18 Very American Things That Make Other Countries Incredibly Jealous
There is nothing better than good American barbecue, amirite?
A recent Reddit thread asked, "Americans, what does the US do correctly that the rest of the world does not?" Here are some of the best submissions:
1. Stores that let you buy literally anything you want in bulk.
"America really nailed the idea that you can buy ANYTHING you want in bulk items, even if you aren't a company or business. You want 10,000 pieces of jerky? Wave that fuckin' flag, citizen, while eating all of it! A hundred pounds of toilet paper? Sure thing, partner, and while you're at it, pick up some bulk sheds or park benches! Does it matter you don't own the actual space for these items? Hell no! Once, I found a sale that advertised 100 pounds of Christmas ornaments. Not 100 pieces. Pounds. As in, weight. It was so beautiful, I thought a bald eagle was hiding in the ornaments."
3. Really, really, delicious barbecue in many different styles.
"Texas, Memphis, Carolina, St. Louis. All of it."
4. Public areas that are (mostly) accessible.
"I've spent the last 10 days in Italy, and there are almost no ramps for people in wheelchairs. Currently in Venice, and so far, I have only found one bridge over a canal that had ramps placed on each step for a wheelchair to make it from one side to the other. All of the elevators are very narrow, and nearly impossible for a wheelchair to fit in."
5. A widespread no-littering-tolerated mindset.
"Americans fucking hate litter. Like obviously, there are people who do it, but in general, people get pissed if they see someone litter. We keep our shit looking nice. Having traveled oversees a fair amount in Europe and Asia, this is not always true everywhere else. People like to make fun of Texans for the slogan 'Don't MESS with Texas', but that originally came from an anti-littering campaign a while back that's credited with helping reduce litter on the highways by like 80% over a few years."
6. A postal service that, despite its flaws, will still try its best to send and deliver all of your mail.
"The USPS is absolutely amazing, IMHO. In all the time I've lived here, I have not lost a single package or had a letter that did not get delivered."
7. Delis stocked with all of the cold cuts your heart desires.
"At least out of all the places I’ve traveled to, the US by far has the best delis. I don’t know if I can live somewhere without a great Jewish or Italian deli."
8. And diners that will fill you up with greasy yumminess at a pretty cheap price.
"There's nothing better than a kinda crappy diner than smells like grease and coffee. Two over easy fried eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and toast with a cup of way-too-hot semi-burnt coffee. It's as American as it gets."
9. An interstate highway system that makes road trips to multiple states easy and fun.
"It's a thing of beauty."
10. An advanced and efficient train cargo transportation system.
"Not many people know it, but America has built out an expansive rail system transporting goods, especially liquids, and can do it extremely cheaply. While other countries have mastered pedestrian transportation, no other country can compete with America, and America has even built out southern Canada to allow for cheaper importing and exporting. On top of that, just recently all the major tunnels have be upgraded to allow for double stacked cargo containers making it even more efficient."
12. But seriously, that good, old-fashioned American customer-first customer service.
"I'm from the UK but have visited the US a fair few times, and I've gotta give it to you guys, your customer service is goddamn amazing. I like how you finish a drink and someone comes like, 'You want more? It's free'."
13. Bathrooms that actually have light switches inside, instead of outside, of them.
"Turns out, there is a reason for this. GFI switches, which were invented in the '50s, allowed for switches to be safer in wet environments. They became required in any places that would be around water (the laundry room, the pool, bathrooms). They're those switches that have the 'reset' or 'test' buttons on them and (if you're American) you've probably seen them in your backyard electrical socket. Since most houses in Europe were built before these switches were invented, they don't have them. And apparently, even houses built after this time in some parts of the world STILL don't use these switches. Go figure."
15. Windows screens that keep the bugs out.
"I’ve been in meetings in Europe and of course there is no air conditioning, so open goes the windows and in come the bugs and birds. I can get the lack of AC and saving energy, but goddamn it, put a freaking screen on the window! Same shit at the hotels too."
16. A national parks system that conserves and celebrates our natural wonders.
"America’s greatest achievement."
17. An abundance of 24-hour convenience stores.
"I was in Chicago working with a colleague from Switzerland who suddenly realized around midnight that he needed a network cable to configure a mobile router for a job the next morning. I told him that I'd meet him in the hotel lobby to drive him out to Walmart. He was happily surprised, as he had forgotten about the US's famous chain of Walmart stores."
18. And peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. End of story.
"Every time I mention them to anyone outside the states, they always say either that they've tried them and hate them, or they've never tried them but they sound disgusting. It's very rare to find someone who says, 'That might be good, I'd try it'. And yet, every person I know from other countries who has come to the states and had an American make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has reported that they truly enjoyed it, even if it was a bit sweet for their tastes. So I don't know what it is, but clearly we can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches better than anyone else."
Some submissions were edited for length/clarity.