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25 Confusing Things About America That Not Even Locals Understand

As someone who has plans to head over to the United States twice this year, I can say with some confidence that I really like it as a country - to visit. There are plenty of great cities and places to go to throughout the course of your time there, and if you didn't live in the area, it'd pretty much be impossible to get around all of it in your lifetime, which makes for a fun challenge.

However, while that may be the case from a tourism perspective, there are certainly some more issues that even locals themselves don't understand. The majority of them realise that the issues are there pretty quickly, but for some, they need to go over to a country overseas in order to really get hit with the reality check that is different cultures.

There are some things that they get right in the States as opposed to around the rest of the world and we're perfectly okay with admitting that, but those 'things' are few and far between. Of course, the good thing is that these 25 entries and beyond give us a lot to discuss, which isn't something we're going to complain about.

The identity of the United States of America is forever changing with each and every passing day, which can be seen as both exciting and confronting in equal measure. Regardless of which camp you fall into, though, there's no real way of denying that there's a certain fascination people have with the USA that'll likely never go away.

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25 Incredibly Full Toilet Bowls

Via: BostonGlobe.com

This one sounds a little bit gross initially based on the title, but stick with us.

Essentially the way in which toilet bowls are designed over there seems to ensure that there’s way, way more water in the bowl than there would be in a standard toilet bowl found literally anywhere else around the world.

That poses a lot of problems in our books, mainly because it causes a brief panic over the thought that we may have actually clogged the toilet. Just have the water at a reasonable level, guys, it’s not that hard.

P.S: Yes, we know that this is a weird thing to nit pick about. Let’s move on.

24 The Use Of Fahrenheit

Via: Travel + Leisure

Just use Celsius.

This is yet another instance in which it feels like America are just doing something for the sake of standing out, and it’s just a little bit irritating. The Fahrenheit method of measuring temperature has always, and will always be much more complex than good old Celsius – which a good majority of you will probably prefer.

Making the transition over would probably cause chaos, but given how embedded the Americans are in this way, it certainly doesn’t feel like a function that will change any time soon.

If it does, then we’d be more than just a little stunned.

23 The Order Of The Day, Month, Year

Via: Nova

Christmas Day, for 95% of us, is registered as 25/12/19 (for this year anyway). In America, one of only a handful of countries in the world that does this, it’ll be 12/25/19. Again, much like the Fahrenheit equation, it’s such a simple point that appears to be twisted and turned to make it seem like they’re the ones in the right.

Each to their own and everything but it just seems unbelievably silly. We can’t imagine how many different confusions it has caused, and will continue to cause, for those who live and work internationally.

Let’s just press the reset button, guys.

22 The Fake Noise Added To Sitcoms

Via: Youth Incorporated Magazine

When you’re sat back enjoying a good sitcom it can be pretty easy to get caught up in the fun of it all by just enjoying the type of comedy on display. However, it’s equally as easy to start recognising the same laughs over and over again from the crowd.

That’s because they inject fake noise sounds into the show, mainly when live audiences don’t provide them with the right kind of reactions. It’s become a standard part of most shows from Big Bang Theory to Friends and beyond, and it’s just a bit tiring.

If you’re able to avoid that kind of thing and carry on viewing it normally, then good for you. We envy you.

21 The Late Addition Of Tax/Tipping

One minute you think your final sum for a shopping trip is $50, and then, after the tax is added on, it shoots up by almost a third. Then you go out for a meal and the expected tip is added on way after you ask for the bill, which also increases your total by a substantial amount.

It’s a problem that has been impacting the States and their residents for years now, especially in major cities. If you live in one of these locations then you’d better hope and pray that you’ve got a well-paid job, because if you don’t, then you could find yourself in a predicament or two.

20 Why There’s Such An Obsession Over High School Sports

Via: FanPop

There are some parents out there that just can’t seem to let go of the fact that they didn’t become the global sports star that they once thought they could be. So, they decide to pour their energy and time into coaching their child, which often leads to a strained relationship.

Oh, and beyond that, we just find it absolutely crazy that hundreds upon hundreds of people turn up to watch high school sports games. Hell, the majority of colleges in Europe don’t even get those kinds of numbers for a varsity game which is considered to be the most important sporting week of the season.

19 The Need For Biscuits And Gravy

Via: Pillsbury.com

The South is an interesting place in the United States, and while the North is too, we’re going to go ahead and suggest that this one entry is enough to tip the scales in the favour of the Southerners. Why? Because biscuits and gravy is the weirdest combination of everyday foods we’ve ever heard of.

Their version of biscuits is the equivalent of a scone over in the United Kingdom, but even for USA folk, this would be pretty confusing. Just imagine if you were from New York, Seattle or another Northern city/state and you went to the South and saw this on the menu. The confusion would be very, very real.

