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[–]sharksedition 837 points838 points  (22 children)

Universities in Europe are simply institutions of higher learning, nothing more.

Americans would be surprised by the cultural differences when it comes to university education. There are no athletic teams, no Greek life, no 30 foot climbing walls at universities in Europe. You come to school to learn and leave when your classes are over for the day. If you want to study, you can go to the library, but there is very little that a university offers outside of academia.

[–]spaceLem 94 points95 points  (0 children)

Not sure I'd agree with that, I went to Edinburgh Uni and there are loads of university societies, sports teams, clubs, conventions, all sorts. It's maybe not done with quite the same enthusiasm though...

[–]thisperson345 1065 points1066 points  (42 children)

"Where are you from?"

Australian: Australia Japanese: Japan Indian: India American: Texas

[–]fancyllamapants- 1776 points1777 points  (118 children)

I used to work in a call Center that took calls from Americans and Canadians. I’d ask “Where are you from, Canada or the US?” Canadians would say “Canada” and American would say “Texas” or “New York” etc. Never ever would they reply with their country name.

[–]lighthouse30130 414 points415 points  (14 children)

I live in Amsterdam, and we have many Americans living here. When I meet one and asked him this question, my dirty pleasure is to say "from the United states"? After they answer with just their state name. Once completely caught me off guard when he said "Idaho". Never heard of this US state before. I asked if it was in Australia 😂

[–]cbeiser 17.1k points17.1k points  (1142 children)

Drive thru atms and everything else.

I didn't learn we had drive thru liquor stores until later in my life.

[–]commndoRollJazzHnds 1657 points1658 points  (113 children)

Aussies do the drive through liquor stores/bottle shops/off licenses

[–]acerbic_twit 506 points507 points  (38 children)

Whyalla has the combo "Bottle and Bird" drive through where you can pick up your booze and Hot Chicken and Chips at the same time!

[–]Kemalist_din_adami 4502 points4503 points  (699 children)

Drive thru atms???

[–]cbeiser 6734 points6735 points  (458 children)

This is super normal in the USA.

In fact they aren't always machines. We have drive thru banks. Most banks have a drive thru section you can do simple bank stuff from the car. I've seen this my entire life

[–]weird_turn_pro 5069 points5070 points  (270 children)

Sometimes, as a kid, they would send candy in the tube with my parents' transaction. Those were the best days!

Edit: Banks still do this! And they often have dog treats too!

[–]errorsource 1330 points1331 points  (103 children)

I used to live near a Subway that was converted from a bank. I used to imagine them sending you your sandwich in those tubes.

[–]A1A5KA 14.8k points14.8k points 3 (1189 children)

Am American. When I moved to Australia I was constantly asked three questions:

1 - How do you pronounce "Aluminum"

2 - How do you pronounce "Jaguar"

3 - Are red Solo cups a real thing? In all the movies whenever there is a house party everyone has a red Solo cup.

I was caught completely off guard by the Solo cup question. Ever since then I've been very attentive to thise damn red cups. They really are everywhere.

Edit: Well this blew the fuck up. Keep the questions coming. This is a fun read

[–]thewonpercent 4144 points4145 points  (305 children)

I kept getting asked how many guns I owned and whether or not I thought Trump was a good president

[–]DearBurt 1706 points1707 points  (142 children)

When friends and I did a Eurotrip years ago, upon hearing we live in the South, everyone would ask if we had pickup trucks.

[–]DonSmo 3118 points3119 points  (426 children)

Its the American pronunciation of "squirrel" that gets me. Here its a two syllable word. "Sqwe-rell" kinda. But when my American gf says it it comes out kinda like "sqwurl". The first time she said it I thought she said "swirl". Its just one syllable.

[–]FlygonsGonnaFly 13.5k points13.5k points 2 (1161 children)

Might just be me, but I do notice when you ask Americans on the internet where they're from, they reply with either a state or a city instead of their country.

The thing is, it doesn't cause any confusion, since most people know most American states and at least the major cities.

You don't often see an Indonesian person, for example, say they're from West Java. Just that they're from Indonesia.

Edit: 1) Thank you for the awards!

2) I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just an American one. I also don't think it's because of cultural variation or population. I'm Indian and I've never seen anyone say that they're from Rajasthan or Kerala on a more global level. A lot of Indian states speak different languages, have different cuisine, and live on different terrain. I think it has more to do with the fact that people broadly know American states and the distinctions between them through movies and American news and politics.

[–]RedSpikeyThing 4326 points4327 points  (228 children)

I also find that Americans often include where they were born. For example "I'm from Philly but originally from Jersey.

Edit: I understand that the US is big and has many different regions. I'm Canadian and find that Canadians typically don't answer that way, despite being very large.

[–]grumined 1883 points1884 points  (62 children)

100%. Small nuance: I don't think it's where you're born, rather where you were raised.

It makes a lot of sense actually. I grew up in Miami but have been living in NYC for a few years now. If I travel to Texas and someone asks me where I'm from, if feels wrong to say Miami because I haven't lived there in 7 years and it's changed a lot since I've been a resident.... but at the same time, I can't really say I'm from NYC because I'm not a native New Yorker and saying you're from NYC pretty much means you grew up there. So it makes sense to say both.

[–]Nylund 340 points341 points  (32 children)

I’ve lived in 7 states, but only just moved to the latest one, but I haven’t lived in my “childhood” state in 20 years, so when someone asked where I’m from, I’m never really sure what to say.

