It's always interesting to travel around the world and experience different cultures and traditions that may differ from what you believe to be the "norm". And even though most of the time these cultural differences spark nothing more but a delightful surprise, there are some characteristics that are difficult for people to wrap their heads around.

Have you ever thought that there are things that only your country does but seems that everybody else doesn't really understand it at all? Well, according to this askredit thread, those living in America definitely have this problem. After getting asked "What is something you didn't realize was typical American stereotype until you went abroad?", people flooded the post with an endless list of customs that only in America are considered to be normal. From garbage disposals and free public bathrooms to extreme portion sizes, there are some strictly American things.

Scroll down to read these answers and funny stereotypes, and don't forget to share your delightful cultural differences in the comments!

#1

The prices abroad don't add tax after the fact. You pay what the price shows. No need to figure the tax. Dumb that we do that here.

ChicagoTrader71 Report

Perry Swift
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, that's a total pain in the arse when you visit the states.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Being "friendly" to an extent. I checked in at a hostel and walked into the lounge area where people from all over the world were just chilling. I kinda introduced myself to the whole room, and someone goes, "you're from the states, yeah?" And I'm like, "yeah howd you know?" They said, "only an American will walk into a room of strangers and introduce themselves to everybody."

dude_with_amnesia Report

Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

I don't see how that's a bad thing....?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

When I went to Australia I found out very quickly that no one down there "roots" for a team - they "go for" a team. So when I said I root for the Red Sox I got a lot of weird looks

(Rooting means fucking in Australian)

ConfidentMarionBerry Report

Schrödinger's Dog
Community Member
1 year ago

Oops...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

Sugar. When I visited Japan, even some of their sweetest desserts pale in comparison to how much sugar is in American food.

willbo2013 Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 year ago

I absolutely hate how sweet things are here. EVERYTHING could do with at least 50% less.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

How fat we are. Like, I know we are when compared to the rest of the world. But it made me realize what I think is fat in the US, is grossly obese in Europe. And what's not-fit, but not-fat in the US, is fat is Europe.

There are some hamhogs over there but my god, returning home was an eye opener.

At least we don't smoke as much, I guess.

Shlittle Report

TC
Community Member
1 year ago

Sorry to agree with you.

View more comments
#6

The stereotype about us being loud is true. I never thought of myself as being loud until I went abroad and would hang up the phone after speaking in what I thought was appropriate volume to find everyone around me was staring at me, and realized how much more quiet they were lol whoops

ProfanePly Report

María Hermida
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything is relative. Come to Spain and you will start to think that, in comparison, you are as quiet as a mouse. It doesn't matter how loud you are, the average Spaniard is even louder. The level of tolerance to noise here is unbelievable.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#7

Measuring walking/driving distance in blocks.



It's the unit of measure I use most frequently when giving directions - the restaurant is 3 blocks away, go south one block and then two blocks west, I live six blocks from the grocery store...



It wasn't until I studied abroad in England and got a complete blank look when I asked someone how many blocks away the library was that I realized using "block" as a measurement only makes sense in cities that were largely pre-planned and built on grid system. AKA: not many places outside the US.

Glaggies Report

Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago

You have to remember that many town in Europe are actually quite ancient, far older than the USA.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Red plastic cups for parties. So much so that people outside US use them as an accessory to American themed parties.

thiswasagutpunch Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 year ago

I would be so uncomfortable at an "American-Themed" party. I'm American, but I have absolutely no idea what the expectations would be.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Ok, so, this one is probably pretty obvious, and looking back on it it’s really embarrassing. My family took a European vacation when I was 17. For some reason, we decided to get KFC in the UK. (Because ‘Murica.)

My friend who came with us went with me to order and pick up our order. We ordered a family size bucket of chicken, and they asked us what kinds of side dishes we wanted. We said “Biscuits.” And the employees looked at us with the strangest look.

