Oh America, please think before you speak. Sometimes I wonder why God gave us voices.
I understand curiosity about foreign lands, but more often than we realize we're being rude with our questions, even with a jovial mindset and good intention.
We can't just throw out whatever pops into my head. And honestly, some things are best to simply google.
Also, perhaps we should wonder what we'd rather not be asked about our land and culture and apply it.
Redditor u/esq__ wanted hear from people who have been surprised by American inquiries by asking:
Non-Americans of Reddit, what's the weirdest thing an American has said to you?
I am never shocked by the tone deafness of others, especially Americans. I worked in hospitality in NYC, an international hotbed, and the things I've heard people ask others, with a straight face... makes me laugh.
"A middle aged American was surprised to find out Venice was so old (and an actual city for centuries), and not built in the 20th century for tourist purposes."
"Englishman, living in the US for 15 years now. I've been asked a lot of bizarre things but one of the best was someone who asked what language we speak in England, and how long it took me to learn English when I moved here. They gave me a confused, rambling mess."
"They thought all the English speakers had come to found America and left behind the masses of other people who spoke European. Which, to them, was why America wanted independence, to not be ruled by Foreigners who didn't even speak properly."
Welcome to Sweden
"When I visited a friend in the US they told me about this amazing furniture shop they had there called IKEA. I'm Swedish."
"Why are there so many Americans who don't know Ikea is Swedish? I'm American and am disappointed that I've seen like three or more comments about Americans who don't know Ikea is Swedish. The store is literally yellow and blue and they have at least a couple Swedish flags around the store, also all the products are in Swedish."
"They don't have Guinness there"
"I'm British, was travelling in the states. Got talking to a guy at a bar while we're waiting for service, and he recommended I try a pint of Guinness while in the US. He informed me they don't sell Guinness in the UK. I politely explained that they do indeed have Guinness in just about every pub in the UK."
"He disagreed, adding that he's never been himself but his son in law went to London on business and told him so. I explained I'd lived in the UK including London my whole life. He looked at me lost in thought for a few moments, and said: "They don't have Guinness there," and walked away."
And Youda?Happy Life Is Good GIF by CANAL+ Giphy
"I once had an American tell me I need to try the "real" Gouda cheese they have in the US because everything else was fake Gouda… I'm Dutch and actually lived near Gouda."
We really should be walking around with body cams. This way when we go to rest each night we can review our behaviors. And learn and adjust accordingly. I hope y'all are taking notes.
Oh LadyCanada Conan Obrien GIF by Team Coco Giphy
"Wow you speak American very well for a foreigner." Thanks lady, I'm Canadian and "American" is the only language I know!"
Once in a Lifetime
"An Austrian friend and I were told about about this magical thing they have in America called Fireworks and how we should go see it at least once in our lives."
A lot of countries have centralized fireworks, in the Netherlands a lot of households buy their own and set them off. If you're looking out over a city/town from a bit of height, you just see fireworks everywhere."
"In 2019 Dutch people spent 77 million euros on fireworks for new years eve. (Last year fireworks were forbidden to avoid casualties putting even more pressure on hospitals because corona.) That said, more and more people want to restrict fireworks because it causes a lot of injuries and property damage."
Parents Explain Why They Regret The Name They Gave Their Child | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
What about... Lyft?
"Why do you brits (I'm not British) call an elevator a lift when it goes both up and down?"
"I responded that Americans didn't call an elevator a descendevator when it moves down."
"Do you know where the word elevator comes from? The word elevate which means "to raise or lift something to a higher position." It's literally called a lift for nearly the same reason it is called an elevator."
In my teens, a friend and I (both males) had met an American girl while visiting the US side of Niagara from Canada. After some small talk, she asked "What kind of jobs do you have?" I responded "I work part-time at Sportchek." For context, Sportchek is a Canadian sports goods and apparel store and as a teen."
"I had no idea it was Canadian only. After explaining to her what Sportchek was, she responded with "Cool, do you guys have Dick's?" For further context, Dick's is an American Sports and apparel store and at the time, I had no idea. I thought she was asking about my penis."
