18 Facts About America That Are Probably Surprising To Non-Americans
♬ Don't wanna be an American idiot! ♬
To me, the United States is home. It's loud, dramatic, and utterly bizarre at times, but it's home.
To people who haven't been here, the United States is a random mixture of pretty much every stereotype they've seen in TV and movies.
1. "My European coworkers were shocked when I told them I used to drive four hours to see my girlfriend on the weekends."
2. "Many restaurants will refill your coffee or iced tea for free."
3. "In the Midwest, the weather is crazy. For example, last year in Iowa, the temperate one day was -50 F°. Normal, right? Well in about three days, the temperature was POSITIVE 50 F°. Don't ask how, just accept it."
4. "Texas is, in fact, not a giant desert. We have cities, suburbs, and grass like anywhere else. Not to say that it doesn’t exist at all here, it’s just way more varied than a lot of people might think."
5. "New York is a state AND a city. I've seen way too many people mess this up."
6. "It takes me, at most, 10 minutes to drive my car to work, but if I used public mass transport it would take a couple of hours."
7. "As someone who grew up on the Great Lakes, they literally look like oceans. They have tides, you can surf during the winter, and when you fly over them, there are parts where — in every direction — all you will see is water."
8. "I’m not American, but I went there a couple years ago and the thing that stood out to me the most is just how huge everything was. Then I got used to it a little...And that’s when we went to Vegas, which is huge and extra, even for American standards."
9. "The phrase, 'How are you?' is used as a greeting and not as an indication of a desire to know how the other person (usually a mild acquaintance) is doing."
10. "Wyoming only has two escalators in the entire state."
11. "In my state (Ohio), you'll see a random log cabin every so often that is on the National Register of Historic Places. They have a sign explaining their history, and they are no longer used for anything, unless they are a museum."
12. "Smoking is considered a 'gross habit' and is not allowed indoors in most states."
13. "I am South African, but I have an English neutral accent. When I went to America for the first time, I could not believe how heavily pronounced the R's were, compared to my 'dropped' R's."
14. "Total strangers will start conversations with you if there's something they find interesting. This can be anything from your accent to your jewelry or clothes."
15. "As friendly and as open as the world thinks we are, DO NOT GET INTO OUR PERSONAL SPACE! We do not like to be on top of each other. We don't like to be crowded."
16. "Southerners' directions are a nightmare. 'So you're gonna want to go about a mile down that direction until you get to the Wallaces' place, then take a left and go a ways down till you see the old farmhouse that burnt down. If you see the field where all them old tractors used to be, you've gone too far...'"
17. "Our postal service delivers within the week and on Saturdays. My girlfriend lives in New Zealand and apparently the post only operates for three days at a time there."
18. "The next town over from here has a high school football stadium that cost $15 million to build."
Some submissions have been edited for grammar and clarity.