Other Countries Agree That These Cultural American Habits Should Be Challenged

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If you live in America, you probably think the things you do are totes normal.

But if you hail from another country, you know the truth. America is pretty dang weird when it comes to some things.

Here are 19 of the weirdest things that Americans just accept as being perfectly normal (even though they are totally not).

This first one is a real doozy: Bathroom gaps! If you go abroad, the bathroom doors allow for some privacy. In America, there is no way to avoid making awkward eye contact with someone outside the bathroom stall. Why is this a thing?!

And speaking of toilets, we apparently have way more water in them than other parts of the country. And there isn’t really any reason for it.

One more thing about U.S. bathrooms  – the flushes are super weak. In many other countries, the toilets mean business. In America, you might find yourself flushing multiple times to finally dispose of the evidence.

Squirrels! They’re everywhere in America! In some countries of the world, squirrels are actually kept in zoos and put on display. Here, we just try our darnedest to keep them away from our birdfeeders.

In many places in the States, it’s customary to smile at people and say hello — even if you don’t know them. Apparently, this kind of freaks out some people who are visiting from elsewhere in the world. And we don’t just smile and wave. No, we have to take it one step farther…

We ask everyone how they’re doing. And most of the time, we don’t even really care. “How are you?” It’s just something we say. Why do we say it?!

Whenever you’re out to eat at a restaurant in the U.S., you can count on being visited by your server multiple times (usually when you’ve just taken a bite of food). They’re constantly checking on diners. In many other countries, you’re lucky if you can wave your server down to get the bill.

You knew this one was going to be on the list: Portion sizes. Whether you’re chowing down on a giant turkey leg or just eating a plate of pasta, you can count on the portions in the U.S. being pretty gargantuan.

In America, there are so many advertisements for lawyers. They have commercials, billboards, bench ads, phonebook ads — they’re everywhere. Perhaps that has something to do with how litigious Americans are perceived as being.

Another thing that you come across on TV is commercials for medicine — particularly for prescription medicine. And, of course, there’s that crazy-long list of possible side effects in every single one. The United States is actually the only country other than New Zealand to allow direct-to-consumer advertising of medications. According to a piece by Thrillist, “Prescription drug advertisements contribute to misinformed patients, since they’ve been shown to increase drug consumption without measurable health benefits.” And speaking of medicine…

Our medicine cabinets also seem to throw visitors from other countries for a loop. In other countries, over-the-counter medication isn’t really a thing. And giant bottles of pills that you keep in your bathroom cabinets? Also not a thing.

Next up: Air conditioning. It’s always on full blast (especially during the summer months). That’s definitely not something you’ll come across if you travel to another country.

This one is a personal annoyance. At the grocery store, prices are listed pre-tax. The tax doesn’t get added on until you check out. In Europe, the price you see is the price you pay. Isn’t that brilliant? It just makes so much sense.

Mattress stores. Think about it. When’s the last time you bought a mattress? How often are we buying mattresses that there need to be several mattress stores around? Are we totally sure mattress stores aren’t a front for something less savory?

We. Drive. Everywhere. To be fair, America was designed to be driven around, but it’s a little bonkers that if something is even 0.2 miles away, we hop in the car without a second thought. And that brings us to our next uniquely American thing on the topic of cars…

Drive-thrus! Since we’re already driving everywhere, we may as well pick up food, right? In some states, they even have drive-thru liquor stores! You can get booze-filled daquiris in some drive-thrus in Lousiana.

If you’re in America as you’re reading this, take a look around you (or peek outside). How many American flags do you see? I’m guessing it’s at least one, and could very well be upward of three. For whatever reason, we really, really like our flag. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good flag. But you’re not going to see the same flag worship in other parts of the world.

Mailboxes! Apparently, this is another thing that’s unique to the good ol’ US of A. In other countries — particularly those in Europe, mail is delivered via mail slots in the front door (like the one in Harry Potter).

And, of course, the No. 1 all-American symbol: the red solo cup. Not blue. Not green. Red. Is it even a real party if you don’t have a red solo cup in your hand?