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What weird habits should Americans leave at home when traveling abroad?
What physical feature do Europeans thinks Americans are far too obsessed with?
Find Out in 10 Things Americans Do That Confuse The Rest Of The World!
Number 10.
"Price Tags" If you are an American and have ever worked
in a retail environment you may have come across this scenario, a foreigner comes up
to the register to pay and seems to be blindsided by the fact that you are asking them to pay
a different price than what is on the tag.
This is caused by the fact that most countries in the world include tax in the shelf price,
whereas the United States doesn't.
Many people have come to believe that this is just America being weird and over complicated
but there is solid reasoning behind the practice.
In many countries throughout the world all goods are sold with a standardized national
sales tax that remains the same no matter wherever you shop.
However, in the United States every state has a different sales tax, these states may
even have different city and county sales taxes depending on where you go.
In fact there are over 10,000 different tax jurisdictions in the U.S.
This combined with the fact that there are some things that have their own individual
sales tax like tobacco and alcohol would make it extremely complicated for retailers to
have to factor in tax into all there price shelves.
It might also result in stores relatively close to each other yet in different tax zones
having drastically different shelf prices making them appear less competitively priced.
Number 9.
"Driving" Many foreigners especially those from Europe
who are used to living in more densely populated places with many options for public transportation
are shocked when they visit the United States and realize just how much driving Americans
Because America is so spread out and the fact that many large population centers are hundreds
of miles apart from each other we have become dependent on our vehicles and highway system.
Many Americans frequently enjoy long driving vacations that Europeans would consider ridiculously
When traveling from country to country in Europe most people opt to take trains where
they can relax and the only thing they have to worry about is is getting their
passport stamped when crossing borders.
Because you don't need a passport when crossing from state to state and America's streamlined
interstate road system taking road trips has become a thrilling adventure.
Number 8.
"Vacation Days" One of the most confusing things that people
from other countries don't understand is how Americans are expected to work basically every
day of the year.
As far as first-world or industrial countries go the United States has one of the lowest
amounts of government sanctioned holidays with the average worker receiving only 16
paid holiday and vacation days.
Technically, there is no labor law in the United States that requires companies to give
any vacation time at all.
In fact, 25% of the American workforce receives no vacation benefits.
This is staggeringly different from the European Union which has a law in place that guarantees
every citizen at least a month of paid vacation time.
There aren't many countries complaining about the law either as many go above and beyond
this total.
Austria is known for having the most governmentally ordered holidays and vacations with thirty-five
Number 7 "Freedom Food" Americans traveling abroad have often been
found to find foods sorely lacking in flavor compared the food they are used to and on
the flipside Foreigners commonly have been astonished at just how much sugar and salt
American foods have.
Most Americans have been raised thinking that foods packed with salt and sugar are supposed
to taste that way but the world says otherwise.
Our national addiction to extra flavor is one of the main reasons that the United States
is one of the leading countries when it comes to obesity and heart disease.
But Americans aren't about to change their ways any time soon, in fact they keep coming
up with ways to perplex outsiders.
One of the things that foreigners find most peculiar is the American obsession with combing
salty food with sweet foods like chicken and waffles, McGriddles, salt water taffy and
the infamous Apple Pie with cheese on top.
And speaking of cheese you might think that because European countries like France and
Switzerland are known for their cheeses that they consume just as much as Americans do
but this is not the case.
Even the French and Swiss are shocked when they come to the US and see just how many
of our dishes revolve around large amounts of cheese.
Number 6.
"Water Ways" Just because that fancy bottled water you
buy says it was bottled in France doesn't mean that the French are drinking it.
In fact it is incredibly rare to find anyone in Europe drinking bottled water in their
homes, reserving their consumption for when they are on the go.
Americans have been eschewing tap water for bottled water at a skyrocketing rate over
the past two decades with bottled water officially becoming the biggest selling packaged beverage
in the nation as of 2017.
Although it is never a bad thing to consume more water especially when the American beverage
of choice before 2017 was soda-pop, the fact is most tap water in the country has been
scientifically proven to be just as healthy as bottled water, sometimes more so because
of the naturally occurring minerals it provides.
Is this something that the rest of the world has known all along?
Not necessarily, the truth is many countries like those in Europe are much more eco-conscious
than America whether they are cognisant of it or not.
Foreigners find it very strange that Americans would pay good money for something that is
free and has the added consequence of creating excess amounts of garbage and pollution.
This isn't the only wasteful practice that outsiders find silly.
Tourists from around the world are shocked at how much water the toilets in American
bathrooms contain.
Americans traveling abroad can note that most toilets use only about half the water that
those in the U.S. do.
Europeans are also often confused by the fact that American electrical outlets don't have
on/off switches on them, which is a common feature of those in many European countries.
These on/off switches allow people to turn of the unnecessary electricity flowing to
gadgets when they aren't being used whereas in American homes they have to be unplugged
if you want the flow to stop.
There are many devices that continue to use electricity once they are powered off, wasting
valuable amounts of electricity..
Number 5.
"Hollywood Smile" Another place that foreigners think Americans
are wasting water is at the Dentist's office.
