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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 207
    More: Interesting, Americans, serving sizes, Harris Teeter, Guyana, SSI, border checkpoints, Kit Kats, American Foreign Policy  
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21533 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Nov 2013 at 11:12 PM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2013-11-12 11:38:30 PM
9 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 12:13:41 AM
7 votes:

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
2013-11-12 11:27:58 PM
7 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 02:35:48 AM
6 votes:

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

How many people UNDERSTAND that pic?
2013-11-12 11:27:05 PM
6 votes:

Walker: Long read, but very interesting to see your country thru the eyes of outsiders.
Most stuff is dead on. I never even thought about this one, but it seems to shock a lot of them:

Bank checks are still used and mailed in envelopes. I thought this was only in a few cases but a lot of companies seem to prefer this method by default.


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.
2013-11-13 01:35:36 AM
5 votes:

kombi: Yes we have a very large geographically deserve country. And We dont have a great public trans portion system. Again geographically deserve and the size


That's part of it, but I think a big reason why America has such a poor transit system is that Americans are very individualistic and we like to own our own personal versions of things rather than share some sort of communal version.  So, individual cars rather than sharing trains or buses.

Another example is computers.  Americans love to own their own computers.  So you'll take your own personal laptop to a coffee shop that has free wifi, and you'll see a lot of other people with their laptops.  As opposed to, say, South Korea, where you'd go to an internet cafe and rent a computer for an hour (or 20).

Then there's the way Americans seem to have a larger "personal bubble" or zone of space.  It's especially noticeable at a public place like a theater where it's considered intrusive, even creepy, to sit next to a stranger.  No, in the USA you're expected to always leave at least one empty seat.

It's odd, especially thinking about some of the comments about how Americans "overshare" personal details.  It's like Americans have a great willingness to share personal information but an equally great reluctance to share physical objects or space.
2013-11-13 12:40:00 AM
5 votes:

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

Heh. 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.

"Sabe a jarabe antitusivo." ("It tastes like cough syrup.") They couldn't believe that some people prefer those drinks to Coke or Sprite.


I hate Dr. Pepper. My Mother included one in a C.A.R.E. package when I was an undergrad and I could not finish it. Poured it out. Yes, it does taste like cough syrup. Straight up, it tastes like the juice from a jar of marschino cherries.

Blah! Yuck! Phtooie! Phtoie! I also hate Cherry Cola and Cream Soda, the sickliest beverage in the world. I would happily drink a bottle of Robitussin over Cream Soda.

As a Canadian, I find a lot of the things that confuse and bemuse foreigners are famiiar and not at all suprising.

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, the size of American portions astounded me. I thought they were, as the old saying goes, digging their graves with their teeth. And that was just as the obesity epidemic was getting started. I hadn't even had McDonald's yet--and you remember perhaps back when the small fries, the hamburger and the small beverage were the normal McDonald meal for adults as well as small children.

If you could bring your 1970s self forward in time to present-day America, they'd be just as astonished (for better and for worse).

Remember when 8 ounce bottles for a dime replaced 6 ounce bottles of Coke for a nickel?

Remember when cupcakes were scarcely bigger than a doll's teacup?

Remember when restaurants used 9 inch or 10 inch plates instead of of 12 inch plates or 15 inch platters?

Do you remember when it was only reactonary Southern loonies you felt the Demmie-rat in the White House was a Red Chinese Commie (as they thought of Einsenhower before him, and Nixon after)? When the GOP had a moderate wing and liberal Republicans still? That was only about 15 years ago, by the way, not the 1970s.

The past is a foreign country. Imagine what the 1970s would think of you today. It would be just as astonished, bemused, scared, appalled and entertained as the neighbors are in India, Canada, Germany, Sweden or Cuba.
2013-11-12 11:42:43 PM
5 votes:
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 11:30:23 PM
5 votes:
FTA: He is in awe (and it's made me in awe) of the rich musical history of the U. S. He thinks the African American contribution to culture is one of our country's greatest gems.

He's not wrong.
2013-11-12 08:20:53 PM
5 votes:
Some of their bafflement that Americans actually take religion and patriotism seriously is well shared by me.
2013-11-13 12:44:59 AM
4 votes:
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 12:36:02 AM
4 votes:

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.


It's like choices in the USA are very wide but shallow.  It's hard to explain without examples.  I am very fond of a kind of snack called Bombay Mix.  When I got back to the States after living in Nepal, I went to a supermarket and was blown away by all the different things, but after looking around a while I was a little disappointed by how few choices there really were.  You can choose from eight different varieties of sour cream and onion potato chips, say, but you won't find Bombay mix (outside of a market that specializes in Indian food).

I guess more generally, it's like, if you want some specific food item that's popular in the USA, you'll find 17 varieties of it, but if you want something that isn't already quite popular, you'll find 0.  I wish more often, instead of being 17 versus 0, it could be, say, 15 versus 2

It's just a bit surprising how many different kinds of food there are that you simply cannot find in the USA unless you really go looking for it.
2013-11-13 12:26:35 AM
4 votes:
One thing I noticed that no one mentioned was advertising.  In the states, it's a constant bombardment everywhere, anytime.  Being overseas for a while you get used to not being pestered so much and, in some countries, it is so lacking you almost miss it.
When you come back, it is a shock to the system how much you are targeted by ads, commercials, billboards, everywhere you look, everything you hear, has some percentage of advertising associated with it.  It tends to desensitize you, yet, it also seems like it's that chatty friend you have that never shuts up.
2013-11-13 12:02:38 AM
4 votes:
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 12:01:11 AM
4 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 11:44:10 PM
4 votes:
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 11:31:41 PM
4 votes:
Seemed to me like the most common observations (from what I've read so far) were:

Tipping? What the hell?

The mass transit here sucks.

People don't stay with their relatives when they visit.

Lack of universal health care is insane.

Credit score WTF?

Our cars and houses are ridiculous in size.
2013-11-12 10:17:48 PM
4 votes:
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.

That really depends on the restaurant.  The restaurant scene in the US has improved dramatically over the past ten years, and keeps getting better.  A lot of it is still contained in more urban areas, but the 'rockstar chef' phenomenon has been great for adding variety to menus, including less common proteins and vegetables.

