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10 Things Americans Do That Confuse All Other Countries

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How to avoid some awkward situations abroad? The US is home to some customs that are very confusing to foreigners. Do you know which habits you should leave in the US before heading out on your travels? Check out this list of things Americans do that confuse the rest of the world. Timestamps: No metric system 1:04 Customizing restaurant orders 2:30 Vacation time 3:15 Can I get a to-go box, please? 4:42 Tipping 5:53 Alcohol laws 6:35 Variety of goods 7:13 Thumbs up 8:15 Being extremely patriotic 9:06 Sales tax 9:59 #americanfood #americanrules #newyork Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music Summary: - The rest of the world is familiar with meters for measurements, kilograms for weight, liters for volume, and Celsius for temperature. But not the US! Only 3 countries in the world still use the imperial system of measurements: Myanmar, Liberia, and the US. - In America, it’s customary to request substitutions, additions, or changes to a menu order. But some foreign cultures that take great pride in their cuisine might consider it impolite if an American wanted to make substitutions, order a different sauce, or ask for an item to be left out of a dish. - Americans have very little time off compared to the rest of the world. 30% of American workers have 5 to 9 days off annually, 38% have 10 to 14 days, and 16% have 15 to 19 days. 8% have less than 5 days, and a lucky 2% have over 24 days. This means that the vast majority of Americans only have 10 to 14 days of vacation. Since there’s no law in the US to say that vacation time is mandatory, one out of every 4 Americans doesn’t get a single day off work. - A common American custom is to ask for a to-go box for their leftovers. However, if you do this in a foreign country, it might be frowned upon. - In America, given that waiters earn a small wage, it is customary to leave a 15%–20% tip. In Europe and most Asian countries, the service charge for restaurant dining is already included in the bill. Tipping in countries like China and Japan is practically nonexistent. - Most countries in the world have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. The US, along with countries like Sri Lanka, Samoa, and Kuwait, has a legal drinking age of 21. - Foreigners are amazed by the variety of goods sold in American supermarkets and pharmacies. Foreign supermarkets are mostly designed to offer food and a few home necessities. American superstores like Walmart offer a huge selection of food, furniture, car items, home improvement tools, and clothing. - Americans might think that giving someone the thumbs up is a universally positive sign, meaning “Well done!” or “Everything’s good!” But don’t use this gesture in Australia, Greece, or the Middle East as it's a rude way of telling someone to get lost. You might think that pointing at something is OK, but not in China! That gesture is considered to be very rude. - A lot of foreign countries reserve the use of their national flag for official government buildings. But in the US, you see the flag everywhere. - An aspect that confuses most foreigners visiting the United States is sales tax. They might be confused when they take an item to the register only to find out that it costs more than advertised. In Europe, sales tax is already added to the price displayed on the price tag; in the US, it gets added at the register. Subscribe to Bright Side : https://goo.gl/rQTJZz ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brightside/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brightgram/ 5-Minute Crafts Youtube: https://www.goo.gl/8JVmuC ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For more videos and articles visit: http://www.brightside.me/
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Text Comments (5207)
BRIGHT SIDE (3 months ago)
Hey everybody! Are there any confusing things in your countries?
Tamara Walsh (8 hours ago)
I was in Spain for business and took breakfast at my hotel. I automatically left a 15% tip, and the server was very confused. He said I was giving too much, I told him it was a tip (propina), he shook his head and gave it back to me, which left ME confused!
Liad Sharon (3 days ago)
canada is almost the same
Nirav Bhanot (3 days ago)
+varun kapoor who told you this?? Its 21 years dude...
India anyone?
shine rohini (7 hours ago)
Any one watching from india
tvcharleytown (13 hours ago)
No sales tax in Oregon. Come visit and spend lots of money.
