If there's one thing that's pretty much for sure, it's that much of the world thinks that we Americans are totally insane. This is for numerous reasons, but the simple fact is, a lot of what we do is considered super bizarre by people that live in other countries. Of course, because we're Americans, for the most part, we couldn't care less. Why should we care what anyone else thinks about us? We do things the way that we do them and never really spend a lot of time wondering if people from other countries think that what we're doing is totally crazy. Why would we? We're Americans after all.
But the funniest thing is, we don't even know what most of these things are that we're doing that bugs people from other countries. We just do this stuff and act like everyone else who lives in other countries is weird for not doing it, too. Meanwhile, a lot of the things we do confuse the heck out of people from away. But once again, who cares, right? We're Americans. They need to figure out how to do things our way, not the other way around.
What follows is a list of things that we Americans do that make people from other countries cringe. Here are 15 things Americans do that the rest of the world thinks are insane.
15 We Put Ice in Drinks
Many Americans tend to like a whole lot of ice in their drinks. People in other countries do put ice in drinks, sometimes anyway, but when they do, they only put in a couple of cubes, while we, in America, tend to put a ton of ice into our drinks. This, of course, dilutes the drink, which, to us, obviously isn't that big a deal, but to people in other countries, it is totally bizarre. It makes it even odder when you think of what we pay for our drinks. If you go to a movie theater, you might spend 8 bucks for a soda that, in all honesty, is 70 percent ice. While here, all of those things are totally expected, in other countries, people would be downright mad if you gave them that much ice in their drink.
14 Why Wear Shoes Inside?
Wearing shoes inside is totally a thing that Americans do, and when you think about it, the whole thing is rather odd. To people in other countries, the point of wearing shoes is to protect your feet when you're outside, and then, when you get home, you take off your shoes so as not to track in all the dirt and assorted other nasty things that you walked on when you were out. Most people who live in other countries always take off their shoes when they come home or when they go to other people's houses. We, in America, tend to get offended when people ask us to do so. I know that I do anyway. This is yet another thing that we find normal but that others think is oh-so-odd about us.
13 Who Cares About Nudity?
In America, being nude is still a very taboo thing. When someone in our country goes to a nude beach or even knows where one is, it's thought of as really living outside the box. This is not nearly as true in many other countries; in particular, a lot of different parts of Europe don't get bothered at all by people that aren't wearing any clothes, and they wonder why we get so wound up about it here in the good old US of A. Personally, I don't care a whole lot about seeing hot-looking women nude on the beach, although that would be fun. What I worry about is seeing all sorts of naked people who are in awful shape because that would just bug me out. Once you see certain things, you can never unsee them.
12 Open Carry Is Weird
Of course, even in America, there are a lot of people that find open carry rather bizarre, but in other countries, they don't understand it at all. Guns are just not thought of as something that most people in other countries would even own; only police do that, and even then, some cops in other countries don't carry openly. The thought of someone just walking down the street and showing a gun is something that most people in other lands simply can't imagine happening. It's the kind of thing that they can only imagine might go on in movies, and even then, it seems unreal to them. Like I said, though, there are also a lot of Americans who feel kind of the same way about this.
11 Why Do Americans Need So Much Space?
We Americans tend to like a lot of space when we talk to people. We also are usually not big huggers and touchers. This is not true in many other countries throughout the world. In fact, a lot of people in other countries like to get right up in your face when they're talking to you. This, of course, makes us Americans feel more than a little bit awkward, so then, we move farther away, causing the other person to move closer, and so on. Why do we not like people close to us? And why do other people from far away lands feel the exact opposite way? This is something that will have to remain a great mystery for now. One thing that's definitely not a mystery, though, is that people think we're totally weird.
10 Turning Right on Red
Another thing that you won't find many people in other countries doing and something they think we really are odd for doing is turning right on red. To just about anyone else in the world, a red light means that you stay put until it turns green, and they find it somewhat shocking that we just seemingly ignore it and keep moving. On the other hand, we, in the United States, can't imagine why people would not get moving if they had the opportunity to do so. Just one more odd difference between our culture and many others, although we tend to be in a hurry pretty much all of the time as a nation, so maybe this is one difference that's not all that odd after all.
9 What's Up With Baby Showers?
If you're planning on having a baby shower, or if you're planning on going to one, then there's a pretty good chance that you're American. In most other countries, they're a bit more old school about such things, and it's considered bad luck to celebrate a baby's birth before it happens. But as Americans, we sure don't care a whole lot about luck. Why should we? Our scene is way more about getting presents, which is, in large part, what a baby shower is all about. Let's face it: who really cares about bad luck when you could be getting a hundred-dollar gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond? This is just yet another big difference between how we roll and how they do things in other countries. Who is the odd one? Well, probably us.