UK KFC: “You want . . . biscuits with your chicken?” Me: “Yes. Biscuits.” UK KFC: “We don’t sell those.” Me: “What do you mean you don’t sell biscuits. What are your sides?” UK KFC: “Chips?” Me: “You mean French fries? Ok fine. That’ll do.”

I was worldly enough to know that “chips” meant “French fries”, but “biscuits” in the UK are cookies. My fat ass tried to order fried chicken and cookies. I am positive someone over in the UK is still telling this story at parties as an example of how disgusting Americans are.

Also on this same trip my father asked why our waitress kept saying “cheese”, when she was saying “cheers”. We really left a good impression across the pond.

anxiousandexhausted Report

Dani
Community Member
1 year ago

Haha! This reminds me of a time when my family was visiting relatives in Japan and because we were from America, my great-aunt decided to take us to an "American restaurant." I loved it because their interpretation of American food was about equivalent in accuracy to our interpretation of Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

Greg Hoggarth
Community Member
1 year ago

So what was it?

Load More Replies...
Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago

I remember one American band that visited Finland and they wanted food from KFC. The event organizers had to explain to them that the nearest KFC was in Sweden. So they ordered some McDonald's food instead. :D

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago

Gross! I'm American and I detest McDonald's.

Load More Replies...
He is love
Community Member
1 year ago

Why would I ever want KFC while traveling abroad? ... I don't even want it here.

Vanessa
Community Member
1 year ago

same reason you buy junk food in your own country: cheep, easy, fast, no bad surprise

Load More Replies...
Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

I know the biscuits = cookies in England, but they really don't have "biscuits" at KFC in England?

Ryo Bakura
Community Member
1 year ago

Biscuits are for dunking in your tea, or snacking on between meals. We don't have them with gravy, or "grits", whatever the fuck that is. Shout out to all my Jaffa Cake-lovin' brothers and sisters! Holla at yo' boy!

Load More Replies...
Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
1 year ago

To clarify: UK "biscuits" = US "cookies". US "biscuits" = UK "scones". US "scones" = UK "really hard dry lumps of bread-like biscuity things that we can't define."

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago

Lol. That last part. Haha!

Load More Replies...
kasa alex
Community Member
1 year ago

What the hell does biscuits mean in the US?? Is it chips? (Fries)?

Jo Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

It's something that looks like a scone! Still a weird thing to have as a side with a dry meal of meat!

Load More Replies...
Sunzilla
Community Member
1 year ago

What the heck are KFC biscuits???

Zimphella
Community Member
1 year ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit_(bread)

Load More Replies...
EADC
Community Member
1 year ago

I always wondered what biscuits was in the US sense then oneday it clicked those are scones , Just plain old scones.

Désirée Dilworth
Community Member
1 year ago

I find biscuits to be saltier than scones.

Load More Replies...
Tifferooski
Community Member
1 year ago

First of all, there's nothing wrong with eating cookies with your chicken, damnit.

Bored Moogle
Community Member
1 year ago

What do they call American-style biscuits then? And don't say "scones" because those are not the same thing, even if they look similar.

Sarah Pascoe
Community Member
1 year ago

Im not even sure if any where apart from America serves them! Lol ive never seen them outside of American households.

Load More Replies...
Heather Ions
Community Member
1 year ago

“You mean French fries?” “No, I mean chips!!!”

Darryl Kerrigan
Community Member
1 year ago

Still unsure what biscuits are in the US. I think they are like scones or dumplings for stews or something?

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago

It would be like dumplings, but baked alone; not on top of a stew or hotpot. But that brings up another difference. In the US, dumplings are in/throughout a dish, not on top.

Load More Replies...
okpkpkp
Community Member
1 year ago

I ordered KFC in Germany and it came with feathers, three on the wing. Turned me off to KFC for a long while.

