Non-Americans Reveal Which Common Things In The USA Don't Exist In Their Country
It's easy for Americans who haven't traveled outside the country to assume citizens in other parts of the world have access to the same amenities offered in the US.
But people who were not born in the States know very well how what a world of difference life in North America is compared to where they've come from.
Curious to hear of the things most Americans take for granted as citizens of the US, Redditor CapitalBread6959 asked:
"Fellow Non-Americans, what is something quite common in the U.S. that is completely unheard of in your own country?"
Americans do drinking differently.
"My German friend visited us in college. First party he goes 'THEY DO EXIST!!' and held up our pack of red solo cups. Haha"
"Free drink refills."
"Every single place with a bar is legally obliged to provide free tap water on demand in England. Most restaurants will give you a pint of tap water with food for free (you do have to specify tap otherwise you get stung with some fancy expensive shite!) Admittedly the measures of alcohol are small here, though, compared to other places."
Some industries have laxed work protocols compared to in other countries.
Bee-Lining It For Home
"Health care workers going home after work still in scrubs. And washing them at home."
Work Clothes Stay At Work
"This!! It's so weird to me. Here it's literally forbidden to leave hospital grounds in your work clothes. I would hate having to bring them home and possibly carry some resistant hospital bacteria there with me. Plus you never know how well other people wash theirs, I like it done professionally at the hospital."
Making Sense Of It All
"Many moons ago, I did an IT internship at a hospital's service desk and being the intern, was always the one who had to run out and physically check things."
"When I had to go in to work on something in an operating room, I had to put on a full body tyvek suit, gloves, mask, coverings for my shoes, etc."
"Which made sense to me. Except the OR nurses who worked there wood just breeze in and out all day long, wearing the same scrubs they wore commuting to work on the bus."
"That DIDN'T make sense to me."
Meanwhile, over at school...
Dances Don't Happen Everywhere
"Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, Winter Formal, Prom..."
"We have none of this, the closest thing is the graduation itself."
"Teachers buying school stuff so they can teach."
The way certain things work in the US definitely raised eyebrows.
Feeding The Sink
"This thing were the kitchen sink has teeth."
Going Nowhere Fast
"As a Dutchy, driving a car and turning right on a red light. That messed with my head. If you do that here you are gonna hit at least 5 cyclists."
My Japanese cousin always comments on how Americans are friendly and are more open to striking up a conversation as opposed to citizens in Japan, where they prefer to keep to themselves and be captivated by their smartphones out in public.
As an introvert and one who can't stand small talk, I actually loved being left alone whenever I was in Japan riding the subway and walking about the city. Nothing against engaging with other people, but I found the quiet and my personal space being respected to be very calming.
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People Break Down Things That Were Normal When They Were A Kid That You Don't See Anymore
The world is ever-changing.
One need only look at the evolution of home entertainment.
First, we had to go to the video store to buy or rent video cassettes, then video cassettes were wiped out by DVDs until video stores became obsolete owing to streaming services.
Making the one-season failure of the Netflix series Blockbuster painfully ironic.
However, those of us who grew up rushing to Blockbuster, hoping the last copy of Jurassic Park will still be there, can't help but wish we could relive the experience.
On the other hand, we are glad to see other things from our childhood have become extinct.
"What was normal when you were a kid, but you never see anymore?"
Honestly... Rude then, Rude Now!
"Showing up to someone’s house without a text or call."- lpkrewWalking In Season 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
Before There Was Bluetooth...
"Cassette tape innards strung out along the highway, glimmering in the sunlight."- bigolfurryhead
No More Second Hand Smoke!
"Parents smoking in a car with kids with the windows rolled up."- WonderfulEmergency77
"Everybody smoked everywhere. At restaurants, the office, airports, everywhere."
"There's a picture of my grandma holding me as a baby in one hand and a cigarette in the other."
"Nobody thought that was the least bit strange."- MeghanFImothers day smoking GIFGiphy
Now We Have Google!
"Using a set of 20 y/old encyclopedias as reference for my homework."
