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23 Culture Shocked Americans Share The Things They Didn't Realize Were So American

Sometimes you take a journey out into the big mad world, far away from where you call home, and it humbles you. You immerse yourself in the culture of a land that might even look similar on the surface, only to realize that rooting for a team in a place like Australia, is NOT what you intend it to mean. These are their own kind of special fails. 

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  • 1
    Text - CheckOutMyGun 1d Small avocados. Went to puerto rico. Was like, 'yo ill have like 6 of those stuffed avocados'. Buddy was like, 'yo gringo, i think you underestimate the size of our avocados here. Just have one and ill being you more if you want after'. Ihad half of one. It was like a football.
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  • 2
    Text - Totally_a_Banana 1d Ranch flavor Doritos in the Netherlands called "Cool American" flavor.
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  • 3
    Text - scott60561 1d Portion sizes. My high school senior trip to London, typically ravenous appetite 18 year old, I couldn't get over how small everything was standard.
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  • 4
    Text - ProfanePly 1d The stereotype about us being loud is true. I never thought of myself as being loud until I went abroad and would hang up the phone after speaking in what I thought was appropriate volume to find everyone around me was staring at me, and realized how much more quiet they were lol whoops
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  • 5
    Text - theberge55 1d I did an art history course in Italy. What really stood out to me was the size of cars over there. Over here you have a mix of mid sized sedans and pick up trucks/SUV'S, with the occasional compact car (back when I went compact cars here were incredibly scarce). Over there, it seemed like most everyone drove a compact car, with the occasional sports car. I remember counting six pickup trucks in the 10 days I was there (for comparison, I can name more than 6 people I know wit
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  • 6
    Text - ACaffeinatedWandress 1d Getting to choose from like 50 different types and subtypes of sodas. Hearing commercials advocating you to go to the doctor and demand a prescription for whatever fantasy pill is new to the market on the radio like it is no big deal.
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  • 7
    Text - 33whitten 1d Having your drink constantly refilled ay restaurants. I just wanna drink a ton of water alright?
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  • 8
    Text - wtjax 1d how large grocery stores are here. My wife is not american and we lived in China and were in HK all| the time... they had large international stores that were great and she didnt really grasp the size of american grocery stores till our first week in the USA and there's 150 feet of cereals on aisle
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  • 9
    Text - Colourblindknight 1d I moved to England from Texas about six years ago. One of the major things that I noticed was that smiling and being friendly towards strangers was considered bizarre. This is a bit true in any metropolitan area, but especially in the UK. In Texas I was used to smiling at people, asking for directions if I needed them, and being friendly towards strangers. I learned very quickly that smiling at someone on the tube, or asking someone for directions on the street immedi
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  • 10
    Text - thiswasagutpunch ld Red plastic cups for parties. So much so that people outside US use them as a accessory to American themed parties.
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  • 11
    Text - madisonpreggers 1d Road trips...at least just jumping in the car and driving a few hours without giving it much thought. I live ina large western state and it seems at least every other weekend my family and I were in the car traveling for a few hours to see some site, go into Mexico or another state. I have relatives in Switzerland and they were going to drive us to the Frankfurt airport and I was blown away how big of a deal it was to them. My uncle had the car inspected, shopped around
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  • 12
    Text - OIDirty Triple 1d Men wearing shorts. Common in some parts of the world, absolutely unheard of in others, no matter how hot it gets outside. Other than a swim suit at the beach, none of my male cousins wear shorts ever, at all, in their home country.
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  • 13
    Text - Glaggies 1d Measuring walking/driving distance in blocks. It's the unit of measure I use most frequently when giving directions - the restaurant is 3 blocks away, go south one block and then two blocks west, live six blocks from the grocery store... It wasn't until I studied abroad in England and got a complete blank look when I asked someone how many blocks away the library was that I realized using "block" as a measurement only makes sense in cities that were largely pre- planned and bu
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  • 14
    Text - Detroit_debauchery 1d Root beer is apparently disgusting and an offense to most of the worlds palate.
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  • 15
    Text - GardenGnome35 1d Keeping AC on 100% of the time in the summer. Visited Madrid for about a month to see the exchange student we housed, and found that they typically only turn on AC at Night to sleep when it reaches a damned 105 deg F.
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  • 16
    Text - badass_panda 1d I was struck by the extent to which nobody talks to strangers in northern Europe ... Even in big cities in the US, people will talk to each other sometimes in line, on the subway, etc. Not deep conversations, but it isn't weird to make casual conversation.
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  • 17
    Text - Kilen13 1d "How are you?" being used in place of "hello" even with strangers. In the US "how are you" needs only to be replied with "good, you?" almost as a way of saying hi. Elsewhere people don't really know how to respond when a stranger asks "how are you?", "how you doing?", or "how's it going?"
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  • 18
    Text - ShayBriar 1d Garbage disposals in sinks. When I moved to the UK, my flatmates asked how in movies people would stick their hands in the sink drain and it be ripped apart. I told them about garbage disposals and they were very weirded out.
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  • 19
    Text - Mr_beeps 1d Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On a related note, no, vegemite and butter not an adequate substitution (you know who you are)
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  • 20
    Text - ConfidentMarionBerry 1d When I went to Australia I found out very quickly that no one down there "roots" for a team - they "go for" a team. So when I said I root for the Red Sox I got a lot of weird looks (Rooting means fucking in Australian)
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  • 21
    Text - 11_inches_of_justice 1d Tailgates. I've lived in the states my entire life, but when my Spanish girlfriend came to visit I wasn't sure what I could show her that really exhibited American culture. There are plenty of American stereotypes you see on TV, but it wasn't until I took her to a tailgate that I realized how violently American the whole experience is. A huge parking lot full of drunk twenty year olds bouncing on trucks bigger than most European apartments, with half the trucks bla
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  • 22
    Text - dumplinmuffin 23h Eating a burger and fries with your hands. I just assumed everyone did this. I went to Sweden with my boyfriend and we stopped at a burger joint. Small local place. When the chef heard we were American he immediately wanted us to try a speciality burger he made and tell him what we thought about it. They were all excited when we picked it up with our hands and we realized everyone else in the place was using a fork and knife. Burger was 11/10.
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  • 23
    Text - powerchoice ld Buying stuff and the cashier putting your items in a plastic or paper bag. Went to Germany, and found it strange they don't bag your items. Everyone just brings their own bag or dumps their stuff in a back pack
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