Laura Hazell
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

lol I had the opposite on my first US visit - well Hawaii actually. All the hotel breakfast buffet food was, to my Australian tastes, gross greasy heavy fried things and sugar glazed everything. Finally i found what I thought was like a little damper ( like a quickbread) or scone and had that with my fruit platter. Turns out I deserved the looks coming my way, I had biscuits to sop up my fruit platter !

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago

I wouldn't think that was weird. We put jam on our biscuits. Fruit would not be far from that.

Load More Replies...
David de Fortier
Community Member
1 year ago

In asia, rice is the side dish at kfc. You get looked at funny if you ask for french fries.. let alone biscuits lol

Valerie Lessard
Community Member
1 year ago

so what is biscuit in american?

danielw
Community Member
1 year ago

Here you go. usually served warm and buttered. There's variations on that theme (Cheeses are sometimes added, or herbs, usually) biscuit-5c...fac39d.jpg biscuit-5c99fbefac39d.jpg

Load More Replies...
Lilibeth Rodriguez
Community Member
1 year ago

A few years ago I was shopping at a Costco in Puerto Rico. I came upon a man that was was becoming frustrated because he kept asking this guy where something was and the guy didn’t understand. At one point he looked around and asked “Doesn’t anyone speak English?” And I couldn’t resist it, I got close and whispered with a smile “You are in Puerto Rico now, learn Spanish” I still laugh when I remember his face. I guess it must have come as a shock to him that not everyone speaks English.

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

If I don't know a word I mime it, or just find it myself. But then I make sure to ask what the word was so I can remember for next time.

Load More Replies...
Carol Emory
Community Member
1 year ago

I was in a chat room with Brits and mentioned that one of the popular dishes in the Southern States was biscuits and gravy..to which many of them grossed out....

Ian Carter
Community Member
1 year ago

I love this I still dont get "biscuits" I'm English and I was in a fast food place in New Orleans and ordered a Po Boi and Biscuits because when in Rome and all that but I had no idea what any of it was.

Flisey
Community Member
1 year ago

And potato chips are crisps

Tara B
Community Member
1 year ago

I went to England and they kept asking if I want Bacon on things, I said Sure. It was Canadian Bacon.. haha My American friends got my joke. Also the Fast food places ask if you are "Eating In" i thought they were saying ATM. Also they have pay public toilets there

Rebecca Cote
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

bahaha "because 'murica" love it!

Mark Goldspink
Community Member
1 year ago

Cheese for that.

Josurf
Community Member
1 year ago

Word of advice : when you visit another country, try their food. What's the use of travelling when you keep doing and eating the same as home ?

danielw
Community Member
1 year ago

well, for the record, when I visited Thailand we got suckered into going to pizza hut. (not my choice, I'm with you on this one.) they did have, however, a sort of sea-food pizza that was delicious. It was shrimp, calamari, a few other things I couldn't identify.

Load More Replies...
Carol Anne Benoit
Community Member
1 year ago

That would be a damn good addition to their menu... but it wouldn't be 'biscuits' on the UK menu. They should add Yorkshire pudding with gravy. Same ingredients.

Frozengeckolover
Community Member
1 year ago

Yorkshire pudding and gravy does sound good. But it's not at all the same as biscuits.

Load More Replies...
rai mei
Community Member
1 year ago

We have KFC in the Philippines and we do not have biscuits as sides but we have brownies. We actually don't have any biscuits sidedishes here. Crackers are called biscuits here. And what you call biscuits is cookies here.

Laura Bradshaw
Community Member
1 year ago

Sorry for our terrible sides at KFC our chips/fries are disgusting too.... What you call biscuits are like our scones. I wish our KFC did mashed potatoes like yours

danielw
Community Member
1 year ago

arent' scones sweet/fruity rather than savory?

Load More Replies...
Rebekah Hughes
Community Member
1 year ago

For those of you who are not American: In America, biscuits are buttery bread rolls. They're not a dessert food. And what you call biscuits, we call cookies. They're just different definitions. So we don't dip our cookies in gravy just as you don't dunk buttery bread rolls in tea.