Jennifer Lorence (17 hours ago)
I live in the U.S. and there are many things I love about the U.S., but even me being a woman, there are some things about the American Culture that get to me ( and not in a good way )...like for example, American Women's Obsession with SHOPPING, and especially White Women in the U.S. neglect their Children Just to Go HOURS at a Store Shopping. They are NOT domestic, but They have children Only to be Stressed by Motherhood and They get married Only to be Annoyed by their Husbands. American Women are the Most Complicated and Difficult Creatures of this World, they are Domineering, Verbally Abusive, Bad Mothers, Filthy, Controlling, Difficult to Satisfy, and the List Goes On and On.
Jennifer Lorence (17 hours ago)
I'll stay in America. There are things I Love about the U.S., not everything is Bad. BUT I get exactly what people are saying about dealing with Americans from the U.S. Like for example, here in America, We are ALL ignorant about so many things of the World. Americans ( Some ) Can be Very Prejudice and Narrow-Minded. Not Counting that American Women are the WORST Mothers in the World.
Harrison H17 (19 hours ago)
Americans say curamel instead of caramel and pants are trousers no underwear
Harrison H17 (6 hours ago)
Yes Ik but it’s still wrong
Harley Gacha's (12 hours ago)
It's Carmel not curamel... I pronounce it like, car-mel
Kobus van Staden (20 hours ago)
They don't confuse me, they irritate me
Aurora Mannola (22 hours ago)
Most of these are exactly the same in almost all European countries
Keeley Meade (1 day ago)
In Australia, we can give people a thumbs up and it isn't rude I don't know where you got your information but it is wrong
Harley Gacha's (12 hours ago)
Kwei Kwei (1 day ago)
In every school they have flags *and you aren’t allowed to wear hoods* no matter what grade you’re in even in 8th grade you still say the pledge and still can’t ever put anything that covers your head.
Harley Gacha's (12 hours ago)
Lol yeah
Jennifer Lorence (18 hours ago)
In WHAT World that is?? Certainly, NOT in the U.S. of America.
Mike Donoghue (1 day ago)
Whoever made this is confused. Most of these are not unusual outside the US. More importantly it confuses No1. People outside us tip. It isn't mandatory because we pay our staff. Walmart style shops are not strange. They emulate markets. The lack of a metric system is just laziness. All countries have hyper patriotism. Gestures have become universal. We aren't confused by American idiocy. We are simply aware of it.
Jennifer Lorence (17 hours ago)
Mike Donoghue I like your comment, I can tell You for example, in Latin America, Customers have to Tip Waiters/Waitresses.
Nat Taylor (1 day ago)
Thumbs up is not rude in Australia. Where did you get that idea from? It means something is good here.
Dena Redford (1 day ago)
Asking What ?
brenda brugnago (1 day ago)
I'm from Brazil and "horn fingers" just means you like a rock song, but no one actually uses it
Calvin Barrett (1 day ago)
after 1 minute of hearing you run your mouth and saying nothing I refuse to watch the rest of this video
Christopher Pisz (1 day ago)
That was not Liberia lol
Mary Kay (1 day ago)
To me the horn fingers seems to be "I LOVE YOU" in American sign language.......I feel it would be disrespectful to take it any other way !!!!!
Harley Gacha's (12 hours ago)
Yeah, my older sister is deaf, so we use it a lot
chinmia (1 day ago)
As an American, I don't have enough time to sit down for this - gotta get back to work.
M M (1 day ago)
in UK you get minimum 20 days not after one year, in first year as well as you can not move your holidays to next year :)
Iryna Boehland (1 day ago)
Yes! Lots of strange things in usa. Baking using cups and spoons as measures! Lol! Outdoor shoes indoors. Crazy work hours. Horn finger sign at the rock concert is fine, you don't show it to people with a wink when talking about their sposes. Sneackers/flip-flops and shorts as an everyday outfit. Potlucks. Expensive healthcare and medicine. Crazy diets. Supersized drinks and food portions. Sugar in every food! Food at every meeting, sports event, but only 10 min for lunch. Kids eating their food from a lunchboxes while sitting on the ground. Sanitazing gels instead of washing hands. Undisciplined loud children in public places. The largest list of mandatory vaccinatins. Nonexisting etiquette. And list goes on....
