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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 (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-13 12:40:26 AM
Some observations I had of Europe in the 90's:

Couldn't find non-carbonated bottled water anywhere. All bottled water was carbonated.

No public drinking fountains in museums or other public places.

Go to a restaurant and they would place a single small ice cube in your water or soft drink.

Bought a meal from a street vendor who refused to give me more then 1 single small paper napkin.

Wild cuts of pork and beef I never saw before. What do we do with all the scapulas of pigs here in the states? Seeing animals in various stages of slaughter hung upside down after being skinned, seeing brains and tripe etc.

Almost daily saw some troop of protestors marching down the street.

Met a very friendly girl in a museum who could carry on a conversation in English. We talked for a while and she was helpful. She wasn't Spanish and I was in Spain. I asked what country she was from and she refused to tell me stating she was embarrassed thought that was odd.
 
2013-11-13 12:40:35 AM

trippdogg: 1.  People don't really care where your money came from - as long as you're rich and not currently involved in a high speed chase


Kind of true.  Old money is still old money.

2.  People actually watch reality TV series


American Idol versions exist in 46 different countries.  Dozens of Big Brother versions, too.

3.  What passes for culture is based entirely on the spending habits of 15 year old girls

Japan is *way* worse than we are on this one.

4.  Most women dress like whores - even those who have little or no claim to the title

Yawn.

5.  It important to have as big a house as possible - it saves trips to Goodwill

I was going to quibble a bit, then I remembered helping the BF's mom move out of her house - I hit the limit on what Purple Heart would pick up (20 boxes or bags, and I used *big* boxes and bags).  And this wasn't a big house.  Lots and lots of clothes with the tags still on, and all of it from two people (BF's mom and sister).  Good times.

6.  You definitely need an SUV - you never know when you might take the wrong off-ramp and end up on top of Pikes Peak

Canyonero... (yah!) Canyonero!

7.  In America, architecture isn't an art - it's an affliction

Eh.

...and don't even get me started on Canada

THEIR MILK COMES IN BAGS.

/BAGS
 
2013-11-13 12:40:59 AM

Cyclometh: 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

Indeed. It's pretty interesting to see your own country through a foreign lens.


It really is.  I'm actually kind of proud to see so many people talking about how "nice" Americans are.  I don't mind being part of a nation of eccentric nut jobs, as long as we are not asshats.  But it does seem that pretty much of those stories rang true.  Of course your milage may vary, because as so many of them pointer out, the US is faking *huge* and a year in Mobile, AL is going to be a lot different than a year in NYC.

But it's always interesting to see how *we* look from the honest perspective of someone with no axe to grind nor any predisposition to play favorites.
 
2013-11-13 12:41:12 AM
I gotta chime in on the portion size thing.

I've made a couple of trips to the States recently, and sweet merciful farkmonkeys do you people overeat.  I ordered a medium drink at a fast food place at the airport, and they gave me something larger than the largest Big Gulp 7-11 sells up here in Canada.  I nursed that thing for hours.

I don't wanna know how big the extra large was.  I'd probably still be drinking it today.
 
2013-11-13 12:43:16 AM
And in Nice it was 76 degrees outside and men were wearing sport coats on top of sweaters outdoors.
 
2013-11-13 12:44:02 AM

CygnusDarius: GRCooper: CygnusDarius: As a Mexican, I have two obvious disadvantages: One, being brown-skinned, and second, my closest neighbor is Arizona. That being said, however, there's only been two or three times I've faced actual discrimination, but all in all, it has been either good, or initially hesitant, but switched off to good (maybe because my tendency in the US is to speak English in first, ask questions later).

However, it's been a while since I've been in the US (four or five years), so I don't know how are things.

I like Mexicans. The ones I've dealt with are usually very friendly and have a very high work ethic.

Other Latin Americans, though, seem to all hate, really *hate* Mexicans. Have you noticed that?

Yeah, this is a vibe I've gotten, since I've worked with Colombian and Peruvian clients back in my office days. The general consensus is that the rest of South America hates us is because:

1.- We're obnoxiously proud for no reason.
2.- Americans think that all other South American countries are similar to Mexico.

