Noisy Toilets, Ice Drinks, and Inverted Dates: 15 Unexpected Facts About the US and Americans
When you live in the USA, these things seem quite ordinary to you, but they literally shock foreigners. Why do Americans bend their fingers, why don't they pay taxes, why do they build such toilets and who actually invented fries? Today I will name 15 unexpected facts about the USA that surprise foreigners.
When Americans count on their fingers, they do not bend them, as we do. They bend them in the opposite direction! Here is such a cultural feature, or maybe they just have flexible fingers?
Americans are terrible workaholics. Holidays in America last no more than 2 weeks per year. Often they take only a week, and the remaining days accumulate, like sick days. They do not use them, preferring to work more and earn more. And this is not because America has big debts, and if you do not work, you will go bankrupt. Just such a culture. For example, in Japan it is not customary to take time off or leave - a vacation can be only 3-5 days, imagine? And in Finland, leave is 30 days.
Unexpectedly, in America there are very noisy toilets! Many Europeans, when they move here, notice that if you press the shutter button in the toilet, it makes absolutely crazy sounds. This is due to the peculiarity of the drainage system in the American toilet. When you press the button, the toilet draws all the liquid into itself. While in Europe, after pressing a button, a new one is added to the existing water.
By the way, in American public toilets in the cabins there is a very large clearance from below. The height of the door can be knee-high. This is very confusing for many foreigners, because in the toilet you count on personal space, and here - on you! Some argue that this is related to security. When you close the door in the toilet in Europe, it is completely deaf, and if you feel sick there, no one will know about it. In America, it will be immediately evident that a person fell, he feels bad - and they will be helped faster.
Voltage in the US is 110 volts. We are accustomed to a voltage of 220, that is, all the devices that we use are rated at 220, so some of our devices in the USA do not work. You need to either buy adapters and transformers, or completely upgrade the devices. For example, when I moved, I bought a new hairdryer, new kettles, because all this could not be brought from Russia - this technique worked weakly or did not work at all.
Why 110? The answer is more historical. In Russia, until the 60s, the voltage was 127 volts and gradually switched to voltage 220. In my opinion, by the end of the 80s they moved across the country. This was done in order to reduce the voltage on the mains. In America, people are more conservative, so they have 110 left, as Edison intended, and you and I switched to 220.
"Ahh, how to wash?" What the…?" - About this reaction can be expected from any European who comes to America. That's because the American soul watering can is built into the wall. That is, it is always fixed, it is usually very high. When you go into the shower and turn it on, it is sprayed - that is, it will wet all your hair, it gets on the walls around. But resourceful Europeans were not at a loss: they go to the store, buy a standard watering can, unscrew the American standard shower and screw in the watering can. Voila!
There is no food tax in the USA. But in the USA there is a sales tax. In each state it is different, for example, in California it is 9,5%. But at the grocery store, the check will have exactly the amount that was indicated on the price tag of the product.
An extremely surprising fact for everyone who comes to America. When you go to an American pharmacy, you can buy everything there. Guys, literally everything! Alcohol, clothes, sunglasses, food, cosmetics, diapers ... Americans are used to it, but Europeans are surprised: where can I get the medicine? Shelf with drugs really have to look.
In America, you can add any carbonated drink absolutely free. You buy a glass of soda, as it is called here: it can be cola, and fanta, and any other soda or iced tea. And if you drank it, then you can come up and top up again for free. At least 5, at least 10 times, go and top up. And in some American cafes you can pay for just one cup of coffee, they put a thermos next to you - and drink as much as you like from it. Of course, you can’t sip two liters of coffee at a time, but 3-4 cups of coffee can be overturned easily.
If you did not like some product in the USA, you can always return it. And you can return absolutely everything, from food to the car. I had one time like this: I bought coffee for a coffee machine and accidentally in beans, not ground. I did not open the pack, I came to the store and said that I had mixed up. They returned the legal $ 13 back to me. The same thing with cars - this is generally from the category of "obvious-incredible." You bought a car on credit, lease or in cash, rode 7 days and realized that it wasn’t yours, the car didn’t come in. You come and return it, because the contract usually has a clause called satisfaction guaranteed. In Europe, you can return the goods for a good reason - for example, marriage. If you say that you just didn’t like it, they will ask you: “What did you think when you bought it?” In America there is nothing of the kind.
Americans give presents with checks. A small check is usually attached to the gift, on which it says that it is a gift, and if you, for example, did not like it, you can return it back to the store. On the check itself, the amount will not be written until you come to the store with this gift. And you always have the opportunity to turn in the 1501th blouse or 5th cardigan, which you already clearly have.
Tipping here is customary to give from 15% to 25%. Europeans are used to giving 10%. Tipping is very often left to almost everyone who provides some services, works with his hands. You came to a restaurant, ate $ 100, and if you are a very good and decent person, you should leave $ 125. If you are a little greedy or really not very satisfied, you can leave 115 dollars. For example, in the same Japan, it is not customary to tip at all: it is believed that the owner of this institution where you came should give a decent salary to his employees.
If you ask for tea or coffee, but don’t specify that you need a hot drink, you will certainly be poured cold, and they will add a fair amount of ice there. In America, they like to put ice in all drinks, and this is the fourth unexpected fact. They put ice in soda, in plain water, in coffee, in tea. At first this was unusual: for example, I asked for no ice in each case. Over time, you get used to it, and in America, even one-year-old children drink water with ice cubes.
On the subject: How ours earn on compatriots-illegal immigrants in America
In America, when you indicate a date in any document, you must first write a month, then a day, and then a year. For example, November 10, 2019 will look like 11/10/2019. And so every time. Of course, at first the Europeans were a little tense.
If you are standing now, sit down. French fries - this is absolutely not an American dish! French fries in America are not called “fries,” but french fries — French fries. And why? Because deep-fried potatoes were invented in France and in Belgium, where it was a very popular street food - street food. Such potatoes were put in a fist, you could go down the street and quickly have a snack. Potatoes moved to America with immigrants. Therefore, for those who come to America and ask for potato free, Americans look with big eyes: free potatoes?
Americans instead of “hello” say “how are you”: “How are you?” or "How are you doing?" Therefore, you need to answer such a “hello”: “I'm good”, “I'm fine”, in general, you do not need to answer how you really are doing.
Bonus Fact About American Smile
Everybody writes: Americans are so ingratiating, they are smiling all the time, and they’ll stick a knife in your back! There is a historical fact that Americans are smiling because the country is multicultural, with different languages and nationalities. How can you greet each other without words? Just smile wide! It seems like everyone understood each other, and they smile back.
Original published on YouTube channel Nellifornication.
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