Vanatice (1 day ago)
Number nine is actually very well accepted in all countries I have been to. (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Latvia, England, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Czechia)
Vanatice (1 day ago)
1:24. That is not Liberia. Actually, that is Central African Republic. Liberia is on the very west coast of Africa!
Yousuf AL Khafaji (1 day ago)
Thumps up means ok or good in the Middle East too.
Reto Huber (2 days ago)
the reason why americans dont have as many days off is brcouae their work shifts are way shorter than in other countrys. for example in switzerland, a normal day at work is around 8 hours or even more. in america people are able to have 3 jobs at a time becouse each work shift doesn't take very long. in switzerland on the other hand its basically impossible to do that
Joe's Crib (2 days ago)
The following numbers are also existing in the Philippines. I think it also does in other countries. #7 #6 #4 #3
Abdullah Ali (2 days ago)
There’s no alcohol in Kuwait it’s banned 😂
Cold Glass Of Milk (2 days ago)
This may be irrelevant but I don't think I'm superior or better than everyone else because I'm in the US. I don't even think we're the best country, but I'm proud to be here.
Silas Bishop (2 days ago)
We have a strong dedication to patriotism in the US because that is all we share. We are different races, different ethnicities, different religions, different cultures...Our civic culture binds us. Without out, we would dissolve.
Peggyt1243 (2 days ago)
"Travelling Americans have a greater knowledge of systems of measurement" LOLOLOL Americans know nothing about metric or anything the rest of the planet does.
bebe Bebe (3 days ago)
Thank god I live in Australia
Daniel Larsson (3 days ago)
Liberia is on the coast homie
stylishst (3 days ago)
Oh god it is so sad to come here, believing that I'm learning to be more polite in other countries, and then I see the comments and realize that most of the video are lies (and see that some facts in this video about my country are also lies). It's actually very difficult to say something about some culture without living in the country
stylishst (3 days ago)
8:56 I'm Brazilian, and I've never heard that this "horn fingers" is an offence here :/ at least, I've never seen anybody using it to tell that to someone
valdemar cardoso (3 days ago)
what is an American?
man, I m from colombia and I didnt know that thing about the fingers I dont saying it could be wrong but maybe it is
Elena Foutsi (3 days ago)
I'm from Greece and thumbs up is OK for us. Only if you raise your middle finger you will have a problem... As in other countries I think...
Jennifer Lorence (17 hours ago)
I'm GLad TO Know.
Lyz Zavala (3 days ago)
Speaking English confuses some foreigners
Misceláneos y Más (3 days ago)
Good. Yes I have been.
Freakgrl04 (4 days ago)
I work in retail and I can tell you that sales tax confuses many Americans as well.
Jennifer Lorence (17 hours ago)
Patricia Castilla (4 days ago)
University education is ridiculously expensive
Adrian Vidal (4 days ago)
Sometimes I wish I grew up in Another Country than the United States...
S M (4 days ago)
Ads for prescription meds on TV 😂
Darin Nuch (4 days ago)
sales tax... tipping... imperial system... jeeze, why do the americans love to overcomplicate simple things...?
americans have a weird fetish for their flags... i dont get it
wow, 1 of every 4 americans doesnt get a single day off work??? why do they tout themselves as such a nice place to live then? why do immigrants want to live there... the 'american dream' sounds more like 'the american nightmare'...
i live in nz. we do get up to 20 days off per year. but its certainly not mandatory. you still have to be pretty insistent to get it. i have never taken the full 20 days off.. last year i had 6 days annual leave over Christmas. this year i had 2 days off at the beginning of the year to visit my sister. and have booked in another 6 days over Christmas again... i plan on trying to get more days off next year though. we are still overworked and underpaid.. and dont on average use up most of the available annual leave. we would have angry bosses if we did. but i suppose we just have to learn to make our bosses angry and ignore their comments of us being selfish and hurting the business etc. because the law does say we can have that time off.. :)
Raquel Torres (4 days ago)
Umm... that hand sign isn't used in Brazil to say that one's wife's cheating. It means something's rad. Also Brazilians get at least 30 mandatory vacation days. Why do people from the US call it America? America is a continent, uncultured pigs.