As far as mainstream chain restaurants go, there are two big factors at play.  The US has been wealthy for a long time, and due to our geography and climate we can produce far more food than we need.  Dishes based on odds and ends typically come from poverty and having to make do with what you can get.  You see some of that influence in soul food with dishes like ham hocks, trotters, pigs ears, chitlins, etc, and in regional dishes like scrapple, brain sandwiches, and Italian-American tripe preparations, but by and large, the majority of US citizens, especially since WWII, have been able to afford the best cuts.

The other big factor is our corporate mentality - from big industrial farms that are designed to pump out profit over quality, to restaurant chains that try to appeal to the largest cross section of the country that they can , there's the mentality of appealing to the lowest common denominator.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts, mild young cheese, potatoes, and conservatively spiced sauces aren't the pinnacle of any culinary mountain, but they don't offend much of anyone either.  Olive Garden, Chipotle, Panda Express, and Applebees aren't in any way making the best food available, but they're making food that's good enough to please the majority of people without causing revulsion in anyone.

Still, like I said, there's a lot of good things going on if you look beyond the chains, and the US, in a large part due to our relatively open immigration policies, does have a much wider selection of authentic and semi-authentic ethnic cuisine that most countries.  In my medium-sized city there are restaurants representing almost any Latin or Caribbean cuisine you could think of.  Within ten miles of my house I have Mexican, Salvadoran, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jamaican, Dominican, Haitian, Brazilian, and Argentinian.  In some cases there are multiple restaurants servings those types of cuisine.  It's a bit of an Asian wasteland around here, with a few Americanized Chinese joints, a few Hibachi-style Japanese steakhouses/sushi bars, and a couple pan-Asian places, but there are places in the US where you can get the most authentic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc, cuisine available outside of that cuisine's domestic market.

The younger generation is a lot more open to new foods as well, so the trends of more adventurous restaurants and more variety in ethnic cuisine should grow over time.
2013-11-13 05:31:57 AM
3 votes:

Confabulat: Some of their bafflement that Americans actually take religion and patriotism seriously is well shared by me.


If Americans actually took their religion seriously they wouldn't take their patriotism so seriously - or at least not express it in the same way. Death squads, drones and an utter contempt for foreigners are not remote Christian.
2013-11-13 03:46:02 AM
3 votes:
I'll offer up some of my *wisdom* here. I'm an American who has lived abroad and I can actually relate to the shock a lot of these folks display in the article, except from reverse. Portion size is spot on accurate, you won't find bigger sizes than the USA, and that includes waist size. I've lived in Germany, where I first found out about portion sizes and different colloquialisms (sp?)....now I live in the UAE, and it's a crazy experience...here's a few of the things I've gotten accustomed to:

Speed limit most places is 60-80km/h, and 120-140 on the highway...in other words it's very fast compared to the states. There is a blatent disregard for driving safety here, and it's not uncommon to see someone pass on the shoulder doing an easy 200. Expect to have someone on your rear bumper flashing their headlights if you're in the 'fast' lane. Get out of the way.

In the UAE, you have to adapt to a much different wealth distribution. You see Lambo's and Rari's daily, sprinkled with Bentley's and RR throughout...but in between those you'll see brand new Audi's, BMW's followed by rusty buses and 96 Cavaliers.

EVERYTHING DELIVERS! You want McDonald's? Delivered. You need aspirin? Delivered. Need your car washed? It'll be done at your place. Just bought a new TV? We'll deliver it and set it up for you at no additional cost. It's crazy.

Don't try to visit any 'adult' websites on your computer or mobile...it's blocked by the UAE government. Yay for VPNs.

Credit is so different here. If you have 20% of the total value of what you're buying, you can walk out with it. What this equates to is: Want that new 100,000 dollar car? Have 20,000 to put down? Here's the keys. No negotiating...just sign and drive. No credit check, because if you default we will put you in jail for at least a year, and when you get out of jail you'll still owe the bank that money, so you better pay or you'll go back to jail.

Sunday is Monday, Thursday is Friday. In Christian based social cultures, Sunday is the day that most things close down, and Friday starts the weekend; Monday starts the work week. Here, Friday is the holy day, Thursday starts the weekend, and Sunday starts the work week...

Brunch. The single most amazing awesomeness ever. Every Friday at most every booze serving restaurant in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, they have brunch. Now...this isn't brunch as Americans know it, where you wake up at noon and go have eggs and bacon with tomato soup at Denny's. This is a four to five hour block of amazeballs. Walk in, pay equivelant to 100 bucks, and you're presented first with a never ending buffet of luxurious food. As you fill your plate, there is a bottomless glass of whichever booze they have selected for the occasion, and you have four to five hours to consume as much as you like (without being crazy drunk and going to jail)...After the first hour you start to become social and meet people...it's pretty awesome.

Speaking of bacon...pork is shunned here in the UAE, being a Muslim state. However, the UAE has a lot of 'Westerners' as they call anyone who is white basically, so you can get it. What you'll see at a supermarket is a "pork section" with a disclaimer "WARNING, PORK IS NOT FOR MUSLIMS" pretty funny...

Speaking of food and groceries, it's some of the best shopping ever. You can have your steak from Argentina, bacon from Australia, eggs from the UK, bread from France, pasta from Italy, and veggies from all over the world...it IS a LOT more expensive to fill your fridge though....

Oh...and there's a Lambo, Aston Martin, R8, BMW, Mercedes, GT-R, Corvette...that just happen to be police cars...you're welcome.


So that's it...the weird part for me now is going home and not having these luxuries...but that's part of living abroad!
2013-11-13 03:33:05 AM
3 votes:

kombi: ransack.: doosh: kombi: Popular Opinion: 

When I go to a bar or restaurant I expect to tip. They are serving me.

But it IS arbitrary. Do you tip your dentist? A cop? The deli guy? They're all rendering services to you.

The last time I got my teeth cleaned the dental hygenist taught me that you're supposed to tip them

Again. I agree. I do. I dont think everyone needs to be tipped. I really dont think anyone needs to be tipped. But Thats not our culture. Here we tip some people. and dont tip others.


Just to give you an idea how tipping works in the US. I worked in a restaurant.So you tip your server. the server then has to tip the bussboy and the bartender. Then in some places or nights also tip the food runner, bar back, hostess. Then in some places even the cook, and any other line cooks or pantry chef's.  Then in some places there are even more the have to tip out. Now also remember that in some places any tipped employee is making well below min wage. Maybe if we did something about that, then we would not have to tip everyone
2013-11-13 01:37:34 AM
3 votes:
Canadians and Australians understand distance. Europeans, not so much.
2013-11-13 12:56:38 AM
3 votes:

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 12:40:26 AM
3 votes:
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 12:37:51 AM
3 votes:
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.
2013-11-13 12:29:06 AM
3 votes:
The obsession with fitness contrasted with the number of fat people is definitely something that has boggled my mind forever as well.

