The truth is in the eye of the beholder. For Americans, this means endless free refills, red solo cups and supermarket aisles dedicated to an entire kingdom of cereals, sour and crunchy, salty and sweet, family boxes and portion size. For Europeans, this is something they only see during Netflix TV series while shamelessly devouring entire seasons on rainy Sundays.

But in order to find out what cultural differences really stand out as major when comparing the American lifestyle and the rest of the world, one has to look at what people themselves have to say. So we compiled a list of the best answers that reveal what’s totally normal in the US but looks very out-of-this-world in other countries below.

If you have something to add, please hit us in the comment section! And in case you’re in the mood for more culture shocks, check out our previous article on an American living in Italy who shares the incredible USA vs. Italy culture differences she has experienced.

#1

Normal-American-Strange-World The idolization of politicians. They are public servants, similar to a courthouse clerk or a city hall coordinator. They are not rock stars. You dont need to scream their name, buy their merch, fully commit your life to them and believe everything they say. Just... treat them like public servants. Sure, they get power and position, but hold them accountable when they abuse it. Dont let corporations and politicians take over, the political system is created by the people, FOR the people. It just... boggles the mind.

Koenigseggalicious Report

...
Community Member
1 month ago

This!

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#2

Normal-American-Strange-World Bankruptcy because you went to the hospital

canesfan09 , CDC Report

Kat
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, for someone in Europe, this isn't understandable. I mean, every country has taxes, but in my country you get free healthcare and paid maternity leave for 18 months.

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#3

Normal-American-Strange-World When you are 18 years old, you can be shipped to a foreign country to kill humans, but you are not allowed to drink alcohol.

K_51 , Diego González Report

elStiJneriNO
Community Member
1 month ago

and most likely you gotta go kill those other people because they are a bit different and don't believe in drinking alcohol

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To find out more about what an American living abroad had to say about cultural differences, Bored Panda reached out to Kacie Burns, actor and dancer from Canton, Michigan, who has been documenting her daily adventures after moving to live in Florence, Italy. Kacie has a whopping 479.6K followers on her TikTok, where she has amassed 12.9M likes for her fun and lighthearted videos.

Having lived in Europe for quite some time now, Kacie has confirmed that American culture is really different from European in so many ways. “Everything from what they eat to how they dress to what they value to culture/society norms—and then it differs even further when you look at the cultural differences between different European countries,” Kacie told us.

#4

Normal-American-Strange-World Gratuitous violence in entertainment is normal. But show one boob and people lose their [minds].

danno49 Report

Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes! What's with that??

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#5

Normal-American-Strange-World Why the big amount of flat-earth and antivax people?? Is your education system not doing well??

MiguelRc1 Report

Crystal Hudgeons
Community Member
1 month ago

No. No, it is not.

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#6

Normal-American-Strange-World Date Order (MM/DD/YYYY)

-Sinister-Shadow , Behnam Norouzi Report

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
1 month ago

yep, totally makes no sense

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She also said that she experienced “major cultural shocks living in Italy, but I know that if I visit or live in any other European country, I'll experience different culture shocks there as well.” The biggest lifestyle and mindset difference Kacie sees is “the old saying, 'Americans live to work, while Europeans work to live.' It's so true.”

#7

Normal-American-Strange-World Being concerned when anyone speaks a language you can't understand.

I live in India and we have 22 language here, with multiple dialects of the each language.

SparkySparkiBoomMan , Eric Prouzet Report

Anime weeb gurl
Community Member
1 month ago

true I guess

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#8

Normal-American-Strange-World Actively avoiding healthcare visits/checkups because if there's something wrong and you don't have the money to pay for treatment, then you'd rather just not know

unknown , Martha Dominguez de Gouveia Report

Kat
Community Member
1 month ago

In Estonia - had migraines, went to a doctor, had MRT, CT, several blood tests, physiotherapy because of muscle tension. I paid 5 euros for all that.

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#9

Normal-American-Strange-World That women only get about 6 weeks off work after having a baby and it's most likely to be unpaid.

-Aucuparia- , Juan Encalada Report

Anne
Community Member
1 month ago

I heard women having to start 2 weeks after labor..

