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(Thought Catalog)   Sixteen non-Americans talk about the things they couldn't or wouldn't believe about America before living there. The common denominator: Serving sizes   (thoughtcatalog.com) divider line 407
    More: Interesting, Americans, serving sizes, Harris Teeter, Guyana, SSI, border checkpoints, Kit Kats, American Foreign Policy  
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21555 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Nov 2013 at 11:12 PM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-12 11:38:19 PM

MemeSlave: Isn't America trolling getting a little old?

"Oh, you're so fat!"
"You guys think you run the world!"
"But capital punishment!"
"Silly President!"

Geez, time to move on.


Did you even read TFA?
 
2013-11-12 11:38:30 PM

Triumph: Americans wouldn't be so fat if the beer and chocolate were as good as in Europe.


Oh, please. I would say that the selection of beer I can get in the liquor stores within a mile of my house rivals or surpasses anything in Europe. The craft beer revolution has paid many, many dividends to the discerning beer drinker. It's a wonderful time to be an American beer snob.
 
2013-11-12 11:39:28 PM
fta I remember going to my American friend's house and being shocked that people in real life actually ate dessert.

What? How are you going to max out your cholesterol without a pecan pie or peach cobbler chaser?
 
2013-11-12 11:41:21 PM
Isn't AMERICA GREAT?  The whole world knows it. Yes yes yes!!!!!
 
2013-11-12 11:41:22 PM
America sounds fat.
 
2013-11-12 11:41:56 PM

DamnYankees: The other one, which is also an inverse of one mentioned in the article, is the observation that the types of food we eat in the US is very narrow. If you go to a restaurant, you will pretty much only have beef, pork, chicken or a few basic fishes, and none of which will ever come with bones (or, god forbid, whole). This is a very US-thing, I think.


Eh... except, you know, we're a nation of immigrants (and Native Americans).  I'm in a medium sized city and I could get multiple kinds of fish, boned meat, duck, lamb, etc... well, I could have a few hours ago, it's still not a very big city.

Serving sizes / cars / house size though, *definitely*.

And f--k, I'm born and raised American and maybe because going out to eat happened once a week growing up (with grandma!) but serving sizes here are still too damn big for me.  I'm honestly hard-pressed to think of the last time I ate an entire portion by myself at a restaurant.

God Is My Co-Pirate: You have TVs on everywhere, building lobbies, restaurants, taxis.  Your portion sizes are ridiculous.  You're friendly to strangers. Your beer is better than its reputation, but your chocolate is shiate.


... oh, come on, you're Canadian!
 
2013-11-12 11:42:43 PM
1. The Coke is terrible
2. Wonderful roads and parking lots
3. Yeah, okay, fat people and huge portions
4. Huge stores/selection of goods, everything is in season always
5. Ethnic diversity
6. Cheap gas (and many other things)
7. Tipping
8. Free speech, angry politics, propaganda
9. Isolated cookie-cutter suburbs and McMansion cocoons
10. Many 4-way stops, virtually no roundabouts
11. Seriously, Coke should have sugar in it
 
2013-11-12 11:44:10 PM
This was an interesting discussion on quora a couple weeks back.

One great point, corroborated by my wife, was that Americans are superficially friendly and overshare everything. In the course of an elevator ride an American woman might talk about her abortion and the particulars of how her marriage failed. The sorts of things you might confide only in a close friend about. This often leads foreigners to think that they have instantly made a friend for life. This can lead to disappointment when they find out that we would share that stuff with just anybody.
 
2013-11-12 11:44:21 PM
What is most interesting is the responses people have based on the area of the US they visited. as a new yorker, i laughed out loud about the person who said there was no jay walking because they didnt see it in Seattle.
 
2013-11-12 11:47:02 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: flucto: Interesting. Even moving back to the US after a couple of years triggers some of these observations. Wait, I can buy milk, on Sunday, at 9pm, in 200 places? In gallons? For $3??? And the cashier is nice? And wishes me a blessed day? WHATTHEIDONTEVEN

I was gone for two years. When I came back, I couldn't believe people could drink 32 oz. of soda. And OMG! 44 oz! Then I saw somebody carrying around a literal plastic bucket from AM/PM (with an actual handle to carry it.) In Chile, we'd buy a 1-liter bottle of Coca-Cola as a treat to go with dinner, which was for everybody -- small glass, no ice.

It doesn't shock me any more as much as make me facepalm.