While dental hygiene in other countries may not be as bad as it is stereotyped to be,
like in England, they aren't quite as obsessed with attaining or maintaining the perfect
smile in the way that Americans have.
Where Americans have been known to spend thousands of dollars on braces and whitening procedures
in order to get a pearly white Hollywood grill many foreigners are content with crooked and
discolored teeth as long as they aren't falling out or making them look like Nosferatu.
Most foreigners from first world nations care about their teeth, they just haven't become
indoctrinated with the intense beauty standards American society has made a part of its culture
in regards to dental perfection.
In many countries, having a brighter than normal smile that is unnaturally straight
is viewed as superficial to the point of being unattractive or off-putting.
Number 4.
"Dining Out" Tipping your server and taking home leftover
Two habits that are so ingrained in the American dining experience that they can be hard to
kick, but rest assured if you try doing these outside of the US you are sure to draw confused
looks and reveal your Stars and Stripes.
In most Asian and European countries a service charge is either already included in your
bill or it is not customary to leave a tip.
In many places if you do try to tip you can offend your waiter, this is because a tip
can be seen as a person having pity on their server or offering some sort of charity.
In some countries giving good service is expected whereas in the United States the food industry
has become a sort of meritocracy, governed by the consumer
Foreigners see this as absurd, why should a server be rewarded for something they should
be doing in the first place?
However, In places where tipping is insulting waitstaff aren't ridiculously underpaid like
they are in the U.S.
The other habit that can draw the scoffs of onlookers at a restaurant outside the United
States is asking for a 'doggy bag' or 'to-go box'.
In many countries, especially European ones the idea of saving a hot meal at a restaurant
in order to reheat it and eat it at home is a disgusting prospect.
Many dining cultures believe that the food is meant to be eaten exactly how it is prepared
by the chef or cook at that moment, not to be consumed after the various sauces and meat
juices congeal or have their perfect grilling or baking sullied by your microwave.
A lot of the reason that Americans have developed this custom of bringing scraps home with them
is due to portion sizes being generally much larger in the States than elsewhere.
This may be a result of capitalist consumers becoming obsessed with getting their money's
worth causing restaurants to have slowly battled to stuff people's gullets.
Number 3.
"Beverage Customs" If you are an American and traveling overseas
don't expect to receive ice in your beverages and if you are brazen enough to ask for some
ice be prepared for 'oh, you must be American' look.
It is very uncommon for drinks to be served with ice anywhere in the world other than
the United States and you'll be lucky to find a restaurant that can even provide it upon
The practice of putting drinks on ice was started in the United States and never really
caught on elsewhere as many foreigners feel like it is a waste of space that will only
result in your drink being watered down.
When most Europeans dine out they tend to drink their beverages much slower and enjoy
them whereas Americans often drink several beverages during a meal or drink them on the
This is also one of the reasons that the American practice of 'free refills' is confounding
to foreigners.
American tourists going out of the country should not expect this hospitality and be
prepared to pay full price for every beverage they consume.
The common American ritual of ordering a coffee to-go is also one that confuses outsiders.
In other parts of the world coffee is usually only enjoyed when a person is stationary in
their house or at a restaurant and in many countries you will be hard-pressed to find
so much as a disposable coffee cup let alone a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts.
Number 2.
"Alcohol Laws" One of things that confuses foreigners the
most about Americans is our countries drinking age.
Many countries have drinking ages but to them the idea of waiting until you are 21 is a
bit extreme especially when a person can be drafted into the military at age 18.
Over half of the nations in the world allow young adults to purchase alcohol once they
reach 18 or 19 whereas the most extreme drinking ages (where alcohol isn't prohibited) can
be found in India where depending on where you go the age restriction can be as high
as 30.
Most countries in mainland Europe have their drinking ages set at 16 or 17.
In Germany, a country long rumored to have no drinking age at all the age limit for beer
and wine is 16 while you must be 18 in order to buy liquor.
In Southeast Asia as well as China there is no set drinking age at all.
Number 1.
"High School Graduations" Americans have a habit of making an excuse
to celebrate anything and are known throughout the world for taking mundane events and pushing
them to the extreme.
This is might be because Americans don't get enough paid vacation or holidays but the point
is you would be hard pressed to find traditions like Prom or Homecoming anywhere outside the
U.S. Outsiders see how lavish and complex some of the pomp and circumstance surrounding
these seemingly meaningless celebrations are and are confused as to what the hoopla is
all about.
One of the biggest events that Americans have overblown is High School Graduation, a truly
American celebration.
In most other countries graduating from high school is seen as one of life's important
stepping stones but it isn't treated like it is in America, almost on par with a wedding
or birth of a baby.
In fact, countries like England don't have ceremonies at all for high school graduation,
most students just hope they got good grades on their exams, get into a good university
and carry on with their lives, waiting to celebrate once they have a degree.
What do you think is the strangest thing that Americans are known for?
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10 Things Americans Do That Confuse The Rest Of The World!

9865 Folder Collection
Evangeline published on July 6, 2018    Angus translated    Evangeline reviewed
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