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(Some Guy)   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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21550 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Nov 2013 at 11:12 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-13 05:34:47 AM
I'm surprised the ladies didn't mention our huge American cocks and our incredible sexual fortitude.
 
2013-11-13 05:53:18 AM
I'm an American and I went to Windsor, Canada when I was 20 to drink and smoke weed and gamble at the casino and go to strip clubs. Canadians seemed to be a lot like Americans. There was a store that sold weed called Harvest Moon. It was a lot nicer than Detroit across the river. Cigarettes had pictures of lung cancer. At the time 80 American cents got you a Canadian dollar and you didn't need a passport. It isn't like that now.
 
2013-11-13 06:03:58 AM
I agree with many of those. Particularly the chocolate. American chocolate is not good. At all. Also the amount of obesity. The reality of just how much of the population is fat is a stark contrast to what's portrayed on TV and in films. The tipping thing is, for a foreigner, a complete pain in the arse. As pointed out in the article , tipping for things like haircuts or driving a cab seems ridiculous to us. The upshot is that service is, on the whole, better in the US than a lot of other places... Provided you understand how the tipping works and get it right.
 
2013-11-13 06:36:32 AM
I work for a large tech company so there are a lot of Indians there. A few things about them baffle me.

1. Their complete lack of appreciation of "Personal Space". Even if it's just me and one Indian guy in the elevator, He'll stand so close I'm waiting for him to start grinding on me.

2. The men go to the bathroom in large groups, I don't notice this with the Indian women though. Very odd.
 
2013-11-13 06:47:48 AM

stiletto_the_wise: One thing I didn't see mentioned that I thought I would have: Lines (or queues)

In the USA everyone understands the concept of standing in line for things, and lines are very orderly. There are understood rules about not cutting in line and not pushing or standing too close, etc. And, you will be corrected if you try to jump in front of someone.

In most developing countries I've visited (and I'm looking mostly at you, India), getting service at any counter was always this mad mob pushing and shoving your way to the front. In these mobs, people have no hesitation to get extremely close and physical. Shocking for folks used to orderly lines.


South Korea has something even better, and in typically Korean fashion, it depends on technology: take-a-number.  Paper tickets with digital displays of the number being served, so it's quiet, and seats, so you can sit down while you wait instead of stand in line.  Yes, of course the USA has that, too, but it South Korea it's for EVERYTHING.  Go to the bank?  take a number.  Gonna buy a movie ticket?  Take a number.

It's really much more civilized.
 
2013-11-13 06:49:44 AM

eraser8: ciberido: seelorq: 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.

Does the Chilean Africola label still have a ridiculous witch doctor caricature?

Pfffft.  Africola?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x566]

You should be drinking Inca Cola.

That's actually pee, isn't it?


If your pee looks like that, see a doctor.
 
2013-11-13 06:53:45 AM

The Voice of Doom: But then again, the stereotypical Northern Germans really aren't known for their exuberance and there's also the infamous and proverbial Berliner Schnauze..


We have this nice saying: "Nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt." (Not ranting is praise enough.) I admit it is a bit hard to get us (from Berlin or Brandenburg) to warm up, but if you manage to do it, you have a friend you can rely on. We tend to think of the Southern Germans as fake and shallow.
 
2013-11-13 06:59:50 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: pyrotek85: ciberido: pyrotek85: 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?

Whenever I would show a Nepali a map of Asia (or a globe), they would be amazed at how small Nepal was compared to other Asian countries such as China or India.  To be fair, India and China are both pretty big countries, but still, I was surprised at how surprised they were.

Conversely, they didn't seem all that surprised to see how big the USA was.

The again, a Nepali man once asked me which bus he would take to get to America.  Well, it's a landlocked country.  I'm not sure the man knew what an ocean was.

Well I wouldn't blame him for not knowing, not everyone has access to the same amount of schooling as everyone else does unfortunately. I'm just surprised that tourists visiting from other first world countries are ignorant of something I thought be common knowledge to them. I mean, the size and scope of the world and it's countries is pretty basic wouldn't you think?


Whether you've seen a map or not, it really is staggering when you travel by land across the US or Australia or China or whatever. Even if you know it is X hours of driving/train, you don't really feel the size until you do it. LONGER THAN YOU THINK, DAD


If only we had some way to make such jaunts quicker, some form of teleportation, say.
 
