Cracking the USA Code: 15 American Things Highly Misperceived By Foreigners

America’s familiar globally, yet aspects of its daily life still perplex foreigners. What's an American life fact you've struggled to make foreigners understand?

What Does OP Say

The Original Poster asks about foreigners' misconceptions of everyday life in America, beyond usual stereotypes. Check out the fifteen relatable responses here:

The Concept Of Large-Scale Collegiate Athletics

"My brother-in-law, a Brit, was astounded by the scale of US collegiate athletics. Non-Americans often struggle to grasp the massive crowd sizes and fanfare at regular college football games, not just big events. For us, it’s just a usual Saturday."

Yellow School Buses And Black & White Police Cars  Are Real

"Yellow school buses are real. I dated a British guy, he thought black & white police cars were only in movies," one person added.

The Way Laws Vary From State To State

"One mentioned how laws vary across states, amusingly recounting explaining to a British teen that MA & NH, only 70 miles apart, often have contrasting laws."

The Fact That People In Here Know Geography

"Some of us Americans are well-versed in geography, surprising people abroad with our knowledge. It's frustrating when others can't locate a basic country on a map."

Just How Empty Parts Of The Nation Are

“Just how empty parts of the nation are. Like massive swaths of the country with zero development, no roads, no structures, nothing.”

Many Americans Don’t Have A Passport And Don’t Travel Internationally

Had a spat with Belgian colleague who couldn't believe many Americans don't own passports or travel abroad. He couldn't fathom driving 8 hours & still in same state.

Most Americans Rely On Cars To Get Around

"Many don't realize how reliant Americans are on cars due to vast distances. In places like suburban Georgia, the closest supermarket could be a 20-minute walk away."

American Houses Are Not Poorly Built

"Contrary to belief, a brick house can't withstand EF5 tornados, hence Americans opt for wood. It’s a misconception that American houses are poorly built."

Americans Don’t Rely On Junk Food & Obesity Is A Global Problem

"Foreigners often stereotype US as a country of junk food and obesity, but overlook our incredible local produce, chefs and restaurants. We don't glorify being fat—obesity is a worldwide issue."

The US Has A TON Of Really Good Beer And Chocolate

"Despite popular belief, US has a variety of quality beer and chocolate, not just Bud Light and Hershey's. The craft brewery scene has surged and local chocolate shops exist as well. Not like Belgium, but worth a try."

Americans May Identify With Ancestors' Immigration Origin

Americans claim ancestry like "Irish" or "Mexican" not literally, but in reference to their immigrated roots; a concept some Europeans find odd.

People Do In Fact Know About The Metric System

"People are aware of the metric system; there's no need to explain. I once asked a classmate to join a 5K run and he was surprised I knew a kilometer."

We Pet Dogs Who Live With Us

"My mom was walking her Great Pyrenees dogs when she met an older woman from India. She was amazed to learn the dogs have names, live indoors and are safe. The kids understood, but she was mind-blown."

How Convenience-Oriented We Are

"We're convenience-oriented. Drive-throughs and right turn on red are prime examples. A Brit once told me “You Americans can't even wait for traffic lights to turn green.”"

We Ain’t THAT Different From The Rest Of The West

"One noted US day-to-day life isn't that different from other western countries. They felt rural vs urban life was more diverse.

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