America is a fascinating country, with diverse people coming from all over the world to seek refuge and a better way of life. So, like any other country, it has its own pros and cons. However, at times, these cons or drawbacks reach a whole new level of absurdity. For example, if you are 18 years old, you can go to war and kill people, but cannot drink alcohol. Or imagine going to school and doing the pledge of allegiance in the morning, EVERY DAY. It doesn’t make sense, right? A Reddit user posted a question asking Non-Americans to list the things that are normal for Americans, but not so normal for others. Some of these responses might make you laugh! Scroll on, folks.
Gratuitous violence in entertainment is normal. But show one boob and people lose their s**t.
Bankruptcy because you went to the hospital
Talking about their freedom as if they’re the only country in the world who has it…
When you are 18 years old, you can be shipped to a foreign country to kill humans, but you are not allowed to drink alcohol
Ambulance rides costing money seems pretty absurd to people from other countries
Turning scientific information into a political discussion.
Paying people less than minimum wage. How is it a minimum if it’s legal to pay less than that?
Wondering if you’re sick enough to call that ambulance or if you should just risk ubering it. Medical bankruptcy after you’re charged $200,000 for a week long hospital stay and now you’re homeless. Being mentally ill and getting hospitalized by others for your own safety, but then getting a massive bill for it that you cant pay (which will totally help the suicidality right?) Choosing between food and medicine. Deciding that it’s less expensive to just go into palliative care and die instead of fighting a disease like cancer. As you can see I really hate the american medical care system.
Putting a ton of sugar in products like bread.
Archaic, unhelpful standard units of measurement.
Not putting the final price on the tag. I’m not sure whether it’s still like this, but a few years ago one never knew whether the $1.00 item in McDonald’s or Burger King is actually $1.00 or maybe $1.08.
Having only two parties: Republicans and Democrats. I know there are some smaller parties, but the system is stacked against them.
Date Order (MM/DD/YYYY) #15
The plot of Breaking Bad being about a science teacher getting cancer and worrying about leaving his family with massive medical debt when he dies. #16
Doing the pledge of allegiance in the morning at school #18
Portion sizes #19
My maternity leave was an unpaid 6 weeks, and I had to fight them on not shorting me because I went past my due date and didn’t keep working until the day I went into labor. #20
Had some American colleagues in Norway asking us how we celebrate 4th July.
American flags everywhere. I traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean and I usually only saw their flag on government builds and here and there. Where as here in the USA the flag is like Franks Red Hot. We put that s**t on everything. Magnets, churches, cars, condoms, every front porch, and street lamp. #murica
Toilet cubicles, where people not only can peek, but an adult person could crawl into your cubicle, there is so much space under the “door”.
This one is more on the positive side, because I think we could learn some from it. Talking and sharing your life with complete strangers. I have met quite a few americans so it seems the norm that you share and engage with strangers in public. The bus, train, parks etc. And then you go on your way. In Denmark you’d be a “freak” if you did that.
Identifying as your heritage instead of your nationality. Americans will say that they’re Italian, German, polish, etc. when they don’t speak the language and have no real connection to those countries anymore. In other parts of the world people just identify with the country they were born in or have lived in for a significant amount of time regardless of their ancestry.
The enabling customer service culture. It’s created excessive portions in restaurants, created Karen, gives way to a disposable attitude towards products, and generally gives a sense of entitlement where most people start adding it to their list of rights.
When I was there during the last election I was shocked at how phrases like ‘well they have the black vote’ or the ‘Latino vote’ came up all the time on the radio. Obviously it’s not racist but it’s just something that would never come up in my country. Like, why would latino people all vote for the same person?
Willingly putting yourself massively in debt for a college degree. I come from a place with free university education (which has its own drawbacks of course), and the fact that you can make such a huge, life-altering decision at 17 is considered normal over there, that seems downright bizarre to me.
Actively avoiding healthcare visits/checkups because if there’s something wrong and you don’t have the money to pay for treatment, then you’d rather just not know
American Corporations have convinced us our work culture is totally normal.
Side effects on medication adverts. Friggin hilarious to us Brits. With James’ Hayfever meds, I can get through the day with ease! Side effects may include: Loss of sight Loss of hearing Loss of sense of smell Coma Headaches Fever Vomiting Diarrhoea Loss of consciousness and death.
Asking everyone “what do you do?” when you first meet them. I live outside the US and realized there are some people I’ve known for years and I still don’t know their job. I think in the US jobs are a bigger part of a person’s identity than in some other places.
not owning kettles and MICROWAVING their water for coffee/tea.
being able to vote before reaching the legal drinking age