2013-11-13 07:06:27 AM

Fano: pyrotek85: ciberido: pyrotek85: 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?

Whenever I would show a Nepali a map of Asia (or a globe), they would be amazed at how small Nepal was compared to other Asian countries such as China or India.  To be fair, India and China are both pretty big countries, but still, I was surprised at how surprised they were.

Conversely, they didn't seem all that surprised to see how big the USA was.

The again, a Nepali man once asked me which bus he would take to get to America.  Well, it's a landlocked country.  I'm not sure the man knew what an ocean was.

Well I wouldn't blame him for not knowing, not everyone has access to the same amount of schooling as everyone else does unfortunately. I'm just surprised that tourists visiting from other first world countries are ignorant of something I thought be common knowledge to them. I mean, the size and scope of the world and it's countries is pretty basic wouldn't you think?

Remember though, Americans are renowned for not knowing shiat about foreign lands. Even though it's a universal trait- Most countries are reduced to their major cities- Japan= Tokyo, Britain = London, France= Paris, etc. America is New York and Los Angeles, perhaps one other city.
[www.bequi.com image 604x786]

How many people UNDERSTAND that pic?


The caption of your picture:

"Africa: 30,301,596 sq km
Other named countries: 29,843,826 sq km"

So.... Africa is a country?
 
2013-11-13 07:44:36 AM
You get that same sentiment moving from one part of the country to another. I moved from New York City to Kentucky and I had the shock of my life when I went to the supermarket. Almost every person in the supermarket (shoppers, mind you) greeted me with "good morning," or some other greeting. Then, in the middle of my shopping trip, the manager of the store comes up to me with a sales circular and tells me about some of the current items on sale. I was looking around for the hidden cameras. The icing on the cake comes when I get to the checkout and the bagger offers to push my groceries to the car and PACK IT UP! He wouldn't even take a tip! I did feel like I was in a foreign country.  That doesn't happen in New York City!
 
2013-11-13 07:51:26 AM
Wooden houses. In Germany you only build a house out of wood if you are poor or trying to make some sort of environmental statement.

This. American houses feel like stage sets. I'm intellectually aware that new houses in CA are massively stronger than old brick properties in England (or New England, for that matter), but hollow stud walls, non-masonry construction, and particle board floors all feel like markers of terrible quality.
 
2013-11-13 08:00:49 AM
I hate when people point out the soda portion sizes.  Yes, it's a big farking cup.  It's also filled with ice.  Foreigners sit there with their little 8 ounce (or, whatever's near that size in metric) can of warm Coca Cola and act all critical of our 24 ounce cup with 16 ounces of ice and 8 ounces of ice cold refreshing Coke.

Sure, there is still this:
www.foodpolitics.com
and people who buy that crap deserve some criticism, but a "medium" isn't the excess people make it out to be.
 
2013-11-13 08:14:01 AM
Americans find it very odd if people use different words than them, like British English for eg. people looked at me funny when I asked where the "Chemist" is (Drug Store). Biscuit (Cookie), Billing Counter (Cashier), Coriander (Cilantro), Petrol (Gas) are others.

This is the first I've heard of a drug store being referred to as a "chemist".  If you asked me where a chemist was, I'd look at you as strangely as if you'd asked me where a stewardess was (while not on an airplane).  Best case scenario I'm going to assume based on your ethnicity that you've mistaken me for a member of your criminal organization and are looking for the drug or chemical weapon laboratory.

The biscuits vs. cookies thing is easily confusing in most contexts, since those are two completely different things.  If you're clearly talking about a cookie and use the word "biscuit", I'll figure it out.  But if we're at the grocery store and you ask me what aisle the biscuits are on, you're not going to end up where you intended.

The rest, anybody who doesn't figure them out is an idiot.
 
2013-11-13 08:19:36 AM

serial_crusher: This is the first I've heard of a drug store being referred to as a "chemist".


Never read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."
 
2013-11-13 08:32:04 AM
I have traveled all around the world and try to explain this to my liberal friends, but theRe is just no getting them away from playing the victim. This really makes the liberals in the US look like a bunch of whiney entitled biatches.
 