Julia Christina Eneroth
Community Member
1 year ago

What would a biscuit be if not something similar to a cookie? (They aren't really cookies though because cookies get hard when they get old and biscuits go soft. Or maybe it was the other way around.)

julien
Community Member
1 year ago

The Old French word bescuit is derived from the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere, coctus (to cook, cooked), and, hence, means "twice-cooked". In the UK and France biscuits are cookies !

Ani Archeron
Community Member
1 year ago

As far as I can tell, they're what Aussies and Brits might call scones?

danielw
Community Member
1 year ago

correct me if I'm wrong, but scones are sweet (and frequently with fruit added). Biscuits are never sweet, and never with fruit added. They're just tender, buttery dinner rolls.

Load More Replies...
Jo Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment has been deleted.

TwiceRice23
Community Member
1 year ago

You're not disgusting, you just didn't know. Americans are so hard on themselves.

Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
1 year ago

the closest you get in the UK to an American biscuit is a scone but I don't know if Kentucky fried chicken in the UK sells scones, I didn't go to the Colonel when I was there.

Kevin Nolan
Community Member
1 year ago

Typical American attitudes. Poorly educated, arrogant and completely oblivious to the limitations of their knowledge and experience. Many have never before left their home state, let alone their country. In general their news sources are tailor made for this type of mind set. NPR an d New York Times are a welcome relief from the jingoist, propaganda saturated blather from many other sources.

Grace Skerp
Community Member
1 year ago

Life across the pond or lost in translation: Back when I was defending western civilization, I was stationed in England in a combined forces unit (Blokes and Yanks). Off duty hanging out, smokin' and jokin' telling war stories. About at third bottle point, a Bloke pulled a Union Jack (dish towel size) out of her kit and ...wait for it....started BUFFING HER BOOTS. Of course, we Yanks stroked out. The US military flag protocols resemble the operation instructions of the Hadron Accelerator and just as dangerous to ignore. "Jaybus woman!! That's your country's flag!!" "Right you are. So?" Then the whole food name confusion. It's a moment when for the first time a Yank is offered a serving of Spotted Dick.

Eduard Korhonen
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm from the UK. French Fries ARE French Fries, we call them fries. Chips are different, much chunkier, you definitely wouldn't get them in KFC UK. In conclusion, the person posting this completely made up the story based on poor internet research.

Dominic Tobias
Community Member
1 year ago

I just looked at what a biscuit is in America and it still looks like something only a psychopath would have with KFC

Lydia Boudreaux
Community Member
1 year ago

Sweet Jesus, it's just bread people!

Load More Replies...
rick hctep (Rick45)
Community Member
1 year ago

CHIPS are British and are thickish and crispy golden brown, French fries are those thin limp pale soggy half cooked thing the Frogs call chips, if they sold chips in the UK like the frogs cook them the seller would get them back in the face, french fries are something the frogs pinched off the Brits but don't know how to make or cook them.

danielw
Community Member
1 year ago

so out of curiosity, where would you put Freedom Fries (tm) on that scale? (okay, for those who don't know, Freedom Fries was a 'joke' where the Federal government changed the names of french fries because of political bullshit after 9/11. they actually passed a law that changed the name at government buildings. Yeah. Congress is the opposite of Progress.)

Load More Replies...
Justin Reynolds
Community Member
1 year ago

Thats their fuckin problem for not being open enouigh. Stupid brits.

Bruce Robb
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, they don't really pronounce Rs over there unless at the beginning of a word.

Nia Loves Art
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Just as much her fault for not understanding as yours for not knowing.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Small avocados.

Went to puerto rico. Was like, ‘yo ill have like 6 of those stuffed avocados’. Buddy was like, ‘yo gringo, i think you underestimate the size of our avocados here. Just have one and ill being you more if you want after’.

