There are a lot of great things that you could say about the United States of America, which may seem odd coming from us upon glancing at the title of this particular piece. Alas, we're still willing to admit that there are aspects of their nation that we love, but as is the case in every walk of life you need to be fair, and you need to measure things out as equally as you can. There are always two sides to a coin.
That's why we've decided to write this list, detailing some things that foreigners either can't quite understand or simply don't like about the USA way of life. Some of these entries will also probably apply for the locals themselves who would like to see some changes being made, but for the most part, we're focusing on every other part of the world and how they view things.
The current political situation of the States is probably one of the hottest topics that we could discuss, but we aren't going to focus on that today. It feels a little bit played-out given how many other sites will be going on about it, and we probably wouldn't be able to offer you a unique perspective - so take your views elsewhere, guys and gals.
Still, there's a lot of material left over for us to work through, and that's quite a nice position to be in. Of course, a lot of folks from the US of A are going to take exception to some of these tidbits, but we want to try and send a message with what we're doing here. While it all may be lighthearted fun, we want to try and raise awareness of some things that we've picked up on.
20 Some Odd Spellings - Small But Annoying
We know this isn't something that a lot of people are going to care about, but it's particularly frustrating for the Brits and Aussies amongst us. For whatever reason, there's a distinct divide in how we spell certain words, with things like colour and flavour being spelled without the 'u' in America, among other things.
Again, we can understand completely how petty this sounds, but you can't quite understand or fathom how annoying it is unless you've been exposed to it on a daily basis. So, our suggestion is this: why don't we all just spell everything the same way? Life would be so much simpler.
19 Healthcare - How Much?
There are plenty of countries around the world where you'll be able to find free healthcare and even the USA's neighbours, Canada have been able to master it. While we understand that it's a complicated process, it's baffling to us that the figures surrounding general healthcare are so extravagant over there.
It's one of the biggest things that deter people from moving to the States permanently, because what happens if they find themselves in an emergency situation and they can't pay the bills? It's a dire situation to be in and it needs to be rectified as quickly as possible.
18 So Very Loud - My Ears!
Certain nations seem to have locals that are 'louder' than others, but the people of America take things to a whole new level. Sure, that can be a good thing when it comes to sporting events that require a larger than life atmosphere, but for the most part, it's just annoying.
If that's your natural tone and you can't do anything about it then that's fine, but just try to be a little bit more conscious of those around you. Once again, we apologise for sounding incredibly pretentious, but the heart wants what the heart wants and we fully stand by our thought process.
17 College Debt - Way Too Much
It's quite expensive to go to college (aka university) wherever you are in the world, and that's just the sad fact of life. It'd be nice if our tuition fees weren't so expensive, but hey, at least we get a degree and great life experiences out of the whole thing, right?
Well, yes, most of the time, but if you're in the States, then you'll probably spend a good chunk of your life paying back fees that you probably didn't even know you had. There's a reason why parents save up a college fund from the moment their child is born; because it costs an arm and a leg to even get them in the door.
16 Too Many Commercials - We Get It
US television has brought us some of the greatest shows of all time, from Breaking Bad to Friends and beyond (and if you dispute those two examples then we've got a serious problem). Alas, the biggest issue, especially with sporting events, is that there are just too many commercials.
A lot of them are really fun to watch, especially during the Super Bowl, but this is something that happens all year round. It's an exhausting process of having to watch the same thing over and over again, especially when the breaks occur every few minutes. Just, please, make it stop.
15 Travel Expenses - Unaffordable
Travelling around the globe is bad enough, but if you're from America, travelling anywhere is extremely tricky. While the train fares aren't exceptionally bad, if you want to fly across the country or even over to Europe/Asia, then you've got a big problem on your hands.
It's not necessarily that it's completely unaffordable, but it's just way too expensive when you compare it to living outside of the country. We feel sorry for people who want to travel and see different parts of the world, but can't, because the whole thing just isn't that feasible. It's a bit sad, really.
14 Eating Contests - Just Weird
While these happen pretty much everywhere these days, it feels like eating contests were 'born' in the United States in more ways than one. They seem to take every single item of food imaginable and turn it into some kind of competition, and while that doesn't sound entirely terrible, watching it isn't all too pleasant.
We aren't suggesting you have to watch it, but all it does is serve to give US folk an even worse reputation. We all know that they're the kings of the junk food genre but instead of playing up to it, why not try and rectify the problem in some way?
13 Certain Accents - A Personal Thing
Everyone has an accent of some kind and if you think that you don't, then we hate to break it to you, but you're wrong. This entry may seem a little bit 'off' given that these things can't be altered, but it's a personal preference that a lot of foreigners have.
Some USA accents are viewed as being more enjoyable to listen to than others, and that's just how some people think and feel. There's not necessarily one correct or wrong way to feel about it all, and you just need to be able to try and find the balance between what you like and what you don't like.
12 21, not 18 - Why so different?
The drinking age in the United States of America is 21, whereas pretty much universally it's 18. Not only does having a younger age limit allow youths to drink more responsibly, but it also teaches them the meaning of tolerance.
Those in America don't have that luxury, as teens often find themselves doing things against the law that can get themselves (and sometimes others) into trouble. We aren't suggesting that they should immediately change this, but studies have shown that it does cause some more issues in the long run given how much longer they need to wait. Either way, this causes some confusion, especially among Europeans.
