The US is one of the biggest countries in the world and somewhere that foreigners come from far and wide to visit, so it's no surprise that people can end up being surprised by what they find when they get there. Yes, believe it or not there are people in this world that live nothing like the people within the US, so when they eventually get there it can be a real culture change in so many ways, from the big to the little!
What we've done is pull together some of the things that people have noticed are different once they've arrived in the US. We want to see if people from the US can understand why they're seen as weird by other people, while also letting people see what sort of thing they're in for if they decide to travel and stay within the US. It's good to make sure that people aren't surprised when they get there.
So, is everyone ready to take a look at what foreigners notice when they set foot on US soil? Want a chance to be warned about the culture change coming your way if the US is on your bucket list?! Well then, it's time for us to get started!
24 Ice Is In Everything
We're still not sure why, but the US is obsessed with ice, and they will put it into every drink they have. This is pretty standard for fizzy soda across the world, but the US doesn't stop there.
They're known for throwing it into any water as well, whether it's warm or cold outside.
Throw in the fact that they will even put it into coffee, whether it makes them better or worse, and US citizens should be able to see why the rest of the world thinks they're odd for doing this!
23 The Portions Are Huge
It's no secret that the US has a real issue with big people, so they're probably trying to do something about that in all parts of society right?
Well, no, it doesn't really seem that way based on the size of the portions that seem to be standard in the US, especially in certain States!
People are expected to eat a huge amount of food when they visit a restaurant, cafe, or a deli in the US. This is a nightmare when combined with the foreign sensibility of not wanting to appear rude, as people will eat all of it, even if they don't want it.
22 Prayer Before Food
While the US isn't the only country that prays before they sit down for a meal, most of the Western world isn't likely to engage in this tradition, so expect people to be surprised!
Yes, if you're staying with a US family, any foreigner will be surprised to learn that they have to wait to eat their dinner every night.
Obviously, one should be respectful of the customs of another country, but that doesn't mean it won't seem peculiar to them at first, as they will definitely have to get used to it.
21 People Are Loud...
Nobody really knows why this is, but people who live in the US, especially those who were born and raised there, just seem to be naturally a lot louder than people anywhere else in the world.
Will we ever get an answer to why this is? We don't think so...
There's clearly something in the US psyche that leads them to being quite a loud folk. They want to be heard, whether or not the people around them want to have to listen.
20 ...And Hugely Confident!
Not only are the US people naturally loud, most of them are also pretty confident as well. Sure, some of them are quiet introverts, but 90% of them definitely aren't!
For any quiet travellers, this can be a pretty big culture surprise. They're not used to be around so many confident people at once!
We can promise everyone reading this that this particular US confidence can be a double edged sword. Sometimes it can be really inspiring, but other times it can grate on the nerves as well...
19 Donuts Count As Breakfast...
The US is known for its sweet breakfasts, and while there are other areas of the world that do the same, the US takes it to a whole other level.
If they're not pouring syrup onto a huge stack of pancakes, they're eating something like donuts for breakfast.
There isn't really anywhere else that considers sugary donuts and coffee as a suitable breakfast. That is the sort of breakfast that will have someone crashing with minutes of leaving their home...
18 Toilet Seats Are Different
This is just a small difference that we bet a lot of people won't even notice, but yes, the people of the US are used toilet seats that are different to most other places on the planet.
Some famous US celebs have theirs in gold, but that's not the norm, don't worry!
This is due to the small piece that is missing at the front of the toilet seat. It doesn't make much of a difference to the bathroom experience or anything, but it's still a slight change that we can see no reason for. We can only assume that the men from the US need a little extra room due to their poor aim...
17 Snow Days Are A Thing
People are obsessed with snow days in the US, with many adults and children calling off their entire day if even a small amount of snow falls on their country. This is not how it works in many other countries.
Yes, believe it or not, but there are places that see snowfall on a regular basis throughout the year.
To see the US fall into chaos just because of a bit of snow is laughable to someone that comes from a country that sees that same amount of snow, sometimes even more of it!
16 Yes, People Are Big
It's one of the biggest stereotypes of all time, but the people of the US are known for being pretty big people, and they certainly don't disappoint in this aspect. Sure, this differs from State to State, but pretty much every single State has some big people.
We're not suggesting that travellers should be seeking these poor people out, but let's just say they certainly are as big as everyone says they are. That being said, people will definitely notice bigger people than back home...