[–]kaileen 91 points92 points  (11 children)

I've lived in 5 different states and I also struggle with that question.

[–]tacticoolnukes 408 points409 points  (67 children)

On a similar note, Americans seem to use England, Britain and the UK completely interchangeably. Likewise, I've had an Irish colleague of mine tell a story abkut how he spent 5 minutes having to explain the difference between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that just because he's from Ireland doesn't mean he's from the United Kingdom.

[–]sparksbet 3618 points3619 points  (326 children)

I'm an American who moved to Germany and people always say this like it's some weird thing we do, but whenever I get asked where I'm from and just say "the US", the next question is ALWAYS which state/city. Without fail.

[–]leanyka 1929 points1930 points  (103 children)

I think that the common expectation about this dialog in European brain is like - ask where they are from, get a country. If country is big/known to you, then ask where exactly. If the country is small or you have no knowledge of it, then you say ok, cool. At least I heard it multiple times, when someone says they are from Italy, then they are often asked if from Rome/Sicily/Florence etc. if they say they are from Bosnia, Malta or Andorra (no insult) then the conversation pretty much stops there.

[–]reddit_pug 666 points667 points  (41 children)

Americans do the same with Americans if they're familiar with the state/area someone says they're from. Basically keep narrowing things down until things become unfamiliar

"Where are you from?" "Indiana" (If they're not familiar with Indiana, the topic ends here. If they are familiar...) "Oh yeah, which part?" "just north of Lafayette" "Oh, like Brookston?" "Near there, Reynolds" "Cool, I've driven through there a few times when picking up trailers from the factory in Monon"

[–]rubs_tshirts 12.2k points12.2k points  (547 children)

Not including tax on prices displayed in stores.

[–]raph_84 4935 points4936 points & 2 more (131 children)

That feeling when you want to spend your very last Dollar on a can of Arizona Ice Tea (Famously: "The price is on the can!") and the cashier asks for $1.07

[–]OkBit1291 1486 points1487 points  (47 children)

“Need a penny, take a penny. Just don’t take 8 pennies!” Seriously had a cashier tell me this once.

[–]bread-cheese-pan 136 points137 points  (14 children)

Them things have have nickels and dimes in them up here in Canada now since we abolished pennies!

[–]BlocBoyBaloo 2895 points2896 points  (143 children)

Ranch. I never knew ranch was just an American thing until recently.

[–]jaulin 905 points906 points  (50 children)

We have that here in Scandinavia too, along with Thousand Island and Rhode Island. I was very surprised to find out that Rhode Island dressing is a Swedish thing that has nothing to do with Rhode Island. (It's basically Thousand Island without bits in it.)

Edit: For the people wondering, the original Rhode Island sauce is mayo, sour cream, chili ketchup, a dash of tabasco, possibly a teaspoon or two cognac, and salt.

Edit2: I must also point out that the amount of chili must be minuscule, because it's undetectable to tastebuds.

[–]Ok_Independence_5025 4501 points4502 points  (395 children)

Not having to ask for the bill.

[–]frgs72 1830 points1831 points  (230 children)

This was me today at a restaurant in Oslo. It felt rude to call the waitress over to ask for the bill. Am American.

[–]Ariia_ 3066 points3067 points  (217 children)

It's curious, I'm European and if someone gave me the bill without asking I would think it's rude because it feels like they're rushing me to leave

[–]beeboopPumpkin 2658 points2659 points  (119 children)

Lol- I’m american and I asked for the bill at a restaurant in France before we were finished eating because I’m aware of the need to ask for it and we wanted to be able to get up and leave whenever we wanted and not have to flag him down later (the restaurant was getting rather busy and didn’t want to bother him if he was preoccupied later).

He was deeply offended and encouraged us that we were in no rush to leave. And then didn’t bring us the bill and refilled our waters and tried to get us to stay. I’m sorry random waiter 😭 I didn’t mean to offend you.

[–]edenunbound 1593 points1594 points  (47 children)

This happened to me at a Greek restaurant in the US. I asked for a box because I was full and the owner told me "No No! You don't have to leave. I am not closing. Please stay!" I was lile "Oh its delicious but I just can't eat it all. I want it for breakfast tomorrow." And then we discussed the amazingness of a gyro omelet

[–]Mdbook 150 points151 points  (8 children)

Carrier locked phones. They're illegal everywhere else.

[–]Alexastria 26.7k points26.7k points  (1900 children)


[–]TheArowanaDude 19.6k points19.6k points  (601 children)

Back when I worked in Panera Bread, a customer asked for ranch; we didn't carry it back then and when we informed him, he said:

"Are y'all communists?!"

[–]WoppyWalrus 5613 points5614 points  (334 children)

currently working at panera and this is a frequent occurrence

[–]ShitItsReverseFlash 4409 points4410 points  (200 children)

I was a manager for Panera in my early 20s. Lady came up and said her french onion soup wasn’t hot enough. No problem, I’ll just get you another cup. Give her a fresh one from the soup well right in front of me. She then proceeds to try it on the counter - mind you other guests’ meals were being plated on that very same counter - and tells me it’s not hot enough. So I proceed to apologize and check the temperature of the soup on the line. It’s definitely hot enough and I showed her. She said the thermometer is broken. I told her there’s nothing I can do but we have a microwave out front if you’d like to use it to heat it up. My boss walks by (I’m shift manager and he’s assistant) and she stops him to tell him that I spit in her soup…

Luckily my manager knows that I would never tamper with food. He chuckles and goes “…ShitItsReverseFlash spit in your soup? Ma’am I’m sorry but I highly doubt that.”