Stop talking...Reaction GIF Giphy
"The typical stuff. Do you have cars trees/dogs/in Germany. Another favorite: Is Hitler still alive?"
2 American ladies...
"I was in a bar in Colorado and I had 2 guys call me a liar when I said we don't have bears in Australia.
Also when I was in England 2 American ladies on a day tour to Stonehenge got stroppy when they couldn't use USD in a shop and then told the tour guide that he didn't sound English because his accent 'wasn't English'. He proceeded to explain and perform all of the various accents from different regions of the UK. It was quite incredible."
"Canadian here. I was 7 and in Florida telling my new also 7 year old friend about our money system. I told her we don't have dollar or two dollar bills they are coins and called a loonie and a toonie. She goes and asks her parents and they told her I was lying."
The ThamesFrustrated Skip Bayless GIF Giphy
"An American asked me if he needed a passport to cross the river Thames as he thought it was the English Channel and that south London was France."
oh no, honey...
"A friend was dating an American, and a bunch of us went out for a pub meal (UK). Now, there's a stereotype that Americans can be a little loud. And, unfortunately, this was the case with this girl. Literally everyone in the pub was giving her side-eye, but no one says anything because that would be rude. My friend very subtly tries to make her aware of the noise level, and she talk-yells, "oh no, honey. I'm not loud. All y'all are just too quiet! Such a quaint little country, y'all need to use your outdoor voices!" We were quite clearly inside."
In the South
"I live in the southern hemisphere. Talking to an American online in December, and I mentioned it was summer for me. She kept asking which month I was in (kept insisting it must be June) and couldn't seem to wrap her head around the idea that it was simultaneously December and summer in the southern hemisphere."
"Ah, you're from Denmark. Where in Canada is that again?"
"You speak real good English for a foreigner" - I'm British and she knew that.
"Edit: because a lot of people seem to think that no American could ever say this and mean it: it was a lovely, sweet, older woman who thought she was paying me a genuine compliment. We sat and chatted in her garden for about an hour as she plied me with her homemade lemonade and asked me about my life and what brought me to Washington State. I thanked her, because she was saying something lovely (albeit weird), and we continued chatting."
"So an American lady who stayed in my apartment building asked to borrow my picnic basket and wanted the measurements. I gave it to her in cm and she asked for it in normal standard units. I gave it in inches and explained that normal units are cm."
"Her response was "no trust me everyone uses inches, only the English use cm because they need to be different. American inches, feet and miles is pretty much the way to go everywhere else." I then sent her the link to the invention of the BRITISH imperial system and how only 3 countries use it. She blocked me."
This LandCaptain America GIF Giphy
"I met an American tourist who was adamant that my country was a home ruled territory under the US government. He said this during our nations independence day."
"Poking fun at me with France stereotypes. I'm not from France, my parents are not from France, and I've never been to France. My first language is French, that's enough for Americans to treat me like I'm from France."
When in doubt, don't speak. Also, leave strangers alone unless you're just going to dish out compliments. This is why we have a bad wrap about being friendly.
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Cities. Those things we live in.
What city would you never, ever, EVER live in?
These places, while inhabited by a good number of people, aren't exactly the kind of spots you would want to go back to on a repeat visit.
Transformed Into Something Unsettling
"For me, it's Mecca. It's beautiful, but it's just not for an openly gay Western dude like me."
"Same with Tehran."
"Im surprised you think Mecca is beautiful lol. I, along with almost every Muslim I know, hates what has happened to that place. The skyscrapers are extremely ugly (especially that goddam clock tower) and overshadow the beauty of the mosque. Almost all historical sites are gone except for the Kabah. I know they need infrastructure to handle all the people but they did it in the worst way possible."
"Mecca like almost every other Arabian city has turned into places for rich Saudis to show their wealth and almost nothing else."
"Irvington, NJ - My friend told me to run through every red light and not stop at any cost after I dropped her off at her apartment. Her wise words phased me as I stopped at the first red light. 3 seconds later a huge motherf-cker with a crowbar starts heading in my direction. 3 red lights all while screaming toward McCarter Highway."