Dude, my roomate guzzles 2 liter bottles.
I biatched him out about it, that there's a goddamned correlation between pounding soda straight from the bottle while sitting on his ass watching TV and the fact that he's too fat for his knees to support him...
Yeah you can guess how that conversation ended.
 
2013-11-12 11:47:45 PM

Cyclometh: If this thread goes green, I predict a larger than average percentage of sparkly eagles.


i838.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-12 11:48:00 PM

LemSkroob: What is most interesting is the responses people have based on the area of the US they visited. as a new yorker, i laughed out loud about the person who said there was no jay walking because they didnt see it in Seattle.


Heh. I live in the Seattle area and laughed at that too. In my experience the West Coast has a lot less, but the streets tend to be wider. In Manhattan I could dart across those alleys that pass for streets easily, and avoid the traffic. Not so much in Seattle; I'd get smucked like a grape.
 
2013-11-12 11:48:08 PM
D'oh! I should have noticed that this link was taken from Quora, and I used #8 in my last post.
 
2013-11-12 11:48:50 PM
fta Majority of high and middle schools have sport facilities of very high, almost professional quality.

Didn't go to a college game, huh?
 
2013-11-12 11:49:11 PM
Credit Score WTF - The credit system in America will create a numerical value (credit score) to asses everyone's financial fitness. No one know how the score is calculated but you need that to get a loan... or two... or three... and beyond.
However, in order to get a credit score, you need to get a loan e.g car financing. In order to get a loan... well... you need a credit score (notice the circular reference). Your credit score can also be created by using credit card. You just need a credit score to apply for a credit card.



Hear, hear.

A lot of people really think a constitution written hundreds of years ago provides written guidance to any issue the nation might be faced with. Then again, a large subset of the same group believes that a book written 2000 years ago provides answers to all problems in life

Ohsnap.jpg

 
2013-11-12 11:49:41 PM

Fano: This was an interesting discussion on quora a couple weeks back.

One great point, corroborated by my wife, was that Americans are superficially friendly and overshare everything. In the course of an elevator ride an American woman might talk about her abortion and the particulars of how her marriage failed. The sorts of things you might confide only in a close friend about. This often leads foreigners to think that they have instantly made a friend for life. This can lead to disappointment when they find out that we would share that stuff with just anybody.


You really think that's a great point of emphasis that emphatically demonstrates Americans? Lol!

Also, here's some oversharing of Americana

cdn01.dailycaller.com
 
2013-11-12 11:50:15 PM

RINO: Cyclometh: If this thread goes green, I predict a larger than average percentage of sparkly eagles.

[i838.photobucket.com image 285x171]


THAT IS GLORIOUS
 
2013-11-12 11:51:15 PM

RINO: Cyclometh: If this thread goes green, I predict a larger than average percentage of sparkly eagles.

[i838.photobucket.com image 285x171]


*golfclap.jpg*
 
2013-11-12 11:51:21 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Fano: My Indian wife would agree with all the points the first two made.

Except. What is an EMI?

I don't know...but there's an unlimited supply.


From the context it seemed like they were referring to smartphones. Electronic Mobile Instrument?
 
2013-11-12 11:52:38 PM

fusillade762: Lionel Mandrake: Fano: My Indian wife would agree with all the points the first two made.

Except. What is an EMI?

I don't know...but there's an unlimited supply.

From the context it seemed like they were referring to smartphones. Electronic Mobile Instrument?


Vibrators?
 
2013-11-12 11:52:52 PM

gunslinger_RG: Also, 100% of all the Germans I entertained for work, were fanatical about Mexican food.  They loved it!  I thought that if someone opened a true Mexican restaurant in Germany that there would be a constant line around the block.


I have thought about this, and I have two friends that teach German, so there's a good chance :).
 
2013-11-12 11:54:32 PM

fusillade762: Lionel Mandrake: Fano: My Indian wife would agree with all the points the first two made.

Except. What is an EMI?

I don't know...but there's an unlimited supply.

From the context it seemed like they were referring to smartphones. Electronic Mobile Instrument?



Monthly payment plans. Amortization. Paying down principal and interest in regular installments.
 
2013-11-12 11:54:59 PM
j had friends from wales visit me (I lived overseas for a few years)...
the funniest thing i remember is how 1) they wanted to go to Taco Bell, and 2) they filled their purses with hot sauce and ketchup packets.
when i lived over there, they charged 5p for a packet of ketchup, even if you bought an entire meal and fries.
 