I've a few friends that have been in SA, and the say it's not really true, but, then again, there is a minority of Mexican-Americans that seem to hate the rest of us that live in Mexico.


I worked with a guy from mexico city.
However he insisted he was castillian. Would get pissy when you pronounced the z in his name as a z. Wanted it pronounced the Spanish way of th.

Hated going to lunch with him cause he treated the Latino staff like shiat.

Kinda weird guy.

\csb
 
2013-11-13 12:44:18 AM
Expensive health care system. Fear of "socialism". Obese people on hover-rounds. Heavy on theocracy. Pretend friendliness.

These foreigners sound like they've spent too much time in Tea Party land...
 
2013-11-13 12:44:25 AM

trippdogg: 1.  People don't really care where your money came from - as long as you're rich and not currently involved in a high speed chase
2.  People actually watch reality TV series
3.  What passes for culture is based entirely on the spending habits of 15 year old girls
4.  Most women dress like whores - even those who have little or no claim to the title
5.  It important to have as big a house as possible - it saves trips to Goodwill
6.  You definitely need an SUV - you never know when you might take the wrong off-ramp and end up on top of Pikes Peak
7.  In America, architecture isn't an art - it's an affliction

...and don't even get me started on Canada


Lemme correct you in #7. Americans got a good chunk of the Bauhaus Architects, not to mention the local architects that pushed modern Architecture a little bit further.
 
2013-11-13 12:44:59 AM
They are right about tipping. When I was a kid I worked as a server. I can understand why you tip your waiter and bartender. But come on. I just paid you 15 bucks to cut my hair. And now you want a tip? All you did was park my car. And you got paid to do it. You want a tip? You are a maid in a hotel. Your job is to clean. Unless I had some crazy rock and roll style party. You want a tip?
 
2013-11-13 12:46:22 AM
kombi:

Chocolate does suck here. But we are used to it and like it. Thats one of our cultural things.

Uh, speak for yourself buddy. I guess you've never been to Europe. One trip to any grocery store there and when you come back stateside you'll be disgusted with American chocolate. Yes, their shiate really IS that much better!
 
2013-11-13 12:46:42 AM

tripleseven: I worked with a guy from mexico city.
However he insisted he was castillian. Would get pissy when you pronounced the z in his name as a z. Wanted it pronounced the Spanish way of th.

Hated going to lunch with him cause he treated the Latino staff like shiat.

Kinda weird guy.

\csb


Perhaps he was a Spaniard that was working in Mexico City. There's lots of Spaniards in the same situation down there, but most are nice, or at leas decent enough to hide any sort of animosity.
 
2013-11-13 12:47:28 AM

ecmoRandomNumbers: I took a big bottle of Dr. Pepper and a bottle of A&W root beer to some friends in Santiago. The look on their faces when they tasted it was awesome.


My girlfriend is from China and says that root beer tastes like traditional Chinese medicine.
 
2013-11-13 12:48:12 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.  Also, we should really have some documentation for newcomers on our tipping etiquette.



There are guides to tipping, some of which are written specifically for visitors to the USA.  There are even smartphone apps and whatnot now.


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.

The best Mexican food I ever had was in Chile.  The best pizza I ever had was in Nepal.  The worst Mexican I ever had was in Korea and the worst Italian I ever had was in Japan.  I'm not sure what the pattern is.

Also, to comment on something in the article, what Triya Bhattacharya  (the second person quoted) said about McDonald's rang true.  I have this quirk where I try to eat at a McDonald's in any country I visit.  Yes, of course it's better to eat local cuisine in general, but if you're going to be there a long time you get a hankering for American food occasionally.  Anyway, for whatever reason the quality of food at a McDonald's in the USA is much, much lower than at any McDonald's outside the USA (at least in my personal experience).
 
2013-11-13 12:48:30 AM

kombi: mr0x: 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.

Nah, who are we kidding with these overly complicated analysis?

Why would someone want to befriend a foreigner who has limited resources and skills? An American would get nothing out of befriending a foreigner.

If the foreigner had mad skillz or lots of money, then that's another story.

The foreigners just haven't adjusted to their social rank yet. They may have been top dog in their country that would have been very beneficial to befriend, but in America they have to start at the bottom of the ladder.

Of course, western Europe immigrants have the least disadvantage, then eastern Europe and then the third worlders.

