Skip To Content

    19 Questions You Have As A Brit Visiting America

    I love your country and I love you. I just have one or two tiny questions...

    1. Why must you cremate your bacon, so?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Yes, as has been discussed by many before me, your bacon is different to our bacon. That, I have accepted. But I still see no reason as to why it has to be cooked to within an inch of its life. The only way I could re-create this classic Breaking Bad moment (no, it wasn't my birthday, but oh well) was by tearing it with my actual hands. Knives and forks don't do SHIT to this stuff.

    American bacon: the Valyrian steel of breakfast meats.

    2. What the fuck is going on here?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    The first time I encountered this I thought it was a one-off. The second time I started to worry. By the third time I realised that America has no idea how public toilets work.

    They're everywhere! A single room with a lockable door that includes both a urinal AND a toilet, neither of which are blocked off. In case you didn't know, it's possible to do a #1 in a toilet, so really there is zero need for the urinal to be there. Unless you wanted to go at the same time as your friend, I guess...

    3. And while we're on toilets – what's with the giant gaps?!

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    We've discussed this before, but until I get a straight answer I'll keep bringing it up. The huge gaps at each side of most toilet doors in the US are an abomination and must be stopped.

    Accidental or not, no one (that we want to spend time with) wants to be able to make eye contact while going about their business. This is not how doors work. Sort it out, Obama. You've got only a year left!

    4. And while we're STILL on toilets... why do yours have so much water in them?!

    Via Twitter: @OfficialGk59

    The biggest surprise I encountered on my trip was just how high the water level in US toilets is. It's weird. It's increases the danger of...umm...splashes. And it's also really weird.

    And I'm not alone...

    5. Do you seriously think this is a sausage roll?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    America. Your food is excellent. I mean, you have a dish called "chicken fried steak" which – though we may not have a clue what it is – can be only a thing of wonder. But please, PLEASE, leave the sausage rolls to those of us who know how to put questionable meat inside the greasiest pastry you can possibly imagine.

    And in case you were wondering, THIS is a sausage roll.

    Greggs / Via

    America may well run on Dunkin', but Britain runs on Greggs. (OK, so maybe it's more of a light jog.)

    6. Why is no one capable of parking their own car?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    I get it. The US is the land of convenience. Want a doughnut at 5am without getting out of your car? They've got you covered. But paying someone else to park your car (even if it's covered by the company, you usually have to tip) seems a little excessive. And besides, there's no greater feeling than successfully pulling off a 🔥 parallel parking manoeuvre. Come on, America, give it a whirl!

    7. What terrible things have all your electrical sockets seen that mean they all look so traumatised?!

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed


    But in all seriousness, there is one major problem Brits have with US sockets. Unlike our 240V in the UK, US sockets pump out a meager 120V! This means your phone dies in half the time from the same length of charge, and hairdryers perfectly replicate the feeling of being breathed on by a tiny asthmatic kitten.

    8. Why do all bags have dogs in them?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    This is my colleague Kelly. She is British. Usually her bag would be full of bangers and mash, light drizzle, and colonial guilt. But within 72 hours of landing at LAX there was a pomeranian in there instead. She still has no idea how this happened.

    Note to Brits: Pomeranians are a breed of dog native to Beverly Hills. They are best known for being allergic to walking – hence the bags. This one is called Pizza.

    9. Are all American politicians so open about such things?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    And where do the nongeneral hookers go?!

    10. Do you really think you look cool riding a hoverboard?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    In the 20-minute walk from my Airbnb to the BuzzFeed LA offices, four of these came flying past. The thing that angers me more than anything? As stupid as you may look on one of these things... my overriding feeling is "OMFG LET ME PLAY ON IT." But then again, I'm the worst.

    11. Isn't there something weird about celebrating Christmas when it's nice outside?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    I know the US is big, and that large chunks of it are already covered in snow, but there was something so jarring about coming across fake snow and Michael Bublé when I was wearing sun cream that this one had to make the cut.

    12. Why the fuck does this house have a turret?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    I mean, do I need to say anything else?

    13. Is it not a bit worrying that there were more people taking photos of this star than any other on the Walk of Fame?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Tbh, it's not all that different in the UK. You see David Cameron's name scribbled on walls and pavements in the UK quite frequently...


    14. What's with all the flags?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    In fairness, the US flag is a great flag. Stripes. Stars. Strong colours. It's got everything you'd want. No wonder George Washington wrote your national anthem about it (or something). But if there's one thing you learn after about 10 minutes in the US, it's that Americans REALLY like their flag.

    Flags on houses. Flags in bars. Flags on cars. Random miniature flags attached to the wall of your apartment's bathroom. Sufferers of vexiphobia*, this probably isn't the place for you.

    *In case you didn't work it out, vexiphobia is the irrational fear of flags.

    Oh look, ANOTHER FLAG.

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Yeah OK, this photo didn't need to be in here. It's just me showing off.

    15. Do you have any plans for all that space in the middle?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Having flown across your entire continent I can confirm there is a vast surplus of nothingness. Tbh it seems like you could organise yourselves a little better. Why not just all move to the same place? Surely there's room for everyone in Montana? It would be much more convenient, and my flight from one side of the country to the other would have been a LOT cheaper.

    16. Do you find this as funny as I did?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed


    17. Why is all your money the same?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    Again, I like your money. It's iconic, and has load of well-dressed dead guys on it. But the problem comes when you're in a slightly dark bar and IT ALL LOOKS THE SAME.

    Each denomination is exactly the same size, and near as damn it the same colour. Which is exactly why after one or seven beers I may have tipped a waitress $20 for a solitary drink. You're just lucky it was the best darned drink I'd ever had, America.

    18. And on the topic of money, why must you make us do maths every time we want to buy something?


    Like that meal? Good. Now divide the price by five and multiply that by six to work out the price including tip. Unless, of course, the service wasn't that good and you only want to add a meager 18%, at which point it gets way more confusing.

    Want to buy those jeans? Cool. FYI the price on the tag is significantly lower than what they'll charge you at the till. Yeah, you just got TAXED.

    We're an awkward nation, and we'd rather significantly overpay than cause offence. Please, please, please can you just tell us exactly what we owe you so we can get the hell out of their without causing a major diplomatic incident?

    19. How can you have "authentic Tudor castles" that were built in 1915?

    Robin Edds / BuzzFeed

    The primary reason for my trip to the US was for the wedding of one of my oldest friends. It was an incredible day and I drank an incredible amount of free wine.

    The only thing that made my head spin more than the pinot noir, however, was the venue's claim that it was an authentic Tudor castle. My history isn't too hot, but even I was aware that this seemed more than a little improbable. Checking the venue's website, it turns out I was not wrong...


    America, you have many things. You have freedom. You have democracy. You have NASA. You have LeBron. You have Taylor.

    OK, so you don't have as much history as some, but that's allowed. You don't have to pretend. And trust us, history isn't all it's cracked up to be. (See: the entirety of the British Empire).

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form