Image by Ronile from Pixabay

America can be very confusing. I'm American, and even I don't know what the hell is going on. Health care, schooling, etiquette- none of it seems to make even a tiny bit of sense. We certainly do our own thing over here.

But if you think the US is whack, imagine how people from other countries see us. MrNoName_ishere asked:

Non-Americans of Reddit, what confuses you the most about America?

​Let’s begin with the bathrooms, shall we?

​Kid had it coming, tbh.

“Why is there space under THE BATHROOM STALLS???”


“I was at a wedding once and my friend was taking a sh*t and some small child tried to crawl through the space under the stall wall and my friend was so shocked he reflexively kicked the child's face.”


Good question.


“Why everybody when talking about income calculates how much a person makes in a year instead of monthly like we do in my country?”


“Just convention. It's how we're used to hearing about it. Also, different jobs pay differently. So I get a check every month, but I think my dad gets one every other week. Some people get them weekly, others on other schedules. Discussing it by year makes it pretty easy to divide up by your own pay periods.”


We all sound like news reporters, apparently.

“From England here. I grew up in a county called West Yorkshire, a semi-rural, semi-urban, working-class county which, along with the rest of Yorkshire, seems completely unique when compared to the other English counties. There is so much slang, grouped and contracted contractions (wouldn't - 'wunt', shouldn't - 'shunt') and the accent here isn't always understandable. Yorkshire slang, especially that spoken by the older generations, sounds and looks like a completely different language, even more so when spelt phonetically.

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to understand the majority of Americans. They speak with so much clarity, non-specific slang and the accent just helps. It reminds me of the news reporters.”


​America, explain!

“Why is one Kansas, and the other not Ar- Kansas?

Edit: also, why is Worcester pronouced [Whooster], not Wor-cester? I studied in MA and this still baffles me.”


“Arkansas comes from the Osage people. Kansas comes from the Kaw, or Kansa, people. They are unrelated words.

A Google search shows that the last S is Arkansas is silent, as it's a plural word, and French explorers/settlers dropped the S on a plural—la fille vs. les filles, pronounced "la fee" and "lay fee" respectively.”


​You know, the weird thing about growing up here is how normalized all of these weird things become.

​Nothing wrong with living with your parents.

Carey Mulligan Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

“I don't know if this is just about America or most 1st world countries but why is living with your parents a bad thing or laughable.”


“In the US, it's seen as being a failure because you can't pay for your own housing.

I agree with you though, living with your parents isn't bad. I lived with my parents (mostly) until I was 24 and my parents housed my grandma for years, which I thought was sweet.

If you've got a good, supportive family, there should be no problem with helping each other.”


Sweden is much more sensible.

“How your blood/alcohol limit for what counts as drunk driving is so high. 4x as high as Sweden’s.”


“That's a bit of a simplification and it depends upon where you are. In my state of Washington, between .02 and .08 is 'officer's discretion' as to whether you're arrested for DUI.

Also, if you have a CDL (commercial license) the limit is .04 regardless of the vehicle you're driving.”


​It’s all about aesthetic here.

“It confuses me how come American-style homes are so tidy outside. I am always amazed when I use Google Streetview to "stroll" around some random road in the U.S. I wonder why and how the houses and backyards look so clean, with newly-mown bermuda grass and well-painted roofs and walls.

I can't help but compare this to my country (which is a developing one). I'm thinking what's wrong with our citizens such that when I use Streetview on our streets, they're usually filthy. "Ordinary" American-style homes can only be found in high-class villages and subdivisions here.”


Maybe all of these confusing things aren’t so bad.

So many life paths, so little time.

its always sunny in philadelphia job GIF Giphy

“As someone from India, the possibilities many Americans feel they have is both confusing to me and admirable. I'm 28 and I already feel the rest of my life is going to work on a rigid schedule. Most people here have very less risk taking ability.

But I read of American stories like this guy's who worked as a masseur for a year, then as a swimming coach, then suddenly got into law school and become a lawyer. After hitting his 40s, he got interested in programming, so he became a programmer! Reading biographies of famous American businessmen brings out many such stories.”


​We get a bad rep sometimes, but we’re usually pretty chill.

“How nice and friendly most Americans are. I did a roadtrip all across United-States in 2011 with 3 friends. In any city we were visiting, the second we would unfold a map, 2-3 persons stopped and asked us if we needed help. In the end of the trip, we would fake unfolding the map to actually ask people for directions. It worked everytime.

Much love from Canada! Those news networks do not show how cool our southern neighbors are!”


​Leftovers aren’t really a thing in foreign restaurants.

“Why are the portion sizes so big??????”


“A lot of us take home leftovers from resturaunts. It's pretty rare to eat the whole meal at once. People generally complain less about having too much that too little.”


So for all of y'all non-Americans reading this, wondering why our country is so weird--I couldn't tell you, because I don't know either.

Then again, there are plenty of UK things that I don't get. Like the fact that grilled cheeses don't exist there. It's very heartbreaking.

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