I think thats what we dont understand here. Now this is going to bug people but we really dont have a class system like they do in other countries. They really do. You are born poor. You stay poor. You dont go to school. Your dad pounds rock on the road you do too. Its difficult go get out of your class in alot of countries. You where born in the slums. You die in the slums.


We don't have a class system here? Hahaha yeah right.
 
2013-11-13 12:48:33 AM
Maraschino cherries.

Take cherries, pit them, soak them in lye until they are as white as an Emo, then dye them bright red or green (or yellow or blue if you wish) and add enough "cherry" flavor to kill that giant Kool-Aid Jug that used to crash through walls and save people from thirst.

It's hard to believe this was invented in Eastern Europe and not America.

How did you miss that one? It should have been invented in Alabama or possibly by a crazed farmer's wife in Minnesotta. You was robbed!
 
2013-11-13 12:48:49 AM
I found the cookie cutter architecture comment interesting. Europe seems to preserve their architecture, and each areas unique feel. We tear stuff down after a few years and put up things that are cheaper and uglier. No sense of preserving history here.

Then again, maybe that's because we keep building our houses out of wood - like someone pointed out.
 
2013-11-13 12:49:21 AM

Bondith: I gotta chime in on the portion size thing.

I've made a couple of trips to the States recently, and sweet merciful farkmonkeys do you people overeat.  I ordered a medium drink at a fast food place at the airport, and they gave me something larger than the largest Big Gulp 7-11 sells up here in Canada.  I nursed that thing for hours.

I don't wanna know how big the extra large was.  I'd probably still be drinking it today.


Yup. Recently hosted some relatives from Norway. Took them out to dine at one of the big chains (Applebee's, or some such -- their idea, not mine.) Yeah, they were pretty much astounded/horrified by the portion sizes.

/But, then again, they ate their hamburgers with a fork and knife...in public...so, it's a tossup on who's the real monster, here.
 
2013-11-13 12:50:26 AM

The Voice of Doom: 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?

CSB:
Here in Germany nobody knew when our high school's $whateverSports team played matches against other schools.
Being on a school team was just a random extra curricular activity like singing in the choir or participating in the chess or theater club.

When we made it to something like the final tournament for the state soccer championship, the only people outside the team who knew about it were close friends who wondered why we weren't in school for two days.
One time for a district qualifier play-off, my teacher and some other students were pissed because a couple of us got permission to skip the last 45-minute period of the day so that we could make it to the pitch just in time for kick-off.
I think once in seven years the student paper actually mentioned a game: the graduating class was playing against the teachers for fun and someone in their year who was on the newspaper team wrote a mocking paragraph about it.

To translate this for Americans: being quarterback of your high school's football team is something to get teased about and could get you labeled as the biggest dork in school..that is, if anyone outside the team ever found out about it AND cared enough.


I mentioned it in another post, but I think the reason for this is that your young people who are actually good at sports are on the academy teams rather than school teams.  America does not have the equivalent to your academies.
 
2013-11-13 12:52:05 AM

drumhellar: The[y] couldn't believe that we like Root Beer.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 250x236]
It's so bubbly and cloying, and happy...


Just like America. But you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
 
2013-11-13 12:52:29 AM

CygnusDarius: tripleseven: I worked with a guy from mexico city.
However he insisted he was castillian. Would get pissy when you pronounced the z in his name as a z. Wanted it pronounced the Spanish way of th.

Hated going to lunch with him cause he treated the Latino staff like shiat.

Kinda weird guy.

\csb

Perhaps he was a Spaniard that was working in Mexico City. There's lots of Spaniards in the same situation down there, but most are nice, or at leas decent enough to hide any sort of animosity.


Oh no. He was born and raised Mexican. Seemed to consider the non Spanish Mexicans "natives" or something. Not sure how long his roots were in mexico but he was definitely born there.

God forbid a Mexican bus person serviced our table. It was painful.
 
2013-11-13 12:53:51 AM
Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two. Some things do taste different here. We dont eat that bitter chocolate like in other countries. We just like it different. Here its cheaper to make coke with syrup and not sugar. And yes the sugar coke tastes better.
 
2013-11-13 12:54:11 AM

Triumph: 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.

