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    This Is How You Live

    Luckily, I don't think the popularity of the Kardashians, bacon-flavored toothpaste or your obsession with pickup trucks are the biggest stereotypes of America.

    10 Things I Noticed About America

    My name is Akos Gabossy. I grew up in Hungary, across the ocean in Europe, but since we decided to bring our new entertainment concept to the States back in 2014, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a significant portion of time here in the past few years.

    Our escape room brand has expanded rapidly, now with locations in pretty much every major metropolis. That means I‘ve gotten to meet and talk with lots of Americans from all walks of life as the United States is known as the great melting pot, with so many different cultures and stories present.

    StockFootage.com / Via gfycat.com

    I always enjoy reading what foreigners think about my country; it's a very useful way to properly position yourself in the globalized world and determine the core competencies of both your nation and yourself. This is why I decided to summarize my experiences with American people, and as an outside spectator, luckily, I do not think the popularity of the Kardashians, bacon-flavored toothpaste or your obsession with pickup trucks are the biggest stereotypes of America.

    1. Like, so, basically...

    Paramount Studios / Via giphy.com

    Nowadays, English is probably the only language in the world with which you can talk for an hour without actually saying much. When I listen to random conversations on the streets, sometimes all I hear is “like”, “so”, “basically” and “whatever”. The funniest part is when people form actual sentences with just these 3-4 words.

    2. "I'll have a medium-well cheeseburger, no onions, add avocado, on an unseeded bun, with unsalted sweet potato fries and a side of chipotle mayo"

    NBC Studios / Via buzzfeed.com

    I love to watch Americans order at restaurants. They become gravely serious and focused whenever talking about food. Determining the desired pepperoni to cheese ratio on a pizza must be an extremely tough process. If I didn’t know what was going on, I would guess I’d stumbled into someone presenting a PhD dissertation.

    3. You'll be hearing from my lawyer

    For some weird reason, Americans always feel the need to blame someone when the unexpected happens. The US appears to be a “sue-happy” society, where some people just can’t acknowledge the fact that accidents unfortunately occur in life and it isn’t anybody’s fault. Someone has to cover your “real or assumed damage,” an attitude that makes you spend a fortune on insurance policies.

    4. Wire transfer only...? Do you have venmo?

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    Americans seem to have deep-seated trust issues. This is why they want to get paid biweekly (not monthly), why they have to pay upfront for gas and why they don’t like wire transfers. I have no idea how someone can trust an app to walk the dog and drones to ship packages, but consider cash and checks to be the only viable payment options for business in the twenty-first century.

    5. ...and my cvv code is 284

    It seems to be a contradiction how easily some will give credit card information to anyone over the phone, while a bank account number is protected like some national treasure. People are reluctant to even apply for an internationally-recognized passport. In today’s globalized economy, the American reluctance to embrace more global means of doing business is quite surprising to me.

    6. No, I swear. I really do go to the same grocery store as Noah Centineo

    I get the impression that everybody in the States knows a celebrity actor, athlete, or a billionaire. Come on, this is a huge country! It’s impossible that everyone went to the same high school or hair salon as someone famous.

    7. This is not how it went in my head

    ABC Network / Via giphy.com

    On the subject of actors … many Americans like to see themselves as the star of their own movie, which makes many very predictable. There is a tendency to want to play roles in real life or behave according to how characters act in movies. They like to “follow” the rules, and live along with the script.

    8. I'm starting my own business

    ABC Network / Via giphy.com

    Nowadays, everybody has a startup! From my own experience, watching an episode of Shark Tank and borrowing a little money from your parents will not make you an instant entrepreneur. It takes a lot of hard work, know-how, and a healthy dose of struggle to be successful.

    9. I'll be here all week!

    gfycat / Via gfycat.com

    I think American people are extremely humorous in general. I think it has something to do with the country’s heavy audio-visual culture. Your jokes are very intelligent, and the way you make the world smile is unique.

    10. Teamwork makes the dream work!

    NBC / Via tenor.com

    The American sense of confidence is amazing. Having the power and passion to believe in yourself and take pride in your “tribe” is truly impressive. My favorite example is when I walk into an Apple store, and the sales guy proudly welcomes me with “WE, AT APPLE, MAKE FANTASTIC PRODUCTS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD!” While he is only a small cog in a gigantic machine, he believes himself to be an essential element of the brand’s success … and he is. For a guy from Eastern Europe, this behavior and state of mind is both amazing and surreal at the same time.

    People are usually more critical about things and people that they care about, admire and respect. It’s the reason you often fight more with your family than you ever would with anyone else. Hopefully you see how whatever criticism is present here in this article, it stems from that very same spirit. I’m extremely grateful to your country for giving me the opportunity to live as a global citizen, and I can’t wait to build more and more fun PanIQ Rooms for your entertainment. And besides that, I know that every time I visit, you’re going to tell me some great jokes. So keep ‘em coming, America!

    About the author

    Ákos Gábossy (32) was formerly working as a banker and financial expert when he became the co-founder and CEO of KACKAC Playhouse in Budapest. Before he started the PANIQ ESCAPE ROOM franchise, he was one of the owners of the Millipop Playhouse and became involved in several multi-million dollar real estate development projects. Akos is currently a PhD student, studying the local and foreign amusement sector for 10 years.

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