2013-11-12 11:55:29 PM

theorellior: Triumph: Americans wouldn't be so fat if the beer and chocolate were as good as in Europe.

Oh, please. I would say that the selection of beer I can get in the liquor stores within a mile of my house rivals or surpasses anything in Europe. The craft beer revolution has paid many, many dividends to the discerning beer drinker. It's a wonderful time to be an American beer snob.


If you're talking about the liquor store down the street from my house, yeah. If you're talking about the one 3 blocks from my dad's house in Phoenix, they've got one product from one halfway decent local brewery, and everything else is farkin' Crudweiser and Coors.
 
2013-11-12 11:56:26 PM

JasonOfOrillia: urger: Triumph: People don't really care about the FIFA World Cup even though USA qualifies.

What is this "World Cup" you speak of?

It's the Stanley Cup of pretending to get hurt and flopping around on the ground

Don't be harsh.  It's the Stanley Cup of foot hockey.


Lacross?
 
2013-11-12 11:56:46 PM
My grandmother, who grew up poor in Ireland and moved to this country over fifty years ago, is incapable of going to a restaurant without being absolutely horrified at the sheer quantity of food on everyone's plate.  When I was younger I thought it was a ridiculous old person thing, as I got older I started thinking she had a point.
 
2013-11-12 11:57:06 PM

theorellior: Triumph: Americans wouldn't be so fat if the beer and chocolate were as good as in Europe.

Oh, please. I would say that the selection of beer I can get in the liquor stores within a mile of my house rivals or surpasses anything in Europe. The craft beer revolution has paid many, many dividends to the discerning beer drinker. It's a wonderful time to be an American beer snob.


I guess my sarcasm wasn't biting enough for you.
 
2013-11-12 11:57:21 PM
Having made several trips to the US over the years, the things I noticed most; BBQ, cheesecake, tipping ??! and on my last trip, I was introduced to the evil that is an A&W Root Beer float. A humongous great cup filled 3/4 with root beer and topped with ice cream. The bastards!! I am suffering withdrawals. I do quite like Dr Pepper (luckily I can get that one here at $2 a can when I need a reminder of times past)  You will struggle to go hungry in the US, its just not all that healthy...
 
2013-11-12 11:57:41 PM

fusillade762: Our cars and houses are ridiculous in size.


There's some house-hunter reality TV show on Discovery or Travel or whatever and they took some Americans to the UK to house-hunt.  It was pretty hilarious because the Americans were looking for a flat about 30 times as large as whatever the realtor was showing them.
 
2013-11-12 11:58:14 PM

LemSkroob: What is most interesting is the responses people have based on the area of the US they visited. as a new yorker, i laughed out loud about the person who said there was no jay walking because they didnt see it in Seattle.


A while back, there was a police crackdown on jaywalkers in Seattle, because statistically you were 4x's more likely to be killed crossing against the light, than you were by a shooting in the downtown.

/that was before the police got all gun happy on the populous.
 
2013-11-12 11:59:33 PM

Notabunny: fta Majority of high and middle schools have sport facilities of very high, almost professional quality.

Didn't go to a college game, huh?


I think colleges as being the equivalent of the 2nd division for the BCS teams and down the professional pyramid some more for the basketball cinderellas and down some more to the non-scholarship divisions.  The middle and high school thing is completely different because the top sports players especially in Europe go to special academies associated with the pro team rather than have pro style facilities in the regular schools.
 
2013-11-13 12:01:11 AM

Erik_Emune: Completely bizarre to this Dane. The idea of an employer going through the rigamarole of printing checks rather than get a bank account number and doing direct transfer is positively 1950s.


As an American, I'm surprised checks came up at all.  About the only time I see a check is for large transfers:  buying a car, renovating the kitchen, etc.  Everything else is direct debit/deposit or credit card.  I'm honestly curious where these folks are coming across checks so often that it would make an impression.
 
2013-11-13 12:01:59 AM
"Wall-to-wall carpeting. The absolutely needless luxury is both profoundly wasteful and absurd. Not to mention hard to clean."

Well you don't really need to clean a dirt floor, so I guess they have a point about cleaning, but really carpeting is pretty much the same price as wood or ceramic tile flooring and I think vacuuming is way easier than mopping. I guess they think we should just walk around on the bare cement or wood subfloor.
 
