Today, for your reading enjoyment, I’d like to share:
Not sure who the author is, or I’d be glad to give them credit, but this is a pretty good list (apologies for mild language on #8).
Off the top of my head, here are a few others:
Everything is over air-conditioned. In other countries, air-conditioned means “around 80 degrees.” In other words, just take the edge off. In America, everything is chilled in the summer like the inside of an icebox – a brisk 65-68 degrees.
Road Rage. This may get its own blog post one day, but I am convinced road rage is an American luxury. The notion of everything is orderly and “I-own-the-road” is a uniquely American one. In other countries, like India or China, driving is a free-for-all with no lanes, upon which you’ll be glad just to get to your destination in one piece without hitting a pedestrian or anyone on a motorcycle.
Peanut butter. In America, the grocery store always has peanut butter. We are raised on it since we are four. But they don’t sell peanut butter in Britain, or India, or most other non-American countries as well. So if you’re on a mission trip and you think, I’ll have “the old stand-by of peanut butter and bread”…well, you can’t. Unless you brought it with you.
Toilet paper. I hate to say it, but toilet paper is optional in some countries. I’ve never mastered the art of not using it, but there are entire civilized civilizations that do. It involves a bucket of water and a hose coming out of the wall, from what I can gather.
The postal system. Or reliability thereof. In other countries, there is no 2-3 day guarantee that your mail will arrive a few days after you mail it. Or that you will live in a neighborhood that has a mailing address. I once mailed a postcard from Brazil and it took five months to arrive — a postcard. In Britain they will drop mail off, but you have to mail all outgoing letters at a streetcorner post office box. I once surprised my hosts by telling them that in the U.S. they come by your house. (“You mean they…pick it up?”)
Opaque shower curtains. Glass partitions or partial glass windows are the rage across the Atlantic. Which makes you think twice about letting your roommate come in to brush their teeth while you shower. Even though there was no one in the bathroom with me, I still felt scandalized while showering with only a pane of glass to protect me from the prying eyes of my toiletry bag.
What are some oddities you’ve encountered about Americans?