18 Why Black Friday Is So Insane

Via: Fortune

You’ve all seen the videos and photos of the chaos that ensues on Black Friday, and there’s just no way of justifying it anymore. There are people that are quite literally injuring themselves for the sake of knocking off a few dollars for a TV, and that’s just mental to us.

If you’re that desperate to shop in this way then why not just go and do it all online? It’d probably save you a great deal of hassle and stress, or alternatively, you could just not bother with it at all. We’d pick the latter, but that’s just us.

17 Why Spring Break Is Allowed To Be So Chaotic

Via: The Simpsons

Spring Break should certainly be viewed as a time in which students can unwind and have some fun with their friends, but it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that things have gone way too far.

We aren’t trying to tell you how to live your life or anything like that, but just look at the number of injuries and problems that stem from Spring Break. Partying is all well and good in moderation, but we wouldn’t be surprised if a solid week or so of doing it ends up knocking a few months off your life in the long run.

16 The Obsession With Over-Exaggeration

via:Planet Terry - WordPress.com

USA folk get passionate about a variety of different things and, contrary to the tone of this article, we think that’s nice. It’s great for people to get enthusiastic about things they enjoy, but we just tend to think some folks take it a little bit too far.

Oh, and by some folks, we mean most.

There’s a natural ‘over exaggeration’ within locals and their general personalities, which naturally makes them come across as much more ‘in your face’ and tiring. Locals themselves would’ve picked up on this, too, as there are some elite citizens that will even be upbeat before they’ve been able to have their first cup of coffee. Maniacs.

15 Why There Are So Many Deserted Roads

Via: United States Tourist Attractions

If you’ve ever been on a US road trip then you’ll be well aware of the fact that many of the roads you drive through are pretty deserted. We understand that America is a big country and not everywhere can be all that populated, but why not make the effort to build some more facilities? After all, it’s not like there’s a lack of people around.

In Britain, there are service stations every few miles on the motorway, even when it seems like they aren’t required. It’s a necessity that a lot of travellers need from time to time, and when you don’t have the ability to stop and chill out for a bit, it can create problems.

14 Why So Many Places Live In The Past

Via: Country Living Magazine

This kind of runs on from the last point, but we’re talking in a much more ‘generalised’ sense here.

Wifi is a really important thing in the modern era, and it just seems like there are so many different regions within the country that like to live in the past. We understand that the ‘western cowboy’ type of culture is always going to be important, but when you’ve got people living like they’re still in that age instead of this one, it can create problems and it can create a divide.

Like we’ve said before everyone likes what they like and we can completely appreciate that, but that also isn’t the point. The point is you need to get with the times.

13 The Madness Of US Breadsticks

Via: AllRecipes UK

When the term breadstick comes into your mind, if you’re from the rest of the world, then your mind will probably drift towards a very thin and hard piece of bread that you tend to have with an Italian meal. When you’re in the States, however, as is the case with most of their food, things are taken to a whole new level.

These breadsticks are the equivalent of small baguettes, and the realisation of how bizarre the gap between the two is must be quite startling if you’re an American who has travelled abroad recently.

Sure, you get more for your money in some ways, but bread isn’t actually that good for you, guys.

12 When Sponsors Became So Incredibly Important

Via: CNBC.com

Cars, sports teams, buildings, companies, television shows and beyond. You name it and they’ve got a sponsor for it in the United States of America, and we kind of get it, but we also kind of don’t. Part of us understands that money makes the world go round and all that jazz, but on the flip side, we often wonder whether or not these associations think about the sponsors that they’re jumping into bed with.

Do they take the time to really go deep into the morals and values of their company and what their ethics are? Some may argue so, but until we see definitive proof of that, we can’t hop on board this train.

11 Only Putting Certain Timezones In Ads

via: usa

Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii-Aleutian. Those are the primary timezones across the United States of America, but we’re going to go ahead and assume non-locals didn’t 100% know that. Why? Because aside from Eastern and Central, companies who use advertisements don’t show enough love to all of the timezones when revealing what time their product is airing.

You may think that they can work it out for themselves, but some folks don’t function like that. Some are very visual and want to be told directly when something is going to go down, especially if it’s an important national event of some kind.

10 Why 21 Is Such A Massive Birthday

Via: WTAE.com

The main reason we’re suggesting that USA folk don’t understand this one is simple: they understand the laws and practices that are carried out in countries around the globe. It makes no real sense for 21 to be as big of a birthday as it is, and yet, that seems to be the position we find ourselves in. Odd, isn’t it? 18 and in some walks of life 16 are much more notable, and perhaps even 20 as it marks the official end of your teenage years.

If you’re ever feeling the pressure of needing your 21st birthday to ‘live up to the hype’ so to speak, then just stop. Don’t worry about it, because it’s not worth your energy.