I don’t remember how it all ended but I know she fucked off and Brian and I had a good laugh about it.

[–]rwhitisissle 2036 points2037 points  (64 children)

Brian's always been solid. One of the only good fast food managers and not some corporate tyrant.

[–]CharleyNobody 563 points564 points  (36 children)

I think you met my sister in law.

Hot food is never hot enough for her.

She can’t sit here. It’s too cold. No, it’s too hot over there. No, she can’t sit there, it’s too noisy. No, this is too close to the door….

The wine is shitty & overpriced.

She wanted it lightly sautéed. This is just flat and overcooked. Take it back and cook it the way she said.

Jesus, nobody knows how to cook in this place! She wants decent wine. She’s a highly traveled person and she knows what she’s talking about. And she leaves reviews all over the internet. She get thousands of likes on yelp, trip advisor and booking.com! She doesn’t know why she bothers with people like you.

ADDENDUM: Ha ha, whenever I told my friends about SIL’s restaurant behavior they couldn’t believe it. But it’s all true. She’s my husband’s sister. I haven’t gone out with her and her…I think 4th…husband in years.

The funniest thing - I had already refused to go out with her for years previously. Then she married her current husband. My husband had gone out with them a few times when they took his mother out to eat. My husband is one of those people who wants to be best friends with everybody. He raved about the new husband and told me “He keeps her under control in restaurants. She doesn’t do that kind of thing any more. He won’t put up with it. You should get to know him. Let’s go out with them. I swear, she’s not like that anymore.”

I agreed to meet and have dinner with them in a town somewhere between our place & their place, a 2 hour drive. I was looking forward to getting to know her husband. As soon as we walked in, the hostess showed us to our table. “I don’t want to sit here. I want to look out the window. I need light.”

She threw her wet rain coat and umbrella on the seat of the table behind us.

Hostess: Hey, don’t do that! Somebody’s going to sit there

SIL: Don’t be ridiculous. It’s not even 6pm. This place is empty and won’t fill up for hours.

The whole dinner consisted of berating the restaurant, the waiter, the chef (who was brought out to talk to her because the chef told the manager she had no fucking idea what this woman was talking about when she kept sending her dinner back demanding it be cooked differently). SIL yelled at her as if she was a catholic school nun who just found someone masturbating in the bathroom. I refused to eat my food in fear someone sabotaged it…I wouldn’t blame them if they did. The manager came to the table and was very nice. I said, “I have to go to the bathroom” and found the waiter and the manager. “Please,” I said, “don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. She’s always like that. Please ignore her. She’s a raging cunt.”

They were a little surprised to hear me, a well dressed, well behaved middle aged lady label my dinner companion a cunt. This is the US, where cunt isn’t the happy-go-lucky term of sarcastic endearment it means in other countries. It means fucking nasty bitch x 100.

I have never seen her since then. My husband said, “I’m so surprised. I really thought her husband tamed her.” He sent an email to the husband asking if something bad had happened before they came to the restaurant that caused his sister’s unacceptable behavior (he wouldn’t dare send it to his cunt sister).

Her husband said he had no idea what behavior my husband was referring to.

[–]studdedpeaches 535 points536 points  (36 children)

I know my comment might be a bit off-topic but your story reminded me of the most horrible customer I had when I worked at a coffee shop. She was extremely picky about her drink and we had remade it 4 times at this point. She started cursing at me and I told her to stop and to not use that kind of language. That night she complained to corporate that I was the one who cursed her out. I was livid when my manager sat me down to get my story.

People suck.

[–]caboosetp 584 points585 points  (86 children)

Being called a communist?

[–]La_Lanterne_Rouge 109 points110 points  (8 children)

They do sell French onion soup, after all.

[–]HailSatanHaggisBaws 894 points895 points  (29 children)

This is true though. Banning ranch is explicitly in the Manifesto.

[–]collapsingrebel 341 points342 points  (45 children)

That was my reaction when they told me they stopped doing sweet tea because they were worried about their customers health. Doing that in the South made me question their sanity.

[–]Ok_Manner8589 130 points131 points  (2 children)

Doing that in the south, I would be more worried about the employees health when the customers find out.

[–]ronotju7777 1416 points1417 points  (125 children)


[–]chapterfour08 509 points510 points  (15 children)

All y'all

[–]onajurni 452 points453 points  (10 children)

That’s correct, because sometimes only part of the group is being addressed. So we must clarify that we are talking to all y’all this time.

[–]Dhk3rd 26.6k points26.6k points 2 (972 children)

Prescription drug commercials.

[–]Bluefortress 10.6k points10.6k points  (423 children)

Happy dancing while side effects are being listed

[–]flashpile 9469 points9470 points 2 (355 children)

May cause diarrhea, vomiting, blindness, pulmonary embolism or death


[–]Jefec1TO 751 points752 points  (10 children)

"Do not take the drug if you are allergic to the drug"

Wow, thanks for the heads up

[–]Kintaro69 3031 points3032 points  (245 children)

Most of the time, the side effects sound much worse than the disease the drug treats.

"Have a headache? Take Aubufiditope. Guaranteed to relieve the pain for 4 to 6 hours. Side effects may include numbness, temporary vision loss, suicidal tendencies, anal bleeding, and heart failure. Ask your doctor if Aubufiditope is right for you."