Dina Chakimova (4 days ago)
I think America is the best country
don jonson (4 days ago)
This photo in No .3 is not Greece,its island Sveti Stefan in Montenegro.I know because i live there.
Nathália Sarczuk (4 days ago)
In Brasil we have 30 days plus holidays.
Luis Nunez (4 days ago)
4:30 Right in the feels :(
Katomi Yamashita (5 days ago)
9:43 - 9:45 We were taught the lupang hinirang (national anthem) and panatang makabayan (Patriotic Oath) in like kindergarden. We also dont just sing the anthem in sports game but before we start school and also at the cinema's (before the movie plays)
Panda Militia (5 days ago)
Could you do your research to make sure what your are saying is true
Peter Morin (5 days ago)
1:24 The picture for Liberia is actually the Central African Republic!
Menne Mehta (5 days ago)
American don't use switches for charging, heater, they use tissues instead of bidets.
Enricom23 (5 days ago)
Americans still mutilate baby dicks like the troglodytes they are...
Kate Ross (5 days ago)
I'm burning up my 22 days of vacation time right now. :)
- - (5 days ago)
most of your information is wrong
- - (5 days ago)
NO,10 and we spell kms mtrs and ltrs correctly too
Brandon Tappen (5 days ago)
You highlighted the wrong country as Liberia.
Jandrew007 (5 days ago)
Giving 👍🏻 thumbs up in Australia 🇦🇺 is not rude at all! These guys get their facts wrong sometimes lol 😂
Darren Glendinning (5 days ago)
God America is so backwards why not be progressive... No added sales tax or tip... So odd
Joel John (5 days ago)
2nd point is wrong.Indians do use their flags not as commonly as the US but still uses them.The pledge is taught in different languages.National anthem is sung at sports meets and games.
Mr. Leiduowen (4 days ago)
I have to speak up for them on this one. The picture that is showing with patriotism is the Taj Mahal, one of the national monuments in India where any display of nationality, religion etc. is strictly discouraged. So this patriotism is controlled to some degree in India (even if the country on the whole makes a semblance of total anarchy).
EwaldM [GD] (6 days ago)
1:26 that is the Central African Republic, not Liberia.
Tatyana Golovko (6 days ago)
It's ok to ask for a to-go box in a Russian restaurant.
Nwra Kn (6 days ago)
thumbs-up gesture is perfectly fine in Greece too.
mel jane (6 days ago)
I live in Australia and everyone I know including me put the thumbs up
Alex Mathenge (6 days ago)
Bro....is that where you think Liberia is???.😯😯😯😯😯😯😯😯😯😯😯
BelieveNoGod (6 days ago)
What's up with the HUGE portions, in fast food restaurants ? And outdoor shoes indoors ? Think about all the dirt you have on them, and that you want to spread around in your house ?
Human Species (6 days ago)
Getting gas for your vehicle can be pretty surprising at first. I’m a young American working in Vietnam and I remember being confused as to why there were people asking me how much gas I wanted and why they were putting the gas in my vehicle instead of me doing it manually. Any other countries do the same?
Katelyn McNab (6 days ago)
Lol most of these things are totally normal in here Canada 😂
emjayay (6 days ago)
Some pharmacies in Germany or Austria are close to being like in the US. Well, they have a weird other store for prescriptions and certain other things.
emjayay (6 days ago)
New York state and some other states had a legal drinking age of 18 until maybe 30 years ago.
emjayay (6 days ago)
Most of this is well known by most people. And the narrator is a hack.
Kelli Lair (6 days ago)
I am an American and I find the sales tax thing confusing as well. It just doesn't make sense to me!
