If you’ve lived in America all your life, you’re going to be used to all the customs. However, for outsiders, it can give them a case of serious culture shock. The American way isn’t any better or worse than other countries, but it definitely is interesting. Here are four things people find weird about Americans.
Americans don’t just love their cars. They need them like they need water. While there is good public transportation in bigger cities like New York City and Washington D.C., other cities all but require you to have a car. It’s not impossible to get around America without a car, but you have to be more careful about how you plan out your life. Of course, it’s easier to get around with the increasing availability of rideshare services across the country. While using rideshare services can be a convenient alternative to owning a car, there are some considerations to keep in mind in the event of an accident. Alternative transportation options are less available in smaller cities, so being without a car or a license in a small town can be next to impossible.
The concept of tipping for all kinds of services, such as dining out and delivery, is rather American. Someone going out to eat in America could be surprised to learn that between tips and taxes, their meal bill is much larger than they anticipated. However, tipping shouldn’t be considered optional. Many servers are paid less than minimum wage, with the expectation that their tips will cover the rest of their paycheck. While not entirely accurate, to non-Americans, it seems like Americans tip everyone. If an American offers a service, from cutting hair to moving, it’s very likely they should be tipped for it.
While every country has a flag, the American flag is especially ubiquitous. You can find it soaring just about anywhere year-round, not just on Independence Day. Plus, you see it used for things like clothes and decorative items. There are few things as American as the flag, and citizens show their love.
Thanks to the Second Amendment and groups like the National Rifle Association, gun love is high in the United States. People from countries with less of a gun culture are surprised by what they perceive as relatively easy access. We are even able to get permits to conceal carry a gun. With shooting ranges, gun shows, and more, it has become positively ingrained in the collective American psyche.
Considering what people find weird about Americans can give us a critical lesson about perspective. When we realize that our customs and traditions might be strange to others, we can become more sensitive to cultural differences. The next time you go about your daily routine, ask yourself if anything about it seems like it could be strange.