2013-11-13 08:33:29 AM
In Europe, everyone is intellectual and cultured and slim and they wear tweed and heavy wool clothes and go to cafés where they eat really good chocolate and talk in six languages about art and literature and politics, then eat tiny, exotic meals, all expertly prepared, and live in quaint cobblestone neighborhoods where you can walk to the corner market that has a butcher and a baker and a candlestick maker.

In America, you drive your SUV from your McMansion to an enormous supermarket where fake-nice salespeople try to sell you oversized Oreos packages and Coca-Cola in giant plastic bottles and then you eat dinner at a chain restaurant where you get a 4,000 calorie cheeseburger and talk really loudly about things like "the bottom line" or high school football or how much you hate minorities and socialism.
 
2013-11-13 08:36:52 AM

brantgoose: 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!


The brining method was developed at Oregon State.
 
2013-11-13 08:38:33 AM

stiletto_the_wise: One thing I didn't see mentioned that I thought I would have: Lines (or queues)

In the USA everyone understands the concept of standing in line for things, and lines are very orderly. There are understood rules about not cutting in line and not pushing or standing too close, etc. And, you will be corrected if you try to jump in front of someone.

In most developing countries I've visited (and I'm looking mostly at you, India), getting service at any counter was always this mad mob pushing and shoving your way to the front. In these mobs, people have no hesitation to get extremely close and physical. Shocking for folks used to orderly lines.


My god, Russian lines. In Russia it is very common for someone to hold your place in line while you finish shopping. In fact, I have watched people walk into a store, ask someone in the middle of the line to save a place for them, do all of their shopping, and then get into line just as their saved place gets to the register. fark anyone who does this.
 
2013-11-13 08:41:35 AM
"Children are expected to leave home when they are 18."

I'm in College and I live at home... and most everyone I know who is in college lives at home too.
 
2013-11-13 08:47:51 AM

you are a puppet: 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?'"


If you don't tell me what's going on how will I know to bring either guns/money/lawyers or a combination?
 
2013-11-13 09:10:35 AM

stiletto_the_wise: Also, something I've only seen in the USA: Ice in beer! UGGGHHHHHHH!!


Well if you are drinking a shiatty Anheuser Busch product that tastes mostly like water then how is ice going to hurt it any?

I agree with you though - I would rather drink warm beer than put ice in it.
 
2013-11-13 09:10:56 AM

CujoQuarrel: you are a puppet: 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?'"

If you don't tell me what's going on how will I know to bring either guns/money/lawyers or a combination?


Well, you should ideally have a bag next to your bed with all of those things in it.  Er, except for the lawyer.  Keep his business card in the bag to save on feeding costs.  Besides, if the lawyer's needed, your friend will take you by his house to wake him up and have him join your posse.
 
2013-11-13 09:11:50 AM
As a foreigner living in America I enjoyed this article and read it to my American girlfriend who immediately got defensive and argumentative because she saw it all as criticizing America and its culture. If they had asked me, that would have been one of the things I have noticed, the hypocrisy, Americans claim free speech but get awfully uptight when you say something about their country which they find disagreeable, the amount of times I have been told to go home if I dont like it, when I do like it, I just think some of the culture is strange, not wrong or bad. The hypocrisy of standing behind the bible whilst saying its ok to hate gays (or anyone) is strange too, its ok to have free speech and say you dont like gays, but dont blame God, if you believe the bible, he made everyone in his image, so he is gay too.

if you asked me the same question, I would say the Violence on TV, this is a violent society and it is perpetuated by tv shows that are full of violence and death, but god forbid they show a titty (fyi, titties dont kill people).

Along the same lines, violence in commercials, especially ones for alcohol.

A political system that is designed to achieve nothing and is paid for by the corporations

I seemed to have gone down a negative path, so lets try some positives, because I do like living here, my kids are American.

Customer service is awesome, people are friendly and try to help you

Convenience, America is set around convenience

There is no perfect culture, every country has good things and bad things, America is a good place to live, but it is a strange place too.
 