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She added that in general, “Americans are constantly on the go—constantly working, constantly moving, constantly striving for the next best thing, which is great for its own reasons, but I've also found that because of this, Americans are much more stressed, much more overworked, and much more burnt out compared to Europeans.”

#10

Normal-American-Strange-World Portion sizes.

pourmewhineoh , Léo Roza Report

Friday
Community Member
1 month ago

I couldn’t get over the size of soft drinks (Soda). A large in Australia is about the size of a small cup in the US. No one needs to consume that much sugar in one sitting!

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#11

Normal-American-Strange-World Having police patrol the school

alexis0292 , Jack Finnigan Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is just sad

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#12

Normal-American-Strange-World Pledge to the flag in class

r93gd4dg1t , Jon Sailer Report

Marion
Community Member
1 month ago

They probably also do that in north korea?

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Kacie recounted that when she moved to Italy, one of the biggest culture shocks she experienced was “how Italians take time during their day to slow down and relax, whether it be closing the store for 3 hours in the afternoon to go home and spend time with family or having mandatory paid vacation weeks by law, no matter your job.”

Having said that, the actress and TikToker added that it also has its negative connotations “but in general I've found they make enjoying their life a priority. It's definitely something I've gathered is similar as a whole in Europe as well!”

#13

Normal-American-Strange-World American flags everywhere. I traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean and I usually only saw their flag on government builds and here and there. Where as here in the USA the flag is like Franks Red Hot. We put them on everything. Magnets, churches, cars, condoms, every front porch, and street lamp. #murica

doughydonuts , Jon Sailer Report

Nicholas Yu
Community Member
1 month ago

Nah...at this point when I see someone proud of the this country is and thinking it's already "great"...I know they've got a MAGA hat somewhere.

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#14

Normal-American-Strange-World Putting a ton of sugar in products like bread.

TheThingsWeMake , Jan Antonin Kolar Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Bread, by definition over here, ought not contain sugar at all. Otherwise it is a pastry.

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#15

Registering to vote. As a Canadian, you're automatically enrolled when you turn 18 and get a notice where your polling station will be for every election.

wbajl Report

Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

That sounds nice actually. We have to register to vote here in South Africa too and it's always a chaotic mess.

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#16

Normal-American-Strange-World Prescription drug ads encouraging people to ask their doctor about the drug being advertised.

unknown , Sharon McCutcheon Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

The EU also has laws that you cannot advertise medication without a disclaimer to talk to a doctor or pharmacist first. The sizes of non-prescription medicine is rather what strikes me. Aspirin by the 100s...

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#17

Not using the metric system. Counting in football fields/moon landings instead... I don't get it.

ligvigfui Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

There's the rub. I've been brought up during the transition from imperial to metric in the UK. However, are speed signs being still in MPH (Miles per hour), but quantities of food are in metric. It's all a mish mash. Sometimes I measure thing in inches, sometimes in centimetres. Confusion!

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#18

Normal-American-Strange-World When I was there during the last election I was shocked at how phrases like ‘well they have the black vote’ or the ‘Latino vote’ came up all the time on the radio. Obviously it’s not racist but it’s just something that would never come up in my country. Like, why would latino people all vote for the same person?

Adam-West , History in HD Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, if the choice is binary only, you get a divided society.

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#19

Normal-American-Strange-World Having only two parties: Republicans and Democrats. I know there are some smaller parties, but the system is stacked against them.

K_51 Report

Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

My country has the same problem, and it's depressing.

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#20

Normal-American-Strange-World Ambulance rides costing money seems pretty absurd to people from other countries.

Meemesfourdayz , Jonnica Hill Report

If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

I just googled it and at least in Germany, the insurance pays the ride to the hospital. But there should be a medical reason for calling the ambulance (which is almost always the case), for a "fun" ride the cost is between 300 -500€

Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

That makes sense...calling an ambulance without a medical crisis is like calling the police without there being a crime.

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Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Ambulance rides also cost money in other countries. The question is who pays them (insurance in other countries) and whether it should be normal to make the consideration of calling an ambulance a financial one instead of a medical one.

Aaricia
Community Member
1 month ago

I most of Europe ambulances are paid by the government as they're emergencies. If they had to be paid by insurance nobody would call them and we would have a lot more dead people.

