Foreigners Break Down The Strangest Parts Of American Culture

Foreigners Break Down The Strangest Parts Of American Culture
Photo by Max Sulik on Unsplash

Oh America, you have some funny, funny ways about you. Even as an American myself I sit back and watch us and think... "WTF?!?!"

So we can only imagine what the rest of the world thinks when they're watching us. Or how culture shocked they are when they visit us.

Of course, it's easier to evaluate from afar. So let's read up on some opinions about the good ole U.S of A.

Redditor neolee203wanted to hear the opinions some of you have about the "American" way of life, they asked:

Non-Americans, what is strange about America ?

I do often wonder why we don't take more time to ourselves. Did you know that some countries take siestas? Mandatory naps, paid. I would kill to indulge in mandatory naps.

"may cause death"

Angry New Amsterdam GIF by Global TVGiphy

"All the adverts on TV for medicine end with the same statement "may cause death" 🤣." ~ IanUK66

"They have to say that, even if it's like .000000001% because of a very, very rare interaction with certain other medicines or health conditions. Advertised medicine is a load of horse crap, though." ~ Darkwoth81Dyoni

No Rules

"As a Canadian, it's interesting just how polarizing USA politics are to us. Trump vs Hillary/Biden was a way bigger topic than any of our own federal elections." ~ Regnes

"What blows my mind as a Canadian is every state can have different rules and laws for a federal election they don't have an elections Canada style impartial body that is in charge of making sure the rules are the same and followed across the board. It seems so wild." ~ cardew-vascular


"Your toilets are full of water. I didn't understand American jokes about water splashing you until I saw one of them for the first time. I'm in Australia. Yes, our toilets have water in them, but the water level is much lower."

"Our toilets are wash down types rather than US style siphonic. The flushing action is more forceful than American toilets and our poo doesn't do a victory lap before disappearing. Here's an Australian toilet flushing." ~ JobSpecialist5436

Pay Up

"You're supposed to file and pay American taxes if you're a citizen. Even if you don't live there. People complain about Canadian taxes but at least if you leave you don't have to keep paying them - but you can stay a citizen." ~ showmeyourrecipes

"I'm from America, and I've always thought the dumbest thing about our taxes is I spend 4 hours trying to figure out the exact amount to pay, only to have them send me a letter correcting me when I'm wrong. Like if you knew what I had to pay why did I just do a calculus test for no reason." ~ PointyGecko1122

Don't Look

Season 6 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"Public toilet door gaps. What the heck, you guys?" ~ impatient-donut

I hate those toilets. I fill the gaps with toilet paper, or I try hold it all in until I'm home. Our bathrooms are a mess here.


season 6 friends GIFGiphy

"Tipping. It makes no sense to underpay workers in food and expect the customer to make up for it, it should be the business' responsibility to have a fair pay for workers." ~ sarcastic_anarchy8

Rehabilitation of criminals is a societal good...

"Commercialisation of prisons seems very problematic. Prisons become sources of nearly slave labour. Prisons should be looking to reduce their population, reduce recidivism, rehabilitation, appropriate diversion programs etc, but as commercial for profit enterprises where is the incentive to reduce and rehabilitate their inmates? Rehabilitation of criminals is a societal good."

"They may become contributing members of society, but also it makes the rest of society safer and happier. For profit entities are meant to be for the enrichment of their owners, nothing inherently wrong with that, but not suited for an enterprise designed perform a good for society generally." ~ Ok-Challenge7712

Stop Walking

"How American towns and cities are generally designed so that you have to drive everywhere." ~ Johndoe448

"American cities and towns were built around cars, which makes sense given our historical circumstances but is rather impractical in most other situations. In some cities and towns, you can't help but think that at some point in time some urban planner was like "I got a phenomenal idea: let's take the most high-priority necessities and institutions that people need and place them as far apart as possible." ~ ikindalold


"The portion sizes." ~ fakebasil

"It works out really well for some things. For example, one thing I like to do is get an order of hibachi steak (stir-fried rice, veggies, mushrooms, and steak) from a local Japanese place at lunch. The lunch portion is as big as the dinner portion, but cheaper. And the portion size is enough for 3-4 meals and it reheats excellently. So, bam!, 3 meals for the price of 1!!" ~ arcinva

America isn't even doing tipping properly, so why do we bother? Pay more, or stay home if you can't tip. We are a bit strange, aren't we?

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

Paper ripping in two
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

When love is on the rocks and there's no salvaging a relationship, it's better for a couple to call it splits.

Sometimes the reason for a breakup is obvious.

Other times, it's more complicated.

But the people involved going their separate ways is better than staying in an unhealthy relationship.

Keep reading...Show less
Students sitting in an assembly
Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Everyone looks back on their high school experience differently.

Some wish they could relive it all over again, while others are more than happy to put it all behind them and seldom, if ever, look back on it.

Of course, no matter if they look back on high school with pleasure or disdain, everyone has a few memories of their classmates.

Particularly the one who always seemed to be getting into trouble.

Constantly landing themselves in detention and, in more severe cases, landing themself in trouble with the authorities.

Some of these students thankfully grew out of their bullying days and have grown and learned to treat others with respect and kindness. Others were not so lucky, and still found themselves getting into trouble long after their school days were over.

Keep reading...Show less

Who among us hasn't seen things that made us think we were still asleep?

Sometimes those scary movie moments are a reality.

Once in a while, Michael Myers IS in the shadows.

There are so many unexplainable happenings that leave our nerves wrecked.

As I type this, I swear I can hear moving in the bushes outside.

I'm not in the mood to be terrorized before bed.

Keep reading...Show less
Large wall of books at library
Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

If someone were to ask us which book we either hated or could not finish, we all have an answer to that question.

There are some books that simply do not work for us, while others stick with us forever.

Keep reading...Show less