2013-11-13 09:14:00 AM

serial_crusher: I hate when people point out the soda portion sizes.  Yes, it's a big farking cup.  It's also filled with ice.  Foreigners sit there with their little 8 ounce (or, whatever's near that size in metric) can of warm Coca Cola and act all critical of our 24 ounce cup with 16 ounces of ice and 8 ounces of ice cold refreshing Coke.

Sure, there is still this:
[www.foodpolitics.com image 500x668]
and people who buy that crap deserve some criticism, but a "medium" isn't the excess people make it out to be.


There's a certain kind of irony about tying the purchase of a gigantic sugary drink to the funding of juvenile diabetes research.
 
2013-11-13 09:22:34 AM

ciberido: 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).


Agreed. Also for whatever reason, the foreign outlets of McDonald's have far more rotating variety.

Something else, too - American junk food companies sell quite a bit of junk in Japan, but they localize the junk so there's a big variety of flavors you can't get in the US (at US markets, anyway). Kit Kats are a good example - I like a green tea Kit Kat, but I can only buy them reverse-imported at the Asian market in the US.  Yeah yeah, it's green tea, but Starbucks sells green tea desserts in the US, so why not?

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.


On the other hand, I live in a wooden house built in 1912 that's still going strong.  The kitchen was last remodelled in 1948, also fine.

This amazes my Japanese friends/family because over there, most small wooden buildings just plain don't last that long, what with abandoned lands quickly getting all jungly, not to mention firebombings, earthquakes and fires, that sort of thing.

Though to be fair I guess that was helped along a good deal partly due to WW2 and then having a generation or two of really shiatty cheap-ass architecture to just "get things going again quick" afterward... finally a lot of that stuff is now coming down.

The thing that's amazing about the US is just how young of a country it is.  Some building from the 1700s seems ancient - where I am in the midwest, if something is from 1830 it's ancient because that's when the earliest of modern towns were founded.  In Japan (or Europe) that's comparatively recent.  Saw some show about small towns in England where there were still houses in use from 1300.

In Japan, the northernmost island (Hokkaido) was only settled fairly recently (1800s) and so in many ways it reminds me of the Midwest US - big, flat, large scale farming, cows, corn, things from 1830 being old, various commemorations to an earlier indigenous population that was pushed out/assimilated, etc.  People amazed at a (brick!) clock tower from 1830ish, yeah, pretty much looks like your standard Midwest courthouse tower...

pyrotek85: 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.


You know it intellectually, but you don't feel it in your heart until you experience some other size.

On the other hand though, the US might be huge but because it was settled fairly recently, there's not all THAT much variation from place to place within it.  Compare to England or Japan, where it's a tiny island country but little pockets of it were isolated from other little pockets of it for ages in the days before easy transit tech and so there are a wide variety of little dialects going on.  If there was a mountain between you and the other side, you didn't really go there with any sort of frequency at all, until easier tunnel technology was developed, for instance.

Or, compare to Europe as a whole, on that overlay map someone posted way upthread.

Seth'n'Spectrum: fawning deference for the military


Oh heck yes.  It's everywhere, and it's quite frankly a bit creepy.
 
2013-11-13 09:34:57 AM

ciberido: So.... Africa is a country?


I think that's part of what the graphic is aimed at - it seems a lot of people think that Africa is one giant homogenous place.
 
2013-11-13 09:41:47 AM
DrunkWithImpotence:

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

...and a year in Mobile, AL is going to be a lot different than a year in NYC.



I knew a middle eastern guy who *swore* that the Cimmaron Club was just a nice little bar with friendly clientele. I kept telling him he was going to get knifed by a hooker.

A block away from that place at the Terrace I saw my first ever in-person curb stomping.
 
2013-11-13 09:44:07 AM

tetsoushima: 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.

They just started selling 8 oz cans of Dr. Pepper in 6-packs now.  I'll drink maybe a can every two weeks or so when the mood hits me (I'm on a medication that makes soda taste really weird 99% of the time).  I wish they would do the same thing with ginger beer.


8oz cans (on page two) and it's better than ginger beer.

http://www.thevernorsstore.com/Products/tabid/62/pg/2/pgsize/9/cid/1 7/ sort/SortOrder-asc/Default.aspx
 
2013-11-13 09:47:34 AM

pagansexgod: Customer service is awesome


As we own property in CA and mostly spend our time in London, I'm very accustomed to the remote service industries. While in person service is usually fairly good, remote customer handling is absolutely abysmal, even by the (low) standards I'm accustomed to here. This was a huge surprise, while it's no secret dealing with the US state and national government is a nightmare, there is a British (European?) cultural narrative that useless call centres and couldn't-give-a-fark complaint handling are not an American problem.
 
