Things That Seem Normal For Americans But Weird To The Rest Of The World
Americans, we sure are an eclectic bunch.
We don't realize just how eclectic until we're outside of the country looking in.
Some of our traditions, several of our rules and TONS of our laws are kinda all over the place.
That's why people love to visit from all over.
Who doesn't want to see the zoo animals from inside the cage?
Redditor Specialist-Anybody3 wanted to discuss the aspects of life Americans found ordinary that others don't. So they broached the question:
"What things are normal for Americans but weird for non-Americans?"
We Americans have some funny ways to live.
And everybody notices.
Privacy Firsttoilet creeping GIFGiphy
"Large gaps above, below and between the bathroom stalls..."
"Holy Jesus this! So nice to poop in private in Europe. I have no idea why the US does this!"
"If you drive for five hours in the United States, you’re pretty much still in the same place. If you drive for five hours in Europe, everyone’s talking funny and the cheese is different."
"In the US, 100 miles is nothing, 100 years is a lot. In Europe, 100 miles is a lot, 100 years is nothing."
"The stone retaining wall for the front of our property (here in Germany) is dated 1846, and it's nothing special. Many of the houses in the old part of our small town are 1300 and older."
"Writing the date format as mm-dd-yyyy instead of dd-mm-yyyy."
"This actually worked to my advantage. I’m a Brit and moved to the US when I was 20. I’m not a big drinker but was still mad I couldn’t get a beer. Then I realized that my DOB on my driving license would be read backwards making it appear I was a few months older and therefore 21. It never got turned down and I used it a lot."
"I work 911 dispatch. We have to write it at work as yyyy-mm-dd. Don't know why, but we do."
"Having to mentally add sales taxes on everything you buy. In Europe 9.95 means paying 9.95."
"I thought we had this problem in Canada but I didn't realize just how much worse it was in the US until I moved here. In Canada, we have a VAT based tax so in Ontario, you just add 13% to the price to find the final price. Annoying, but not complicated."
"In the US, your sales tax changes based on your location increments smaller than a zip code because tax jurisdictions and zip codes were made separately. You have to basically use the exact address to figure out what tax jurisdiction you're actually in. It's practically impossible to know what actual tax you're gonna have to pay unless you've shopped there before or look it up."
Nonsensecbs wow GIF by Big BrotherGiphy
"The fact that an 18 year old can drive and buy a gun while still being considered too young to drink alcohol."
Some "rules" make no sense to many of us.
Years and Yearsback to school college GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
"Paying for college for 30 years after you graduated."
"That happens in England now, as well."
"But agree, for most developed countries, the idea of having an educated population is seen as a good thing that benefits everyone and should be affordable."
"Attaching medical insurance to employment. One shouldn’t have anything to do with the other."
"Also, having a co-pay when you are covered, and a limit on what is paid. So, people are discouraged from seeking treatment early and for preventative care and can get financially ruined despite having coverage. It is a disgrace."
"I know, I've always thought that was odd. That is one thing I will never understand, America's healthcare system. How can your job be linked with your healthcare?"
"HOAs like wtf. No other people who don't pay your mortgage telling you how to maintain your home."
"I've always thought this was the dumbest s**t. It's usually the fancier neighborhoods too. If I ever strike it rich, I'm buying a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and doing whatever the hell I want with my house. What's the point in having all that money and a house of your own if you decide to move somewhere where your property isn't under your control?"
'Hey, you need surgery'
"Seeing a possible serious medical problem with yourself and going 'ehh.'"
"I straight twisted a testicle. Since I didn't know this was possible, and I grew up on a farm so apparently my pain tolerance is pretty high, I thought it was no big deal."
"11 hours later is when I finally got off work and decided to go to urgent care."
"A total of 16 hours before I went in for surgery. I haven't gotten all the bills yet, but the one I did get has a doctor charging me $500 just to tell me I needed surgery. Not for the ultrasounds, or the surgery itself, or the follow-ups. Just to tell me 'hey, you need surgery.'"