8 What's Up With Stranger Danger?
In America, we're taught from a very young age that trusting strangers in any way can be really quite dangerous and something that you simply don't do if you can possibly avoid it. This is considered totally bizarre by much of the rest of the world. In many other countries, it might be considered totally normal for a stranger to pick up a child he didn't know and give the kid a hug, whereas here in America, you would probably get a good beating at the least, and, at the most, you would get arrested. We just don't like strangers talking to our kids around these parts. While it's necessary in today's day and age to do things this way, one has to admit that it's pretty sad that things have come this far, while in other countries they haven't.
7 College Sports Are Popular?
This is a big one. Other countries have their own professional sports leagues, of course, and some of the fan bases are just as rabidly enthusiastic about them as we are here in the United States. But people from other lands don't get at all how excited we get here in the United States about college sports. In fact, in other countries, they could literally care less about them. We do tend to take ourselves a bit seriously in the United States when it comes to sports. Another thing that confuses people in other countries is how we call our championships "World" championships. I mean come on... who do we really think we are?
6 Doggie Bags Are Out?
Taking food home in to-go boxes, which are also called doggie bags, is definitely something that people in most other countries don't do. They not only worry about food poisoning but also think the whole process of doing that is humiliating. Most Americans don't think twice about asking for a box for their food to eat later on, but if you're dining in Paris and do that, they would think of you as a total rube. Now that I think of it, though, I guess people in Paris think of pretty much everything about Americans as being kind of lame, but getting your food in a take out box is thought of as one of the worst. So, when we Americans are abroad, we should probably work hard at eating up while at the table.
5 Why Do You Care If Your Teeth Are White?
Americans are totally obsessed with white teeth and are equally obsessed with how straight they are. This is not so in other countries, especially because so many of the products used to whiten teeth have chemicals in them that can be bad for your oral health. This is very much an issue that sort of explains the difference between Americans and other cultures. In America, we're way more about the appearance of being healthy even if we're not, and in other countries, they actually want to be healthy even if they don't appear to be so. This is one area where we probably think they're as crazy as they think we are, but hey, we have one thing over them: at least our teeth are white.
4 The Bills Are the Same Color?
In most other countries, all of the bills are different colors for each different denomination. This obviously makes it a whole lot easier for them to quickly pick out which bill they're looking for. They simply don't understand why we, as Americans, don't make things easier on ourselves by doing the same thing. Of course, as Americans, we couldn't possibly imagine doing anything differently. This one pretty much boils down to tradition; there's no true right or wrong here, but with that said, their way seems to make much more sense than ours does. But hey, who really cares about what makes sense anyway? We're Americans; we don't worry a whole lot about things like that.
3 Why Do Americans Eat So Early?
A lot of Americans don't have much of a breakfast and also often eat lunch on the go or at their desks. Because of this, we're often hungry earlier and are ready to eat our dinner between 5 and 8 in the evening. This is all considered way too early for most people in other countries. A lot of them don't even think about having dinner before 8 or 9. This is just another offshoot of different cultures. We're all about hurrying up and getting things done, while people in other countries are more about slowing things down and getting things done right. Who has a better idea of how it's supposed to be done when it comes to dinner? I honestly don't even know; all I care about is getting my dinner and having it be good.
2 What's Up With the Bathroom Stall Gaps?
This is a big one and is one that really creeps out our neighbors from away. In America, there are often big gaps in the bathroom stall doors, whereas, in most of the rest of the world, these things don't exist. I suppose I could spend some time doing research on why this is true, but to be honest, I don't really want to think about it. In fact, I'm kind of sorry I ever even brought it up and made all of you think about it, too. What's done is done, though; I can't take it back now. What I can do is say that people from other countries are using public bathrooms right this very second, and as they do so, they're probably feeling super uncomfortable about the whole thing. And now that I think about it, who could blame them?
1 The Length of Our Elections Is Bizarre
In the United States, elections often start more than a year before the votes are cast, and billions of dollars are spent. In other countries, the entire election usually only takes months, and they only spend a small fraction of what we do. Just like in most other things, we always go with bigger in the good old United States of America, but that's not always better. People in other countries have no understanding of how we do things over here and think so many of the things we do are bizarre. And they're probably right about a lot of it. The truth is that we can still be proud of our country and admit that we do a lot of things that appear really odd to the rest of the world.
Sources: Cracked; Wikipedia