2013-11-13 09:54:08 AM

itazurakko: Seth'n'Spectrum: fawning deference for the military

Oh heck yes. It's everywhere, and it's quite frankly a bit creepy.


I've just come back from semi-rural Pennsylvania, where the entire economy would fall over without the military, and I have a q in regard to this - is Heinz tomato ketchup that hono(u)rs the military a product sold nationally or is it exclusive to local restaurants*?

*where, in another counter to prevailing cultural stereotypes, grumpy old white women serve dismal food at relatively high prices. Although the portion sizes of tepid slurry are huge
 
2013-11-13 09:59:35 AM

kombi: Culturally we tip in a restaurant and bar.


Unless it's a chain/fast-food restaurant, where for some reason tipping then just isn't done... I guess those McD workers must make the big bucks to not need to live off tips like the poor workers in fancy restaurants...
 
2013-11-13 10:01:14 AM

Rockstone: "Children are expected to leave home when they are 18."

I'm in College and I live at home... and most everyone I know who is in college lives at home too.


I've seen it both ways.  If you're going to school in the same town as your parents live, then it's expected.  If you're going to a college in a big city, you're going to have a lot of people who are from that city going there to college.

If you're going to school beyond a daily commuting radius, it's expected.  Not everybody goes to college right by where they live.  In fact, for people who live in rural areas, they have to go far from home just to go anywhere to college really.

About this entire list, as people in TFA pointed out: diversity.  The US is a huge country, with 300+ million people.  You'll have examples of every trend they mentioned in TFA, but you can also have counter-examples of things being the other way.

Culturally and politically there is enough diversity that you can live completely different lives in the same country, united by little more than just a common language.  The lifestyles in Rural Mississippi, Alaska, New York and Tuscon (for examples) are so different by culture and environment that preconceptions of lifestyle you could have in one would be completely inappropriate to others.  This is the country that gave the world both the Westboro Baptist Church and the Folsom Street Fair, after all.

People talk about how Americans all have lots of guns.  By estimates and surveys, yes, there are as many guns as there are people in the US, roughly 300 million.  However, about 47% of people have a gun in their household (owned by SOMEBODY there, not necessarily them), and about 1/3 of people are gun owners (and on average would have about 3 guns, with lots of people owning just one, and others owning more than 3).

Thus, the "average" American doesn't even own a gun. . .but there are a hundred million that do (more gun owners in the US than the populations of the UK and Canada combined), and several million people that have personal arsenals that could single-handedly outfit a military squad or small-town police department.  It's that big: that vast, that for even uncommon things you can find hundreds of thousands or millions of people like that.
 
2013-11-13 10:03:32 AM

Fano: pyrotek85: RINO: 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.

I've found this map to be a useful visual aid for that sort of thing.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 300x287]

See this is what I meant. I learned very early on in school that most of our states are as big/larger than most european countries, roughly speaking anyway. I cannot believe that grown adults have never looked at a globe or world atlas or something, and not realized the general size their country is to others. It's no wonder they're surprised we all have cars.

The surprising thing is that Americans are considered dumb for not speaking multiple languages. This isn't Europe or India, where you have a different language for every state.


And NONE of them speak Spanish. The Brits are very snooty about French pronunciation, but entirely incapable of pronouncing Spanish words. I've heard them pronounce Juan "Jew-wan" and, of course, paella is "pie-ella".

/then again, 6 years of Spanish in school left me unprepared for Castellan
 
2013-11-13 10:09:29 AM

Phinn: In Europe, everyone is intellectual and cultured and slim and they wear tweed and heavy wool clothes and go to cafés where they eat really good chocolate and talk in six languages about art and literature and politics, then eat tiny, exotic meals, all expertly prepared, and live in quaint cobblestone neighborhoods where you can walk to the corner market that has a butcher and a baker and a candlestick maker.