"The worst part is, this is after the bill was run through 2 insurance programs."
Securitythe mystery files of shelby woo nicksplat GIFGiphy
"My friend attended his cousin's high school graduation in LA a while ago and he had to go through metal detectors and all that, as if he was going through airport security. So I guess metal detectors at school."
We Americans are an interesting people.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.
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"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
An aged old proverb reflecting on when people perform what they think are well-meaning, helpful acts, but in reality, only worsen a bad situation.
A day seldom goes by when people won't notice an example of this, either on the news, in the book they're reading, or simply walking down the street.
This could be anything from someone making promises to help out, but never delivering on them, to saving money for a less expensive cleaner, which turns out to radiate toxic fumes, resulting in the building being closed for an indefinite length of time.
Ideas which might seem good in theory, but are impractical, illogical, or even harmful, in practice.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions," what is a real life example of this?"
Controlling Erosion By Causing Erosion...
"The introduction of Kudzu for erosion control."
"It has become invasive and girdles and kills plant life above ground without establishing proper roots, therefore causing soil erosion."- Aldous_Hoaxley
When Honesty Is NOT The Best Policy...
"Once upon a time, I found a wallet on the beach."
"Having lost my own more than once, and not having it returned to me, I am aware that it is a stressful life event."
"So, my first thought was how to return it quickly."
"Looking through the contents, the owner was from out of state and there was no contact information other than the drivers license."
"Aside from that, only a few credit cards and some cash."
"Not knowing how long ago the owner had left, I thought let's just sit here for a while and maybe he will return looking for it since it is the first thing I would do."
"After a couple hours of fun and sun we needed to move on."
"My next best idea was to turn it into the local police station which we found easily enough just down the street."
"What I thought would be a quick in and out turned into a full on interrogation session during which I was, at one point, accused of theft/robbery."
"It was a bizarre experience, to say the least, which wasted an hour of our day."- notawhingymillenial
Think Carefully About Where You Donate...
"The Unexpected Consequences of your donations."
"TOMS Shoes, a company that pledged to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased."
"Turns out that the company's donations disrupted local shoe markets in developing countries, putting local shoe makers out of business and creating a dependency on foreign donations."
"Additionally, the shoes donated by TOMS were not always appropriate for the local climate or culture and were not always of the same quality as the shoes being sold."
"Reportedly, they have ended up in landfills."- EditorNo2545
Not Helping Anyone If You Can't Adequately Care For THem
"Trying to rescue too many cats."- Tackybabe
When One Crisis Leads To Another
"Haiti did not have cholera."
"A disastrous earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, after the earthquake humanitarian forces from the UN arrived to help, and the Nepalese contingent reintroduced Cholera to Haiti."
"This epidemic has since infected approximately 850,000 people and killed over 10,000."- scootarded
It's The Only Way They'll Learn How To Solve Them
"Sheltering your kid from every possible problem."- Easywood
"Those parents who solve all their kids issues and don't make them 'stress' about consequences of their own actions."
"Their kids just turn into inept and entitled adults who still act 15 for decades and not only have a harder life for themselves but make life miserable for everyone around them too."
"Yes it's bad to go too far the other way, raising a child is a balancing act."
"I get that, but ignoring a child isn't usually from good intentions while spoiling them often is and that was the prompt."
"If this sounds like it happened to you, I promise you that you can get yourself out of the cycle."
"It sucks and it hurts and it's unpleasant, but you can do it if you want to."
"Get ready to fail, and then keep trying anyway."
"Persistence will be a new skill, and you will be bad at it."
"And that's okay."
"You didn't do this to yourself, you don't need to feel shame."
"Digging yourself out however is something you'll be doing yourself, and you can take pride in every step you make it the right direction."- EisConfused
When Some People Just Can't Be Helped
"My neighbor who is supposedly getting evicted soon."