2013-11-13 12:02:17 AM

Shostie: America is literally HUGE.

I think a lot of Americans don't quite comprehend how massive this country really is.


A few months ago I had a long-time friend fly in from Denmark to stay with me for a week.  He had already planned out an itinerary for all the places he wanted to drive to...

Mon he arrived in Ft Lauderdale.
Tues he thought it would be fun to drive to Washington DC.
Weds we're going to see the arch in St Louis
Thurs let's hike the Grand Canyon in the morning and then go to Disneyland in the afternoon
Fri drive back to FL
etc.
 
2013-11-13 12:02:38 AM
I'm a New Zealander who has spent a grand total of two weeks in the United States. In 2011 I was sent to a conference in Milwaukee and I extended the trip with a week's holiday in Chicago. I was there when Osama bin Laden was killed. Which was interesting. Had I just stuck with websites or CNN, I would have thought there would be general rejoicing in the streets, but being there people just took it in their stride.

Other things that stood out - cops carrying guns. Outside of airports the police don't carry firearms in NZ. Seeing police with guns to me means I should not be in the area as something dangerous might happen. Deference to the military is a big thing. In the Milwaukee train station I thought it was nice to see a middle age guy go up to an older gent in a VFW cap and thank him for his service. I saw similar scenes with servicemen in uniform at airports.

I didn't think the TSA was as big a deal as I had been led to believe. Security checkpoints were no more a hassle than they were in NZ.

Tipping isn't a custom here, but it wasn't such a big deal to factor it in as compared to NZ food is inexpensive. The US does need improvement in its fruit and vegetables. I couldn't find a single flavoursome tomato in the whole trip. Processed food was too sweet - I was surprised to find even the bread was sweetened. And portion sizes really are very big.

Every interaction with a shop clerk or people at the conference or in general left me with a positive impression of Americans as a welcoming and warm-hearted people. But then I do have the advantage of being a white male English speaker. I was also impressed by the confidence of Americans. We generally are quite reticent in my country.
 
2013-11-13 12:03:42 AM
Buffets.  "No, really, they just charge you to enter."
 
2013-11-13 12:03:50 AM

gunslinger_RG: I have worked with a lot of people from around the world and everyone is astonished the first time they order a large soda at one of the fast food chains.


15/20 years ago, what used to be called a large drink then is now called a small. If you want a medium, it's called "child size". Small is gone. It's gotten so I always order the smallest size of anything because every other size is ridiculous. And some of them require the cashiers to encourage you to order the larger sizes. So this bloated size thing is somewhat recent. I do not know what drives their dicking with the sizes.
 
2013-11-13 12:03:50 AM

Starshines: SlothB77: Shostie: I think a lot of Americans don't quite comprehend how massive this country really is.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x409]

half the country is 9th Ave and 10th ave, then Jersey, a couple rocks, some brown dirt, Pacific Ocean.

Actually, the overwhelming majority of the country is behind the viewer.


In Queens?
 
2013-11-13 12:03:56 AM

Ishidan: Dude, my roomate guzzles 2 liter bottles.
I biatched him out about it, that there's a goddamned correlation between pounding soda straight from the bottle while sitting on his ass watching TV and the fact that he's too fat for his knees to support him...
Yeah you can guess how that conversation ended.


With a diabetic coma?
 
2013-11-13 12:04:45 AM
I do remember a Nigerian friend expounding on this by asking me, "If I woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you to come with me, what would you say?"
"I'd ask what was going on..."
"You see," he said. "My friends from my village would come with me, and on the way would ask, 'Ade, where are we going?'"
 
2013-11-13 12:05:50 AM

ecmoRandomNumbers: Then I saw somebody carrying around a literal plastic bucket from AM/PM (with an actual handle to carry it.)


7-11 had those when I was in high school - called the "Family Fun Gulp" IIRC.
 
2013-11-13 12:06:42 AM

Fish in a Barrel: Erik_Emune: Completely bizarre to this Dane. The idea of an employer going through the rigamarole of printing checks rather than get a bank account number and doing direct transfer is positively 1950s.

As an American, I'm surprised checks came up at all.  About the only time I see a check is for large transfers:  buying a car, renovating the kitchen, etc.  Everything else is direct debit/deposit or credit card.  I'm honestly curious where these folks are coming across checks so often that it would make an impression.


