22 Things Americans Don't Know They Do That Make It Obvious They're American
"I have never seen someone walk so confidently in the wrong direction like an American can."
Travel! A lot of us do it — whether it's down the street or to a far-off destination. When we travel, we ~try~ to blend in, but alas, as tourists we can usually be spotted from a mile away.
WELL, Reddit user mknapp37 asked, "Besides their accent, what's one way you know a tourist is American?" These responses will have you checkin' your behavior on your next trip.
Here are some of the most interesting responses:
1. Talking too loudly:
"While in Korea, I was casually talking to a friend on the bus in a regular speaking voice. Not even a minute later, the lady in front of us turned around in her seat and very casually said, 'Please calm down.' I guess American volume is noticeably louder."
2. Also, sharing their inner thoughts out loud a bit too loudly:
"Americans are very outspoken. At my local aquarium the other day, I heard a lady very loudly say, ‘Have the penguins gone to bed? Can we not see them? Y'all, the penguins have gone to bed! Y'all, we missed 'em.’"
3. Waiting to be seated at a restaurant:
"When we were visiting Paris, my wife and I learned that they don't seat you at restaurants. You just walk in and sit down at an available table. We figured it out after standing around at the entrance a few times. Then we started noticing other American tourists doing the same."
4. Saying which state we're from:
"When Americans introduce themselves, they never say they're from America. They mostly say the state/city they're from."
5. Talking to baristas/cashiers:
"Saying, 'Hi, how are you?' to baristas, servers, retail workers, etc. My country doesn’t quite have that culture, so I find it really sweet."
6. Talking to strangers:
"The absolute fearlessness of asking anyone on the street about anything."
7. Calling black people "African American":
"Being called African American while living in the Netherlands."
8. Being overly polite:
"Some Americans are way more polite than expected. Whenever I hear someone say 'ma'am,' I know they're American. One time I was in Lidl and there was an American family asking a worker if they sold cellphones. When the woman said they didn't, they were all, 'Oh, okay, thank you for your time, ma'am! Have a great day!' which is a lot cheerier than the average Scot."
"I went to Russia once, and they knew I was American because I smiled too much."
10. Smiling, pt. 2:
"When I went to Italy with a friend, I couldn't figure out why everyone greeted me in English before I said a word. I don't wear running shoes outside of the gym, I dress pretty posh, I can't remember the last time I owned a baseball cap, and I try to have a basic grasp on the local language. How could they tell I'm American? My friend told me, 'It's because you're smiling at them.'"
11. Wearing specific types of headwear:
"Today I learned that we have a monopoly on baseball caps."
13. And...overall choice of apparel, really:
"Baseball caps, university spirit wear, cargo shorts, free T-shirts from events with ads and text all over them, and, for the older Americans, they always seem to just kinda stand in the middle of everything and look around."
14. Being shook by history and architecture:
"Americans are amazed by old things. My girlfriend used to work on a farm in an estate in the UK and would often have Americans in awe of the old buildings. One time someone said, 'Some of these buildings are older than my country.'"
15. Using public trash cans:
"If you see an American in Japan, they will frantically look for public trash cans. The absence of trash receptacles is something unfounded in the US, and they become confused at the idea of having to hold onto their trash for extended periods of time."
16. Asking to use a "restroom":
"I mean, obviously you could tell they were an American when they spoke, but once in my little village in Scotland I was in the pub and a woman politely asked the barman where the restrooms were. He didn’t know wtf she was on about and then it obviously clicked. 'Ye mean the toilet? Aye hen it’s joost back ‘err.'"
"Americans will try to tip everyone, even in countries where tipping isn't a thing/is considered a serious insult."
18. Expecting stores to be open late:
"They’re looking for a store to be open at like 11 p.m. In most European countries stores close at like 7–8 p.m."
19. Using excessive amounts of ice in our drinks:
"There was a bowl of ice in the middle of the table for everyone to share between them, and this American guy took the bowl and dumped all of the ice in his own drink. Apparently Americans like ice more than Europeans."
20. Singing along to our fave tunes:
"I was at a beach where music was playing and 'Sweet Caroline' came on. I told my sister (we are both Hispanic, but I live in the US): 'Hey, if you are wondering who here is from the US, you are about to find out.' Ten seconds later, we heard: 'BA BA BAAAAAA.'"
21. Crossing the road with blind faith:
"When Americans cross the street, they expect cars to stop for them. In my country, the cars will run you down without thinking twice."
22. Being confident:
"Confidence. I have never seen someone walk so confidently in the wrong direction like an American can."