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Jim Ellington
Community Member
1 month ago

I am "lucky" enough to have a hospital one mile awat and unlucky enough to have had taken an ambulance there for an emergency, for which I was charged $2000.

Deborah B
Community Member
1 month ago

Ambulance rides are paid for by taxation, as part of national health. A number of reasons for this, firstly, life-saving care starts sooner, treatment is streamlined, and patient outcomes are better. Second, it protects other road users from incapacitated or distracted drivers causing accidents.

rehanne garvey
Community Member
1 month ago

100% free in the uk

Louise B
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh, not always. A girl walked right in front of my mam's car on a green light.. Mam had just finished a 12 hour nursing shift, but was still able to stop in time. The girl had not one injury, the car didn't touch her but she cried like a baby..Guess who got the bill for the ambulance? My mam is so nice that she was upset that she almost hurt someone. I felt differently.

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Lukas v
Community Member
1 month ago

I broke my collarbone once and had to get driven to the hospital in an ambulance, insurance paid for everything except the ambulance ride, wich was around €60. I live in belgium

doris van natta
Community Member
1 month ago

It’s the same here in US. Insurance, even Medicare, often will not cover the ambulance, which can be in the hundreds of dollars. I believe one can get this coverage, but it’s another cost of the policy.

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RaroaRaroa
Community Member
1 month ago

Even in NZ, where most healthcare is free/cheap, you pay for ambulance rides. Except in Wellington where we have Wellington Free Ambulance instead of St John Ambulance like the rest of the country. Google tells me much of Australia also charges for ambulance rides. So not unique to the US at all.

Hermione
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment has been deleted.

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Jenny Shmurak
Community Member
1 month ago

In my county you don't pay for the ambulance if you get hospitalized or if you get a referral to the emergency room from doctor. That is how they separate legit ambulance calls and those that are not.

Ms.GB
Community Member
1 month ago

A friend of mine attempted suicide and an ambulance was called for her, if she wasn't depressed enough already she sure was when she got the bill...

Winx
Community Member
1 month ago

Wait till you find out that the insurance wants you to get ambulance rides "pre-approved" or they'll charge you a fortune

Vishy
Community Member
1 month ago

Some insurances cover ambulance expenses too.

LazyPandaOreo
Community Member
1 month ago

why does medication even cost anyway and other things like hospital bills those doctors claim they want to take care and help their patients when 70% of these "doctors" do this job for the money and 10% fail to keeep them alive,so we are basically wasting money but we know it has to be worth because we want that person alive,i dont even understand money it litterally has an illumiati on it and isnt the eye controlling us to make us spend money which is to me the devils paper but we also have to pay for funerals and if we bury the body by ourselves we go to jail?,youre lucky if you have a rich family or relative.

The Dave
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Ugh. More healthcare crap.🙄

If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

And yet you take your time replying

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#21

Normal-American-Strange-World Toilet cubicles, where people not only can peek, but an adult person could crawl into your cubicle, there is so much space under the "door".

TitanicBeta , Wikipedia Report

ethan simpson
Community Member
1 month ago

It's meant to make you feel unnerved therefore making you do you business quicker so lines are shorter.

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#22

Normal-American-Strange-World Not putting the final price on the tag. I'm not sure whether it's still like this, but a few years ago one never knew whether the $1.00 item in McDonald's or Burger King is actually $1.00 or maybe $1.08.

TitanicBeta Report

Sloopi
Community Member
1 month ago

Who doesn't love a math test when paying?

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#23

The enabling customer service culture.

It’s created excessive portions in restaurants, created Karen, gives way to a disposable attitude towards products, and generally gives a sense of entitlement where most people start adding it to their list of rights.

srocan Report

Fiona C
Community Member
1 month ago

Karen culture is wider than the US.

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#24

The minimal amount of paid days off you get from work. A friend of mine from Wisconsin was very proud he got 20 days off per year. If someone in Germany would offer me only 20 days, I would laugh at him and leave.

_Warsheep_ Report

Stefanie P
Community Member
1 month ago

How many days off do you get? I am from Germany and the minimum amount per year are 20 days of holidays, it also individually depends on your type of contract and the company you are working for - but for 5 day work weeks we usually receive a maximum of approx. 24 days per year which is not much more than your friend from Wisconsin gets. Now I live in Spain and get 21-24 days per year off (plus plenty of public holidays). Germany is not that much better than other countries, when it comes to leisure time for employees.