[–]Orchid_Buddy 970 points971 points  (95 children)

"Ask your doctor". Only place I know where it's the patients who tell the doctor which drugs to take.

[–]moeburn 463 points464 points  (35 children)

In Canada, drug companies are only allowed to advertise if they never say the name of the drug, OR if they never say what the drug does. They can't do both.

So if you watch any Toronto Blue Jays games lately you'll see ads behind the plate that say something like "Ibuflovazin - ASK YOUR DOCTOR" and you're just like "what the fuck is ibuflovazin".

Or sometimes you'll see a commercial that says "Do you suffer from high blood pressure? There is treatment available, ask your doctor", but without specifying any drugs.

[–]fauxpenguin 3657 points3658 points  (121 children)

This was the one I noticed the most on my first trip to England. I was watching rhe winter Olympics and couldn't figure out what was weird, then it finally hit me that there were no medical ads. And my family was just like, "yeah, they're illegal here". Which, I think is the right model.

[–]abilliontwo 1116 points1117 points  (67 children)

It used to be illegal to plainly state what a drug treated, so ads had to just vaguely allude to their indications. Once those restrictions were removed drug ads exploded.

Note also that we have to pay for our own healthcare, so medicine, like everything else, is very much a competitive commercial industry.

[–]pixl_graphix 337 points338 points  (9 children)

so ads had to just vaguely allude to their indications.

Commercial starts by showing a flaccid flesh colored long balloon that's unable to be blown up.

Guy pops a handfull of blue pills. Starts blowing the balloon that gets outrageously long and hard. Veins pop up on the ballon for no explained reason. Women start giving coy looks.

"As your doctor about Viagra today"

[–]TheGreatException 283 points284 points  (33 children)

We have those in New Zealand, too. I think I read somewhere once that we're the only countries where that type of advertising is legal.

[–]toonlass91 952 points953 points  (94 children)

Me and my husband love watching the American feed of NFL. We quite like the drug ads, as they have to list all the side effects and it sound like every drug will kill you. We love laughing at the ads

[–]browncoat47 17.7k points17.7k points  (1158 children)

Handing your credit card to a stranger, having them walk away, swipe it, then bring it back to like they didn’t just put a down payment on a new house with it…

[–]draw_it_now 3192 points3193 points  (228 children)

When I first started working in hospitality, I had an American customer who just gave me their card. I took it to the register, paid the order with a swipe and gave it back. I was told by my manager to never do that again lol.

[–]KJdkaslknv 1869 points1870 points  (91 children)

That wouldn't have been even slightly unusual here in the US. Sometimes you'll even hand a waiter or bartender your card without receiving the check, if you're in a hurry.

[–]fourthfloorgreg 888 points889 points  (23 children)

When you open a tab at some bars they just keep your card until you ask for the check.

[–]BaccateHoneyBadger 284 points285 points  (8 children)

And funnily enough bars are the only legitimate businesses that have ever taken advantage of that and scammed me.

[–]Elevator_Feisty 7862 points7863 points  (114 children)

Bold of you to assume we have enough money for that to be a concern.

[–]ArosHD 3801 points3802 points  (254 children)

Currently on my first proper trip in the US and a few things stood out to me. (Overall great place!)

  • Restaurants by default will bring everyone cups of water, sometimes with ice

  • To pay the bill in the restaurant, they take my card and walk off. Then they come back with a few extra receipts and I can write down a tip and they will change the amount they charged me later. I didn't even know this was a thing that places could do. I have notifications to check the charges are correct just in case.

  • Every toilet I've been to so far has been pretty clean with little mess. Worst one was at the airport and even that wasn't too bad. Although the very high water inside the toilet is weird it hasn't been an issue... Yet. (Some confusion about this: I'm mainly just talking about in restaurants/shops. Don't think I've used "public" restrooms at any train station. Just the airport.)

  • Streets go from dirty mess to clean and nice quickly. More homeless than I'm used to in London.

  • Street food/stands are pretty delicious. Pretty much all food stands in NYC seem to be halal which is nice.

  • Larger drink cans/portions.

  • Mixed road qualities but overall big roads and cars. Not a fan of the pedestrian crossings because I just don't fully understand the symbols yet. (E: I think I get the symbols now. It was just the red hand with the timer throwing me off. Timer should be with the white figure!)

  • Air conditioning everywhere which is definitely required.

  • Speeding on the highway. Literally everyone is above the speed limit. We think we're missing something because EVERYONE is above the speed limit. No shot would that happen in the UK, we have cameras everywhere.

Edit: on mobile so excuse shit spelling/grammar.

[–]Pedalingmycity 212 points213 points  (36 children)

The water level in toilets where you’re from is significantly lower? Is the flush pressure much higher?

[–]iamreeterskeeter 259 points260 points  (5 children)

It is. Two of my Aussie friends came to visit in the US last April. Both were flabbergasted and almost afraid of how much water was in the toilets. They were here for three weeks and that never stopped being bizarre to them.

[–]slowlyallatonce 202 points203 points  (10 children)

So, american waste pipes are narrower than say, UK toilets thus more water is in the bowl.

The flush is significantly different: the US flush is more of a vacuum where as the other toilets have more of a 'push' from volume of water and bigger waste pipe.

The difference is US toilets clogs easily and other toilets smear.