"Basically she saw young drug addicts (30 year olds) as people she could change for the better."
"She’d find them somewhere and bring them home."
"Evidently the idea was that she could show them a warm apartment and good food and they would realize the error of their ways and change for the better."
"That or a safe place to do their drugs."
"We had a door code so they could come in and knock on her door until she answered."
"It was a constant stream of strange people going in and out of her room all night long."
"I figured it wasn’t my problem, people can do what they want if they aren’t hurting anyone else."
"But then three of the men decided to take advantage of her because it’s not like she could physically kick them out herself, and she wouldn’t call the police."
"These are people who don’t want to change, they like their lifestyle and she gave them an upgrade."
"We are pretty sure they are doing meth in there."
"They come back at 1:30 am and either snort something or smoke something that from the hallway smells like cat pee or paint thinner."
"Then they scream bloody murder, throw things, and have domestics until 11 am, like clockwork."
"Police can’t actively go into the room and even people on the top floor are calling them."
"Landlord and management is doing his best to get them out but that’s a lengthy process."
"They disabled the door code but they are still getting in."
"Even the girl has been taken to the hospital for overdosing a few times."
"Anything not nailed down in the gym and lobby are getting trashed and stolen."
"Lobby bathroom is trashed constantly."
"Cars in the parking lot are being broken into and catalytic converters are being stolen."
"These men stalk around the parking lot watching people."
"We do have visitor rules, which are being broken."
"It’s going to get worse before it gets better."
"My goodwill is gone, we want her out."- RotaryMicrotome
Always Do Your Research
"The introduction of non-native species as a means of solving an environmental problem."- Addwon
Not All Issues Can Be Solved Surgically
"Surgery to fix the mentally unwell."
"It sounds so good: no more reliance on medication, you’re good from now on."
"But it didn’t work."
"The outcomes were awful and it was frequently done without any sort of consent."
"It all could have been shut down fairly quickly if people were honest about what was happening, but careers and money was at stake."
"So many unnecessarily suffered."- raftsa
Ironic How Low The Success Rate Was
"Since the abysmal performance of American schools has been in the news recently, 'No Child Left Behind' and it's replacement 'Every Student Succeeds Act'."
"America has never had really good public education, but it used to be serviceable.'
"NCLB came in to try and create some milestones and accountability."
"Instead it made the problem worse.'
'ECSS came in and tried to address its problems, but changed the stuff that wasn't the problem and left the bad parts unscathed."
"Taken all together 57% of high school GRADUATES can't read at a 7th grade reading level and over a quarter are functionally illiterate."- Twokindsofpeople
We all want to help others, and make the world a better place.
But before we jump into action, it is important to stop and reflect who exactly we would be helping.
If anyone or anything at all.
Unless you grew up with the most doting parents on the planet, there's probably a toy or two that you really wanted as a kid, but never received.
Whether it was too expensive for your parents to afford, or something like a noisy toy that was going to be way too annoying for your parents, there are probably some toys that you really missed out on as a child.
Redditor Moist-Patience-4989 asked:
"What is a toy you always wanted growing up, but never got?"
"The Barbie Jeep that you could actually ride in. But once I had kids, I bought them one (not the Barbie version, but still). And guess what? I was five pounds under the weight limit so I was able to ride in their battery-powered Jeep. I mean, it was a couple decades late, but I eventually got to do it."
"Lol I never got one of those as a kid either. It still haunts me till this day. I have no idea why but it still does. My mom bought me a car for my 16th birthday but I still bring up the freaking power wheel. I guess it really scarred me."
Easy - Bake Oven
"Easy - Bake Oven"
"Me too. I wanted one so bad. When they came out with the real retro looking ones a while ago, I was sooo tempted. LOL"
"I was a child of the 70s, and wanted the Holly Hobbie version. My parents were poor and/or didn't want me cooking in my bedroom, so they dodged by pointing out it was for ages 8 and up. By the time I was 8 I was cooking real food in an actual oven so the request was dropped. Still low-key want one though, entirely to indulge my inner child."