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#25

Why tipping is considered part of someone's paycheck.

_Everyday_Hero Report

Sakuhana
Community Member
1 month ago

What's the rule in the US to give tips? Was it 20 or 15 % of the bill? Do I understand it right?

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#26

Normal-American-Strange-World Attack ads against political opponents, ads for law firms or lawyers. These kinds of ads are illegal and considered unethical in our country. Also expecting a teenager to be out of the house by the time they're 18. I live in Southeast Asia. There's no stigma about living with one's parents. Most of the time, there will be three generations living in one house.

HollowMist11 Report

Joseph Georgiadis
Community Member
1 month ago

"Most of the time, there will be three generations living in one house": Don't confuse denial to leave parental house with lack of space or money. Sure, I would never ask my children to leave the house when they were 18 -they don't live with us since their mid 20s- but younger generations must not live with older ones. Granted that this is sometimes unavoidable, due to financial or health reasons.

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#27

Normal-American-Strange-World Not owning kettles and MICROWAVING their water for coffee/tea.

gibbylewd , Chris Lawrence Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

US Americans do have kettles though. stovetop and electrical ones.

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#28

You have $4.50 in your pocket. The fancy drink is advertised at $3.99. Do you have enough money to buy it? Dunno!

2059FF Report

Friday
Community Member
1 month ago

It’s weird not knowing how much anything will be until you get to the check out. Why are the taxes not included in the price?

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#29

Normal-American-Strange-World Being legally allowed to drink only when you reach 21

I-am-a-Mango , Wil Stewart Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

And then drinking "light" beer, i.e. yellow-coloured water with flavour traces and some alcohol.

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#30

Normal-American-Strange-World This one is more on the positive side, because I think we could learn some from it.

Talking and sharing your life with complete strangers. I have met quite a few americans so it seems the norm that you share and engage with strangers in public. The bus, train, parks etc. And then you go on your way.

In Denmark you'd be a "freak" if you did that.

WuuutWuuut , Alicia Steels Report

Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

I like that. South american people do this too.

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#31

Joining the army for college money and free healthcare.

Also how religious they are

WKH1970 Report

jamie1707
Community Member
1 month ago

most of those pious assholes, the ones who put it on display? They aren't really following any tenet of Christianity. It's a money making and power game.

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#32

I never understood why people in American TV series lost their house and job just because they got really sick.

Then I found out that it can happen in America.

unknown Report

Jazzy Mc. Jaz
Community Member
1 month ago

They always say that the movies are fake than the more you learn the truer they become

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#33

While on my travels I've noticed that Americans have a totally different expectation on what service you get in restaurants and cafes and sh*t in Europe. Like the waiter arrives at their table seconds after they've sat down and takes their order and when he's out of ear shot they complain about the bad service. It's like if they don't get the OMG HOW ARE YOU GUYS MY NAME IS MIGUEL AND I'LL BE YOUR WAITER THIS EVENING and then have their water topped up every 20 seconds then it's bad service

Favres_dick_pic Report

Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

All that over-friendliness from wait staff might be because they really need the tips in order to make a living... In most countries, tips are extra money servers get.

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#34

Literally anything about what goes on in Florida.

Jacilund Report

MauKini
Community Member
1 month ago

Just google "Florida man" and your date of birth. Fun game.

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#35

Nipples, or in general the hyper-sexualisation of nudity

unknown Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Somehow you can't buy a 16 year old kid a sex education book or have them watch a porn video, but it's perfectly alright to buy him an assault riffle.

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#36

Normal-American-Strange-World Being able to vote before reaching the legal drinking age

dingdongimprblywrong , Element5 Digital Report

Adam C
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

You can vote when you are 16 in Scottland(not norway).

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#37

Home owners associations.

tahsii Report

Sakuhana
Community Member
1 month ago

I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but what is this exactly and why does it feel super restrictive and patronizing?

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#38

As a Brit living in America the amount of pharmaceutical commercials on TV is creepy.

TrueHybrid Report

Kat
Community Member
1 month ago

People in America are sick more because they overeat and overwork.