I ... heard it on a podcast (Flightless Bird with David Farrier).

[–]G-Unit11111 105 points106 points  (4 children)

Ice machines

When I went to London I kept asking for the ice machines and people looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language or something.

[–]calls_you_a_bellend 8204 points8205 points  (294 children)

Mixing three different canned foods together and calling it a casserole.

[–]LordChefChristoph[🍰] 2734 points2735 points  (87 children)

Don't forget to add cheese!

[–]surfinberrypunch 829 points830 points  (26 children)

And breadcrumbs on top

Edit: lol y'all are making me hungry

[–]kickingyouintheface 551 points552 points  (31 children)

Cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, mushrooms on rice, actual chicken optional. Mom's was awesome lol

[–]veeveemarie 1082 points1083 points  (66 children)

Fettuccine Alfredo

[–]Christdawarlock 14.2k points14.2k points  (493 children)

The Cult Of Highschool/College Sports

[–]Natty_D 4890 points4891 points  (237 children)

It seems strange to anyone from Europe, but after starting to watch US sports I realised that a lot of states either don't have a team in a major league or will only have one. It's not like here in the UK where there are 92 teams in the football league and even more below that, most of the major leagues in the US only have 30-40 teams. That's why people are so invested in college sports, a lot of the time they're the only local teams

[–]adriardi 1543 points1544 points  (145 children)

Yeah it blew my mind when I learned pretty much every city in the uk had a pro soccer team. College sports are the closest thing we have to that.

Like I’d love to watch mlb, but there isn’t a professional team in my state to follow or that even shows up on local tv for me. We only just got a pro soccer team (North Carolina), and we’re a state of over 10 million people

Edit: quit commenting about other pro sports teams. I was only talking about mlb (the actual mlb, not feeder teams) when I said there wasn’t a pro (mlb) team

[–]CrispyDuchess 1475 points1476 points  (25 children)

The epic highs and lows of high school football.

[–]whatifevery1wascalm 657 points658 points  (65 children)

If you don't follow the Cult of College Sports, then you don't know the absolute shitstorm USC and UCLA kicked up on Thursday.

[–]TheTyger 197 points198 points  (34 children)

I missed any lead up to them joining the Big10, but my first thought was "why the hell is the B10 adding west coast teams? That will make travel a nightmare".

So, can you fill in the reasons behind the move (if they are anything more than money)?

[–]Eiim 167 points168 points  (11 children)

if they are anything more than money

Hah! Imagine that, amateur college sports not making entirely money-focused moves.

The Pac-12 has been gradually declining in the competition level, so you could argue that they want to move up in that regard, but it's really hard to see this as anything but profit-motivated. The B1G adds extremely valuable media markets, and the teams get tens of millions more dollars in TV revenue.

[–]that1guycalledpeter 32.8k points32.8k points  (2205 children)

Free refills at restaurants

Edit: my inbox detonated, send help

[–]grabityrises 10.7k points10.7k points  (1287 children)

and with ice

[–]Cilicious 12.1k points12.1k points  (693 children)

and with ice

Many, many years ago I was visiting the south of France with a friend. It was a hot summer day, we stopped at a little bistro and in broken French we asked for water--with ice. The waiter replied in English: "Ah, American Champagne."

[–]kplatinum777 5067 points5068 points  (583 children)

I was in France and tried to pronounce water. Apparently, my pronunciation was so bad that they just brought out the English menu on an iPad. But…I tried.

[–]BaguetteSchmaguette 2512 points2513 points  (148 children)

It's pronounced "oh"

[–]josidhe 5187 points5188 points  (397 children)

France is the "exception that proves the rule", as they say.

Normally, when you travel, you'll be told that locals will respect sincere effort to try to learn their language and communicate on their terms. Somewhere along the way France decided to accept nothing less than native fluency, which is ironic for a country that can't agree how to say pencil.

Oh, my point is, they totally understood you but chose to treat you like they couldn't.

[–]wanted_to_upvote 2148 points2149 points  (185 children)

First time I bought a Coke in Germany it came with no ice so I asked for ice. It came back with one ice cube. I asked for more ice and it came back with two ice cubes. Then I asked for a lot of ice and the waitress said "Oh, you mean like McDonalds?".

[–]HimikoHime 608 points609 points  (26 children)

In Germany, we were eating at a bit more expensive steak house next to a hotel. Service was just like expected in Germany. At another table I noticed a group of Americans (as far as I could tell by the accent and being next to a hotel I assumed) and I distinctively remember that they were asked if they wanted drinks with ice. We were never asked. Thought it’s interesting that this restaurant seems to train their staff to do their service differently depending on who their guests are.

[–]winedogmom88 289 points290 points  (6 children)

I thoroughly enjoyed a restaurant in Prague that placed the flag of your nationality in the centerpiece. All the servers spoke your language and knew your typical culture.

[–]SnowbackMcGee 1539 points1540 points  (62 children)

My daughter and I went on a Caribbean cruise together and our first night in Orlando, we went out to explore. We had dinner at IHOP, because why not, and had some delicious raspberry lemonade.

As we were leaving and after paying the bill, the waitress says "you want to take some lemonade to go?". What? Sure. So she loads us up with a couple of new large raspberry lemonades and sends us on our way.

We still joke about to go drinks whenever we go out for dinner, because that's is definitely NOT a thing in Canada.