15 Everywhere Has Free Refills
A lot of people in the US like to know that they're getting value for money, which is exactly why a lot of places offer free refills, as they know that a lot of people expect them at this point!
Who knows which restaurant out there started this free refill concept, but it's because of them that pretty much everywhere in the US has them now.
This can only be a positive thing though, as it means that any traveller will be able to make sure they're well stocked when it comes to water and soda throughout their visit.
14 The Cities Are Gross
Okay, so to be fair to the cities of the US, cities across the world are known for being gross as well, as they hold a huge amount of people and create a lot of pollution. That being said, many cities, such as New York City, are pretty unpleasant.
Places like New York are filled with pollution.
This is known to US citizens as well though, so travellers probably shouldn't bother bringing it up. They've come to terms with it at this point so don't bring it all up again!
13 People Give Random Compliments
There are a lot of places in this world where the concept of just talking to a complete stranger is seen as odd behavior. The people of the US take it to a whole new level.
As a traveller, don't be surprised if people in the US stop in the street to offer compliments.
Foreigners will likely assume that these people are looking to get something out of them, but honestly, they're just being friendly. Take the compliment and maybe pass one on as well!
12 Men Will Ask Out Women Anywhere...
There are many places in various other parts of the world where it's totally acceptable that a man will make a move on a woman, but men in the US seem to be putting their confidence to extremely good use by doing it every opportunity they get.
Women will find that they're being asked on dates pretty much everywhere they go, from the library to waiting in line at a shop, which will feel very weird to most of them at first.
However, we imagine they'll be able to get used to it, and if they don't like the attention they know where they can tell the men to stick it!
11 There Are Flags Everywhere
We know that every country out there has a flag, ranging for the good to the not so good, but that doesn't mean they wave them around in the same way that the US does.
Yes, any visitor to the US will be surprised by how many flags are on show once they get there.
Seriously, people in the US love flags. They hang them from their cars, their homes, and even wear flag pins on their clothes. If a visitor goes to any sort of major event, they can expect to see a lot of flag waving as well...
10 Tipping Is Important
In most countries around the world, tipping is optional, allowing people to reward those who went above and beyond while serving them. However, this isn't so true in the US...
Due to the low minimum wage in many US states, servers expect a tip from everyone they serve, no matter how well they happen to be doing their job!
The long term solution to this is obviously to ensure that people get a better minimum wage, but in the meantime, travellers need to make sure that they're properly tipping those that are serving them or else they're going to get very angry!
9 US Bread Is SWEET
In most places around the world, bread is a more savoury option, but this can often be spoiled in the US where bread seems to always be sweet!
The people that live in the US can't understand why travellers to their country think their bread is so sweet, but this is because they're used to the increased salt and sugar content!
Everyone else thinks that their bread is, just like most other things in the US, way over the top. They like their bread to be a savoury opinion and a savoury option only.
8 US Citizens use their cutlery wrong
Believe it or not, but there are some travellers out there that think US citizens don't properly utilize their cutlery while at the dinner table.
Some people have noticed that will often cut up anything that needs cutting up right at the beginning of the meal, before abandoning the knife for the rest of it!
If there's any way they can cut up their food with the side of their fork, they'll do that rather than pick their knife back up. Where did this odd culinary tradition start?!
7 People Have To Buy Their Own Water
In true US form, travellers will find that they can get refills of soda, but they'll struggle to get proper water wherever they're staying...
A lot of US citizens choose to buy bottled water instead of using the tap water, as they don't believe it to be as clean.
In fact, in some areas of the US, travellers will be advised not to drink the tap water, and instead go for bottled water throughout their stay. Their bodies will thank them for it later!
6 Nobody Uses Duvet Covers
Okay, so this is going to seem weird to a lot of people outside of the US, but many people travelling to the place have noted that the citizens there don't use something that most other countries in the Western World use!
Bonus: They also don't seem to use kettles. Which everyone else uses!
Yes, for some reason, the people of the US don't bother with a duvet cover, or as they call them a comforter. We're not sure why they don't use them, or why other countries choose to use them. It seems like not using them would probably cut down on time!
5 People Still Use Cheques
For many countries, the concept of using a cheque is like the concept of using an outside toilet. It's a thing of the past that we've since got rid of something that is much more convenient.
To a lot of the world, the fact that people continue to use cheques when things like contactless payments exist just doesn't make sense.
People can use their money however they want, but expect to get some looks from tourists...