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#39

I've been to New Orleans, and everyone was calling me "honey", "sugar", "babe", "sunshine", and "love". I found it very sweet, blushed every time and generally, couldn't get enough of it.

On the other hand, the amount of ice you put in drinks is ridiculous.

cosmic-tragedy Report

Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

more ice = less drink. Saves the company money. It's pretty common in many places.

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#40

2017 in Athens, Georgia I passed out at work and was fine but my boss had already called an ambulance and insisted I get checked out...a less than 2 mile ambulance ride cost me $950 with insurance. I was only dehydrated...

Butterfly1r Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

UK citizen. I've had two bouts of serious illnesses in the last six months. During that period, I required four ambulances, treatment in hospital plus medication etc. None of which cost me anything. However, it is worth pointing out that if you work, as well as paying taxes you also contribute National Insurance contributions, which goes towards the National Health Service (NHS) amongst other things.

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#41

Normal-American-Strange-World Willingly putting yourself massively in debt for a college degree.

I come from a place with free university education (which has its own drawbacks of course), and the fact that you can make such a huge, life-altering decision at 17 is considered normal over there, that seems downright bizarre to me.

I_hate_traveling Report

Ilsa Laszlo
Community Member
1 month ago

Europe here - many public universities for free and many private ones. You can choose and you don't need to be in debt for the rest of your live.

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#42

Normal-American-Strange-World Asking everyone “what do you do?” when you first meet them. I live outside the US and realized there are some people I’ve known for years and I still don’t know their job. I think in the US jobs are a bigger part of a person’s identity than in some other places.

Ssffxx , Priscilla Du Preez Report

JennyLaRue
Community Member
1 month ago

I guess given their crappy leave entitlement, and ridiculous expectations about always being available, that might well mean it's occupying a larger part of their life and identity than it does in other countries

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#43

Circumcision and medical debt

buoninachos Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

Circumcision?

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#44

Normal-American-Strange-World My maternity leave was an unpaid 6 weeks, and I had to fight them on not shorting me because I went past my due date and didn’t keep working until the day I went into labor.

robot_cupcak3 , https://unsplash.com/@anastasiiachepinska Report

Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

In Germany, it is illegal to make a woman work 6 weeks prior and 8 weeks past her due date. (You get paid normally in that time.) After that, you can have up to 3 years of maternity leave. In the first year, you get 65% of your former income, the rest of the time is unpaid. Also you cannot be fired from the beginning of your pregnancy until you come back after maternity leave.

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#45

Side effects on medication adverts.

With James' Hayfever meds, I can get through the day with ease!

Side effects may include:

Loss of sight

Loss of hearing

Loss of sense of smell

Coma

Headaches

Fever

Vomiting

Diarrhoea

Loss of consciousness

and death.

typicalcitrus Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

Its best that they do tell you of the potential side effects. I suspect it will cover them legally if someone tries to sue.

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#46

Limited sick days.

44722e426f6e65 Report

Mart Sermus
Community Member
1 month ago

Seriously that's a thing? How does one plan how maby days it takes to get well after kidney surgery?

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#47

Normal-American-Strange-World Extra large bottomless cups for cola or soft drinks.... you could bathe in those....

SlyDigits Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Wasn't there this one mayor in a town who wanted to ban those buckets to fight obesity and had to ditch the plan to avoid a public hanging?

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#48

Why people censor swears that are totally obvious

Mr_magggots Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

It's all down to b******d media wanting to f*!#king 'protect us'.

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#49

American here:

When I was studying in the UK I had to send some financial documents back to the US. The only way these documents were considered valid was if the original was mailed in, or if I faxed a copy. When I asked the printing office if they could fax it for me they looked at me like I was an alien and said the school hadn't owned a fax machines for like a decade. Then they asked me if I still use a VCR.

meatdrawer25 Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

That's such British response at the end

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#50

A flag in every corner of a classroom, and Americans being very patriotic to the stars and stripes. Other countries barely give a [poop] about their flags

Legendary-Lynx Report

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
1 month ago

If you hoist the flag in Germany outside of the World Cup, you will be looked at crookedly. Sometimes you are also called a Nazi. That American patriotism scares me a LOT!