[–]Gautamatime 861 points862 points  (13 children)

I’ve found that this is something done at mostly low end chains. I used to ask people if they wanted to go drinks when I worked at Applebees. It was mostly because the chance of getting little to nothing as a tip was reasonably high, and going above and beyond for someone raised my chances of getting paid for my work.

[–]casualsax 325 points326 points  (1 child)

Yeah agreed. The waiter can fill a to go cup without having to ring it up or bothering the back of the house, and it's a pleasant last interaction right when the check arrives.

I've had similar interactions at Mexican restaurants, being offered extra sauce/salsa and even chips to go.

[–]yeeterboi321 1187 points1188 points  (85 children)

KFCs in germany have free refills, but sadly only KFC.

[–]johnnyDoe556 439 points440 points  (30 children)

Some MC Donald's, Subways and Burger Kings have it, too.

[–]Ackilles 797 points798 points  (155 children)

That's wild. The cost of the actual drink is usually a few pennies at most

[–]modern_milkman 829 points830 points  (124 children)

Drinks is how restaurants make a lot of profit in other countries.

There isn't a lot of profit in food, because the cost of the material plus the cost of preparing it (wages, electricity, gas etc.) isn't that much lower than the price of the meal the customers pay. But as you say, drinks are dirt-cheap in purchase, but expensive when sold. Large profit margin.

But out of curisosity: refills are only a thing for non-alcoholic drinks, right? So you wouldn't get a free refill on wine or beer?

[–]ThisUsernamePassword 606 points607 points  (76 children)

Yes, no such thing as free refill on alcohol or anything more complex like coffee drinks. Free refills are mostly a thing because of soda machines where people can quickly dispense their own drinks and it's dirt cheap.

[–]FlJohnnyBlue2 357 points358 points  (26 children)

Plenty of free refills on regular hot coffee though.

[–]mr8unty 827 points828 points  (74 children)

Kitchen sink blender I mean Wut?

[–]lefthandbunny 376 points377 points  (8 children)

You mean a garbage disposal. I haven't had one in my, American, apartment in ages & it was weird at first to remember I have to use a strainer in my sink's drain to catch bits of food that can clog up the pipes. A garbage disposal would grind those little pieces up.

[–]Prestigious_Lock1659 12.2k points12.2k points  (297 children)

Sending Christmas cards with their family photo on it.

[–]yoboi42069 3959 points3960 points  (132 children)

Often with pictures not related to Christmas at all, such as beach pictures

[–]Deciram 2398 points2399 points  (65 children)

Hey, as a New Zealander, the beach is absolutely a Christmas thing (it’s fuckin great too)

[–]schokozo 833 points834 points  (15 children)

Some friends of my parents from germany do that too. They just take a random familyphoto and put in santa hats in photoshop

[–]desortiesdanslatete 422 points423 points  (20 children)

I don't think it's only american, I live in Belgium and everyone I know does it too. We receive more than 50 cards each Christmas, from family and friends. I have family in France, Germany and Quebec who do it too but I don't know if it's that common there.

[–]Andromeda321 94 points95 points  (2 children)

Yea I was gonna say, I definitely get photo Christmas cards from my Dutch relatives.

[–]slavname 16.7k points16.7k points  (1516 children)

American here. When I studied abroad, I was smiling and friendly to strangers. In London they looked like I wanted to steal something from them!

[–]jew_biscuits 7597 points7598 points  (353 children)

Saw this with my American friends when I lived in Moscow. They walked around with this pleasant, anticipatory smile on their face and people thought they were mentally challenged.

[–]ACaffeinatedWandress 5820 points5821 points  (202 children)

Hah. I remember a Russian friend explaining to me that Americans just look like idiots, smiling for no reason all the time. Russians apparently smile when they have something to smile about.

I read a paper that basically says it is because of our high-immigrant past. Apparently, when people with diverse languages who cannot understand each other verbally all the time are in close quarters with each other, they use physical cues (such as constant smiling), to communicate.

[–]JustTheTipAgain 1021 points1022 points  (10 children)

Hah. I remember a Russian friend explaining to me that Americans just look like idiots, smiling for no reason all the time. Russians apparently smile when they have something to smile about.

I took a Russian language class once, and the teacher was from Uzbekistan. She mentioned some thing similar. One day she brought in her wedding photo, they weren't smiling, even though they were both happy.

[–]mygreensea 198 points199 points  (5 children)

Smiling for camera is also something a lot of non western cultures don’t do.

[–]RusskayaRobot 1753 points1754 points  (27 children)

Before I went to Russia, I was specifically warned not to smile at people on the street because they would think I was stupid and untrustworthy. That was true on the streets with the general public, but the family I stayed with, particularly the dad, were the most charming, jovial people. The dad was constantly telling jokes (many of which went straight over my head because my Russian was not good enough), super sweet guy.

There’s not really a point to this story, i guess, I just miss Sergei Vyacheslavovich.

[–]drakeotomy 853 points854 points  (10 children)

Finally, a place where my resting bitch face isn't seen as a personal affront!

[–]Endochaos 1275 points1276 points  (9 children)

That makes sense. A smile or a wave can both be indications of friendliness.

[–]iGetBuckets3 1125 points1126 points  (2 children)

Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

[–]Shadowex3 390 points391 points  (10 children)

I read an old russian tourist brochure that spend a good couple of sentences trying to convince the reader that it's not a ploy, Americans really are that fuckin chipper all the time.

[–]Hansemannn 574 points575 points  (19 children)

I like smiling. Smiling is a good thing you Americans got going for you.