The rest of the world is hiding the good chocolate on us. It's in drawer where they keep the fancy place mats. Nobody thinks to look there.


Just in general the average American seems to want bad cheese, bad bread, and bad chocolate.  Like with bread and cheese, you can certainly get good chocolate if you want it, but it's considerably more expensive and not that many people seem to mind eating the cheap, bland stuff instead.  What would be considered merely acceptable is labeled "gourmet" in the USA and priced accordingly.  And you may have to go to a special shop to find it.
 
2013-11-13 12:54:22 AM

kombi: They are right about tipping. When I was a kid I worked as a server. I can understand why you tip your waiter and bartender. But come on. I just paid you 15 bucks to cut my hair. And now you want a tip? All you did was park my car. And you got paid to do it. You want a tip? You are a maid in a hotel. Your job is to clean. Unless I had some crazy rock and roll style party. You want a tip?


of that $15, how much do you think she keeps?
valet, maids etc probably make something comparable to wait staff. it would be hard to support a family on that.
obviously it is your right to tip or not.
personally, as an example, if I can't afford to tip the bartender for the overpriced bottle of beer, i should go buy a six pack from the store for the same price.
 
2013-11-13 12:56:20 AM

organizmx: I found the cookie cutter architecture comment interesting. Europe seems to preserve their architecture, and each areas unique feel. We tear stuff down after a few years and put up things that are cheaper and uglier. No sense of preserving history here.

Then again, maybe that's because we keep building our houses out of wood - like someone pointed out.


happens to be a very smart thing to do, here in earthquake country.
 
2013-11-13 12:56:38 AM

kombi: I think thats what we dont understand here. Now this is going to bug people but we really dont have a class system like they do in other countries. They really do. You are born poor. You stay poor. You dont go to school. Your dad pounds rock on the road you do too. Its difficult go get out of your class in alot of countries. You where born in the slums. You die in the slums.


Well, the USA does have a pronounced class system, but mobility between classes is slightly better than in some countries (but worse than others). Typically, if your parents have money, you will. If your parents don't, you won't unless you are very lucky.

Another quirk of the USA comes from the difference between social class and economic class. In the USA there is very little, if any, vestiges of social class left. Class here is entirely economic.
 
2013-11-13 12:56:59 AM

tripleseven: God forbid a Mexican bus person serviced our table. It was painful.


I had a client like that in my last days on office. The boss was kind of tired of dealing with his bullshiat because he was stubborn in the materials he wanted to get (we had no problem with the cost, in the end he was willing to pay, the problem was transportation and maintenance).

Needless to say, when I tried to talk to him, he took a patronizing tone. I almost lost my temper.
 
2013-11-13 12:59:46 AM

kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two.


This is highly dependent on where in the USA you are. In flyover country, yea you're right. Pile in the SUV, drive 25 miles to the nearest ultramarket, and drop $500 on groceries you need a forklift to move. In cities where people walk and/or bike to work/shopping, it's more common to go to the grocery store once a day.
 
2013-11-13 12:59:56 AM
Rincewind53:

I've always loved that cover.

I've always loved it, too, because it serves as the best proof there could be that New Yorkers are the most self-absorbed, self-important, ignorant people in the country. They're worse than Texans, by God.
 
2013-11-13 01:00:27 AM

Need_MindBleach: kombi: mr0x: 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.

Nah, who are we kidding with these overly complicated analysis?

Why would someone want to befriend a foreigner who has limited resources and skills? An American would get nothing out of befriending a foreigner.

If the foreigner had mad skillz or lots of money, then that's another story.

The foreigners just haven't adjusted to their social rank yet. They may have been top dog in their country that would have been very beneficial to befriend, but in America they have to start at the bottom of the ladder.

Of course, western Europe immigrants have the least disadvantage, then eastern Europe and then the third worlders.

I think thats what we dont understand here. Now this is going to bug people but we really dont have a class system like they do in other countries. They really do. You are born poor. You stay poor. You dont go to school. Your dad pounds rock on the road you do too. Its difficult go get out of your class in alot of countries. You where born in the slums. You die in the slums.

We don't have a class system here? Hahaha yeah right.


