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11 Things Americans Do That the Rest of the World Finds Weird

11 Things Americans Do That the Rest of the World Finds Weird
(Trong Nguyen/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 13 June 2019 08:59 AM

Some things are just a matter of habit for us, but are downright weird to people who don’t live in the U.S.

Lots of ice in your glass? People outside think that’s just bizarre. Insider recently shed light on things perfectly normal to us that seem strange to the rest of the world.

Here are 11:

1. Advertising prescription drugs. In the U.S. it is common to find ads for prescription drugs but to outsiders this is strange. In a Reddit thread dedicated to the topic, NoDownvotesPlease said the "'ask your doctor for brand x antidepressants' type commercials on TV" was the weirdest thing Americans do.

2. Draping the American flag everywhere. The American flag has become deeply ingrained in American culture but to outsiders it is unusual to see it unfurled on porches, hanging in classrooms and displayed at sporting events. "Viewed from abroad — certainly coming from the UK — it is striking when you go to the United States, how prevalent the flag is," Adam Smith, a history professor at University College London told  HowStuffWorks. "It's pretty hard to find places in America where you can't find a flag somewhere. And that isn't true of most places."

3. Pharmacies selling so many non-drug- related things. In Europe, pharmacies stick to selling drug,s but in America the aisles are lined with everything from drugs to junk food. To visitors, these drugstores are basically glorified convenience stores.

4. Eating bread that is always sweet. Bread in America tastes different from bread in other countries. Reddit users said it was weird that bread was always sweet in the U.S.

5. All the TV commercials. Americans are so accustomed to all the TV commercials that they do not realize just how many there are. The rest of the world does. "I love America. But the one thing I hate is the placement of commercials on TV. It might be only for certain channels, but for a 30-minute show, there will be about four commercial breaks," Reddit user WhatWouldTylerDo wrote.

6. Free drink refills. The concept of free drink refills in America is the norm but to foreigners it is really weird.

7. All that water in the toilet bowl. Foreigners visiting the U.S are completely taken aback by just how much more water there is in American toilets, as was discussed in the Reddit thread. "Seriously, why so much?!" one user wrote.

8. Drinking massive coffees on the go. In America, grabbing a large to-go coffee is common but to other countries where smaller quantities of coffee is served, this is a very strange quirk.

9. Taking home leftover restaurant food. Taking home a doggie bag is normal for Americans,  but in other countries like France, this is weird and even rude.

10. Giant food portions. Perhaps the reason we take leftover food home is because of the large portion sizes, which has foreigners completely baffled. Outside of the U.S., the sizes of meals and drinks served in fast-food chains and restaurants are much smaller.

11. Tipping waiters and waitresses. Other countries consider it rude to tip. It is such an uncommon practice in some parts of the world that travelers often have to be reminded to tip when they visit the U.S.

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Some things are just a matter of habit for us, but are downright weird to people who don't live in the U.S. Lots of ice in your glass? People outside think that's just bizarre. Insider recently shed light on things perfectly normal to us that seem strange to the rest of...
americans, habits, weird
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2019-59-13
Thursday, 13 June 2019 08:59 AM
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