"The following week my car was stolen while I was attending classes in Newark and they used my car to rob a liquor store in Irvington, NJ. Literally only owned my car for 2 weeks."
"F-ck Irvington, NJ."
The Literal Fast And The Furious
"Cairo, Egypt. 19 million people, 23 million cars, no stoplights. On a 3 lane road, you have 5 lanes of traffic, left shoulder, straddling first white line, middle lane, straddling 2nd white line, and right shoulder! When we visited, our tour guide told us we needed 3 things to drive there…"good brakes, good horns & good nerves!"
Cars are bumper to bumper, and then people are crossing the street in between the cars, walking, in wheelchairs, pushing baby strollers! Then along beside our bus, comes someone riding a donkey! Crazy. Soldiers with machine guns on the street corners, we even had an armed guard on our tour bus."
Then there are some cities, some you might never have visited, which have generated enough discussion and gotten enough publicity to be actively awful in your mind. You don't have to have gone there to know you never want to be there.
A Place To Skip Completely
"Mumbai. Even if I was financially secure, I couldn't stand seeing all the poverty and squalor all the time. It would weigh on me."
"A friend of a friend spent six months riding his motorcycle from London to Chennai. He recorded everything in his journal in excruciating detail except for Mumbai. There was only one sentence about Mumbai. It was about driving around Mumbai. He did everything you could imagine on the way, but decided to skip Mumbai completely."
Not All Of It. Just Some Of It.
"Paris. I used to hate all French people because of my experiences there, and then I met one who explained that there's basically two Frances; Paris and everywhere else, and then we bonded over bad mouthing the place and now my antipathy is more precise."
It's All In The Family
"LA, if you want half quality people, air, and living for double the price and problems, it might be for you"
"I have friends who live in LA, and swear it's awesome. But they actually live in Rancho Palos Verdes, in their parent's mansions."
And then there's cities like these.
Cities so bad an introduction isn't required.
What's Your Excuse?
"The Simpsons summed it up perfectly: "We were born here, what's your excuse?"
"I can laugh at this because I'm from Thunder Bay"
Booze. Sex. Sin. All The Best Family Values.
"Las Vegas. Fun to visit, but not where I'd want to raise my family."
"I think my first realization that people grow up and live in Las Vegas was at 16 or so when watching Criminal Minds and hearing that Spencer Reid grew up there. It was that record scratch moment. Wait, people LIVE IN and raise their babies in the city of sex, sin, and gambling? I felt stupid, of course, upon realizing that all the casino workers and strippers have to live somewhere, and might fall in love, and might marry and have kids."
"And then I had a second life-changing revelation when I realized people probably feel the exact same way about my home city, Miami. I was raised there and lived there for 2 decades. A lot of people have no concept of Miami outside TV and probably think my parents are horrible people who raised me in a den of yachts, Pitbull, cocaine, dirty money, bad boob jobs, and spring breakers. Meanwhile I actually lived in a very normal and boring suburb."
A Slow Decline Over Time
"Gary Indiana. Went through there when heading to O'hare & was not impressed. heard multiple gunshots when driving through."
"So I literally learned about Gary, Indiana from these threads where it always pops up as one of the worst places to live or be. Could you explain why it is so sh-tty?"
"Long story made short, Gary was a good place to live. Nice paying steel industry jobs. That went away. High crime rate, high poverty rate, and empty, falling down buildings everywhere. I used to live in Chicago and would avoid Gary when traveling at all cost."
Each city is different. What works for some might not be what works for others.
However, it does feel like some of these cities need to be at the top of your "Never Visit" list, don't they?
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Sex is fun. Sex is healthy. Sex should be enjoyed and always consensual. But often, sex can be dangerous, especially when you're trying out new things, like a new location.
Who hasn't thought about upping the adrenaline ante when it comes to sexytime? We've all been there. But some ideas really should just stay ideas.
Why break a hip or an arm just to make things a little more saucy? Just try a different room in the house, or the backyard, but bring bug spray.
And some areas in public are safety hazards for a reason.
