every single morning, they’ll look at you like you just grew a third arm.
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I want to say for-profit prison systems.
These things are f***** up. If the state doesn’t keep up the prisoner quota they gotta pay a fine to the company they owns the prison.
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So this basically makes them try to keep existing prisoners
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Gender reveal parties
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The Imperial System, Fahrenheits, massive ad breaks. I swear i watched US Television once and i nearly had time to go take a s*** before the adbreak ended. And i’m one of those people that play on their phone while on the throne
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Massive gaps on all sides of toilet cubicle doors, like why even bother with a door at all when people can see through so easily
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Waiting like 8 weeks after your elections till the new guy comes in to power is pretty f****** weird
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Having the restaurant take your credit card – in most countries it’s considered impolite to disappear with the card as they might write the digits down to charge extra later. Therefore they normally bring a portable terminal to your table so you can keep the card in eyesight and have the (optional) tip actually charged when the card is run and not added after the fact.
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College sports, people do not care about nor have college sports like we do here.
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Food portion sizes… In EU you get food portions you can finish and are generally calculated to be pretty much fill/satisfy you over the entire meal.
When I go to the US I can fill myself up with half of the appetizer
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Absurdly long election campaigns. In most countries I’ve been to election campaigns last a month or two, in the US they seem to go for a full year.
Image credits: BerserkBoulderer
This may be a shot in the dark but product prices not including tax when they’re displayed? Like if something says it’s $10 and you only have $10, what’s with the surprise tax at the till?
Your toxic grind working culture. I find that Americans define their entire personality around their profession. It all feels so shallow and hollow way of living. Like I work so I can do the things I enjoy ( pre covid) I don’t work because it defines me as a person.
I am from Europe and I have never seen in supermarkets scooters for people that are so obese they can’t walk by themselves.
I can’t speak for the whole world, but having elections on a weekday seems crazy to me. We do it in the weekend so that people are off work anyway.
The use of the words junior, sophomore and senior in school. I don’t think I have ever heard these outside of an American TV show or movie.
Having to drive everywhere. I’m 27-years-old, not from the US and never learnt to drive. I’ve also never felt like I needed it.
A single pool of paid time off that you use for both vacation and sick leave. Therefore having to forego vacation to keep a bank of leave just in case you get ill.
People constantly thanking god for every day occurrences
Tipping, most other places actually pay their waiters/waitresses and tippings just for extremely good service or rounding up.
Garbage disposal units in sinks. I’ve been to nearly 20 countries, and I’ve never seen one.
It’s pretty funny watching Americans moan over their super-cheap petrol prices. “But we drive everywhere, cars are fundamental to our society”. Yep, same here in Australia, too. Your fuel is still incredibly cheap.
Playing the national anthem before sporting events. There may be a handful of other countries that do, but in much of the world it’s only played for international matches.
Those commercials featuring some sort of drug or medication. With the typical closing where the narrator states “Side effects includes blah blah blah…Discuss with your doctor about blah blah blah”
Longer ad breaks in the Muppet Show.
The UK version had two minutes of extra content in every episode due to restrictions on the amount of ads you could play on British TV.
That’s 240 minutes of extra Muppet content that most Americans never saw.
Bumper stickers. They’re a lot less common in Europe anyway, not sure about the rest of the world.
Image credits: Random_Machiavelli
Unused vacation days
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Nearly everything about their high schools
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Stores like Wal-Mart where you can buy everything that are open all the time. Groceries, alcohol, plants, medicine, tires, toys…
The first time I went to Germany on a work trip it was a bank holiday and everything was closed.
I live in Jerusalem now and there is a separate store for everything.
Your identity politics used to be just in America, then it spilled out like a burst sewage pipe.
Free refills at restaurants
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Red solo cups. My european cousins asked me if parties in the us really had those red cups.
Parking lot size. I’ve been to about 20 different countries, all over the place, and I have never seen a standard Walmart sized parking lot anywhere out of America.
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Ranch dressing obsession. The World Series.
Girl Scout cookies?
I wanna say jaywalking. Like, in Europe, you can pretty much cross a road wherever you want but when I visited America there seemed to be this weird sense you were being judged if you walked out into an empty road. Maybe just me idk.
Remember when I picked up a friend’s mother and her friend at the airport, fresh from the US. One of them was like ‘They don’t have Graham crackers here?’ I’m like nah mate we have crackers for everyone.
It always surprises me when someone from another country has never heard of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I wasn’t aware we and New Zealand, possibly Australia(?) Are the only countries with ads for prescription drugs.
Buscuits and gravy. This conjures up images of having a plate of cookies smothered in a sauce made from the the meat juices of a roast.
The fuel-brand Exxon. Throughout the rest of the world, it’s known as “Esso.” It’s only Exxon in the US.
Small talk among strangers.