Money transfers done at a bank are normaly a paper check sent by mail for a small fee instead of the huge charge for western union or money gram. Had this come up a few times with my college friend from India who would not figure out why the instant transfer was 30 bucks but haveing the bank send a paper check only cost 1

/I blame it on bank of Americas fark you that's why policy
 
2013-11-13 12:07:35 AM

Roman Fyseek: fusillade762: Our cars and houses are ridiculous in size.

There's some house-hunter reality TV show on Discovery or Travel or whatever and they took some Americans to the UK to house-hunt.  It was pretty hilarious because the Americans were looking for a flat about 30 times as large as whatever the realtor was showing them.


That was the only part I didn't like when I lived over there. The first house we lived in, the master bedroom was barely big enough for a full size bed, with it shoved up tight against one wall, there was about two foot of space on the other side and the end. Also they never heard of a damn closet! This wasn't even an old house, it was only a year old when we moved in.
 
2013-11-13 12:08:37 AM

ReapTheChaos: "Wall-to-wall carpeting. The absolutely needless luxury is both profoundly wasteful and absurd. Not to mention hard to clean."

Well you don't really need to clean a dirt floor, so I guess they have a point about cleaning, but really carpeting is pretty much the same price as wood or ceramic tile flooring and I think vacuuming is way easier than mopping. I guess they think we should just walk around on the bare cement or wood subfloor.



I'll take tile over carpet any day. If you spill something there's no stains to worry about, it's cooler on the feet, and if you sweep up semi-regularly you rarely need to mop.
 
2013-11-13 12:09:54 AM

9Speed: Shostie: America is literally HUGE.

I think a lot of Americans don't quite comprehend how massive this country really is.

A few months ago I had a long-time friend fly in from Denmark to stay with me for a week.  He had already planned out an itinerary for all the places he wanted to drive to...

Mon he arrived in Ft Lauderdale.
Tues he thought it would be fun to drive to Washington DC.
Weds we're going to see the arch in St Louis
Thurs let's hike the Grand Canyon in the morning and then go to Disneyland in the afternoon
Fri drive back to FL
etc.


Your friend should just go to California. Pearl Harbor's there, also Texas.
 
2013-11-13 12:09:58 AM
I'm surprised the list wasn't filled with things like "They wipe their ass with soft tissue and flush it into some sort of pipe system!" and "Their buildings don't collapse during light thunderstorms!"
 
2013-11-13 12:10:00 AM

thisispete: I'm a New Zealander who has spent a grand total of two weeks in the United States. In 2011 I was sent to a conference in Milwaukee and I extended the trip with a week's holiday in Chicago. I was there when Osama bin Laden was killed. Which was interesting. Had I just stuck with websites or CNN, I would have thought there would be general rejoicing in the streets, but being there people just took it in their stride.


A little bit off-topic, but I don't care.

As a Mexican... I hope New Zealand wins this next soccer match. Our country doesn't deserve to enter the World Cup, and we as a nation should be concerned with more pressing matters than sports.

Now, back on topic... The one thing that surprises me about Americans is their sheer love of huge drinking cups, although the term 'cup' should not be applied; bucket fits the description far better.
 
2013-11-13 12:10:27 AM
faircitynews.com
 
2013-11-13 12:10:32 AM

Fish in a Barrel: Erik_Emune: Completely bizarre to this Dane. The idea of an employer going through the rigamarole of printing checks rather than get a bank account number and doing direct transfer is positively 1950s.

As an American, I'm surprised checks came up at all.  About the only time I see a check is for large transfers:  buying a car, renovating the kitchen, etc.  Everything else is direct debit/deposit or credit card.  I'm honestly curious where these folks are coming across checks so often that it would make an impression.


Same.

I write maybe 1 or 2 checks a year.

I pay my rent by electronic transfer.  I am paid by direct deposit.  I pay all my bills online through electronic transfers.  All this talk about paper checks is kinda strange to me, and I've lived in the USA my entire life.  Paper checks have been fading rapidly from prominence over the last decade or so.

As for the portion sizes, many people I know basically treat those meals as two meals, you eat one and then take the other home later.  One person in TFA noted how easy it was to get things taken home from restaurants.  The two go together like that.
 
2013-11-13 12:10:50 AM
I used to host international students. EVERY ONE of them believed that Americans NEVER locked their cars because in every American movie and TV show the car doors are never locked, Also they were all amazed at how huge the country is Even the Distance from Delaware to New York city surprised them.
 
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