In America, you drive your SUV from your McMansion to an enormous supermarket where fake-nice salespeople try to sell you oversized Oreos packages and Coca-Cola in giant plastic bottles and then you eat dinner at a chain restaurant where you get a 4,000 calorie cheeseburger and talk really loudly about things like "the bottom line" or high school football or how much you hate minorities and socialism.


I don't remember reading anything from you before but you just got made the same shade of green as PocketNinja. That is a compliment
 
2013-11-13 10:12:31 AM

ransack.: stiletto_the_wise: Popular Opinion: Confabulat: One thing I learned from years of waiting tables in a touristy-type restaurant is Europeans are very uncomfortable with lots of ice in their drinks. Americans are very much the opposite.

before the advent of free refills, it may seem like a gyp to get a glass full of ice and hardly any beverage.
a jewish friend used to go to mcdonalds and order a large coke, no ice, and a courtesy cup of ice, so he would not be paying for ice.

os for the UK, my experience led me to believe the costs of energy and big commercial ice makers just means it isn't common unless the establishment serves a lot of customers who like lots of ice (like americans).

Also, something I've only seen in the USA: Ice in beer! UGGGHHHHHHH!!

I'm an alcoholic American and I've never seen anyone put ice in their beer and if I did I would kick someone's ASS


The only time I've ever seen it was during the summer, outside, with a pitcher of beer- but the ice was in a zip lock bag, not floating free
 
2013-11-13 10:15:13 AM

Iplaybass: I agree with many of those. Particularly the chocolate. American chocolate is not good. At all.


Reese's make up for it with their ground breaking research into chocolate-peanut butter fusion. Those things only have like 10 calories each, right?
 
2013-11-13 10:17:29 AM

Target Builder: Iplaybass: I agree with many of those. Particularly the chocolate. American chocolate is not good. At all.

Reese's make up for it with their ground breaking research into chocolate-peanut butter fusion. Those things only have like 10 calories each, right?


Oh, and Girl Scout cookies too....

#isoundfat
 
2013-11-13 10:20:20 AM

pagansexgod: Convenience, America is set around convenience


Why yes, that IS why I hate America.

"Convenience" = fat, lazy, entitled, and full of ideas about what kinds of work are 'beneath' you. This is anything that requires actual labor, since that isn't convenient.
 
2013-11-13 10:32:17 AM

itazurakko: ciberido: So.... Africa is a country?

I think that's part of what the graphic is aimed at - it seems a lot of people think that Africa is one giant homogenous place.


And apparently some graphic artists tend to conveniently forget that Alaska and Hawaii are states of the United States.  Oopsy.
 
2013-11-13 10:39:58 AM
They're rioting in Africa, they're starving in Spain,
There's hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain
This whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For Man's been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we can be certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off...and we will all be blown away
They're rioting in Africa, There's strife in Iran
What Nature doesn't do to us will be done by our Fellow Man

-Sheldon Harnick
 
2013-11-13 10:40:34 AM

RobSeace: kombi: Culturally we tip in a restaurant and bar.

Unless it's a chain/fast-food restaurant, where for some reason tipping then just isn't done... I guess those McD workers must make the big bucks to not need to live off tips like the poor workers in fancy restaurants...


Handing you something from the fry bin is not a tip worthy exercise, just like you don't tip for take out.
 
2013-11-13 10:43:14 AM

Fano: RobSeace: kombi: Culturally we tip in a restaurant and bar.

Unless it's a chain/fast-food restaurant, where for some reason tipping then just isn't done... I guess those McD workers must make the big bucks to not need to live off tips like the poor workers in fancy restaurants...

Handing you something from the fry bin is not a tip worthy exercise, just like you don't tip for take out.


Work level seems to have very little to do with whether you tip for a service - you are expected to tip a guy who pulls a beer out of a fridge and pops the cap off for you, but you aren't expected to tip the guy who spends several minutes bagging your groceries and helps you carry them to your car if asked.
 
2013-11-13 10:46:39 AM

Mose: itazurakko: ciberido: So.... Africa is a country?

I think that's part of what the graphic is aimed at - it seems a lot of people think that Africa is one giant homogenous place.

And apparently some graphic artists tend to conveniently forget that Alaska and Hawaii are states of the United States.  Oopsy.


