20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird

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While America prides itself on its melting pot culture, it’s intriguing to discern how its customs are perceived globally. Here, we unearth 20 intriguing American customs that leave foreigners baffled.

The Entrée Enigma

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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While most countries understand ‘entrée’ to mean a starter or appetizer, Americans interestingly use it to refer to the main course.

The Water Riddle

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Say, “I’ll have water,” and you might get a bill in Europe. Still, water usually refers to bottled water, which isn’t free.

Sugar for Breakfast

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Muffins, frosted cereals, and syrupy pancakes might be delightful to an American palate, but to the rest of the world, these are desserts, not breakfast!

The Tipping Culture

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Tipping isn’t ubiquitous. Unlike the US, many countries don’t tip; if they do, it’s not always a percentage of the bill.

Lemonade: The Sprite Doppelgänger

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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In countries like New Zealand, ‘lemonade’ is akin to Sprite. The sugary lemon drink we adore in the US is often termed ‘old-fashioned’ elsewhere.

Audible Americans

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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From lively conversations on the subway to passionate phone discussions in public, Americans are often considered louder than their global counterparts.

The Stranger Talk

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Conversing with strangers is commonplace in the US but might earn you puzzled looks in countries like Denmark.

The Complaint Quotient

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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While vocalizing grievances is common in the US, it can appear as excessive entitlement elsewhere.

Drive Everywhere

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For Americans, a 100-mile drive is a breeze. However, such distances are not traversed so nonchalantly in many places worldwide.

Pedestrian Unfriendly Suburbs

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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American suburbs, with vast housing complexes and sprawling malls, often aren’t the friendliest for those on foot.

Patriotic Wardrobe

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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The US flag makes its appearance everywhere, from porches to underwear. This omnipresence of the national flag can be puzzling for outsiders.

Shoes Indoors

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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While many cultures leave their footwear at the door, Americans often stroll around their homes with shoes on.

Baseball Bewilderment

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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America’s beloved baseball leaves many international viewers scratching their heads.

Career-Centric Conversations

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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On meeting someone, an American’s “What do you do?” can appear nosy in other cultures.

The ‘How Are You?’ Hurdle

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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This customary American greeting isn’t always understood as a greeting.

The Date Dilemma

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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MM/DD/YYYY is an American peculiarity. Most of the world follows the Day/Month/Year format.

Paper Money Passion

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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While coins dominate globally for smaller denominations, the US still clings to its one-dollar bill.

Heritage Over Nationality

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Americans often identify with ancestral countries, even if generations have never set foot there.

Taxing Math

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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Unlike many countries where taxes are included in the price tag, Americans always do the math at the checkout.

Free Refills

20 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Weird
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A delight for many foreigners, unlimited beverage refills in American eateries are a generous gesture uncommon elsewhere.

In sum, America’s vastness and cultural amalgamation give rise to practices that can seem quirky to the external observer. However, they remain an integral part of the diverse American tapestry.

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