11 The Arrogance - It’s True, It’s Damn True
The image may suggest to you that this is going to be based on the idea of 'patriotism', but that's something we're going to come onto later. The issue we have, in this entry, is that many USA folk are very arrogant when it comes to sticking to their own personal views.
Even if it's something as simple as suggesting an alternative to a routine they currently have, it sometimes feels like they're not so open-minded. Also, the idea that everything they love and enjoy is the 'greatest' seems to be a running theme throughout the type of individuals we've described. This is, of course, a generalisation, but we can pretty much guarantee that each of you has met someone that resembles our description.
10 Walmart Madness - Wait, What?
This will serve as something of a teaser to an article that'll be coming soon, but we felt the need to bring it up here anyway. Walmart, as a shop, is quite handy and serves as an alternative to 'supermarkets' and things of that nature.
Alas, from dangerous weapons to fast food options, they sell some utterly bizarre things that don't help to break the 'USA is a crazy place' reputation. We aren't suggesting that they need to close down or anything, but they should probably consider reviewing some of their items before making them available to the public.
9 Mad Drivers - Get Off The Road
Driving is a stressful thing for nine out of ten people, and we can completely understand that. However, given that most folks in the States treat the traffic light system as more of a guide than a law, you can understand why we're a bit worried by the idea of driving over there.
Some people just don't seem to stop and think about what they're doing, and that creates a very dangerous atmosphere on the roads. The fact that babies (well, 16-year-olds) are permitted to drive doesn't help, especially given that their driving tests are unbelievably easy compared to places like the UK.
8 Flimsy Currency - Needs More Stability
This may sound a little bit picky but we're going to go ahead and make a judgement call that it's a worthy addition to the list. Essentially, we find it a bit odd that the notes are so unbelievably flimsy (aka weak) when you draw them out of an ATM machine.
They're unbelievably easy to break or lose, which can be a real problem. Also, as a side note, the coin situation over there is so weird and somewhat difficult to understand. It's bad enough that the pound to dollar conversion rate keeps dropping, and now on top of that we have to worry about losing our hard earned 'dollars'.
7 The ‘Football’ Debate - Make It Stop
People in America call it soccer and the rest of the planet calls it football, but apparently they can't call it football because they already have a sport called football, even though their version of football doesn't involve your foot anywhere near as much as the proper version of football.
Look, this one is also kind of picky and we're going to openly admit that, but it's just so frustrating. We understand that it's a big part of their history, but come on, let's find the middle ground here.
6 Overbearing National Pride - U-S-A
Now we've arrived at the overbearing national pride that we were referring to earlier.
It's always nice to be patriotic and it's actually something that we'd openly encourage, but those in the USA take things to a whole new level. They always seem to be hell-bent on letting the world know that they live in the greatest country on Earth, even though that isn't entirely true.
It's fun to experience during events like the World Cup, but we'd rather not endure that throughout the remaining 11 months of the year. Above all else, though, just stop claiming to be the best country in the 'history of ever'. It's just a bit sad at this point.
5 Dramatic Weather - Hot ’N’ Cold
We could easily write a whole entry about how it's painfully hot in some places and painfully cold in others, but there's a much bigger issue at hand that USA folk have to deal with on a day to day basis: and that is the effect of hurricanes, especially in the South.
As a natural disaster, this is obviously something that can't be affected or changed, and all you can do is prepare for it. Still, that doesn't make it any less scary, and it's not something we want to be a part of. Sure, we want to offer our help as much as we can, but we won't pretend like it doesn't scare us off living there a bit.
4 Pressure On Athletes - Poor Form
From a very young age, athletes that show potential in any given sport are subjected to a great deal of pressure in the United States. Whether it be from their coaches or their parents, it's hard to get away from the culture of forcing a young boy or a young girl to do way too much.
This can have a long-lasting impact regardless of whether or not they find success on a professional level, and while it would be difficult to eradicate this altogether, we want to see some kind of steps being taken in order to cut it down.
3 Tipping Culture - Utterly Ridiculous
Tipping is something that will probably never change in a major way in the States, and that's a big shame. While we're totally on board with the idea of giving some money to a waiter or waitress who has done a great job, it shouldn't feel like we have to give a tip when they haven't really earned it.
It's a source of great frustration for many especially if you're heading over there for a week-long holiday because it can sometimes restrict how many times you decide to eat out. We wish that wasn't the case, but unfortunately, it doesn't feel like an issue that's going to go away.
2 Supersize Food - Massively Unhealthy
People like bigger portions sometimes, but when you have portions that are literally designed to give people heart attacks, then there's a problem - in fact, there's a big, big problem. We aren't here to try and tell you what you should and shouldn't eat, but it just seems a little bit embarrassing that there's always the compelling feeling to go 'bigger and better'.
Newsflash: regular portions work too, and you don't need to strain yourself to the point where you're putting your health at risk. In fact, portion control can actually lead to you having a much longer and healthier life.
Think we're exaggerating? Just check out the Heart Attack Grill.
1 Talking To Strangers - A Bit Odd
We've always been taught not to talk to strangers, because, you know, it can lead to some fairly bad situations. In the States, though, they seem to openly encourage the idea, to the point where they refer to it as 'making new friends' and 'getting to know people'.
We can understand the logic to a degree, but it still feels like they take things too far. You can put yourself in some really tough predicaments with this kind of thought process, and it's something we wouldn't like to see being replicated anywhere else.
If that makes us negative Nancys, then we're okay with that.