"Easy bake oven. Parents didn’t think it was a toy for boys. I still became a baker anyways"
"A mini-bike like they advertised in the Sears Christmas catalog."
"Same. I wanted one so bad. All the guys on my street had one and to get into the woods they drove their bikes between my house and the neighbors. On our lawn! I was so pissed off they got to do it but my dad didn’t think it was safe for a girl (in 1968)."
Tamagotchi90S Nostalgia GIFGiphy
"Always wanted a Tamagotchi"
"They were banned at my school. I think there was a bit of controversy with them at the time."
"I have mine! Just put fresh batteries in it a couple weeks ago and I still can’t keep the dumb thing alive 😅"
TMNT Pizza Shooter
"The ninja turtle pizza thrower van."
"My friend brought his TMNT Pizza Shooter over. We then spent the next 2 hours shooting my older sister. I asked for one and my parents (for very good reason) told me absolutely not."
"I just used it to shoot pizzas at my little brother. Thing was amazing
American Girl Dolls
"An American Girl doll. Loved the books so much. I've been tempted to buy myself a Samantha now that she's out again, but I like the original outfit better."
"I read that catalogue cover to cover every time I got it (which is back when there were only three dolls and nothing ever changed). I was convinced when I grew up and had kids, my daughter would have all three dolls, each in its own room so that the historical eras didn't get mixed up. Spoiler alert: that did not happen. No kids, and my house doesn't have three extra bedrooms to devote to dolls."
Castle Greyskullhe-man GIFGiphy
"Castle Grayskull, from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe."
"My brother had it and I played with my strawberry shortcake dolls in it."
"By The Power Of Grayskull, sacrilege!"
"They actually made a new one recently, and it’s identical to the original 80’s one, just with modern details. You can get it here."
"A rock tumbler"
"I was looking for this one. We are two rocks in the tumbler together."
"Not really a toy, but I’ve wanted a rock polishing kit for as long as I can remember and would ask for one every Christmas and birthday."
"a pokedex. I wanted one so bad, but NoOoOo, mom and dad thought pokemon was annoying"
The Big Box of Crayons
"The Crayola 64-pack with the three metallic colors."
You may have missed out on these toys as a child, but the great thing about being an adult is that you can do what you want. If the toy you desperately wanted as a kid is still available, you are totally allowed to just go out and buy yourself one.
When it comes to fast food places, no two places are the same. Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets are far superior to those from McDonald's, while no one does milkshakes quite like Dairy Queen.
I have always preferred burgers from In-N-Out, but my brother will always go for Five Guys.
There will always be debates when it comes to which establishment does fast food the best.
The biggest debate surrounds the ultimate side dish: french fries.
No one can ever seem to agree on which fast food chain has the best french fries, but that doesn't stop the debate. Redditors are engaged in that very debate as we speak!
It all started when Redditor Seraphicly329 asked:
"Which fast food chain restaurant has the best fries?"
"In and Out. Watching them slice up them fresh potatoes makes me feel something special. Especially when dipped in that thousand island special sauce mmmmm"
Don't Know What You're Missing
"Checkers!!! My current pregnancy craving. Thanks alot for reminding me to get the fry lovers size on my way home from work."
"Anyone who doesn't say checkers has never had checkers' fries."
"But to expand on this... anyone notice how all of their other foods suck?"
"I haven’t had these fries since I was a kid vacationing in Florida. I’m from the great white north and I totally came here to say that checkers fries are the bomb!!"
Fries Of Yore
"I've had this debate with my dad a lot."
"He says it's McDonalds."
"I don't have a definitive favorite, but if I had to choose, I pick the old Wendy's fries, before they did this Crispy version. I just loved the Sea Salt flavor they used."
"(I don't dislike the new fries, but I vastly prefer the older ones)"
"Wendy's sh*t the bed with their new fries. Now it's McDonald's."