Also yes, American mass-market brand chocolate for the most part sucks.  Cheap chocolate from Japan is way better (it's made like the European stuff, far more smooth).

Also EVERYTHING being so damn oversweetened.

And yes, the slow banking.  I'm surprised that electronic bank transfer hasn't caught on more - on the other hand, I am still happy to pay my normal monthly bills with paper bank checks sent via USPS, so YMMV I guess.
2013-11-13 12:22:26 AM
3 votes:

Confabulat: Some of their bafflement that Americans actually take religion and patriotism seriously is well shared by me.


I was someone surprised to learn how casually most South Americans accept the Theory of Evolution.  There's such an association in the USA between being Christian and belief and Creationism that I forget the two aren't so strongly associated in other countries.  And yes, I know that the Catholic Church is ok with evolution, but it still surprised me somehow.
2013-11-13 12:18:00 AM
3 votes:
If you can't tell by my user name I have had the privilege to travel a great deal for both work and play and here are my impressions of America coming back to it one more than one occasion after extended time away.

Good:

(1) More often than not, Americans are honest. There is very little corruption here compared to what one finds in many countries.
(2) There is a real tradition of public service that many countries simply do not have. In many places being in government is a way to get rich.
(3) America is clean. This is the number on thing that always aggravates me when I travel to the 3rd world, just how god damn dirty it is.

The bad:

(1) Americans tradition of public service is lessened by our interpersonal shallowness and even stinginess. I thought the man from Africa in the article got it exactly right. We get outraged when the bureaucrat in Washington is found with his hand in the till but we would never trust our neighbor or the guy down the road. Everyone wants a government handout but rarely lends a helping hand.
(2) We are paranoid about what happens to children in "the village". Childhood is such a confining experience in America. I didn't really notice this so much when i was younger but now I see it clearly: we train our children from a young age. Unlike the guy in the article who was "jealous" about the speaking abilities of a seven year old, I think it is a sickness.
(3) Our need for entertainment, and yes this includes Fark. We fight and argue over the most inane things and I do not think many people realize what a luxury that is. In many places wars are fought over simply who gets to eat. Here, we have huge debates over school prayer or flag burning. Ridiculous.

Just some things that pop into my head.
2013-11-12 11:47:45 PM
3 votes:

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


i838.photobucket.com
2013-11-12 11:38:19 PM
3 votes:

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 11:31:57 PM
3 votes:

ggecko: Actually, the common denominator was how expensive our health care system is.


Why? Illegals don't pay squat for health care.
2013-11-12 11:30:20 PM
3 votes:

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.


One thing about American Patriotism, that occurred to me in the WWI thread on Monday, is that unlike the Europeans who got that shiat bled out of them in WWI, the closest thing to a gut check the US had to do was Vietnam. Which, compared to single battles that killed a million men on each side, is pretty paltry.
2013-11-12 11:29:19 PM
3 votes:
Actually, the common denominator was how expensive our health care system is.
2013-11-12 11:28:03 PM
3 votes:
FTA: Downtowners are crazy for health and fitness in the positive sense and are generally in the good shape. However, the farther from downtown you get, the bigger people get. In suburbs you barely notice anyone walking.

This is very true.
2013-11-12 10:24:42 PM
3 votes:
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.
2013-11-12 10:10:43 PM
3 votes:
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.  Since I grew up here, I forget how complex this totally unwritten and nearly unspoken rule is to someone who has not grown up in that environment.  I dated this lady from China for a few years and I had to teach her how/when/why to tip.  Restaurants are the easiest to pick up, but the stylist, the cab, the person who cleans your house.

I realized, that it kind of is arbitrary  as to when a tip is expected and how much.  And even though a tip is expected, there will rarely be any overt statement of it or how much is appropriate.  The closest you get is when restaurants mention the gratuity for large groups.

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.
2013-11-12 09:12:17 PM
3 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: 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 surprised how many people thought that friendly cashiers was odd.  I didn't realize that was anything special.  The same goes for the surprise at people addressing each other by first name, I know there are some very formal societies out there, but I figured most of the world was more along the lines of the informal way we do it here.


If someone asked me to make a list of weird things about foreign countries, this might be in my top 5. Cashiers in other countries, especially Europe, really don't give a shiat. They aren't nice, they don't help you pack your bag, they don't do anything. It's kind of offputting.

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.
2013-11-12 08:48:45 PM
3 votes:

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


i881.photobucket.com
2013-11-12 08:42:57 PM
3 votes:
America is literally HUGE.

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

Black Friday and the frenzy associated with it.

You and me both, pal.
2013-11-13 03:27:05 AM
2 votes:

doosh: kombi: BigJake: kombi: I do think its funny how alot of Europeans just think we are backwards.

Were you originally from somewhere else?

No Im Native

He's probably asking because you don't know the difference between there and their. Or apostrophes.


I think he's dyslexic or something, my son's mother is a reasonably intelligent person but she has severe dyslexia and this guy's posts make me feel like I'm reading one of her text messages.
2013-11-13 03:06:44 AM
2 votes:

Fano: How many people UNDERSTAND that pic?


Well, I UNDERSTAND that Africa and Western Europe are not countries, unlike whoever made that travesty of an infographic.
2013-11-13 02:37:28 AM
2 votes:
It surprises me that both Americans and non Americans assume you are supposed to eat the entire, huge restaurant portion in one sitting. The point is to take half of it home and re-experience the meal again later. In part, it's a marketing technique for the restaurant...you now have a container of stuff in your fridge that serves to extend your consumer experience. Brilliant!
2013-11-13 02:34:38 AM
2 votes:

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.


Ya thats one thing that people from other countries dont really understand. In the US we are all basiclly the same. We speek the same language hve the same culture . For the most part. In a country like china or Russia. they speak different languages so they have to learn them .
2013-11-13 02:25:59 AM
2 votes:

davidphogan: spaten: davidphogan: kombi: Up till about 20is years ago there was still green belt (non built up areas) between LA and San Diego. Not it seems like Sd to SF is one big city.

