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.
No metric system 1:04
Customizing restaurant orders 2:30
Vacation time 3:15
Can I get a to-go box, please? 4:42
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
- 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.
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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
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.
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
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.. :)
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.
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)
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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