Not like in other countries. Case in point. Someone mentioned Mexico. There are basically (again very basic) peoples in Mexico. The native Indian heritage Mexicans and the Spanish Mexicans. The Spanish hate the Indian Mexicans. They used to peridoicly massicure them on there sother boarder just to clear them out. When you get closer to Mexico City you see that all the wealthy people are Spanish Mexicans. Look at other countries. If you are from some Easter europien countries. You are trash and you will always be.
 
2013-11-13 01:02:56 AM

stiletto_the_wise: kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two.

This is highly dependent on where in the USA you are. In flyover country, yea you're right. Pile in the SUV, drive 25 miles to the nearest ultramarket, and drop $500 on groceries you need a forklift to move. In cities where people walk and/or bike to work/shopping, it's more common to go to the grocery store once a day.


I go to the grocery store once a day, and I don't own a car. But then I'm a pretty lousy American.
 
2013-11-13 01:03:45 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: 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


What you want is Mexican Coke.  And no, not the kind that comes as a white powder.

/Best enjoyed with barbecued iguana, but only if you're in Tijuana listening to the radio.
 
2013-11-13 01:05:42 AM

Fano: thisisyourbrainonFark: Fano:


I call warble, as all the onionkids say with the pumped up kicks,
You better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the onionkids with the pumped up kicks,
You better run, better run, faster than my bolognese.
 
2013-11-13 01:06:17 AM
When I moved from San Francisco to the Chicagoland area I was pretty surprised by the change in portion size as well, and I've lived in various parts of the US my entire life. Of course people here are also bigger than I've encountered in other parts of the country, and I don't just mean more obese, though that's true as well. I'm 6'1". This is the only place where I don't feel tall every day. If I walk two blocks I pass at least a couple of people my height or taller. In California I was a giant.

Many of the things that surprise these people seem somewhat specific to the people they interact with, in a certain lifestyle, and in particular areas. There are a number of things people discuss that I never really come into contact with at all. It's a big, diverse country and people often don't seem to understand just how big it is, though I do understand this is about personal experience and not widespread judgment about our culture.
 
2013-11-13 01:06:32 AM

Popular Opinion: kombi: They are right about tipping. When I was a kid I worked as a server. I can understand why you tip your waiter and bartender. But come on. I just paid you 15 bucks to cut my hair. And now you want a tip? All you did was park my car. And you got paid to do it. You want a tip? You are a maid in a hotel. Your job is to clean. Unless I had some crazy rock and roll style party. You want a tip?

of that $15, how much do you think she keeps?
valet, maids etc probably make something comparable to wait staff. it would be hard to support a family on that.
obviously it is your right to tip or not.
personally, as an example, if I can't afford to tip the bartender for the overpriced bottle of beer, i should go buy a six pack from the store for the same price.


When I go to a bar or restaurant I expect to tip. They are serving me. And that the other thing we have a problem with here in the states. When did a job a a valet become a career? Thats a job some stoner or surfer gets while in school. Part of our problems is alot of jobs out there did not require a college and master degree. Now its like if you want to anything you have to spend 12 years in college just to get your foot in the door. Unfortunatlly the government caused some of it and the private sector just followed.
 
2013-11-13 01:10:42 AM
" Anyway, for whatever reason the quality of food at a McDonald's in the USA is much, much lower than at any McDonald's outside the USA (at least in my personal experience). "

Jesus maccas food is awful in Australia, I'm scared to try it in the US.
 
2013-11-13 01:10:52 AM

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?


Probably.  Koreans call them "handphones" and refuse to believe me when I tell them that's not actually a word in (American) English.

More generally, every country has its own variety of English, even (or maybe especially) ones where English isn't the native language.  Nepalis and Indians in particular will insist that they're speaking British English, and any time they're using a word that an American isn't familiar with, that unfamiliarity is because the word is "British English."  It's much more fun when there's a Brit in the room who can say, "No, it really isn't."
 
2013-11-13 01:12:47 AM

Confabulat: stiletto_the_wise: kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two.

This is highly dependent on where in the USA you are. In flyover country, yea you're right. Pile in the SUV, drive 25 miles to the nearest ultramarket, and drop $500 on groceries you need a forklift to move. In cities where people walk and/or bike to work/shopping, it's more common to go to the grocery store once a day.