"JFK is president!"- ResplendentAmore
It Got Them Off Shelves...
"Toys in the cereal box"- NightDreamer73
"There used to be a *ton* of them in my neighborhood as a kid and every evening you could look at the sunset as twilight set in and see flocks of bats flying around."
"Apparently, around the time I was in middle school, a fungal disease ravaged the local bat population and they never recovered."
"You never see them anymore."
"Funnily enough though, at the time, a local high school girl had this huge campaign to set up bat feeders to help bolster the local bat population and help them survive the fungal disease by giving them easy access to food."
"Said local girl has since become a federal Park Ranger as an adult and currently works for a state fish and wildlife service."- DoctorWatchamacallit
Now They'll Just Send Them A Text...
"Moms yelling from the front door to their kids to come home for dinner."- sflogicninja
Depending On Your Circle
"People talking about the Bermuda Triangle."- GarconMeansBoyGeorge
Best Not To Give Them Bad Ideas
"Candy Cigarettes."- Mechhammer
They're a dying breed indeed...
"Pay phones and answering machines."- Mondayslasagnaphone call mall GIF by South Park Giphy
Even Printers Are Uncommon, Thanks to PDFs...
"Computer paper filled with lightly printed numbers and it had tear-off sides."
"My dad used to bring lots of it home for us kids to draw on."- reverendgrebo
...what were you watching?...
"Quicksand in movies and TV shows."- kzab81
Well That's Poignant
'I swear I saw them every year, in our back yard or when we went camping etc."
"Now I never see them no matter where I am, except for a few nights in the summer of '21 after I moved to a new house."
"It was so nice to see them again."- ModernCivilWarNorth America Lights GIF by BBC AmericaGiphy
Sadly, Not Because People Started Reading Maps...
"Printing out directions from Map Quest."- Keone_710
To think there was actually a time when we couldn't say "I'll text again when I'm close" and had to ask a friend to record a movie or tv show we wanted to watch.
People Explain Which Unsolved Cases And Mysteries They'd Like To See Solved
There's little more frustrating than a mystery that was never solved.
The victim's family never gets closure, a killer may still be at large, and our minds continue to spin trying to figure out how something happened.
Perhaps most frustrating of all is knowing that there is an explanation for it out there somewhere.
And, there are people desperate to find it.
"You get the opportunity to find out the truth behind one unsolved case, which are you choosing?"
"I wish I could find out what happened to my childhood best friend."
"She went missing ten years ago and nothing was discovered about the case since."- Weevelle
"There was a kid that went missing right around my hometown when I was a kid."
"Couple years younger than me."
"It was on the news a bit, it kinda fizzled out and I haven't been able to find anything since."
"Still see flyers for him now and then. Kyron Horman."- KnockerFogger69
Murderer On The Loose
"For all my french redditors here, I will say the Xavier Dupont De Ligonnès case."
"The guy killed all his family and buried them under his concrete deck, before disappearing completely without leaving any traces, and it has been more than ten years."- OopsieDoopsi
"Gareth Williams, that MI6 guy who was found dead inside a padlocked suitcase."
"His death was ruled as a self-inflicted accident and then later some former KGB guy would claim the KGB killed him after failing to convert him to a double agent."- adweeeb·
Not A Simple Hit And Run...
"Two boys I went to school with were killed in a hit and run by the side of the road while walking home from a party.'
"According to some reports, only one of the boys died from being hit by a car and the other appeared to have been beaten to death."
"It's been 20 years and no one has ever confessed or offered any information about the case."- an-invisible-titan
What Is Her Brother-In-Law Hiding?
"Rebecca Reusch."- illuminalice
Top Of Everybody's List
"Zodiac killer."- tdunc1994
"Olof Palme, PM of Sweden."- Swedish_STD
What Are They Hiding?
"Where is Shelly Miscavige?"- Bucketlist074
"9-year-old girl left her house in the middle of the night, while it was storming and cold, with a pre packed bag of clothes."
"She had no reason to run away, and had limited computer access."
"A truck driver said they saw her walking that same early morning on the dark next to the highway, and that she ran into the woods."