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#51

That American kids eat straight sugar. Walked on to the playground and saw kids chugging these long thin sticks. I try and it was just colored sugar lol. Called them pixie sticks.

whowantsrice Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

What about the shaved ice topped with colored syrup?

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#52

Just "dealing with" preventable and curable diseases instead of seeking medical attention out of fear of crippling debt.

whereditg0 Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

In this day and age, all countries should have a healthcare system that is free at the point of use. America is a third world country with a Gucci belt.

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#53

Calling a main course an entree.

hydrogenextraction Report

Dave Walker
Community Member
1 month ago

In French, the entree would be the starter

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#54

Sueing for any possible reason. It's so common that there are commercials on tv and radio telling you to sue "x" company for "reason". Lawyer ads are also very common because of this.

hysteria613 Report

JennyLaRue
Community Member
1 month ago

Having seen the cost of medical bills, I get it where any genuine injury has been sustained.

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#55

Driving everywhere.

ButaneLilly Report

Nathan Pogorzala
Community Member
1 month ago

Our country is big. BIG. you want to walk 25 miles to work? Public transit systems don't often run to a town of 5,000. It would be great if we had small self contained towns but that is not how our country was formed. We have no history of self sustaining walled towns or feudalism. Americans like to stretch out and we have land in spades.

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#56

Drink sizes.
When my family visited in 2017 we landed in Texas for a stopover. First thing I saw in the shops part of the terminal was a dude who was drinking from what looked like an actual bucket - here in NZ our “large” drinks would be considered an American “small” or maybe “medium”

The_Sly_Sloth Report

doris van natta
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s Texas. Texans pride themselves on “large”, “big”, etc.

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#57

The extent of the tipping culture is frankly shocking to me.

tinnic Report

BigFish Artwire
Community Member
1 month ago

The underlying cause is their minimum wage :/

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#58

Being loud and rowdy when sober seems to be a very American thing.

Funny thing is, I’m American and considered a loud person in America. I can only imagine that my voice must sound like a f**king air horn to foreigners.

NettyTheMadScientist Report

Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

In Germany, we tend to be much quieter in public, esp. on public transport. But then I went to Japan and after a couple of minutes, I realized that people were staring at us for having a conversation in a train and I felt so rude and loud suddenly! So when abroad, it is a good idea to look around you and check if your behavior is fitting in the surroundings.

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#59

I've had several German friends who were amazed that at house parties everyone actually does drink out of red Solo cups. They thought that was just a weird thing people did in movies and now they think it is a huge conspiracy or something

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Stephanie IV
Community Member
1 month ago

single use household items. The scourge of the oceans.

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#60

People of Walmart

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Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

Love that site

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#61

Living "paycheck to paycheck" despite making like 4 grands a month

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Aria Whitaker
Community Member
1 month ago

This COMPLETELY depends on the area. You living in an apartment in Jackson, Mississippi? You are NOT living "paycheck to paycheck" making $4k a month. Living in a 3 bedroom home in San Francisco, CA? Yup, you are certainly living paycheck to paycheck. Our cost of living varies wildly depending on both region and state.

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#62

Having to take out a second mortgage because you twisted your ankle in the wrong state.

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The Dave
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Also because you don’t have any savings to pay for it.

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#63

Most shopping carts in the US have fixed backwheels. In Germany all 4 wheels are able to freely turn 360° which makes moving the cart around much easier.

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

This tiny detail annoyed me so much in the US. Also some people do not bring their cart back, they are standing around everywhere. In Germany, you have to put 1€ in the cart as a deposit and only get it back when you dock the cart at the station.

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#64

That there are many libraries of all kinds in the United States.

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Joseph Georgiadis
Community Member
1 month ago

THIS is a good thing

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#65

I've never seen a Canadian drive down the road with two of their nation's flags on the back with flames shooting out from the sides of the truck.

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Nathan Pogorzala
Community Member
1 month ago

Then you haven't even been in the Golden Horseshoe. Without any negativity, the maple leaf is plastered on everything, to include 2 flags on a truck.

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#66

I'm an American (born and raised), but I've heard that in other countries, strangers don't say hi or strike up conversations with each other. I know non-Americans are confused but let me explain:

Sometimes if you are say at an amusement park for example and you're waiting in line for a ride, strangers would strike conversations with you and such and this is actually pretty normal. Or say you are walking around in a park and you walk past by someone, you usually smile and say a quick "hi" as you are walking past that person.

