42 Things Americans Do That I Just Don’t Understand

Travel / Monday, October 26th, 2015

One of the main reasons that we all tend to travel is to experience new things, to see how the rest of the World lives their day to day lives. Some of us search for these experiences in far flung places, while the rest of us dedicate more time to explore our local area.

The USA is similar to the UK in many ways, which in turn makes a lot of people steer clear of visiting. Why fly so far just to be around people speaking the same language and living in a similar way?

I recently read a post from an American man who visited the UK (I will add a link to the post at the bottom) who wrote a list of all things he found strange in Britain.

Well, I think he may not realise that the USA has some pretty weird things going on to…

  1. There is no privacy in their public toilets. The door begins where the toilet bowl starts.
  2. In the South, they eat Catfish.
  3. They don’t drink tea unless it is iced and has a mountain of sugar added.
  4. A small coffee is a large, a medium is an extra large and a large is the size of a small bucket. (fine by me, I love coffee)
  5. There is no normal bottled water, all of it is added with weird things to make it taste better.
  6. There is tax, so whatever you see on the price tag, is not actually the price.
  7. They have aisles upon aisles dedicated to cereal, most of which is fluorescent coloured.
  8. They do not like to queue.
  9. They believe that they do everything the best, and the rest of the World does it weird (they might be right).
  10. A biscuit is a savoury scone and they eat it with gravy.
  11. Gravy is white and tastes different, different but good.
  12. You ask them to do a British accent and they will either sound cockney or like the Queen.
  13. Tipping is mandatory and confusing.
  14. They have nearly 50,000 fast food restaurant chains.
  15. They have dry states (where you can’t buy alcohol).
  16. You can turn right on a red light.
  17. They have the American flag EVERYWHERE.
  18. TV commercials for medication will usually end in saying ‘Side effects, can cause death’.
  19. I don’t think they really know what real, not plastic cheese is.
  20. They add sugar to everything, including bread. All bread is like cake.
  21. They are backwards on card payments, they have no idea about chip and pin.
  22. Their freeways (motorways) can have 9 lanes or more.
  23. They have weird light switches, flick up for on and down for off.
  24. Some believe that who ever has the most toys when they die, wins.
  25. They have HUGE fridges.
  26. They serve ale freezing cold and sometimes it’s fizzy.
  27. It is rare to see a kettle in someone’s house.
  28. The cities are built around roads. Cars have priority over pedestrians.
  29. It can take up to 10 minutes to cross a road.
  30. They have a weird measuring system that I’m not sure any one else understands.
  31. Cannabis is legal in some states and can be bought in vending machines.
  32. You can lawfully buy a gun at 18 but you can’t drink alcohol for another 3 years.
  33. Make sure you buy a cork screw as I’m not sure they’ve invented screw tops yet in America.
  34. If you ask them how their day is, they don’t just say ‘good thank you’ they will actually say how their day is, even if it’s been sh*t.
  35. Most of them just watch the Superbowl for the adverts.
  36. In fall, everything is pumpkin flavoured.
  37. Beer pong is more of a sport than a game. It has a lot more rules than just getting it in to the oppositions cup.
  38. People still leave their houses is snow storms and can still buy groceries without getting in to a panic.
  39. You can drive over 2000 miles and still be in the same state.
  40. They call jam, jelly.
  41. You can buy anything at Walmart. You could buy milk and a shotgun at the same time.
  42.  They have drive through everything. Pharmacies, liqueur stores, funeral parlours and weddings just to name a few.


Can you think of any more?

Here is a link of the list I was inspired by – Buzzfeed: This American Was Shocked When His Facebook Post About England Went Viral

2 Replies to “42 Things Americans Do That I Just Don’t Understand”

  1. As an American (currently in London), I think many of these are true, in some cases, in some states. The U.S. is a very big and diverse country. The UK smaller than my home state of California. But don’t worry, I can see the humor in this type of list.

  2. Hi Michele!

    Glad you can see the humour in it. It’s all just a little fun. It’s just some stuff I’ve noticed from my two 3 month trips that I’ve taken to the states within a year. I know it doesn’t apply to all states and all people.

    Global Mimi

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