"Over a year later, her backpack was found wrapped in a plastic bag about 26 miles away, which didn’t yield any further developments."
"Why did she leave?"
"Why did she run from the trucker?"
"How did her backpack end up so far away?"
"Is she still alive?"
"Was she met with foul play?"- bookloverpink
A Step-By-Step Guide
"Alcatraz escapees."- Ceyram
Who Was That Guy?!?!
"I am not sure why, but this is the one case I haven't been able to stop thinking about for years."
"The surveillance video of the perp who parked her car drives me insane."- imalittleredhouse
They Deserve Justice
"My friends' murder."
"He was killed ten years ago over Thanksgiving weekend, and his case still remains open today."
"His family deserves to know."- ToulouseDM
Hopefully Not For Long
"I know it's very recent but the Idaho college murders."- surgeryboy7
It's tragic that these mysteries remain unsolved.
But if there is anything to be gained from this mystery, it's the fact that these poor people will never be forgotten.
As the saying goes, "you die twice, once when you take your last breath, and once when they stop saying your name."
All languages have certain words that roll so beautifully off the tongue.
It's no wonder why listening to vocal arias from operas and oratorios–which are typically in languages other than English–can be such a satisfying experience.
Examples coming to mind that are pleasant to the ear include, "Un Bel Di Vedremo" from the Italian opera Madame Butterfly and "Au fond du temple saint"–a duet from the French opera, Les pêcheurs de perles.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor candela1200 asked:
"What is your favorite word in a foreign language?"
People found these words fun to say.
Not Always, But...
"Tokidoki - 'sometimes' in Japanese, just really fun to say lol"
"Papillon. Means butterfly in french and its fun to say."
Der Emergency Vehicle
"German for ambulance."
A Childhood Memory
"When I was a kid, the first Xbox 360 game I ever got was a Spanish copy of Halo 3 (I don't speak Spanish). At the beginning of the campaign, the characters keep saying 'careful' over and over again. Because of this, 'cuidado' has become one of my favorite Spanish words, and the voice they used has become my default voice to say other Spanish words. My other favorite has to be 'resbaloso'. A large, exaggerated r roll and a boisterous tone just makes this one of the most fun words to say in any language."
A Favorite Pasttime
"Winkel. It means 'shop' in Dutch."
These words are not compliments.
Those Darn Kids
"Gowniaki - polish for 'Sh*tling' in reference of annoying kids."
Referring To Contemptible People
Like The F-Bomb
“'Tabarnak!' I love how, instead of being bodily-function based like English swear words, French Canadian sacres are mostly related to Catholicism. This one is my favourite as it’s the rough equivalent of the versatile 'f''k' swear in English, so many uses."
You may want to sound these out slowly.
Well, We've Tried
"Verschlimmbesserung - German noun for an attempted improvement that only makes things worse."
The Translation Doesn't Track
"Meerschweinchen, it’s German for Guinea Pigs, I like it because it literally means 'little sea pigs'. Which makes no sense."
What An Inebriate Would Say
"kalsarikännit - originating in Finland, in which the drinker consumes alcoholic drinks at home, dressed in as little clothing as possible, mainly in underwear with no intention of going out."
My favorite word or phrase really, is "Oh la, la, c'est cher"–which means, "Oh my, it's expensive," in French.
It was one of the first phrases I learned in middle school when I started taking French as an elective.
When I went home and shared with my mom what I learned, she was so amused by how the alarming phrase sounded. She couldn't stop laughing.
This led to her constantly asking me to repeat it whenever we were in the presence of her friends, and I milked it.
This is one of my treasured memories of my mother.
The Best Documentaries People Have Ever Seen
Movies are one of the greatest things in the world. I honestly believe that. And I think a lot of people will agree.
However, when talking about movies, a lot of people aren't thinking about documentaries.
Documentaries are movies about the real world, where the cameras capture candid moments, experts are consulted on the subject matter, and the end result is the viewers always learn something new.