I've had countless times where I've had people strike conversations with me that I didn't know. White people do this, but especially Black people do this a lot as well. Like you would see an old Black lady at a store and she'll just start talking to you.

I've had Europeans tell me that people would think you are mentally ill if you were to strike up conversations with strangers in Europe for example. Especially in Asian countries no one does this (I've heard). Strangers absolutely do not say a word to each other in Japan or China for example.

Side note: This may also be a regional thing in the US. I've lived in southern states mostly (like Texas) and people are really damn friendly down there. Now I live in Connecticut and people are way less friendly over here (no offense).

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N G
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is one that I think other countries should think about adopting. I was recently hospitalised, and the most reassuring conversation I had was with a stranger who nattered about her husband's bedding plants for 20 minutes - completely taking my mind off the pain I was in. (I'm in the UK). There's plenty on lists such as these that I think the US has just gotten wrong compared to the rest of the world (healthcare, work ethic, the republican party), but this aspect I'd like to import.

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#67

Probably not really European but Finnish, memes about forgotting to connect your phone to wifi. Here we have unlimited internet and it's working almost everywhere. Also the unlimited mobile data costs here like 30€ in month

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Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, where I live is like that as well. Now that I think about it, only places for tourists have free public wi-fi. Everyone here has data plans.

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#68

I got off the plane and asked the cap guy how far the hotel was and he said about 30 miles. I almost had a heart attack... turns out cabs are cheaper than the Uk



I can't remember the price I paid but I was presently surprised.

The UK cabs are like £4 per mile

also you would get laughed of the taxi for asking to go 30 miles and not taking the train

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Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

Public transportation is horrible here.

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#69

There was a 24-hour pharmacy across the street from our apartment. Nothing shocking there, except it also sold booze and cigarettes.

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The Dave
Community Member
1 month ago

It’s strange when you come from a state that doesn’t.

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#70

One positive thing I've noticed, foreigners love how big Halloween is here.

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

So true! People have tried to make Halloween a thing in Germany, but most people didn't jump on the train. I would love to have decent Halloween parties here!

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#71

At least in the Midwest, the soft smiles you give to strangers if you make eye contact while walking past them. Did not go over so well in Germany.

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If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

I think this is going to change over time. I remember a time (in Germany) when you were at the cash register in a supermarket and you and the cashier wouldn't greet each other. Then suddenly, maybe about 30 years ago, that changed. Now we say "hello" and "have s nice day" and sometimes talk a little, but I remember it being so, so weird, to have to talk to the cashier! It was really awkward du first. Now of course, I cannot imagine to not day hello to the cashier, it just seems so rude. But I think at the time, it wasn't meant in a rude way, it was just normal for everyone.

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#72

As an American I was shocked to learn that not every school internationally has a building cop

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Anne
Community Member
1 month ago

Why would we.. We also don't have guns. There is a link between the two.

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#73

Injured people try to avoid getting ambulances called for them.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, if you know that a 4 minute ride will cost you enough to feed a family of six for 4 years, you'd be reluctant too.

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#74

30 degrees Fahrenheit

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BigFish Artwire
Community Member
1 month ago

I can't be bothered converting that hahaha

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#75

Just the sheer scale of it. I could drive the distance from the most northern part of Scotland to the most southern part of Cornwall and still be in Texas. How is that possible?!

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Stephanie IV
Community Member
1 month ago

I get agoraphobia by proxy.

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#76

They have garbage disposals in their kitchens. That's just so wild to me.

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JennyLaRue
Community Member
1 month ago

I saw someone describe it as an "Angry plughole" once.

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#77

Normal-American-Strange-World Lemonade. I'm America, but there was a post going around a while back about an American who ordered a lemonade at a restaurant in Australia and was confused to receive a Sprite. The op of the post was the server, and thought it was just the American being snooty for being confused. Then commenters from other nonUS countries chimed in on what a lemonade is to them. It blew my mind, because in the US lemonade is so iconic as a summer drink, and is often homemade.

Eta: lemonade is not water with lemon in it. It requires sugar and preparation.