I go to the grocery store once a day, and I don't own a car. But then I'm a pretty lousy American.


Yes you are. Thats fine. But most people dont. We buy for the week or two. If I liked in a place like NY or San Fran I would walk to the store every day. But I dont anymore. Its a trade off. Where I live. I get fresh meat and produce most of the year. To give an example. In most of the country, when you buy a bag of potato's they are between aprox 6 months to a year old. When I buy them. There 2 weeks old. The meat I buy is not trucked 1000 miles and sits around for a week before being sold.
 
2013-11-13 01:13:25 AM

ciberido: 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?

Probably.  Koreans call them "handphones" and refuse to believe me when I tell them that's not actually a word in (American) English.


www.distantcreations.com

www.wired.com
/the future is now!
 
2013-11-13 01:13:28 AM
I agree on tge McDonalds. I tried to avoid them as much as possible, but when away from the US you get weird cravings (I NEVER crave McDs here, and very very rarely go). The Big Macs in Europe actually look like the ones in the ads.

Other things I've noticed from travelling;

Germans in Germany are hospitable, warm and friendly - but when they are travelling outaide of Germany they are complete assholes.

Spanish women are very forward, and 'aggressive' sexually. They're wonderful.

Finns are extremely reserved, but friendly once they become comfortable around you.

Most Dutch speak better English than most Americans.

French people hate Parisians and find them as obnoxious as the rest of us do.

I'm 6 feet tall, and I felt short in Scandanavia. Those guys are huge, and the number of stunning women was overwhelming.

/just some thoughts before sleep
 
2013-11-13 01:14:07 AM

kombi: Confabulat: stiletto_the_wise: kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two.

This is highly dependent on where in the USA you are. In flyover country, yea you're right. Pile in the SUV, drive 25 miles to the nearest ultramarket, and drop $500 on groceries you need a forklift to move. In cities where people walk and/or bike to work/shopping, it's more common to go to the grocery store once a day.

I go to the grocery store once a day, and I don't own a car. But then I'm a pretty lousy American.

Yes you are. Thats fine. But most people dont. We buy for the week or two. If I liked in a place like NY or San Fran I would walk to the store every day. But I dont anymore. Its a trade off. Where I live. I get fresh meat and produce most of the year. To give an example. In most of the country, when you buy a bag of potato's they are between aprox 6 months to a year old. When I buy them. There 2 weeks old. The meat I buy is not trucked 1000 miles and sits around for a week before being sold.


It does suck. Other than really trout and salmon, we really dont have any real good fresh fish.
 
2013-11-13 01:15:08 AM

tetsoushima: 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?


Could be either.   It's easy to confuse the two.
 
2013-11-13 01:15:18 AM

kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two. Some things do taste different here. We dont eat that bitter chocolate like in other countries. We just like it different. Here its cheaper to make coke with syrup and not sugar. And yes the sugar coke tastes better.


My mother has a basement and a Costco membership, she can afford to by toilet paper by the pallet.  Mrs. Impotence and I on the other hand, live in a two bedroom apartment.  We shop three times a week because we just don't have the stooge space.

But I still buy Mexican Coke by the case once a month.  Seventeen dollars for twenty-four bottles at Smart and Final.
 
2013-11-13 01:16:26 AM

ciberido: fusillade762: Lionel Mandrake: Fano: 
More generally, every country has its own variety of English, even (or maybe especially) ones where English isn't the native language.  Nepalis and Indians in particular will insist that they're speaking British English, and any time they're using a word that an American isn't familiar with, that unfamiliarity is because the word is "British English."  It's much more fun when there's a Brit in the room who can say, "No, it really isn't."


I know a ton of people from places that speak "British English" who will not miss an opportunity to make fun of you for mispronouncing any words from their first language, but you'd better not dare say anything about their pronunciation or use of English words.
 
2013-11-13 01:17:07 AM

calbert: 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.

is it that obvious?


both documents are good stuff lady.
 
2013-11-13 01:17:50 AM

GRCooper: I agree on tge McDonalds. I tried to avoid them as much as possible, but when away from the US you get weird cravings (I NEVER crave McDs here, and very very rarely go). The Big Macs in Europe actually look like the ones in the ads.