When did Camp Pendleton get bulldozed, and how the hell did LA and SF get connected by sprawl?

During the 1980's to the 2000's. Was on the front lines of it North County San Diego went from beach towns to urban sprawl. Pendalton was the only place that didn't get dozed.

San Onofre isn't a nude beach anymore. Blacks is still there.

Check out the topos from the 70's... Small beach towns, not farking condos everywhere.

The 70's were a lot more than 20 years ago.


One native paleontologist/surfer I was working with showed me pictures of Carlsbad in the 70's and 80's. He used to be able to walk down a dirt road to the beach.

I monitored so many historic and prehistoric sites being destroyed in the mid 2000's on coastal it was sickening. I was part of a project at marina del rey that we excavated 100's of prehistoric burials to build condos.

The San Diego and Orange County Coast was farked in the 2000's housing boom.
2013-11-13 01:50:02 AM
2 votes:
I remember flying from Zurich back to JFK airport. Zurich was clean and quiet and just generally all around nice. I really liked the place, but I can see how it would be boring after the charm wore off. The pron shop with huge sexually explicit posters in the window right next to the medieval church was a nice plus. The airport was freakishly clean and new. When you get to JFK you're hustled in cattle-like herds down grimy grey corridors until you get to a big room packed with pissed off people, with huge TVs blaring CNN while customs assholes bark questions at you. I felt like I was in some third world dictatorship or something.
2013-11-13 01:47:28 AM
2 votes:
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.
2013-11-13 01:43:14 AM
2 votes:
New Yorkers, at least when I was growing up there, did not over share. Or share, for that matter.
Louisiana, when I lived there, if you stood next to someone for five minutes, you got their life story.
Texans love to talk, but not much is personal.
2013-11-13 01:40:28 AM
2 votes:

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).
2013-11-13 01:29:14 AM
2 votes:
We do drink more here. Big bottles of water. Big coffees, Iced drinks. Most of the world is just happy to have something to drink. They dont care if its warm. What it comes down to is we are just a different culture. Does not make it good or bad. Its just different from others.
2013-11-13 01:26:18 AM
2 votes:
hahaha, mexican coke.

by the way, the bottler of that product is switching to high fructose corn syrup.
luckily for you cane sugar coke lovers, they will continue to make the "mexican coke" in glass bottles they export to the US the same way.

coke makes me thirsty.
2013-11-13 01:24:36 AM
2 votes:

Seth'n'Spectrum: 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?


Depends. Big order from a restaurant. Yes tip.
2013-11-13 01:23:31 AM
2 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: 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 surprised how many people thought that friendly cashiers was odd.  I didn't realize that was anything special.  The same goes for the surprise at people addressing each other by first name, I know there are some very formal societies out there, but I figured most of the world was more along the lines of the informal way we do it here.


I've had people mention it's weird that on the bus in Portland you say "Thank you" to the driver.  You just do.  They got you safely from point-A to point-B.

Yet, to people from even San Francisco or Seattle this is weird.  I just take it for granted and always say thanks to the driver.  On the West Coast you get looks, on the East Coast you just get stared at for it, but I can't break the habit anymore.
2013-11-13 01:20:30 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 01:17:57 AM
2 votes:

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 01:15:18 AM
2 votes:

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 01:13:28 AM
2 votes:
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 01:12:47 AM
2 votes:

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 01:10:52 AM
2 votes:

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 01:06:17 AM
2 votes:
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 12:59:56 AM
2 votes:
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 12:53:51 AM
2 votes:
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 12:48:12 AM
2 votes:

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 12:46:22 AM
2 votes:
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 12:40:59 AM
2 votes:

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 12:33:53 AM
2 votes:
Man as an Australian they've started selling yankie Chocolate in some supermarkets here the one about the quality of the chocolate really hit me.

You guys eat that stuff... like by choice?
Like a block of Hershies chocolate is the equivilent of the cheapest, nastiest fark off chocolate you can buy. It's just foul.
2013-11-13 12:31:34 AM
2 votes:

Fark It: worlddan: (1) More often than not, Americans are honest. There is very little corruption here compared to what one finds in many countries.
(2) There is a real tradition of public service that many countries simply do not have. In many places being in government is a way to get rich.

Ever been to Illinois?


You haven't been to a nation that totally runs on baksheesh. Imagine if you had to give bribes every time you went to the DMV, or the public library, for cops to come, or basically everything.
2013-11-13 12:30:00 AM
2 votes:

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?
2013-11-13 12:28:07 AM
2 votes:
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
2013-11-13 12:27:14 AM
2 votes:

Fark It: worlddan: (1) More often than not, Americans are honest. There is very little corruption here compared to what one finds in many countries.
(2) There is a real tradition of public service that many countries simply do not have. In many places being in government is a way to get rich.

Ever been to Illinois?


Ever been to India?
2013-11-13 12:20:11 AM
2 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: 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.


It's below freezing outside.  I really don't need my feet to be any cooler, thanks.

I prefer wood floors with strategic area rugs myself, but grew up with / currently have carpet everywhere 'cept the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, basement, and entryway.  Which really should be the only places you need to worry about spilling stuff that'll stain anyway.
2013-11-13 12:19:27 AM
2 votes:

TuteTibiImperes: 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 surprised how many people thought that friendly cashiers was odd.  I didn't realize that was anything special.


In college I was pretty good friends with a Japanese student.  One time when we went shopping together the cashier was more friendly than usual and we struck up a brief conversation about what my major was.  After we left the store my friend complained about how "rude" the cashier had been.  I didn't understand what she was talking about at first, but she explained how (in her view) the fact that the cashier had asked my questions about my college major was terribly rude.

It was kind of an eye-opening experience because until then I had always assumed that "politeness" was a one-dimensional thing, and that Japanese were simply "more polite" than Americans.  Before then it had never occurred to me that something which was considered rude in one culture might be considered polite in another, and vice-versa.
2013-11-13 12:15:42 AM
2 votes:

Silverstaff: 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.


They're still around more than elsewhere.  I pay rent with paper because there's a fee to direct deposit.  There are a lot of people who don't have a bank cashing in their paper work check at places like Wally World.  The only way I can do car registration by mail is with a paper check or money order.
2013-11-13 12:10:32 AM
2 votes:

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 12:07:35 AM
2 votes:

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 12:03:50 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 11:56:46 PM
2 votes:
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 11:49:11 PM
2 votes:
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 11:35:05 PM
2 votes:
My Indian wife would agree with all the points the first two made.