A lot of people are getting hung up on "Africa is not a country" and missing the salient point that a Mercator projection makes Africa seem smaller than it is. The Congo is huge.

Leaving out Alaska does the US a disservice since it's pretty large, but easily fitting the continental us, all of Europe except for Russia, china, and a few other states really drives it home for me.

Let's face it also, most farkers would fail a geography quiz on Africa, probably being only able to place Egypt, Libya, and south Africa on the map.
 
2013-11-13 10:47:23 AM
I'm late to the thread, but quite a few of these I agree with as well.

As many have said; Americans, especially ones you meet on the street or in the store, are exceptionally friendly and open. When I first moved where, I explained it as "Canadians are polite but not friendly, Americans are friendly but not polite.". It's not bad, just different.

A lot of the difference to me is between a large city and American suburbia. Exurbia, in my case. It really is a horrible poison; environmentally, intellectually, physically, socially... But I don't blame the people living there. It's not their damn fault. But we really need to do away with certain types of sprawl.

I think a lot of the differences from TFA and here in the thread can be noted as big city vs. not. Although obviously the friendliness, the general honesty, and the cleanliness seem to be mostly universal.
 
2013-11-13 10:50:04 AM

Fano: Leaving out Alaska does the US a disservice since it's pretty large, but easily fitting the continental us, all of Europe except for Russia, china, and a few other states really drives it home for me.

Let's face it also, most farkers would fail a geography quiz on Africa, probably being only able to place Egypt, Libya, and south Africa on the map.


I understand why they left out Alaska. It's hard to visualize how much land mass the little islands and the panhandle (?) make up. Probably why they left out Canada as well.

I think the projection is a great map, since I didn't realize that Africa was that large, comparatively.
 
2013-11-13 10:50:16 AM
I have not traveled abroad for a few years, so I had forgotten how great our country is. This article reminded me. Hopefully, we can keep it great and stop competing in the Derp Olympics.
 
2013-11-13 10:55:48 AM

Aidan: I think the projection is a great map, since I didn't realize that Africa was that large, comparatively.



Which was the point of the map.  I'm pretty much confused by the "Africa isn't a country, so map is stupid" derp.  The point isn't to compare relative sizes of the same kind of geopolitical divisions.
 
2013-11-13 10:58:42 AM

Fano: Mose: itazurakko: ciberido: So.... Africa is a country?

I think that's part of what the graphic is aimed at - it seems a lot of people think that Africa is one giant homogenous place.

And apparently some graphic artists tend to conveniently forget that Alaska and Hawaii are states of the United States.  Oopsy.

A lot of people are getting hung up on "Africa is not a country" and missing the salient point that a Mercator projection makes Africa seem smaller than it is. The Congo is huge.

Leaving out Alaska does the US a disservice since it's pretty large, but easily fitting the continental us, all of Europe except for Russia, china, and a few other states really drives it home for me.

Let's face it also, most farkers would fail a geography quiz on Africa, probably being only able to place Egypt, Libya, and south Africa on the map.


Mercator projection also make Greenland look enormous.  Where's the outrage at this?  Farking smug Greenlanders.
 
2013-11-13 11:03:45 AM

Aidan: I'm late to the thread, but quite a few of these I agree with as well.

As many have said; Americans, especially ones you meet on the street or in the store, are exceptionally friendly and open. When I first moved where, I explained it as "Canadians are polite but not friendly, Americans are friendly but not polite.". It's not bad, just different.

A lot of the difference to me is between a large city and American suburbia. Exurbia, in my case. It really is a horrible poison; environmentally, intellectually, physically, socially... But I don't blame the people living there. It's not their damn fault. But we really need to do away with certain types of sprawl.

I think a lot of the differences from TFA and here in the thread can be noted as big city vs. not. Although obviously the friendliness, the general honesty, and the cleanliness seem to be mostly universal.


The regional difference in the US are so great it's hard to make a generalization about that.  A stranger striking up a friendly conversation with you might seem normal in Georgia.  Try it in New England and chances are you'll get ugly/strange looks, or nervous avoidance.
 
2013-11-13 11:09:08 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Panda Express


I had was following along nodding my head until you pulled this, now I wanna fight you.
 
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