93 Really Weird Things About The U.S. That We Don’t Realize Are Weird

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I compiled this list from a variety of different sources. I was happy to see that there does seem to be more good things about us than bad. Primarily, according to people from other countries, we are hella friendly here. That’s awesome. But we probably need to chill on the flag and patriotism thing. It seemed bizarre and “creepy” to people from almost every country. Y’all enjoy!

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  1. HUGE portion sizes of food.
  2. Flags everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
  3. Wearing the flag as a bikini.
  4. Price tags without tax included. “How do you know how much you’re spending until you get to the cashier?”
  5. Tipping is confusing.
  6. Advertising for prescription drugs, as in “ask your doctor for brand x.” In the U.K., “your doctor tells you what drugs you should take, not the other way around.”
  7. Everything being designed around cars.
  8. The “sheer amount” and lack of quality of TV commercials.
  9. Aerosol cheese.
  10. Americans saying “oh, really?”, which to us is a way of saying “Interesting, can you elaborate?” In other parts of the world, that phrase is generally meant to imply that what they’re saying is being challenged.
  11. Toilets that are too close to the floor and have “massive gaps around the door so that people can see in.”
  12. Pickles given with everything.
  13. College football players being treated as celebrities. They are “students that do an extra-curricular activity.”
  14. Jaywalking is a crime.
  15. The bread in the U.S. is very sweet.
  16. Soft drinks are free flowing. Beverages at McDonald’s and elsewhere come with unlimited refills.
  17. Apparently we’re really loud but friendly!
  18. Way too much water in toilet bowls.
  19. A blase approach to credit card security. Signatures don’t matter and no one uses a PIN.
  20. The “creepy” Pledge of Allegiance sounds weird with children chanting it.
  21. Lawyer advertisements everywhere.
  22. According to the Japanese, our meals are “flat to the taste” and “sweet, high fat, high calories [sic] things.”
  23. “Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America.”
  24. Nobody talks about grades here.
  25. We are private about our accomplishments and failures.
  26. The retail experience isn’t as fun as it is in India. They have personal shoppers because labor is cheap.
  27. Students aren’t competitive with each other, but collaborative.
  28. Strong ethics. Everyone has a lot of integrity, according to an Indian student, particularly in regards to schoolwork.
  29. Rich people are thin and well-maintained while poor people are fat. Even the Indian student knows that this is because cheap food is fatty and it’s “expensive to be healthy in America.”
  30. You receive better customer service if you are “well maintained.”
  31. Girls aren’t as promiscuous as portrayed in Hollywood.
  32. Everyone has access to basic food, clothing, water, and sanitation.
  33. Dearth of African-Americans in tech fields.
  34. We waste a lot of food.
  35. Obsession with coffee.
  36. The way we price our products makes “no apparent economic sense and is not linear at all.” Example: one Coke is $1 and 12 cans of Coke is $3.
  37. You can “literally buy anything, including food, and return it within 90 days for a full refund” even without a specific reason for doing so.
  38. The sheer volume of different varieties of pizza in the grocery stores.
  39. Soda being cheaper than bottled water.
  40. Our rest areas.
  41. Restaurants and supermarkets every couple of miles on interstate highways.
  42. Fruit and vegetable prices are higher than those of junk food.
  43. Over-commercialization of “festivals.” Examples cited include Black Friday, Christmas, Halloween, etc…
  44. An almost classless society.
  45. Obtaining credit is extremely easy, so monetary possessions aren’t necessarily status symbols.
  46. Saying “I love your accent.”
  47. Putting last names first.
  48. Restaurants take your plates away too soon.
  49. We’re eager to please, particularly in restaurants.
  50. The “relentlessly sincere cheer.”
  51. The overzealous patriotism.
  52. Treating pets like people.
  53. Insisting that turkey is tasty.
  54. Spelling words the wrong way, for example “colour” and using the letter “z” in place of “s” in some words.
  55. Pretentious pronunciation. Examples cited included saying “erb” instead of “herb” and “fillet” instead of “fille” without the “t” sound.
  56. Saying “panties, fanny, and bangs” seems to be “infantilizing and oversexualizing” at the same time.
  57. Toilet handles instead of buttons on top.
  58. Toilets get clogged a lot because of the weird shape (u-bend).
  59. The light switches being “up for on and down for off.”
  60. The showers “suck” because you can’t control the flow of the water, only the temperature.
  61. All sinks have a little hole in them to prevent overflow.
  62. The number of trucks — SUV’s, pickups, 4-wheelers.
  63. Huge trees.
  64. Lots of blinds and not so many curtains.
  65. People talk to themselves a lot and no one notices.
  66. The photos of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the LAX Airport gangway are “freaky.”
  67. We’re obsessed with the weather.
  68. TV commercials are aimed at “the stupid.”
  69. Wearing shoes indoors. “So disgusting” according to Korean visitors.
  70. Ice in every drink.
  71. Excessive use of napkins.
  72. Drinking alcoholic beverages by themselves, without eating.
  73. Music is too loud in bars.
  74. To Finlanders, a PB&J is gross.
  75. So many ad breaks during TV shows.
  76. We’re very eager to invite people to our homes.
  77. The phrase “African-American” was weird to a Canadian. He said “no one here says “African-Canadian.”
  78. “Endless, costly political campaigning” without spending limits.
  79. The phrase “how are you” apparently isn’t often asked in other countries.
  80. The sheer number of different churches and Christian denominations.
  81. Public displays of affection in front of elders.
  82. Sweet iced tea.
  83. Tipping the bartender with every order.
  84. The lack of annual leave from work.
  85. Not eating the national animal. The example cited was by an Australian, who said “kangaroos are bloody delicious.”
  86. Canned laughter in TV shows.
  87. Not getting paid maternity/paternity leave.
  88. Personal responsibility is more valued that social responsibility.
  89. Talking about work and asking what people do for a living in great detail at a social function.
  90. Guys asking girls out in “random places like shops, on the street” seems creepy to people from Ireland.
  91. Driving two hours for lunch.
  92. Laws changing drastically between states.
  93. Open carry of firearms.

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Sources:

What are some weird things Americans do that are considered weird or taboo in your country? from AskReddit

http://weknowmemes.com/2014/04/20-of-the-weirdest-things-about-america-that-americans-dont-realize-are-weird/

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-weirdest-things-about-america-2013-8

http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2012/05/15/10-things-americans-do-that-drive-brits-nuts/

Weird American Shit

http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2012/01/ask-korean-wiki-what-is-weird-about.html

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About Tiffany Willis

Tiffany Willis is a fifth-generation Texan, a proponent of voluntary simplicity, a single mom, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with “the least of these" -- disadvantaged and oppressed populations, the elderly, people living in poverty, at-risk youth, and unemployed people. She is a Certified Workforce Expert with the National Workforce Institute, a NAWDP Certified Workforce Development Professional, and a certified instructor for Franklin Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. She also has a grossly neglected personal blog, a  Time Travel blog, a site dedicated to encouraging people to  read classic literature 15 minutes a day, and a literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion. Click here to buy Tiff a mojito.

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