Other things I've noticed from travelling;

Germans in Germany are hospitable, warm and friendly - but when they are travelling outaide of Germany they are complete assholes.

Spanish women are very forward, and 'aggressive' sexually. They're wonderful.

Finns are extremely reserved, but friendly once they become comfortable around you.

Most Dutch speak better English than most Americans.

French people hate Parisians and find them as obnoxious as the rest of us do.

I'm 6 feet tall, and I felt short in Scandanavia. Those guys are huge, and the number of stunning women was overwhelming.

/just some thoughts before sleep


Was just in Berlin in Aug. Found the people there decidedly less friendly than in Munich.

When talking to my german friend about it he laughed and said "dude you were in northern Germany..they're pretty unfriendly."
 
2013-11-13 01:17:57 AM

stiletto_the_wise: kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two.

This is highly dependent on where in the USA you are. In flyover country, yea you're right. Pile in the SUV, drive 25 miles to the nearest ultramarket, and drop $500 on groceries you need a forklift to move. In cities where people walk and/or bike to work/shopping, it's more common to go to the grocery store once a day.


shopping frequency is different for several reasons.
For one thing, the typical refrigerator in the UK (where I lived) is not much bigger than one you'd have in a camper. you can't fit a weeks worth of groceries in there. I think 6-9 cu ft. is normal, compared to the 28.5 cu. ft. samsung in my kitchen.

Secondly, if you walk through small towns daily, you pass by stores, stalls or markets everyday, making it easy to shop more often rather than having to "take a trip to the market".

obviously having larger homes makes it possible to buy in bulk to save money....
 
2013-11-13 01:18:24 AM

Shostie: America is literally HUGE.

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


I've seen this observation in other articles too, and I'm always surprised by it. Now I haven't personally traveled all over the country, but I have looked at maps and globes that show states/countries to scale to each other. Doesn't everyone else learn this in school at some point? I always thought of it as common knowledge, and as I said I'm not traveler or anything.
 
2013-11-13 01:18:48 AM

Confabulat: 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.

If you're so sensitive you get upset when people point out your flaws, the problem is with you, not them.


I always rate people's stupidity by the flaws they pick out.
If they skip "ur fat" I laugh at everything they say.   I'm fat.  Yeah baby!
 
2013-11-13 01:19:02 AM
I went to high school and university abroad, the first in China and the second in the UK. When I came back to the U.S. to work, the first things I noticed were:

1. Obnoxious displays of nationalism everywhere - giant flags at auto dealerships, framed flags at subway stations, fawning deference for the military (our soldiers aren't even conscripted poor bastards anymore).
2. People talking to public bus drivers. STFU and move on already. Talking to strangers in public more generally.
3. Retail banking fees of two kinds: cross-bank ATM fees (nonexistent in the UK) and direct deposit fees (my landlords in DC and NY always wanted checks and refused direct deposit).
4. The price of some staples, like bread and vegetables, is much higher than in the UK (and obviously much higher than in China).

I'm living in a dorm now with a lot of foreigners. One of the things that really surprises them is the extent to which Spanish-speakers are tolerated. The bars around here also hate us because people always forget to tip.

/are you supposed to tip when you go to a restaurant to pick up take-out? No, right?
 
2013-11-13 01:20:30 AM

DrunkWithImpotence: kombi: Also culturally. Here in the USA we shop for the week. We plan our meals ahead. We dont shop for a day or two. Some things do taste different here. We dont eat that bitter chocolate like in other countries. We just like it different. Here its cheaper to make coke with syrup and not sugar. And yes the sugar coke tastes better.

My mother has a basement and a Costco membership, she can afford to by toilet paper by the pallet.  Mrs. Impotence and I on the other hand, live in a two bedroom apartment.  We shop three times a week because we just don't have the stooge space.

But I still buy Mexican Coke by the case once a month.  Seventeen dollars for twenty-four bottles at Smart and Final.


When ever there are discussions like this, thats really what it comes down to. We have space. Lots of space. Lots of unused space. Europe is not quite as big as we think. Its what 1 or 2 day trip by train to almost any ware in Europe. Im not talking Russia but Europe. The only place I would say is close is Australia.
 
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