Redditor u/playfulinvestment01 wanted to know about all the places we need to avoid when it's sexytime, by asking:
What is the worst place you had sex?
I can tell you from experience that airplanes are not a good idea. Don't ask me how I know. A lady never kisses and tells, but highlights are ok. There will never be enough room and the movies are lying.
Like Glue...Melissa Mccarthy Falling GIFGiphy
"I lived in Australia for a bit and our studio had this black pleather couch. It looked exactly like that casting couch meme so we tried it for fun once. My ex sweats a lot even when it's not 40C out, but it was and we stuck to the couch like glue."
"On a hike in a wildlife refuge. We went off the trail to a more remote area. Was all fun and games tell I got stung on the penis. Was after the event had ended when I was briefly exposed, the little moron went right at me. We joke about it regularly, I'd say it comes up monthly. Just out of the blue she will say "hey remember when you got stung on your penis?" Yes, I remember and will never forget."
Up a Tree
"A "treehouse" that was actually a plywood shack on 6' stilts. It was pretty old and the plywood was splintery, so he laid down an old towel for me (you know, like a gentleman.) Also it was too small for me to fit in any direction, so my head stuck out the door. I stared at the sky and just... And that's the story of how I lost my virginity! A close second would be the bed in his semi-abandoned house full of the semi-abandoned hoarded belongings of his mother. But that's a different story."
"Met a girl online and we tried to do it at the park. A cop showed up before we started and told us we had to leave. We went back to our cars which was at a small shopping mall. We went behind the shopping mall and got it on behind a dumpster. It worked out well so we met up there again a week later. Except that time, as we were walking away, a dump truck picked the dumpster to empty the trash. Was hilarious at the time but frightening looking back on it. This was about 10 years ago."
Keyed OffPiano Performing GIFGiphy
"I don't recommend on top of a piano. Very uncomfortable and not at all the experience we envisioned."
Scratchy...Screaming The Voice GIF by NBCGiphy
"Bottom of cliff next to the ocean. Turns out I have an allergic reaction to coral and my back was scratched the hell up from it. It was windy, wet, and itchy. Runner up is a movie theatre."
"In a literal smoke house... lost my virginity with about 50 rings of deer sausage hanging around to dry. My friend and his dad were gone and we were like "this seems like a great place!" At least when I went home I smelled like venison instead of sex."
"I'm not sure if this counts because we didn't get very far. But In a Burger King parking lot… He had a car, so we would park it someplace and hook up in the tiny little two-seater. I was sitting astride him and most of my clothes were off when he froze. I looked over my shoulder and the once abandoned parking lot was abandoned no more. A family of four were just staring at us through the windshield. We didn't know what to do so I just put my shirt back on and we drove away."
"we can hear everything"
"My childhood house had an enclosed porch that was level with my parents' bedroom window (it's hard to explain). You couldn't see into the porch from the window, but if the porch windows were open and the bedroom windows were open you could hear everything from either room."
"So my now husband and I were trying to have sex in that porch, having opened the windows cuz it was hot AH. My parents usually never opened their window and it was past ten, when they usually went to sleep. We weren't trying to be loud, but apparently we were."
"After we were done, I checked my phone and I had 5 missed calls and a text from my mother saying "we can hear everything" and "please at least use a condom". We didn't acknowledge it at the time but my mom got drunk a few years ago and told my aunt the story and said she was worried she was hearing the conception of her grandchild."
Ivy!jerry seinfeld help GIF by HULUGiphy
"After a drunken night on 6th st in Austin, girl and I were walking down red river st, she drags me in this bushy grassy area, we go at it, finish, call an Uber to west campus, continue going at it. The next day, we are super itchy, come to find later it was poison ivy, got it all over our genitals. Fun times. 10/10 would do it again though."
Also, be careful when and if you do it on a bus. You're never fully out of the driver's line of sight. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. Be careful out there but have fun.
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Being a parent is one of the greatest challenges you'll face.
What did your parents do to you that made you promise that you would never do that to your own children?
You won't be in charge of your child forever. At some point, they're going to go out into the larger world, interact with other people, and suddenly all those little tics and quirks they developed at home will start to hamper their social progress.
