9 Things Americans Do Without A Second Thought That The Rest Of The World Doesn't, According To Reddit
It's not unusual for an American to never venture outside the borders of this country; I certainly haven't (yet, but that's about to change soon). So unsurprisingly, we're likely unaware of things Americans do that the rest of the world doesn't, because to us, it's second nature. Think about the little habits and behaviors you participate in every day — smiling at your cashier, saying hello to a stranger, shaking hands with someone you've just met. Have you ever stopped and wondered if this is universal... or something we only do here? (Mind: blown.) Are you dissecting your day-to-day habits now, like I am?
AskReddit, always an entertaining and enlightening source of information, recently played host to that exact question: What do Americans do without a second thought that would shock non-Americans? I spent a bit of time digging through all the comments and was honestly shocked by some of the responses. I knew that every country has different customs, of course; but I totally underestimated how unique some of ours are, and how strange they look to foreign visitors. From slightly bizarre to downright offensive, some of these behaviors would never fly in another country; so it's not bad information to know. Here are some of the most interesting.
1. Tossing Away Food
I can see this being a cultural thing, or even just an economic one. Money-wise, I grew up in a modest family; and to this day, I do my best never to waste food.
2. Road Trip!
This makes sense to me now, oddly enough. My boyfriend just booked our flight to Europe for later this year, and we're going to hit up, like, four countries in a couple days. The land mass is completely different.
3. Trying To Be Friendly... Or Are We?
I had no clue this could come off as rude or nosy in other cultures. Good thing to know!
4. Taking Home Doggie Bags
Dude, the leftovers are the best part! This actually makes sense when you think about it, though — our portions are enormous here. In European countries, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't have much left at the end of a meal.
5. Consuming Insane Amounts Of Sugar
Just yesterday, I watched a documentary called That Sugar Film, where an Australian man committed to consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar a day — the average in Australia. He had a hard time keeping up. When he came to America, he had a hard time staying below 40. (Seriously, go watch it.)
6. Enjoying One Of America's Favorite Sandwiches
I would never even think twice about this. It's a classic in our country, and a go-to for picky children and adults who don't have much else going on in the kitchen. Heck, I'm 27 years old and ain't nobody going to come between me and my pb and j.
7. Letting Our Laziness Get The Best Of Us
One Reddit user shared an experience from his first year in the Unites States, when his friends wanted to drive to a Starbucks in the same parking lot, while he opted to walk. (He arrived first, BTW.) This is America. We avoid walking, climbing stairs, and in general, moving.... at all costs.
8. Honoring Our Country
Here, if you're goofing off during the anthem or Pledge of Allegiance, you can 100 percent expect dirty looks from all angles. It never even occurred to me that people don't do this everywhere (for their own country, obvi).
9. Not Enjoying What We've Earned
We might be lazy when it comes to physical activity, but ironically, at the office we work like dogs. I can honestly say that I've seen (more than once) dedicated employees not taking advantage of the vacation days they earned because they're scared it'll come across as lazy. Why, why, why do we feel this way?!