Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

As citizens of the U.S., we don't think twice about the overly generous food portions in restaurants or flinch when strangers want to engage with us with small talk when in public.

But the same behaviors and customs don't necessarily go over well over in other countries.

Food portions are significantly smaller in Japan, and the French typically prefer not wasting their breath in asking people what they think about the weather.


Curious to hear from the perspective of foreigners Redditor Miserablemermaid asked:
"Non-Americans of reddit, what was the biggest culture shock you experienced when you came to the US?"

People must think we're a gluttonous country.

Food, Glorious Food

"Food advertising EVERYWHERE."

– UnAccomplished_Pea26

"The portion sizes in restaurants are huge too."

– ErfdsSdfre

Endless Refills

"When we first arrived, and I walked up to a soda machine. We never had those, and I think I drank 10-15 refills of coke before my parents started yelling at me. UNLIMITED SODA ARE YOU KIDDING ME WTF."

– Lord_Disagree

Beverage Options

"The different kinds of flavors for beverages. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of options."

"Just so you guys know,I enjoyed having multiple options, until I came to the US I had no idea I liked Blue Raspberry flavored soda and I found out that I liked to mix different kinds of sodas from the fountain and make a cocktail soda occasionally."

"Also, I like how you guys have a shit ton of flavors for your alcohol. I liked a lot of them but to be honest I didn't enjoy the whipped cream flavored stuff."

– howwouldiknow--

The general friendliness in our country is something to embrace.

Familiarity

"Everyone I met treated me like a long lost friend."

– Red_Ranger75

"Americans are as one Canadian Redditor once said 'collectively crazy, but individually the nicest people you’ll ever meet.'"

– e2a0s1

Taking Initiative

"Yea, I also experienced this. I just loved it! it is not hard to get acquainted with people if they are so willing to take the first step with saying hi!. I am an introvert and a bit shy, so I helps a lot. Also people is kind on average."

– notastupid_question

Road Worker Assistance

"I was walking down the street and there were some road workers doing something a bit ahead. When I got near them, one of them approached me and super kindly asked me to cross to the other side, halted the traffic so I could cross and wished me a nice day as I went along."

"In my country they would've probably heckled at me for not crossing, and I would've told them to go f'k themselves for not signaling things properly as I walked in the middle of the street potentially getting hit by a car."

– madkeepz

There's apparently a size contest happening everyday in the U.S.

Go Big Or Go Home

"Everything being f'king huge. Literally. Road lanes, groceries, soda sizes. Especially distances: where i come from, 3 hours of driving are enough to cross half of the country, in the US it's just a small drive to go to see a relative or something."

– salderosan99

Everything Is Supersized

"The huge packaging units in the supermarket.. Everything just biiig."

–pillemille

Magic Of Costco

"I took a friend from France to Costco once. He just walked around saying 'wow' and touching everything."

"Edit: for those who don’t know, Costco is a magical place that will plan your funeral (sell you a casket), put new tires on your car, give you an eye checkup, sell you 10 pounds of king crab, sell you a Hawaiian vacation package, or a 75 inch flatscreen, or a new bed, or a 100 pack of pens you didn’t know you wanted. They also have the cheapest gas in all the land."

– IF'kTheDrummer

People discuss the in-your-face advertising in our country.

Too Many Commercials

"Commercials were particularly obnoxious."

– Grapezard

Can't Get Away From Them

"Yeah and they’re EVERYWHERE. Like random objects are shouting at me to buy sh*t every waking moment of the day. US TV has at least double the advertising of UK TV I’m sure of it."

"It’s got to have an impact on your sanity being bombarded with so many adverts."

– Heikold

Stop Yelling!

"As an American who recently drove through the south WHY THE F'K ARE THERE ADVERTISEMENTS ON THE GAS PUMPS AND WHY ARE THEY YELLING!? But really I just want to get my gas and maybe a donut at 7am I don't want to learn about the latest tik tok trend at 100db.

– aliendepict

Side Effects May Include Everything, Including Your Kitchen Sink

"Their commercials concerning health can be downright heartless."

– honeymochie

Despite the currently weird political climate, I do see how we are generally kind people here in the U.S. of A.

So it's mind-boggling to me how certain groups of people have not been treating others with enough kindness and compassion in these recent years.

I'm guessing we just lost our way and we have the capacity to eventually get back to a place where the foreigners' positive opinions about us can be validated.

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