Except. What is an EMI?
2013-11-12 11:34:30 PM
2 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 11:15:09 PM
2 votes:
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.
2013-11-12 10:29:45 PM
2 votes:
Long read, but very interesting to see your country thru the eyes of outsiders.
Most stuff is dead on. I never even thought about this one, but it seems to shock a lot of them:

Bank checks are still used and mailed in envelopes. I thought this was only in a few cases but a lot of companies seem to prefer this method by default.
2013-11-12 08:41:21 PM
2 votes:
Interesting article. Going to have to save it and read it from time to time to help keep things in perspective. Helps to hear from another viewpoint just how good I got it.
2013-11-12 08:40:42 PM
2 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 08:19:18 PM
2 votes:

i259.photobucket.com


AMERICA, FARK YEAH!!

2013-11-12 07:53:43 PM
2 votes:

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 surprised how many people thought that friendly cashiers was odd.  I didn't realize that was anything special.  The same goes for the surprise at people addressing each other by first name, I know there are some very formal societies out there, but I figured most of the world was more along the lines of the informal way we do it here.
2013-11-12 07:26:15 PM
2 votes:
I work in customer service a lot, and this article has taught me that I should treat foreigners rudely so they can feel at home.
2013-11-12 07:17:20 PM
2 votes:
If this thread goes green, I predict a larger than average percentage of sparkly eagles.
2013-11-12 07:09:02 PM
2 votes:

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
2013-11-12 06:23:38 PM
2 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 06:18:28 PM
2 votes:
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
2013-11-13 11:43:02 AM
1 votes:
My husband's family are from Haiti and they are constantly telling me how "Americans" are wasteful and silly and pretty much suck at life, but they would recite the declaration of independence on the spot if someone came to take them back to Haiti.
2013-11-13 11:39:54 AM
1 votes:

Captain James T. Smirk: 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.


www.extremetech.com
2013-11-13 11:39:02 AM
1 votes:
I myself prefer squat toilets (no need to touch them!) but do like the modern flushing ones.
2013-11-13 11:31:34 AM
1 votes:

Palin2012: Thats just one place that im not in a hurry to go to. I dont really feel like dumping in a hole in the floor


===============

A squat toilet is healthier for you than the throne toilets American use.  Using a squat toilet means you are less likely to develop hemorrhoids and incontinence problems later in life.  It's natural for humans to squat when they dump.  Sitting while taking a dump has been around for only a hundred years or so.
2013-11-13 11:15:33 AM
1 votes:

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


Alaska, yeah - that huge island with one oddly flat side that sits just off the west coast?

Aidan: I think a lot of the differences from TFA and here in the thread can be noted as big city vs. not.


Also very much this. It's funny to hear some of the discussion on the US internet about "Japan! Such a strange and mysterious place with all these amazingly weird conveniences and oh, transit! Small stores!" by people who moved to/visited Tokyo who don't realize that if they moved to Manhattan they'd find a lot of the same "new! Fresh!" things, because they're really seeing the urban/suburban differences.

As for customer service, most Japanese visitors to the US find US customer service to be cold and just really haphazard, because there isn't the bright smile and canned polite greetings everywhere.

Which reminds me of another big difference I don't think I've seen yet - police behavior (or authority behavior generally).  US police and officials seem really rude and almost violent.  There's this attitude of "we must dominate the situation always from the get-go and be very pushy" to show authority, whereas in a lot of places the same "I am in charge" is done with just cold but very, VERY polite language (think "your papers PLEASE, SIR").  A while ago I heard a radio program about this comparing the difference just between Canada and the US, and the UK and the US, and they interviewed some people with border patrol (on the US side) who explained that this move towards aggressiveness and "quickly establish dominance" posturing was a very calculated thing being taught now (which people on the inside too apparently have mixed feelings about but that's the new theories).
2013-11-13 11:03:45 AM
1 votes:

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 10:55:48 AM
1 votes:

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 10:50:16 AM
1 votes:
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 10:46:39 AM
1 votes:

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 10:43:14 AM
1 votes:

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 10:20:20 AM
1 votes:

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 10:12:31 AM
1 votes:

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 10:03:32 AM
1 votes:

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 09:59:35 AM
1 votes:

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 09:54:08 AM
1 votes:

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 09:47:34 AM
1 votes:

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 09:34:57 AM
1 votes:

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 09:22:34 AM
1 votes:

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 09:14:00 AM
1 votes:

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 09:11:50 AM
1 votes:
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 09:10:35 AM
1 votes:

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 08:41:35 AM
1 votes:
"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 08:38:33 AM
1 votes:

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 08:00:49 AM
1 votes:
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 07:51:26 AM
1 votes:
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 06:53:45 AM
1 votes:

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 06:47:48 AM
1 votes:

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 04:16:06 AM
1 votes:
Seth'n'Spectrum:/are you supposed to tip when you go to a restaurant to pick up take-out? No, right?

I generally use:

Take out: 0%
Counter order, table delivery, self-bus: 5%
Counter order, table delivery and bussing: 10%
Full table service (menu/order/water/silverware): 15-20%

I also don't mind over-tipping since most foodservice workers are paid very little.
2013-11-13 03:57:28 AM
1 votes:

albuquerquehalsey: fusillade762: Seemed to me like the most common observations (from what I've read so far) were:

Tipping? What the hell?

The mass transit here sucks.

People don't stay with their relatives when they visit.

Lack of universal health care is insane.

Credit score WTF?

Our cars and houses are ridiculous in size.

Did you read the article? Because half of the things people listed were positive, but you can't mention those, you angry little snowflake.


I was a good article. And your right. Most of it was positive.
2013-11-13 03:53:47 AM
1 votes:
God Dammit so much! As a displaced poor Arkansas boy living in China you have no farking idea how awesome America is until you are gone!
2013-11-13 03:49:21 AM
1 votes:
There was an exchange student on our soccer team in high school who was from somewhere in Eastern Europe (I can't remember where).  He was a cool guy but didn't understand that all Americans wear deodorant, especially during two a days in August.  On the second day someone went to the store at lunch and bought him a few different sticks of deodorant.  Watching him try to apply it with the cap still on generated some laughs but once we explained what was going on and that we weren't trying to be dicks he got the picture.  It's probably a good thing we did that before school started since no one wants to sit next to someone who smells like armpits.
I also recall going to Canada about 10 years ago and being taken aback by vinegar packets at fast food restaurants and how casually racist some people were, especially regarding the native population.  I also recall being on the light rail and the subject of gun ownership coming up and everyone around us becoming very concerned since we were American and they thought we were armed to the teeth and insane.
2013-11-13 03:46:06 AM
1 votes:

Teknowaffle: 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?