"Wendy's old ones 100% I love how the were thick cut and when they got all floppy they were the bomb."
Curly Is Aways Better
"Ngl I’ve always been craving Jack in the Box curly fries. But that’s just me."
"Arby's curly fries are GOATed."
"I like my fries to have a crispy outside, and a soft fluffy inside. Arby's Curly Fries do meet that specification, when you get the big long curls, however every time I order them, I get 1-2 good curls on the top of the box, then 3/4 of the box is filled with all short hard bits. Ugh."
"And the Krinkly Fries are exactly the opposite, all soft and fluffy, with no crisp whatsoever."
"IF I could get a box of all long curls, they would be #1 on my list."
"McDonald’s for skinny"
"Jack in the Box for curly (which is a shame because I live 6 hours from the nearest jbox these days!)"
"KFC Australia. The UK KFC fries are horrific"
"Don’t know about either but the US KFC fries are delicious"
"The KFC fries in the UK are actually nice now. They used to need 4 sachets of salt to make them edible."
Once You Go To Five Guys...
"Five guys. The fact that these fries haven't forced the entire industry to adapt is crazy to me."
"Going to any other fast food place, getting a large fry makes me laugh and wonder why the hell I didn't go to 5G."
I Dare You To Argue
"Bojangles, if anyone disagrees I will fight you"
"Took me way too long to find this but 100%! Especially when they are fresh and seasoned just right. No other fast food restaurant even comes close IMO"
Cajun Is The Best
"Five Guys cajun fries. Those fries are some of the best GD fries you'll ever have in your life"
"overall? i think wendys [MA] but a close second is popeyes. Cajun fries are amazing"
"It’s not fast food, but if you ever come across a restaurant called Hot N Juicy, get the Cajun fries. I don’t think it’s too big of a chain, but they set up shop in Cali, AZ, Florida, Vegas, idk which other states but good God it’s some good fries every time"
Only One Right Answer
"It is funny to see all the people who have never been to Runza give answers that aren't Runza"
"The correct answer is Runza."
"I don't care what anyone says, In N Out fries on a good day are God-tier. There is no better fast food french fry. Consider that they use Kennebec, the superior fry potato, and sunflower oil, which is top tier frying oil. They cut potatoes on site.
Of course there is going to be some variation compared to the mass factory-produced shake shack fries that are formed from a batter, but you can hardly call those fries."
Best For These Reasons
"Hear me out, I think Nacho Fries from Taco Bell are the best for 3 reasons:"
- "Crispy. If you get them fresh they are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They're on point."
- "Seasoning. Cajun seasoning is also pretty decent where you can get it, but nacho seasoning is better in my opinion."
- "Sauce. Comes with Nacho Cheese, which is perhaps the best pairing for spuds, followed closely by ranch variants. Chilli cheese fries are better, but in my opinion are a different category of food item."
A Full Analysis
"I've found Wendy's fries are usually pretty good but I'm not a fan of their morning wedges or whatever they're called."
"Arby's are okay. The crinkle-cut fries are meh. The curly fries are slightly better but not as good as they used to be when the stores made their own in-house (a very long time ago)."
"Sonic fries are okay."
"I haven't been to an A&W or Long John Silver's in a while (they moved out some years ago) but I liked the fries okay."
"McDonald's are thin and often cold and sometimes quite greasy and over-salted."
"Burger King fries are no better than McDonald's."
"I despise Five Guys. They're usually soaking wet."
"Haven't had In-and-Out in a long time but I always felt they tasted a little better than cardboard. Even with salt on them."
"I haven't had KFC, Popeyes or Taco Bell in a while so I can't rate them. Haven't been to a White Castle in a long time either... I usually just went for the burgers."
"There are probably others but I don't remember or haven't tried."
Only When Fresh
"McDonald's fries when they're fresh and properly salted are no joke. We've all been eating them forever so we're just used to them I think."