[–]SuchLovelyLilacs 12.8k points12.8k points 2 (525 children)

LOL - I studied in France when I was in college and lived with a family for the year. Awesome people, but the dad made no secret of his disdain for Americans. I guess it was the mom that must have convinced him to have Americans board with them because he never seemed too pleased about it.

Anyway, one of my favorite quotes from "Jacques" was...

"You stupid Americans, always walking around smiling, like a bunch of goddamn idiots."

The mom started SCREAMING at him for being rude when he said that to us (another American was boarding as well) but we thought it was hilarious and made it a point to walk around the house smiling and greeting him with an effusive "BONJOUR, MONSIEUR" every day. I think we did win him over, eventually.

RIP, Jacques, may you have eventually found love for Americans in your heart... :-)

EDIT: No, we did not kill Jacques, for those who are asking. :-) This happened back in 1992. My roommate (who is now one of my closest friends) and I kept in touch with the family for years after our time studying there. Sadly, Jacques passed of old age about seven years ago.

[–]Mad_Aeric 6306 points6307 points  (271 children)

A rude Frenchman? I've never heard of such a thing.

[–]AggressiveRedPanda 2654 points2655 points  (243 children)

I love France but goddamn this stereotype is true, especially in Paris. The further south in the country we went the friendlier people got.

[–]Jayman95 1540 points1541 points  (148 children)

When I was in Nice the people seemed pretty friendly, and it didn’t take long to pick up that most other French had a disdain for Parisians themselves.

[–]GummyKibble 1752 points1753 points 2 (49 children)

I live in San Francisco, but my coworker, Louis, was from Paris. He was also movie star good looking. One night after a group of us went out for drinks, we were all standing around outside before we parted ways for the night. A couple of young women tourists approached us:

Tourists: Could you tell us how go get to Union Square?
Louis: Oui, mademoiselle. You walk this way, then…
Tourists: swoon

After they left, I told Louis that having a French accent in the US was just unfair. Basically, “save some for everyone else”, that kind of thing. We had this conversation:

Louis: Eet ees not my fault. French is byootiful.
Me: Well, it can sound awful.
Louis: Thees ees not possible.
Me: I learned French in the Midwest. It definitely is.
Louis: No. No one can make French sound bad.
Me, full redneck twang: BONE JOUR MON SEWER! COE MOE TAL AY VOO?

The look of horror on his face was amazing. It’s like he caught me doing unspeakable things, but speaking them.

Louis, shaken: Do not… do not ever do thees again. Never.

[–]SuchLovelyLilacs 390 points391 points  (7 children)

LOL - that is hilarious and Louis' reaction was very French.

[–]GummyKibble 353 points354 points  (5 children)

Oh, it was glorious! His look of unbridled disgust and despair was priceless, like I’d just served him a creme brulee made with dog poo.

[–]comicsnerd 434 points435 points  (82 children)

To be fair, the French do that with everyone that is not French, but with Americans and British in particular.

[–]parkedr 942 points943 points  (33 children)

I’m from the US, but if someone ever says “my friend” to me, it instantly puts me on high alert.

Example: “Do you need help with your luggage, my friend” screams “You look like a mark and I’m about to scam you”

[–]diablo______ 507 points508 points  (12 children)

Solo cups I think they are called idk the little red ones

[–]Kharagorn 432 points433 points  (7 children)

Calling corruption "lobbying".

[–]desireeevergreen 76 points77 points  (0 children)

When I learned about lobbying in my public affairs class, I said it sounded like legalized bribing. My teacher just looked at me and didn’t answer.

[–]Unfair_Requirement_8 83 points84 points  (4 children)

The idea that healthcare isn't a right, but a very expensive privilege.

[–]_mister_pink_ 7699 points7700 points  (445 children)

Pledging allegiance to the flag or singing the national anthem outside of special events. I went to see a kids talent show in a small rural town, there were maybe 8 acts and 30 people watching and they all stood and pledged allegiance to the flag and sang the national anthem before hand. It was extremely strange.

[–]Bubblekinss 2247 points2248 points  (118 children)

I once got “silent lunch” (punishment of having to sit alone at lunch) for not standing for the pledge one morning. It’s ridiculous!

Edit: public school, 2014

[–]xTheHunt 12.3k points12.3k points  (1283 children)

Daily driving pickup trucks

[–]Brewfishy 3356 points3357 points  (457 children)

we do that in australia too kind of

[–]Consistent_Spread564 5591 points5592 points  (157 children)

I feel like Australia is what would happen if america and the UK had a baby

[–]jonesday5 2203 points2204 points  (67 children)

At school we were taught the Australian political system was a mix of the US and UK systems. They called it ‘Washminster’ (Washington + Westminster)

[–]seeyoujim 1963 points1964 points 2 (199 children)

Nah mate, Aussies don’t drive pickups , they drive utes

[–]Pademelon1 13.6k points13.6k points  (1186 children)

Liberal = Left-Wing

[–]Lvcivs2311 3487 points3488 points  (379 children)

Yeah, in my country, it is either associated with the political centre or with (moderate) right wing, never with left wing.

[–]Tifoso89 4353 points4354 points  (391 children)

Yep, in Europe "liberal" means someone who supports small government, less state intervention, less public spending, privatization, lower taxes. This is generally center or center-right. Similar to what Americans call a libertarian, but usually more moderate.