How many people understand that individual countries (with the exception of Western Europe, which is a part of a continent) are going to be smaller than a whole continent?

Not you apparently.


Most Europeans don't understand their "continent" is smaller than several nations.
2013-11-13 03:39:51 AM
1 votes:

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?


How many people understand that individual countries (with the exception of Western Europe, which is a part of a continent) are going to be smaller than a whole continent?

Not you apparently.
2013-11-13 03:22:12 AM
1 votes:

ransack.: doosh: kombi: Popular Opinion: 

When I go to a bar or restaurant I expect to tip. They are serving me.

But it IS arbitrary. Do you tip your dentist? A cop? The deli guy? They're all rendering services to you.

The last time I got my teeth cleaned the dental hygenist taught me that you're supposed to tip them


Again. I agree. I do. I dont think everyone needs to be tipped. I really dont think anyone needs to be tipped. But Thats not our culture. Here we tip some people. and dont tip others.
2013-11-13 03:18:46 AM
1 votes:

HotWingAgenda: Fano: How many people UNDERSTAND that pic?

Well, I UNDERSTAND that Africa and Western Europe are not countries, unlike whoever made that travesty of an infographic.



Asberger's is an interesting syndrome. Africa looks somewhat small on the Mercator projection. It's nice to see someone give some scale to the size of Africa. Especially to show that the Europeans that meddled with it so much from the 1600s on were just small states imposing their will on big ones.
2013-11-13 03:14:05 AM
1 votes:

BigJake: kombi: I do think its funny how alot of Europeans just think we are backwards.

Were you originally from somewhere else?


No Im Native
2013-11-13 03:11:26 AM
1 votes:

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
2013-11-13 03:09:26 AM
1 votes:

kombi: I do think its funny how alot of Europeans just think we are backwards.


Were you originally from somewhere else?
2013-11-13 03:05:52 AM
1 votes:

spaten: kombi: I do think its funny how alot of Europeans just think we are backwards. When I was in soccer radio we would have Euro players come in and complain how we dont drive on the correct side of the road. They cant take there teenage kids to a bar, we dont use pal for our video standard, we use 110v and not 220. How we where simple and backwards compared to the rest of the world. Why would someone want to live so far away from LA or NY. Why would we want to live any ware else in the country. They dont understand why there teenage kids could not go to Hollywood clubs with them. All kinds of stuff

Lived in Poland for a while. They love Americans and hate the Germans. Wonder why. The hooligan culture in Bitom and Katowice is very strong. shiatheads tried to rob me a couple times. I laughed at them and told them to buy a ticket to Detroit. The real Eastern Europe gangsters aren't petty criminals...


Oh hell ya. They are real villains. Would not want to screw with them. Even with the shooting now and then, We are incredibly safe compared to alot of the world. . And they have alot more firepower than anyone here. Even when it comes to street crime.
2013-11-13 02:58:53 AM
1 votes:

kombi: I do think its funny how alot of Europeans just think we are backwards. When I was in soccer radio we would have Euro players come in and complain how we dont drive on the correct side of the road. They cant take there teenage kids to a bar, we dont use pal for our video standard, we use 110v and not 220. How we where simple and backwards compared to the rest of the world. Why would someone want to live so far away from LA or NY. Why would we want to live any ware else in the country. They dont understand why there teenage kids could not go to Hollywood clubs with them. All kinds of stuff


Lived in Poland for a while. They love Americans and hate the Germans. Wonder why. The hooligan culture in Bitom and Katowice is very strong. shiatheads tried to rob me a couple times. I laughed at them and told them to buy a ticket to Detroit. The real Eastern Europe gangsters aren't petty criminals...
2013-11-13 02:31:08 AM
1 votes:

kombi: Popular Opinion: 

When I go to a bar or restaurant I expect to tip. They are serving me.


But it IS arbitrary. Do you tip your dentist? A cop? The deli guy? They're all rendering services to you.
2013-11-13 02:24:49 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 02:23:03 AM
1 votes:

ciberido: gunslinger_RG: 

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).


Also true in my experience. The reason I think this is the case is that the beef and chicken in countries other than the US is free range and not the corn-stuffed gang-pressed factory-raised animals like we have here. The fries are fried in pure, heavenly lard as God awmighty hath intended and not in vegetable oil.

On the downside, in other countries no free refills, no liberal ketchup helpings and no such thing as double quarter pounders.
2013-11-13 02:20:58 AM
1 votes:

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
2013-11-13 02:12:13 AM
1 votes:

kombi: GRCooper: CygnusDarius: 

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

I did soccer radio and yes they HATE Mexicans. I mean HATE. Its hard to explain to people.


It's like this, a gross modo:

Salvadorans, Guatemalans & Hondurans resent them for treating them like shiat and pretending they're superior
Cubans look down on them as uneducated, dirty yokels
Colombians think they talk and act goofy (and have poor taste)
Venezuelans are bitter for them having stolen their trend-setting crown throughout the rest of S. America
Puerto Ricans for making them look bad since they're so much harder working
Argentinians, well, Argentinians are more arrogant than the French or South Koreans so they hate even being lumped in as being Latin Americans at all!
2013-11-13 02:10:08 AM
1 votes:
This was really interesting. Thanks subby
2013-11-13 02:04:59 AM
1 votes:

davidphogan: kombi: Up till about 20is years ago there was still green belt (non built up areas) between LA and San Diego. Not it seems like Sd to SF is one big city.

When did Camp Pendleton get bulldozed, and how the hell did LA and SF get connected by sprawl?


Not like it was. But all cities have grown. Some places have just become insane. Maybe a better example would be from San Bernadeno to Ventura
2013-11-13 01:57:26 AM
1 votes:

kombi: Up till about 20is years ago there was still green belt (non built up areas) between LA and San Diego. Not it seems like Sd to SF is one big city.


