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"It's Not Made To Be Good, It's Made To Be Cheap And Consistent": People Are Sharing Specific Things About "American Life" They Want Others To Know About


If you’re not from the US or haven’t spent a lot of time here, it’s easy to stereotype, judge, and make associations about American culture and society. But Americans have some things they want to clarify…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Redditor u/CheckPlease54 asked, “Americans of Reddit, what is something the rest of the world needs to hear? Here’s what people said.

1.

“I went to Italy and there was a restaurant selling ‘American pizza,’ which was pizza topped with French fries, hot dogs, and ranch. The waiter said it’s how everyone eats pizza over there in America. I’m from America…and I’ve never once seen anyone eat that.”

A pizza topped with French fries.

2.

“The variety of landscapes and topography that you can find within the country is amazing. I live in Florida, so when I went to California, specifically Yosemite, for the first time, it was like stepping onto another planet.”

Cacti in Joshua tree National Park.

3.

“American cuisine is incredible and diverse. I don’t mean McDonalds or bacon-wrapped air fryer food. Here, you have some of the best seafood in the northeast and the Pacific coast, you’ve got Cajun and southern cooking in the southeast, Tex-Mex in the southwest, and amazing barbecue everywhere.”

A fried shrimp po' boy sandwich.

4.

“Water is free at restaurants. I remember when I was in Prague, we were out at a restaurant for dinner and a .5L beer was cheaper than a .5L water.”

A cappuccino and a glass of water on a table.

5.

“It’s not that we don’t want to visit other countries. Rather, it’s that for the majority of Americans, even visiting Canada and Mexico require a day or two of driving, and paying over $1,000 to get a round-trip ticket overseas isn’t something a lot of people can justify.”

Airport interior and an airplane at take off.

6.

“You can ski and surf on the same day in California.”

People skiing on top of a mountain with view of Lake Tahoe on a snowy winter day.

7.

“Our national parks are incredible. We have national parks that are bigger than some countries. Luxembourg fits inside the Grand Canyon twice over. The Everglades are more than twice the size of Georgia. Yellowstone is bigger than Azerbaijan. Death Valley is about the size of Montenegro.”

A field and mountains in Yosemite National Park.

8.

“Our healthcare system is exactly as stupid and terrible as you think. If you visit here, don’t get sick or hurt.”

9.

“We have an obsession with air conditioning. In the summer months it can be 100°F, but if you walk into any store you immediately need a coat.”

10.

“We drive cars because public transportation is non-existent for most people. I live ten minutes out in the country from my nearest town and 30-45 minutes from the nearest city. I have to have a car or else I can’t get anywhere.”

Aerial view of a road intersection.

11.

“Americans are aware of the difference between good food and shitty food. McDonald’s and Budweiser aren’t made to be good, but rather to be cheap and consistent. Nobody takes a bite of French’s mustard and says, ‘This is as good as anything made in France!’ and seriously means it.”

A glass of Bud Light beer.

12.

“‘Florida Man’ is only a thing because the state of Florida has really weird rules about how crimes are reported and put into the public record. As a result, stories out of Florida just make better tabloid headlines and clickbait if you’re an editor scrolling through the AP feed looking for wacky stories.”

Walt Disney World in Florida.

13.

“Most Americans are NOT part of the far right or the far left.”

14.

“Vacation time is a luxury in the US, and most people can’t get a week or two off at a time.”

15.

“The United States is BIG. Driving across Texas is like driving from Paris to Berlin. Our statewide differences and mindsets are as diverse as any neighboring countries. Stereotyping a ‘typical American’ is tantamount to stereotyping a typical European, and assuming there is no difference between a Frenchman and a Pole.”

A sign defining the Texas state line.

16.

“Thanksgiving dinner is the single best meal in life.”

Thanksgiving dinner plate.

17.

“Culturally, the US is very much like a bunch of smaller countries.”

18.

“Cheese Whiz is good and very useful in some circumstances. But we don’t think of it as actual cheese. Nobody is serving a pizza topped with cheese whiz or putting it on a salad or something of that sort.”

Spray cheese on a cracker.

19.

“Before you go to a restaurant, make sure you can afford the food plus a tip.”

Two people sitting at a restaurant.

20.

“We’re not all like what you probably see on the news. America is a very big country where you have so much diversity: beaches, mountains, rural areas, big cities, you name it. It’s also home to so many different kinds of people, and it’s embarrassing to be defined by the worst of us.”

Aerial view of Oahu.

21.

“We eat other things besides McDonalds and other fast food.”

A man holding a McDonald's burger.

22.

“When we say, ‘how’s it going?’ — we don’t need a literal answer. It’s just a greeting. I went to college with a guy from Germany and this confused him quite a bit when he first got here. He thought people wanted to know about his whole day.”

23.

“Food portions at restaurants can be large, but anything you can’t finish can be packed up for later. You just need to ask.”

A Philly cheesesteak and fries.

24.

“When you drive five hours in the US, you’re basically still in the same place. When you drive five hours in Europe, everyone’s talking funny and the cheese is different.”

Endless road through the desert of Death Valley.

25.

“We are 250 years old, which is still very young in comparison to most of the countries in the world. We are figuring it out. And despite what the news says, we are getting better.”

26.

“Our 24-hour diners are legendary.”

Scrambled eggs, sausages, hash brown, toast and coffee at a diner.

27.

“Each state can have its own laws about anything, whether it’s for driving, age of consent, drinking, smoking, etc. These can vary based on the state along with contract laws, taxes, drug uses, etc. Think of each state as a country with their own particular quirks.”

A policeman looking at a license.

28.

“Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food is bad.”

An Olive Garden sign.

29.

“Don’t just get BBQ once in one city or region. Try the barbecue wherever you go. It’s all so different.”

A big plate of barbecue.

30.

“Public restrooms are free…usually. Although it is common courtesy that if you go into a store or fast food restaurant to use the restroom you buy something, even something small.”

A Dunkin' Donuts storefront.

31.

“When you come to the US, prepare for endless amounts of ice in your drink. You might not even get much of the actual drink, but you will have more ice than you could ever imagine.”

A soda with ice.

32.

“We WILL find a way to deep fry it… even if it probably shouldn’t be deep fried.”

Deep fried s'mores.

So Americans, sound off. What do you want the rest of the world to know about the US?


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