15 Things That Americans Don't Realize Are Really Weird
Although I was born in the United Kingdom, I spent a significant portion of my childhood growing up in Qatar. Situated just off of Saudi Arabia, Qatar is a pretty tiny country, but it's also a country dominated by Western expats. As a result, I got to go to an international school, I learned maybe three words of Arabic, and got to keep most of my Western influences and ideals. Unfortunately for me, those Western influences were more American than they were English.
As a result, I have kind of a weird mix of British and American knowledge. I spell my words with "U"s and "S"s instead of "Z"s, but I wear "pants" rather than "trousers". I prefer the Premier League to the NFL or the NBA, but Peep Show can't hold a candle to the American sitcom 30 Rock. More importantly, my weird upbringing helped me to understand a few subtle differences in American culture that are kind of odd, to say the least.
1. Air conditioning. Everywhere!
2. I don't know why, but American toilet stalls have such wide gaps
3. Drinking water is cool, but in America it's literally ice-cold
4. This is not French bread. This is a lie
5. There are 634,819 Oreo flavours, for some reason
6. Americans do not include tax in the price of thing, lulling you into a false sense of security about your level of wealth
7. It's pretty much impossible to find a lawyer ad in the United Kingdom, but in the US they're all over the place!
8. Four or even five-lane motorways are a thing in America
9. The imperial system. Why do you have to be different, America?
10. Waiters constantly asking you if everything's okay. British waiters know when to leave you alone
11. In places like London especially, cars are fairly small, but American cars are all 4x4s!
12. People shamelessly wearing their pyjamas in public
13. Non-adjustable shower heads. What's up with that?!
14. Getting ID'd when your kids are old enough to be buying alcohol
15. Spray cheese, and all the affronts American make to dairy products in general
Separated by a massive body of water called the Atlantic, British and American culture are literally oceans apart. Americans, if you're reading this; just know that we love you anyway, despite all your idiosyncrasies. You keep on doing you.