When did Camp Pendleton get bulldozed, and how the hell did LA and SF get connected by sprawl?
2013-11-13 01:50:58 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 01:50:15 AM
1 votes:

Shorelinefarker: Canadians and Australians understand distance. Europeans, not so much.


Your right. I lumped Canadians in with the US. Even in a place like Russia. Its big. But all the cities where basically built along a train route. Not spread out alot.
2013-11-13 01:49:35 AM
1 votes:

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!!
2013-11-13 01:47:10 AM
1 votes:

StreetlightInTheGhetto: davidphogan: I've had people mention it's weird that on the bus in Portland you say "Thank you" to the driver. You just do. They got you safely from point-A to point-B.

yeah.  I really don't get why that's weird.

The first time I really took the bus regularly was in college, and the college and city buses both - it's just what you do, *especially* since they have to negotiate tight turns and snow/ice conditions in a huge freaking vehicle.

Though I don't really notice if other people do or not.


I guess in hindsight I've never heard someone thank a driver in NY, LA, SD, SF, etc...  Maybe a cab driver, but not a bus driver.  In Portland it catches my attention when someone doesn't.

But I've only really noticed because people not from here think it's so weird.
2013-11-13 01:46:41 AM
1 votes:

ciberido: kombi: Yes we have a very large geographically deserve country. And We dont have a great public trans portion system. Again geographically deserve and the size

That's part of it, but I think a big reason why America has such a poor transit system is that Americans are very individualistic and we like to own our own personal versions of things rather than share some sort of communal version.  So, individual cars rather than sharing trains or buses.

Another example is computers.  Americans love to own their own computers.  So you'll take your own personal laptop to a coffee shop that has free wifi, and you'll see a lot of other people with their laptops.  As opposed to, say, South Korea, where you'd go to an internet cafe and rent a computer for an hour (or 20).

Then there's the way Americans seem to have a larger "personal bubble" or zone of space.  It's especially noticeable at a public place like a theater where it's considered intrusive, even creepy, to sit next to a stranger.  No, in the USA you're expected to always leave at least one empty seat.

It's odd, especially thinking about some of the comments about how Americans "overshare" personal details.  It's like Americans have a great willingness to share personal information but an equally great reluctance to share physical objects or space.


Ya its cultural. We are not used to going to sporting event or concert and not having an assigned seat. We dont kiss our friends on the cheek. If we are in a theater that is not crowded. We dont sit on top of each other. We give each other space.
When it comes to mass tansit. Other than a few US cities. There really is not any. We live so far apart. Up till about 20is years ago there was still green belt (non built up areas) between LA and San Diego. Not it seems like Sd to SF is one big city. We just did not built the infrastructure. And alot of our cities in most of the country where not  easy to access. It costs alot to build trains thru mountain ranges.
In in a place like LA. There is no real city center where people work. You say I work in LA. well thats aprox 469 square miles.
2013-11-13 01:42:19 AM
1 votes:

davidphogan: I've had people mention it's weird that on the bus in Portland you say "Thank you" to the driver. You just do. They got you safely from point-A to point-B.


yeah.  I really don't get why that's weird.

The first time I really took the bus regularly was in college, and the college and city buses both - it's just what you do, *especially* since they have to negotiate tight turns and snow/ice conditions in a huge freaking vehicle.

Though I don't really notice if other people do or not.
2013-11-13 01:35:16 AM
1 votes:

davidphogan: 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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_immigration_to_Mexico

There are reasons.


And along the road, they taught beer-brewing to Mexicans; hell, even my own city had a brewery (Supposedly to fight alcoholism). Sort of a lost art because of the crap commercial beer flooding the market these days, but we're getting back the hang of it.
2013-11-13 01:29:47 AM
1 votes:

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.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_immigration_to_Mexico

There are reasons.
2013-11-13 01:24:28 AM
1 votes:

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


Okay, this has been bothering me. I always refer to them as "hand phones" but I can't figure out where I picked up the practice. The Brits call them "mobiles", which makes me shudder a little.

Also, absolute cultural disorientation when I found out my fellow Americans don't use the word "aircon".
2013-11-13 01:24:27 AM
1 votes:

Farty McPooPants: One thing I noticed that no one mentioned was advertising.  In the states, it's a constant bombardment everywhere, anytime.  Being overseas for a while you get used to not being pestered so much and, in some countries, it is so lacking you almost miss it.
When you come back, it is a shock to the system how much you are targeted by ads, commercials, billboards, everywhere you look, everything you hear, has some percentage of advertising associated with it.  It tends to desensitize you, yet, it also seems like it's that chatty friend you have that never shuts up.


True.  And yet there are some exceptions.  One thing that annoyed me about South Korea was the little trucks that went around selling stuff, with loudspeakers mounted blaring out a barrage of advertising for their wares --- usually foodstuff like vegetables or fruits.  I found it extremely annoying and was cheered by the thought that I don't have to put up with that nonsense in America.

Then I get back, go to a Wal-Mart, and now they have these video-screens mounted everywhere running ads.

At least I still don't have to deal with it just walking down the street.  Yet.
2013-11-13 01:20:56 AM
1 votes:
People don't really care about the FIFA World Cup even though USA qualifies.

/surprises no one
//not really
2013-11-13 01:19:02 AM
1 votes:
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 01:17:07 AM
1 votes:

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 01:06:32 AM
1 votes:

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 01:03:45 AM
1 votes:

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 01:00:27 AM
1 votes:

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 12:56:59 AM
1 votes:

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 12:54:11 AM
1 votes:

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 12:52:05 AM
1 votes:

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 12:50:26 AM
1 votes:

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 12:48:49 AM
1 votes:
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 12:48:33 AM
1 votes:
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 12:47:28 AM
1 votes:

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 12:46:42 AM
1 votes:

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 12:44:18 AM
1 votes:
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 12:40:35 AM
1 votes:

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 12:39:32 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 12:38:27 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 12:34:59 AM
1 votes:
Rincewind53:  I've always loved that cover.

Steinberg came to hate it. It came from a series he did. And seeing it ripped off and taken out of context really bothered him. But it really became iconic in a way no one foresaw.
2013-11-13 12:34:11 AM
1 votes:
worlddan:
(3) Our need for entertainment, and yes this includes Fark. We fight and argue over the most inane things and I do not think many people realize what a luxury that is. In many places wars are fought over simply who gets to eat. Here, we have huge debates over school prayer or flag burning. Ridiculous.


lol, i guess some people like to argue...and any "discussion" where everyone agrees is pretty useless imo.
i like to take whatever side seems under-represented, regardless of my own opinion, because it helps to see it from both sides,

in any case, this luxury of time (we don't have to look for food or shelter) is why we have things like art and music....and perhaps unfortunately, things like religion.
2013-11-13 12:28:50 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-13 12:27:51 AM
1 votes:

thisisyourbrainonFark: 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 image 850x364]


I exaggerated for effect but yes.