9 Lack Of Appreciation For European Culture

Via: European Year of Cultural Heritage

We arrive at the question that many Americans who have travelled to Europe will ask: why don’t we appreciate and respect the European culture a little bit more?

It’s quite a broad question and we understand that, but in truth, we think it comes down to two things: arrogance and laziness. If it doesn’t directly impact these people and it doesn’t force them to immediately change the way in which they live, then why on earth would they go out of their way to learn about it?

It’s a sad state of affairs, really.

8 The Mocking Of The British Accent

Via: Time Out

Everyone has accents.

From here to the edge of the planet everyone is going to have a different accent and that’s just the way that it is. For some reason, though, USA folk are much more open to the prospect of mocking the variety of British accents than any other.

We’ve never quite been able to understand it, but we’re assuming they’d do the same thing with Australians, too, given that they also use the English language on a day to day basis.

Just come to terms with the fact that there are people over the pond speaking differently, folks. For the sake of all of us.

7 Why Some Super Bowl Commercials Are So Weird

Via: Ads of the World

Some may argue that ‘weird’ is a bit of a stretch when describing Super Bowl commericals, but we don’t. There are companies out there that will quite literally pay stupid amounts of money just for 30 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl, and they’re getting more ridiculous as the years go on.

People who don’t like American football but tune in anyway, or perhaps people that like it and hate the adverts, will say the exact same thing and we’re absolutely convinced of that.

Some of them are fun and we’re not suggesting otherwise, but not all of them.

6 Why There’s Such An Obsession Over Celebrities

Via: Elle

Celebrities are an important part of the mainstream culture and when you’ve got some who are actively trying to make the world a better place, then we can understand why there’s an appreciation of them. However, many of them are nothing more than self-obsessed sports stars and reality TV contestants, which begs the question: why would you be so intrigued by people like that?

You should be looking up to those who see the good in the world, instead of those who choose to be more materialistic than anything else. It’s not exactly a hard concept to grasp, we don’t think.

5 Why There’s Way More Bottled Water Sold

Via: Team Modern

What’s wrong with your tap water?

While there are obviously places such as Flint in Michigan that require more bottled water than the majority of regions, it also feels like buying bottled water (and wasting way more money than you should be) is a popular thing to do throughout the nation.

We’re of the belief that a lot of tap water in the States is fresh and reasonable, and it just seems to be this ‘habit’ that has come about courtesy of many years of neglect.

Tap water can be incredibly good for you and it’s not exactly ‘taboo’ to admit that.

4 The Odd Definition Behind Jelly

Via: The Spruce Eats

Jelly is the wobbly stuff. Got it? Good.

Jelly is not jam, because jam is a separate thing entirely. We can’t really get our head around the difference between the two and we’re not sure we want to, because we’ll likely discover that it just comes down to good old fashioned laziness more so than anything else.

This isn’t a major point because there are more important things that we have and will continue to discuss, but come on now. Let’s not pretend like calling different foods the same name isn’t problematic, especially if you’re given a list of things to go out and buy when you’re grocery shopping.

3 Why There’s Such A Gulf Between Cities And Towns

Via: The Jewel Hotel

Simply put: there’s too much of a gulf between the quality of cities and towns. We understand that there’s naturally going to be more money in big cities, but we’re talking about resources. Sometimes it’s difficult to even get the right kind of hospital or police response, especially if you’re in a particularly rural state.

We’re not sure how long it’s going to take before the powers that be realise this is a big, big country.

By that, we mean they just don’t seem to take into account how many people are in need of help on a day to day basis.

2 Why There Are So Many Different Spellings

Via: Reddit

We aren’t going to treat this like a spelling bee or anything ridiculous like that, but it’s certainly a curious subject. Case in point: many words in the States such as flavor, color and others seem to be missing a U, and in other instances, there’s a Z where it feels like there should be an S.

Can anyone explain this?

If you’re coming from America over to Europe, then don’t be surprised if you’ve opened yourself up to ridicule because of a few spelling ‘errors’. It sounds ridiculous to even suggest that this is a thing, but it really is.

1 No Love For US Advent Calendars

Via: Busy Bee Candles

Advent calendars serve as the official countdown to Christmas and sometimes even New Year’s, and yet for whatever reason, they don’t seem to engage in the celebrations quite as much over in the U S of A. Considering their love of all things sweet and savoury that seems a little bit perplexing to us and the masses, because you’re essentially being given a chocolate every day for an entire month.

Even if you decide to give small presents instead of chocolates it works all the same, and we would’ve assumed that they’d jump at the opportunity. Seems odd, doesn’t it?

Sources: BuzzFeed.com, RD.com, Visit America, RedBookMag.com

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