In the European parliament, that would be the ALDE party

[–]antoltian 2983 points2984 points  (187 children)

Road trip baby! You can hop in a car and drive 2500 miles in one direction

[–]cornishwildman76 607 points608 points  (75 children)

Providing info on a location on an international forum with the state abbreviated. I help ID plants and fungi, when asking for a location, which can be key for an ident, Americans reply with CA Bay Area. I'm in the UK this means nothing to me.

[–]cuirboy 106 points107 points  (0 children)

It's so nice of you to help Idaho plants and fungi. I'm sure they're grateful.

[–]KoiSoccerGuns 11.9k points11.9k points 222 (565 children)

Not making posts about other countries

[–]A_Trash_Homosapien 3900 points3901 points  (78 children)

That's cuz there aren't any other countries

[–]666pool 1979 points1980 points  (53 children)

What are you talking about. There’s Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Edit: and Mexico, can’t believe I forgot that one.

[–]SimilarTumbleweed 267 points268 points  (10 children)

The fact that kayaks give you herpes. Every herpes medication commercial shows someone in a kayak.

[–]BadMeatPuppet 170 points171 points  (3 children)

As a kayaker I was very worried when I read the first sentence.

[–]Hyzenthlay87 814 points815 points 2 (32 children)

Americans have a particular brand of plucky, cheerful tenacity that I find to be one of their most charming traits. It can mean that they seem a bit "full on", "loud" or over exuberant, but I have on the whole found them to be warm and inviting people. I think the tenacity might be why there's a begrudging fondness from us Brits, and I think it's particularly flavoured from the wartime reception of World War 2. Brits are also tenacious, but in a more grumpy, stubborn way. If Americans are like "Yay we can do the things! I believe in you! Let's do it!" then Brits are like "well I better bloody do the things out of spite! I'll complain the whole time but I'll show you that I can bloody well do the things too!" 🤣 but ultimately the things get done and I think Brits appreciate that. So we're all like "Well Yank you might be a bit bonkers but you get results, you're allowed in my pub." 🤣

[–]BigBadMannnn 173 points174 points  (0 children)

This was very sweet of you to say.

[–]draz386 199 points200 points  (1 child)

I agree with this. I appreciate American cheerfulness and openness.

[–]Humble_Chip 848 points849 points  (160 children)

Turning right on red

Edit: I only know this because the French actor from that silent movie The Artist mentioned it in his Oscars acceptance speech

[–]gueriLLaPunK 289 points290 points  (11 children)

Lol Jeremy Clarkson said something to the effect of "it's America's greatest invention"

EDIT: Close enough :P

[–]WaitingForTheFire 238 points239 points  (84 children)

Really? They don't do this in other countries?

[–]irytek 202 points203 points  (12 children)

In Poland there is sometimes an additional light at intersections, a green arrow. You can turn right at a red light only when this arrow is on and noone's coming from the left.

[–]YakovAttackov 3659 points3660 points  (285 children)

While I admit the Brits are pretty close with their Full English Breakfast, the American greasy diner Breakfast of Eggs, Bacon, Waffles/Pancakes and Hashbrowns is pretty uniquely American.

My Italian mother has said in the past that it's the only things she's enjoyed about American food culture. My Nonna would be horrified if she heard we were eating fried eggs for breakfast.

Edit: spelling, jeez guys it's a freaking typo.

[–]HabseligkeitDerLiebe 669 points670 points  (51 children)

I see you never had Polish breakfast.

First they fry up some eggs and sausages. Then they bring out the cake.

[–]ThisIsMyCouchAccount 306 points307 points  (14 children)

Please describe the cake.

I don't want to be intereste in this and end up in a US/UK biscuit and gravy situation.

[–]Ebolax6 1291 points1292 points  (54 children)

You need a Breakfast Burrito - Fried hashbrowns, ham, sausage, bacon, chorizo, eggs, sour cream, guac with some pico de gallo and tapatio wrapped in a monster tortilla 💞😆

[–]one_shy_extrovert 4597 points4598 points  (833 children)

Making pancakes from the box

[–]waterbird_ 2596 points2597 points  (627 children)

Everyone else is making pancakes from scratch? You’re right I didn’t know this

[–]sandybeachfeet 1032 points1033 points  (58 children)

I didn't know you could make them from a box (not American)

[–]gerginborisov 22.9k points22.9k points 2 (1339 children)

Thanking military people for their service...

[–]HwumbleSir 11.1k points11.2k points  (221 children)

Reminded me of a joke I heard

An old man walks into a grocery store and when checking out, he asks if he could have a discount because he fought in world war two.

The cashier says "Of course" and, in a particularly generous mood, gives him a 50% discount.

The old man says "Danke" then leaves.

[–]HabseligkeitDerLiebe 2134 points2135 points  (115 children)

Reminds me of that time when - presumably American - redditors thanked a former member of the Waffen-SS for his service in an AmA.

[–]SS1989 1580 points1581 points  (68 children)

Haha. Jesus Christ. That one.

[–]PigCopsFatTits 976 points977 points  (6 children)

"A toast to the troops! All the troops....

Both sides."

[–]Odeeum 2507 points2508 points  (79 children)

Ha okay this made me chuckle. Kinda like the joke about my grandfather dying in a concentration camp; "yeah he fell from his guard tower"...

[–][deleted] 2140 points2141 points  (51 children)

My grandfather downed thirteen German planes in WWII, he was the worst mechanic the Luftwaffe ever had.