Rat (6 days ago)
Most restraunts ask if you want a take away xd
Dorjan Barjaktarić (6 days ago)
He marked Central African Republic as Liberia, learn some geography pls 😁
Bree (6 days ago)
Summer 2010, my friend and I had just landed in Madrid, Spain & we were hungry! We went to a "Cafe" & the first culture shock was when we walked in. The place was foggy with cigarette smoke. (We also saw boys as young as 12 or 13 smoking cigarettes) Spanish restaurants typically have a daily menu, but I am an American so I totally asked them if they had breakfast items. They gave me a custom plate with eggs, potatoes & bacon, but they were def annoyed with me. It was a custom I took over there not realizing it would be a culture shock.
Mr. Leiduowen (4 days ago)
I wonder how you "totally asked" them? Was it like, "I am asking you to totally present your breakfast items to me without concealing anything"? :P
Justin Trefney (6 days ago)
Kaiserbill99 (6 days ago)
Most of these points are nonsense. Thumbs up doesn't mean thumbs up in Australia? Your average supermarket in the UK makes a US store look like a 1975 Soviet Supermarket . I could go on.... There are only two few things that Americans do that confuse the rest of the world or at least the developed world: 1. No universal free healthcare for all 2. Selling AK47s to borderline psychotics.
Hady Wolf (6 days ago)
Here's another one; Americans puts the exclamation mark "!" at the end of their phrases, on the other hand we – Arab – use it just to show wondering!!! 😒😏🤔
John-marin Kos (6 days ago)
Date notation, mm-dd-yy instead of dd-mm-yy, and even with yy-mm-dd the US mixes it up sometimes. I guess it is good enough if it stays domestical within the US, but as soon as it goes abroad it is confusing.
Dylan Thompson (6 days ago)
I’m from Australia and thumbs up is a completely acceptable and means exactly the same as the US
HarmonyTheMiniWolf (6 days ago)
I'm Albanian and this doesen't confuse me! This is all wrong!!
MAC VENA (6 days ago)
The drinking age was 18 in the US until 1985. President Reagan urged states to raise it to 21, because of binge drinking, driving fatalities connected to alcohol. Both alcohol problems declined, but where replaced by other social problems like recreation and hard drugs.
Phantom dragon (6 days ago)
T h i s i s a m e r i c a
Iomhar (7 days ago)
The most confusing thing about USA are fraternities/sororities. Membership in one of them brings no useful advantages, yet everyone seems to be member of one of those.
0532MOET (7 days ago)
Is there anybody who thinks patriotism is any better than racism? & if so how?
Al3x Loves Kats (7 days ago)
To all u Aussies have a good day🇦🇺➕👍=👌
0532MOET (7 days ago)
??? Thumbs up being an insult in Australia? That is totally made up
WoWaddict (7 days ago)
8:33 don't use thumbs up in Australia, Greece or Middle east. Well i saw a comment that says thumbs up is ok in Australia, i saw another one that is ok in middle east and as a Greek i have to say it's totaly okay and normal to use thumbs up in Greece also. Nothing wrong with it.
0532MOET (7 days ago)
Yea I'm not sure where they got that, they shouldn't be saying it without confirmed proof, not just listening to someone who probably made it up
Ross Hamilton (7 days ago)
In Australia if an employer is caught cadging for tips they can be reprimanded or sacked, as the wages here are much higher.
Maryvonne Adams (7 days ago)
I'm from Australia and thumbs up means thumbs up
Paramaguru Master (7 days ago)
my japanese friend maddie called me to tell me she accidentally said "yeet" to her mom and spent over 2 hours trying to explain
Yesha Patel (7 days ago)
in Australia thumbs up is to for get lost it is for great job or well done or that looks good and stuff like that
Skits With Zoe (7 days ago)
This might ONLY be my grandparents but they are from greece and give me the death glare when i put a thumbs up sometimes. 😂

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