I had half of one. It was like a football.

CheckOutMyGun Report

Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago

Small avocados are available in most European countries too.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Here in the States, pregnancy announcements/reveals/baby showers are mainstream but it's generally a BIG no-no to bring it up in Kenya. My mom found out the hard way. Essentially, asking someone when the baby is due is the equivalent of asking the person "when did you and your husband fuck?" which is considered EXTREMELY rude. The lady my mom asked was gracious about it but said "If we were not such good friends I would have slapped you!"

Evilforreal Report

Crouching_Penn_Hidden_Teller@yahoo.com
Community Member
1 year ago

A guy from Pakistan I had just met asked me why I wasn't married. I told him in the US that's a rude question. His immediate response was to ask me again!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

Garbage disposals in sinks.

When I moved to the UK, my flatmates asked how in movies people would stick their hands in the sink drain and it be ripped apart. I told them about garbage disposals and they were very weirded out.

ShayBriar Report

Blakkur Sverrir
Community Member
1 year ago

In most parts of Germany they are forbidden. The reason is that the scraps would feed the rat population under ground

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Having your drink constantly refilled at restaurants. I just wanna drink a ton of water alright?

33whiten Report

Julia Christina Eneroth
Community Member
1 year ago

Here in Sweden many restaurants let customers get a bottle of water to the table. Then we can chose ourselves when we want to refill.

View more comments
#14

Buying stuff and the cashier putting your items in a plastic or paper bag. Went to Germany, and found it strange they don't bag your items. Everyone just brings their own bag or dumps their stuff in a back pack.

powerchoice Report

Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago

That's because we're trying to save the planet, one unused plastic bag at a time. Having to pay 10p for plastic bags in supermarkets cut bag use by 80% in Wales in one year.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Root beer is apparently disgusting and an offense to most of the worlds palate.

Detroit_debauchery Report

diane a
Community Member
1 year ago

Yep - tastes like Germolene ointment smells

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

I moved to England from Texas about six years ago. One of the major things that I noticed was that smiling and being friendly towards strangers was considered bizarre. This is a bit true in any metropolitan area, but especially in the UK. In Texas I was used to smiling at people, asking for directions if I needed them, and being friendly towards strangers. I learned very quickly that smiling at someone on the tube, or asking someone for directions on the street immediately makes someone think you’re trying to scam/rob them or you’re crazy.

Colourblindknight Report

Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

Smiles and friendly talk is one thing Americans should share with others.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Ranch flavor Doritos in the Netherlands are called "Cool American" flavor.

Totally_a_Banana Report

Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

Hahaha.. the only time 'muricans are cool overseas.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

Keeping AC on 100% of the time in the summer.

Visited Madrid for about a month to see the exchange student we housed, and found that they typically only turn on AC at Night to sleep or when it reaches a damned 105 deg F.

GardenGnome35 Report

anisub
Community Member
1 year ago

in Switzerland no one has an ac in their house but our houses are also better built than your wood houses haha^^ that's something i don't get, you have these hurricanes and storms and everything but your houses are so poorly built..

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

Massively wide roads/lanes. The whole of Ireland made me feel claustrophobic, but when I got back home the roads felt like way too much wasted space.

thehoddy Report

Pollypocket81
Community Member
1 year ago

But... its a beautiful country :)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

Going out to a restaurant. In America, you are seated ASAP, and then they bring you drinks, appetizers, entree, desert and then check as quick as they possibly can (if it's good service) for a total time of 45 minutes to an hour and a halfish. Staying past this time is seen as a bit rude. In Europe, going out to eat seemed to be more of an event that you slowly enjoyed for a longer period of time. First, they you bring you drinks and an appetizer for the first hour. Then the second hour is the entree and desert. Then it's more drinks for another half hour or so. I don't know if it's because we were American but it seemed like the wait staff everywhere we went was annoyed that we were rushing them, when we just thought it was bad service and didn't understand the routine.