My favorite is the documentary series Wild Wild Country, which never ceases to entertain me, no matter how many times I rewatch it. I’m not the only one who loves them, of course.
My best friend found her whole worldview had changed after she saw Blackfish for the first time. My brother pulled up his entire GPA after doing a report on Jon Cartwright’s Lighting Up the World, and of course, no health class was complete without a viewing of Supersize Me.
Redditors love documentaries too and were ready to share their favorites.
It all started when Redditor joeduncanhull asked:
“What’s the best documentary you’ve ever seen?”
Every Family Has Its Quirks
"I didn't mention Capturing the Friedmans, but I should have. That was a really good documentary."
"What a freaking twisted family."
Camera Work Matters
"The Planet Earth documentaries. Praise to the people behind the camera."
"Also Blue Planet 2 is f*cking amazing"
"It was a colossal undertaking. To get a couple moments of the snow leopard took 3 months."
The Athletes Will Celebrate
"Baseball by Ken Burns, not really a fan of baseball the sport, but the history was interesting."
"Icarus was absolutely wild. Started with a pretty interesting premise, and then took a sharp turn and kept getting crazier. If you're even remotely interested in sport, it's worth your time."
Disney Always Wins
"Kevin Perjurer's deep dive on the Fastpass System at Disney Themeparks. For such a seemlingly dull topic, it's shocking how interesting and surprising the whole thing winds up being."
"Totally agree here. That was amazing."
The Artsy Folk Will Celebrate
"Exit Through the Gift Shop"
"Documentary on Street Art. I literally thought Bansky was gas lighting us with this movie. No way could the story of ‘Mr Brainwash’ could be true."
Higher and Higher
"Anyone who enjoys this film should also check out The Dawn Wall. It's another climbing documentary on El Capitan in Yosemite. But it tells a very different story about two guys who try to become the first people to climb a route that many of the world's best climbers thought impossible."
The Musicians Will Celebrates
"Not the best, but a favorite of mine...Dig ! A doc about the Dandy Warhols and BJM...one band's somewhat rise to fame, with the implosion/self-sabotage of the other. Half of it was embellished, and both bands had issues with the final product, but it was highly entertaining. Check it out if you're into music docs."
"I would also recommend "We Jam Econo", about the 1980s punk rock band The Minutemen, who were on the cusp of the big time when their singer died in a freak accident."
"The "Jacka*s" theme is from their song "Corona."
The Arts Save Lives
"About the cartoonist Robert Crumb and his 2 brothers, and how abuse and mental illness plagued them. Crumb's cartooning got him out of it, but the other 2 brothers had a hard time."
"Africa. It’s from the BBC like Planet Earth, Blue Planet."
"Why Africa? Well Africa has really varied environments and the best and most abundant wildlife by a mile. The first episode in particular has 2 awesome things: an epic Giraffe Fight and a Rhino Orgy. The Rhino Orgy is so unexpected. No one knew that Rhinos get together and party late at night. The Rhinos snuggle! And it’s especially poignant because there’s so few of them left."
The Truth About Vietnam
"Ken Burns’s Vietnam War docuseries was fairly eye-opening for someone like me, who only had the typical US high school history take on that conflict with a handful of fictional films to supplement it."
"I really enjoyed that one, very eye opening indeed"
"I remember watching the first Paradise Lost documentary so long ago and was just blown away. I know it’s not the first ever true crime doc, but sure felt like it took it to the next level. If I had to choose a favorite, that would probably be it."
Look Into Their Minds
"The Architecture of Doom was the first documentary that let me see how people could actually have bought into Nazi propaganda. Not that I agree with it, but it seemed so preposterous that anyone could believe what they were doing was somehow good."
A Fan Favorite
"Wild Wild Country"
All The Yesses!
"Avengers: age of ultron"
"It's amazing how the camera crew caught these robots in their natural environment"
"The six part DefunctTV about Jim Henson."
"It's a really engaging and endearing watch about Henson's life. I really appreciate all the behind the scenes footage the team was able to gather."
"The last episode leaves me sobbing every time."
I want to watch all of these!