"I think McDonald's fries are the best if they're fresh and prepared correctly . . . which seems to be rare these days."
"Properly salted McDonald's fries, they're literally heaven."
"McDonald’s for me and it’s not close"
In The Area
"Where I live, McDonalds first, Wendy’s second."
There are a lot of different opinions here!
I think what I learned is that it's less about the establishment and more about the location. The fries from my Popeye's may be far superior to one in the next state over, but their Shake Shack may show up the one in my area.
One thing we can all agree on: the mission to find the perfect french fries will never end!
Some people will just believe anything.
And if you call a statement a fact long enough, many people take it as gospel.
Some facts are absolute truths, others can be malleable.
Lies are exposed.
And research is an actual art form.
Redditor OfficialVickiLuv wanted to share the truths we need to know, so they asked:
"What is a common 'fact' that you know is bulls**t?"
There is no such thing as an alternative fact.
So let's start there.
Not a Forestthe ice pirates shaving GIF by Warner ArchiveGiphy
"Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker."
"I used to believe this one. I was very disappointed when I learned it was BS."
"There are two kinds of thinkers: Right brain people are who are creative, and the people that use the left side who can do math."
"Try telling that to psychologists/psychiatrists who do research/clinical studies/trials. I’ve been denied dozens of times to partake in research studies revolving around mental health, specifically depression, and anxiety."
"Why did they deny me [even tho I was a perfect candidate]? Because I write with my left hand. And apparently it would make their study 'invalid' because they 'don’t want to interfere with results.'"
"Please tell me how excluding a large amount of people from a research study would somehow give you the correct answer for treating mental health for everybody?"
"That you have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing."
"Especially with children, the quicker the police can get to the 'crime' scene the fresher the evidence and easier to follow leads. I used crime in quotes because there could have been a crime or the kid might have just wandered off."
"But it's not just for kids though... If you know someone is a home body and never leaves home and you know something has happened, by all means call the police. Even if they like to take random trips, it never hurts to inform the law."
"Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis."
"Probably just normal. Cracks are just little bubbles of nitrogen that settle where there's space. They don't build up over time, once the space is occupied by a little bubble then no more can join it. A knuckle that hasn't been cracked in 50 years is the same as a knuckle that hasn't been cracked in a few hours."
Give a HowlAngry Wolf GIF by CuriosityStreamGiphy
"Alpha wolves being real. The guy who did the original study disproved his one study and gets mad when people get it wrong now... lol."
"Came looking for this, also extrapolating this BS to human beings and 'sigma,' go read. The articles are all available. It's nonsense that people still believe s* like this with access to everything in their hands."
The wolf pack is always ready.
TriviaFacts GIF by Judge JerryGiphy
"A 'factoid' is an often repeated statement that isn't true, but is now believed to be true due to people saying it all the time. Its not a mini fact, or like, fun piece of trivia."
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The quote was made by Kellogg's to make people buy more cereal. If you search up articles that say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, most are sponsored by Kellogg's."
"I’m not sure Kellogg’s made it up. In my country there’s a saying that’s been around forever that alludes to the importance of breakfast that goes 'have breakfast like a king and dinner like a poor person.' Kellogg’s might’ve simply exploited an existing popular belief."
"Caffeine makes you short."
"This one makes me laugh. I've been drinking coffee since I was like 9 years old and turned out 190cm tall."
"Potatoes absorb toxins. The amount of people that believe putting potato slices in your shoes or wear them around your neck as a holistic medical treatment is shockingly high. It’s just oxidation."
"I recall seeing a antivaxx meme that said if you had to get a COVID shot to put a potato slice at the injection site to absorb all the toxins. I’m all for sharing that idea if it makes people get vaccinated."
Look OutFlying Fox Bat GIF by Barbara PozziGiphy
"Bats are blind."
"I remember getting into a really stupid argument shortly after high school with a friend over this who just couldn't believe that bats weren't actually blind."
"Fine. Bats are legally blind."
Now I've learned more.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.