Never Able To Hit The Pick-Up Time
"They always had me late or last minute to everything. I'll never do that to my kids because, having it done to me, I know it's all the parents fault."
"That feeling, when you are the last kid to be picked up after a school event that they didn't attend, and my teacher asking if I called, and if she said she was on her way, and how far away we lived, and then a big sigh while we continued to wait, in the dark, outside school, after everyone else has gone home, and me just wanting to disappear."
Forcing Them To Miss Out
"I was never allowed to hang out with friends outside of school. I had to go straight home and couldn't stay and hang out or go over to friends houses after school or on weekends. This went well into my senior year of high school. It sucked constantly feeling like I was missing out growing up."
Definition Of Overprotection
"Isolate them from the world."
"Growing up I see now that they wanted to protect me from how sh-tty things were, but now I feel a useless idiot. If I would've known as a kid that I had violent gang-related family, addicts, or that we were on welfare I could've found a desire to do better."
Taking on the care and responsibility of raising another human being to be a smart, compassionate, and well-meaning member of society shouldn't be easy. It should be a challenge.
Downplaying Their Accomplishments
"My parents never thought anything I did was a big deal. I LOVED art class but I remember showing my mom artwork and she'd tell me she could make that herself, ok thanks."
"Ouch, this brought back a painful memory. I always loved to sing but I was shy. I was also bullied and made fun of quite a bit. In highschool I finally joined choir and it helped me come into my own. I won first place awards at State Solo and Ensemble competition, student of the year in choir and even the Directors Award which was the highest honor given. My mom came to none of my performances. Not until Senior Night when I was the only performer singing a solo. I did the cliche song...Memory from the musical Cats. I got a standing ovation!"
"People who would typically refuse to speak to me approached me to tell me that they never would've dreamed I had that big, powerful, voice in me. I was just about floating with happiness and pride when I walked up to my mom and asked her what she thought. Her face twisted like she'd bit a lemon and she wiped out all my good feelings with the words, "Well, it probably isn't a good song for you. You sound like you were ATTEMPTING to sing opera and it's not supposed to sound like that."
Saying They Don't Quite Stack Up
"Compare them to other kids!!"
"This needs to be higher up. It's soooo insidious. Undermines so much about you, engenders the tendency for you to compare yourself to others, makes you needlessly resent the people they compare you to, but most of all, creates a sense that you'll never measure up or be 'good enough', not just for them, but in general."
Unable To Keep Their Minds At Peace
"The amount of anxiety I have/had from money related things is ridiculous. We were never poor, we were broke they just made bad decision after bad decision putting us in a stupid amount of debt"
Perhaps the most important part to remember when raising a child some adults might forget: You are the adult. Deal with your adult matters and let your child be a child. Don't bring them into your petty squabbles or unresolved affairs.
"My parents refused to address issues between my sister and myself. They hate conflict, so it was easier for them to guilt me into doing whatever my sister wanted and then praise me for being "good" than to ever put her in line. Being praised for always giving up what you want can really mess you up."
Lashing Out At The Other
"My parents were divorced since before I can remember. They did not get along very well when I was a kid. There was one weekend in particular where on the way to drop me off my Dad told me "whatever you do, don't end up like your Mother." Get home to Mom, she tells me "whatever you do, don't end up like your Dad." Best advice either of them ever gave me."
Asking The Child To Be The Adult
"They made their problems into problems for the whole family."
"They pulled us into everything. That's not fair to a kid. F-ck, I was straight out asked to fix things between them sometimes. No kid should be even the remotest bit responsible for their parent's relationship or fixing things that are wrong between them. That's f-cked up."
"We all have problems. We're human. No one expects perfection. But if you have a problem with your wife/husband? Don't bring the kid into it. Don't make it the kids' problem. Don't make the pain of the household -- which they're going to feel anyway -- somehow the kid's fault."
Don't want kids? Don't have kids.
Want kids? Be prepared to do everything you can to make sure that child has a supportive, strong upbringing. Don't let the mistakes of the past become the present.