Chorche412 Report

...
Community Member
1 year ago

Who has 5 hours to spend at a restaurant?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#21

Road trips...at least just jumping in the car and driving a few hours without giving it much thought. I live in a large western state and it seems at least every other weekend my family and I were in the car traveling for a few hours to see some site, go into Mexico or another state.

I have relatives in Switzerland and they were going to drive us to the Frankfurt airport and I was blown away how big of a deal it was to them. My uncle had the car inspected, shopped around for gas, and printed off travel and weather reports. All for a trip my dad would have said "hey lets do this this weekend, in the car kids!"

madisonpreggers Report

Bruce Robb
Community Member
1 year ago

In the US, 100 years is a long time. In Europe, 100 miles is a long distance.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Having plenty of *FREE* bathrooms around for the public to use.

YonderIPonder Report

Eunice Probert
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Oh good lord yes. If a county council tries to close one, there is a heck of a protest. We demand plenty of public loos.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#23

I doubt this is restricted to America in any way, but when I studied abroad in the UK, the lack of public drinking laws was a bit of a culture shock. Being able to walk outside with a bottle of beer was very freeing

OneCoolStory Report

Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago

If anyone visits Finland the alcohol laws here are very confusing - also for us Finns. You can visit a store that is open 24hours but you can't buy alcohol drinks between 9 pm and 9 am. If you want alcohol drinks that have over 5,5% volume of alcohol (like vodka that often has 40%) then you have to buy them from a separate store called Alko that is not open 24/7 and is often closed on sundays and holidays. It is also not a good idea to drink alcohol on a public place because police may confiscate your drinks. Also alcohol is really expensive here so many Finnish people buy alcohol from Estonia or Russia. But at least you can buy alcohol and visit bars when you are 18 years old.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

I was struck by the extent to which nobody talks to strangers in northern Europe ... Even in big cities in the US, people will talk to each other sometimes in line, on the subway, etc. Not deep conversations, but it isn't weird to make casual conversation.

badass_panda Report

C Bragg
Community Member
1 year ago

Maybe I was born in the wrong country, I hate small talk and I don't smile at strangers.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

How large grocery stores are here. My wife is not american and we lived in China and were in HK all the time... they had large international stores that were great and she didnt really grasp the size of american grocery stores till our first week in the USA and there's 150 feet of cereals on one aisle

wtjax Report

Daric Apai (Darquestar1)
Community Member
1 year ago

You could house, clothe and feed a small village in some American superstores.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

S’mores. I was in New Zealand having a bonfire on the beach and someone went and grabbed a bag of marshmallows and then everyone just ate them??! By themselves?! And someone from Sweden asked me if s’mores were a real thing or only on tv. I was flabbergasted.

ballroombritz Report

Christina Sersif
Community Member
1 year ago

I hope you introduce it to them and changed their lives.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

My British friend makes fun of me for how much cheese I use in my cooking.

Doesn't stop her from inhaling my potato casseroles, but there you go.

Iximaz Report

KarmaQueen
Community Member
1 year ago

My husband would be in heaven. He always says "the more cheese the better."

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

I am not American but visit the U.S alot and I tell you,almost all Americans has this habit of giving the 'half smile look' to anyone,that is not just normal anywhere else

harajukugirlnana Report

KarmaQueen
Community Member
1 year ago

Not sure what this means? Half smile look when confronting someone as they walk past you, to be nice?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

24 hour stores.

It's weird not being able to buy random sh*t at 4am...

TheSensualSloth Report

Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
1 year ago

Makes no sense... We have lots of 24 hour stores over here?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

At a buffet in Germany, I had to pay for ketchup

doublex12 Report

Bored Fox
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

That's strange. Here in Finland ketchup and mustard are usually free part of the buffet food.

View More Replies...
View more comments