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?'"


A lot of Americans are perfectly comfortable sharing personal things with complete strangers, without the part of being close friends. This causes confusion for foreigners who think the person has become a true friend.
2013-11-13 12:26:28 AM
1 votes:
worlddan:


(1) More often than not, Americans are honest. There is very little corruption here compared to what one finds in many countries.

(3) America is clean. This is the number on thing that always aggravates me when I travel to the 3rd world, just how god damn dirty it is.

1) My Bulgarian co worker was actually astounded that you couldn't bribe cops.  I don't suppose he ever tried, and I guess he was more thankful for it, than disappointed.

3) Scotland and England are farking filthy places.  I couldn't believe the actual amount of litter in the streets.  WTF people, there are trash cans on every corner?  However, the Tube in London was spotless.
Germany, the streets and public transport are spotless.  Paris, was somewhat dirty, but was swept clean every morning.
2013-11-13 12:25:16 AM
1 votes:

LemSkroob: What is most interesting is the responses people have based on the area of the US they visited.


And where they are from within their own countries and how much they have traveled. Western Europe shouldn't really be surprised by much (except for Health care and transportation). German hotels have buffet breakfasts, and their dinners in Germany can be enormous too. Some of the "schwein" dinners must be half a pig.
2013-11-13 12:24:42 AM
1 votes:

gunslinger_RG: Also, we should really have some documentation for newcomers on our tipping etiquette. Since I grew up here, I forget how complex this totally unwritten and nearly unspoken rule is to someone who has not grown up in that environment. I dated this lady from China for a few years and I had to teach her how/when/why to tip. Restaurants are the easiest to pick up, but the stylist, the cab, the person who cleans your house.


I was born in the USA and lived here all my life and cannot figure out the tipping system. It's truly mind boggling.
2013-11-13 12:23:29 AM
1 votes:
The[y] couldn't believe that we like Root Beer.

upload.wikimedia.org
It's so bubbly and cloying, and happy...
2013-11-13 12:19:02 AM
1 votes:

Silverstaff: 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.


Guess what? Chances are those are not electronic transfers. They're done over the web, but what comes out is a little printed out check stuck in the mail that you just don't see.

Also, unless you're working for a pretty big company, direct deposit is rare. And, I've never heard of paying rent by electronic transfer (unless again, it's one of those BillPay things where a check is printed and mailed behind the scenes).
2013-11-13 12:16:41 AM
1 votes:
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.
2013-11-13 12:15:45 AM
1 votes:

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.


I work for a small non-profit, and apparently it's too much of a biatch to do direct deposit.  But I just get my paycheck handed to me at work.

The BF works for a local business that *insists* on direct deposit... but he still gets a fake paycheck mailed every two weeks showing how much they direct deposited in his account.

/shrug
//I prefer checks over debit cards myself; credit is different
2013-11-13 12:14:13 AM
1 votes:

CygnusDarius: 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.


I think if Mexico farks it up, the entire Mexican economy is going to lose about $800M or so. Also, if they do, there might be a revolt and they burn FMF to the ground. That's not good, b/c then they might get a competent federation that uses the talent wisely, which would be a farking nightmare for the US.
2013-11-13 12:11:14 AM
1 votes:
So basically American culture is better than your culture in every way, and we can outeat your asses.  YEAH AMERICA.
2013-11-13 12:10:50 AM
1 votes:
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.
2013-11-13 12:10:00 AM
1 votes:

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 12:09:58 AM
1 votes:
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 12:08:37 AM
1 votes:

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 12:06:42 AM
1 votes:

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 12:02:17 AM
1 votes:

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 12:01:59 AM
1 votes:
"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.
2013-11-12 11:58:14 PM
1 votes:

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 11:57:21 PM
1 votes:
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 11:54:59 PM
1 votes:
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 11:54:32 PM
1 votes:

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 11:52:52 PM
1 votes:

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 11:51:21 PM
1 votes:

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 11:48:08 PM
1 votes:
D'oh! I should have noticed that this link was taken from Quora, and I used #8 in my last post.
2013-11-12 11:48:00 PM
1 votes:

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 11:41:56 PM
1 votes:

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 11:41:21 PM
1 votes:
Isn't AMERICA GREAT?  The whole world knows it. Yes yes yes!!!!!
2013-11-12 11:37:43 PM
1 votes:
#4 reinforced the stereotype to me that Rooskies are still commie drones.
2013-11-12 11:35:46 PM
1 votes:
Americans wouldn't be so fat if the beer and chocolate were as good as in Europe.
2013-11-12 11:19:36 PM
1 votes:

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


how about a larger than average percentage of people calling you a smug, elitist jackass?  Did you see that one too?
2013-11-12 10:47:16 PM
1 votes:

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.
2013-11-12 10:04:43 PM
1 votes:

I_Am_Weasel: Portion size and gravy on everything.


img.fark.net
"Is there anything on this menu not swimming in gravy?"
2013-11-12 09:51:04 PM
1 votes:
Portion size and gravy on everything.
2013-11-12 09:24:07 PM
1 votes:
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?
2013-11-12 09:14:37 PM
1 votes:
When my UltraGuzzle hits the one-inch-remaining mark a soundchip plays "God Bless the USA" to remind me it's time for a refill!
2013-11-12 09:02:36 PM
1 votes:
I loved the article, especially the parts describing just how big our country is. I also appreciate the observation that we are concerned what others think about us. Not many countries worry what Americans think of them.

/Patriotism isn't unique amongst Americans.
//The English, Scots, Welsh and Irish are a bit wrapped up in their flags as well.
2013-11-12 08:53:22 PM
1 votes:
The[y] couldn't believe that we like Root Beer.

Heh. 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.

"Sabe a jarabe antitusivo." ("It tastes like cough syrup.") They couldn't believe that some people prefer those drinks to Coke or Sprite.
2013-11-12 08:46:00 PM
1 votes:

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


upload.wikimedia.org

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