Animated movies meant for children have been known to sneak in a few dirty jokes here and there. After all, the parents have to sit through the movies with the kids too.
These "Easter eggs" can be found in virtually every movie meant for kids. It may go over our heads when we watch at age 10, but years later when we re-watch to enjoy a bit of nostalgia, we realize just how raunchy the creators were.
It's not just old movies from the 90s or early 2000s, some movies as recent as Frozen 2 have some moments of adult centered levity.
Redditor Pooky135790 wanted to know:
"What are the best adult jokes that are hidden in kids movies?"
These scenes really had us rolling.
Shrek definitely has a few innuendos.
"In Shrek talking about Snow White:"
"'Although she lives with 7 other men, she's not easy.'"
"Gets me every time!"
"The whole Duloc opening scene with the singing puppets. 'Please keep off of the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your…….face.'"
"Also in Shrek: when they get to Farquuad's castle, they note the large size of it, and Shrek asks if Farquuad is compensating for something."
"Kids will think it's a joke about his height."
"Adults will think it's a joke about his other kind of height."Giphy
Cars had plenty of jokes.
"In Cars when the two Miata ladies flash their pop-ups at McQueen"
"I didn't realize for years that that was the connotation."
"Look at that scene again and look at the photographers behind Mia."
"It took me a second but I think the one directly in the middle is zooming in on their posteriors lmfao."
- -Paintlightning mcqueen car GIF by Disney PixarGiphy
"Also the Piston Cup. 'He did what in his cup?!' Funny enough 10 year old me got that and my dad didn't."
Robots had it's fair share of moments.
"In Robots the [father of the] main character and his wife get the parts for their robot child and exclaim, 'Making the baby's the fun part!'"
"Also the old lady bot, Aunt Fanny, has a lot of junk in her trunk."
"There is that one scene from Ratatouille, when Linguini is about to confess about how Remy is in his hat cooking for him, and says 'I... have... a little... tiny...' and right after he says tiny, Collette quickly glances down at his pants. I never even noticed it until someone pointed it out to me because it is pretty subtle and can be easy to miss."
"Seriously the best dick joke in a kid's movie."
"That and the time when the short lil chef guy catches linguini in the pantry and says, 'One can become to familiar with vegetables, you know!'"Giphy
Coco really went there!
"In Coco, everybody laughs when they say Hector died 'choking on chorizo.'"
"'Choking on chorizo' is Mexican slang for sucking d*ck."
"I mean the song Hector sings to his dying friend has the implied, but not spoken, lyrics: 'And her tits they drag on the floor...' (he says 'knuckles' but the guy shouts, 'those aren't the words!')."
What a forgotten gem Monster House was.
"'That's it's uvula!' 'Oh.... So it's a girl house....'"
"Rick and Morty gets a lot of hate around here because of the sh*tty fan base, but Dan Harmon is a genuinely funny writer."
"Could not BELIEVE Dan Harmon was a writer on this 'til I googled Monster House; your point is a good one lol."
Even in Frozen.
"'Foot size doesn't matter' - when Anna from Frozen talks about her fiancé."
"Frozen 2, 'I like you better in leather anyway' when Kristoff dresses up for Anna at the end."
"My boyfriend and roommate and I all watched it and all three of us spat our drinks at that and we all did the 'Did we just hear what we think we heard?' look. Then we laughed for like 10 solid minutes."
Not a movie, but still good.
"There was an episode of Dexter's laboratory where the father kept going on about Dexter's mother's muffin, and saying he only married her for her muffin. The whole episode was filled with innuendo."
"'Your father is a muffin fiend, a muff-o-maniac, just the aroma can make him crazy.' Lol. Had to see it for myself."
"Season 2 ep 18 The Muffin King."
"There was the episode about DeeDee and Dexter having decoder rings! DeeDee says Dexter's club is for big 'I-D-K-S-C' Dexter decodes it, gasps, and says he's gonna tell mom. Lol."Giphy
Children's shows may be for kids entertainment, but they're created by adults. No doubt they're going to slip in a few naughty jokes here and there.
Time to re-watch some old favorites and see what we missed when we were younger.