Second edit: to all the people commenting "hello America, I'm dad" pay your child support. You can't just walk out on an entire country like that and show up suddenly now that I've got karma

glassssshark , Sigmund Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Lemonade in Greece is lemon juice, sugar, water or lemon syrup and water. It can be either homemade or store bought, but it definitely is not sprite. Sprite is sprite.

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#78

When I went to New York I was flabbergasted by the amount of people just loitering on the streets or having phone conversations that everyone can hear on the train like npcs from GTA.

People outside of the USA don't hang out in public or let other people into their business on public transport.

I managed to hear a woman talk about how her baby daddy wasn't going to her daughters birthday party and I started to pick side's in her personal life, while walking through Central Park I heard two friends with a substantial age gap talk about everyone in their friend group having mistresses and they were trading information on the mistress facts each of them knew for their respective friends, I got invested in that one so I folliwed them for a while (pretending I wasn't) because I wanted the tea.

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troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm assuming this person is from northern Europe. Because there are loud talkers in Greece too. Oh and also people who listen to music on speakers in public places :(

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#79

Biscuits and gravy is a legit thing. Also you can ride motorcycles without helmets in some states??? And your iced tea isn't sweetened unless you ask for sweet.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

Biscuits and gravy still gets to me. I know US biscuits are savoury but almost every time I picture our biscuits (cookies) with gravy and cringe.

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#80

Sports Bars are actually exactly how they're portrayed on TV

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doris van natta
Community Member
1 month ago

And they are, occasionally, fun to go to.

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#81

That Dolly Parton has her own theme park in Tennessee. I thought it was a joke.

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ButterScot
Community Member
1 month ago

Dolly Parton is a saint!

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#82

Free soft-drink refills in restaurants. Like wth

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James016
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm not sure if they still do it but Nandos in the UK had free refills.

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#83

How cheap food is - I was in Chicago so it was good food too

Tasty cheap food, who wouldn't get fat?

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Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

Meat, chicken, rice and basic products like that are ridiculously cheap compared to other countries I've lived in. It's one of the things I really liked when I lived in L.A

#84

That higher education can cost upwards of $50,000 per year.

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CORLEONE
Community Member
1 month ago

...and not everyone finds the job that they dreamed of....

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#85

Say "I'll just have water" at a restaurant and not be charged for it or be asked "What kind?"

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

Tap water is free in Australia from restaurants, pubs, cafes etc but bottled water you have to pay for. And quite often they will have jugs of cold tap water for you to take to your table, for free.

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#86

Not really crazy, but I just learned you guys have like outdoor sirens that get tested somewhat frequently. I’ve only heard those noises in video games and movies until my friend sent me a clip, because I had no idea it actually happened.

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Přemek Marek
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only in the USA - in Czech republic we have them too, test is every first wednesday of the month at noon, for a few minutes. They can also "speak", so you hear "Zkouška sirén" - Test of the sirens a few times beforehand.

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#87

That you can rack up 100,000$ upward in debt easily through student loans.

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El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Having to pay for education is really backward..

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#88

I always thought that the Olive Garden in The Simpsons was just code for ‘generic restaurant’

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Sasy
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol

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#89

Taking condiments extremely seriously.

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Stephanie IV
Community Member
1 month ago

Condiments are the crowning glory of many a dish. Everybody should take them much more serious.

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#90

The "Take me out to the ballgame song" thats apparently sung at baseball games. still not entirely sure that guy wasnt taking the piss out of me

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Sasy
Community Member
1 month ago

I say ...play ball, at the end of any time the anthem is sung in any movie, then laugh, could be a funeral or any sport, play ball is just rooted into my brain, just like saying 'on Buffy' if I hear "previously"

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#91

That the entire traffic has to stop when a school bus stops.

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Gracie Jay
Community Member
1 month ago

Having had a classmate get hit by a car after getting of the bus and died, I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t put my daughter on the bus otherwise.

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#92

Apparently, rolling coal is actually a thing.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

It is. It is used to show how little you care for the environment and you do it by modifying your car engine so it produces massive amounts of black smoke. Apart from the environmental issue it's also dangerous and illegal because these clouds of black smoke are like a thick fog, blocking your view. Guys doing this rolling coal are usually aiming their practices on people driving eco-friendly cars and bicyclists.

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