Every country has a unique culture and customs; the United States is no exception. When visiting or moving to the US, being aware of and respecting the country’s laws, customs, and traditions is important. While the US is a diverse and welcoming nation, some specific actions and behaviors are considered inappropriate or offensive.
1. Don’t Ever Get A Payday Loan
Payday loans are unsecured cash loans with very high-interest rates. You will end up paying as much as 400% annually. Someone shared, “Are these still legal in the states? I got stuck in the loop for nearly 2 years in my early 20s, and the only thing that saved my ass was that the laws on payday loans changed in Canada.”
“I got trapped in the loop in my late teens/early 20’s. Eventually, I realized what a mistake it was. I would take out $15 or $20 less each time until I could comfortably not take one anymore. So dumb.” shared another.
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2. Don’t Leave Your Baby In The Car
“Never leave your sleeping infant/child in a vehicle. This is fairly common in some places across the pond, but it is definitely NOT legal in the U.S.” shared one.
“It is common in Europe to leave a sleeping child in the car or the pram/buggy outside an establishment. People will go in to eat or run errands, pop out and check on the child fairly often. From Denmark to the U.K., it is the way of life on this pond. Unfortunately, many British and Europeans will go across to the U.S., usually as tourists, and not realize this.” said another.
3. Get Out of the Vehicle When A Cop Stops You
It is usual in many countries to get out of the car when a vehicle is stopped by a cop. In fact, in some countries, it is expected that you get out of the vehicle.
A user shares, “Get out of the vehicle during a traffic stop. I did not know this; here in Australia, we are perfectly OK to get out of the vehicle unless the cop says otherwise.”
“If a cop pulls you over, don’t get out of the car; place your hands on the wheel and wait. They will come to you. Also, turn the vehicle’s ignition off. Remove your sunglasses, and turn off the radio. Roll down your windows, particularly if they are tinted. Turn on the interior lights at night. And don’t reach for anything in the vehicle without being asked to do so and even then announcing your intentions.” said another.
4. Try and Bribe a Police Officer
Well, this might come as a surprise for anyone who is from a country where it is customary to try and bribe.
“Not just bribery! Apparently, in some countries, if you get a ticket for something, you can pay the fine to the police officer on the spot. NFL kicker and Raiders legend Sebastian Janikowski was arrested and almost deported back to Poland for trying to bribe a police officer until he convinced the court that he just thought that’s how it legitimately works.” shared one.
5. Don’t Try To Cheat The IRS
It is difficult (and not advisable) to hide your income or try to be over-smart with the IRS.
A user shared, “To this day, I’m convinced that if Osama Bin Laden tried to cheat the feds with taxes, they’d have found and captured him within a month after their accountants verified the money trail.”
6. Engage With Crazy Looking People On The Road
We recommend doing this only in the world, but The United States is a dangerous place to try this out.
Someone shared, “Engage with someone acting like a crazy person on the road, and they might shoot you.”
Sounds like an exaggeration? The very following user says, “This is not exaggerated. I live in a safe area, and we have had a few horrible roads rages shooting cases over the past few years.”
7. Cutting In Line
It is basic decency to not cut in line, but in many countries, it just happens. Not in the U.S., though.
“Cut in line. I’ve been in countries (for example, Spain) where lines/queues are more of a vague suggestion of who goes first; this is not true if you cut in line in the U.S. Cutting in the U.S. can literally lead to violence.” said a user.
8. Do Not Trespass Onto Other People’s Land
Trespass laws are strict in the U.S., so never trespass onto other people’s land.
“You might think, “I am lost, driving around, and it’s getting dark… maybe I’ll pull up to that house and ask for directions….”
“This may be a profoundly bad idea in the U.S. (varies by region), as you are likely to be shot. Castle laws allow a homeowner to use lethal force with impunity if they feel their home is threatened. Most jurisdictions must retreat, and the proportional response… but I wouldn’t count on it.” said one.
9. Don’t Underestimate The Distance
The United States is vast and doesn’t make the mistake of underestimating its size.
“Driving. America is HUGE. Don’t expect to drive across the country in a short amount of time. It takes several days to go from coast to coast. L.A. to New York nonstop is 41 hours by car.” said one
10. Get Sick Without Insurance
Healthcare in the U.S. is expensive if you do not have medical insurance. So, only get sick in the country if you’re insured – whether it is travel health insurance or otherwise.
“Get injured/ sick without insurance. You’re honestly better off just dying.” a user said. “Call an ambulance (getting a bill later for $3000 – Happy Holidays),” said another.
11. Talk Politics Anywhere
“Don’t Bring up politics at work, home, supermarket, on the bus. Just don’t bring that up. There’s no sensible discussion anymore.” said one.
“The average American does not usually enjoy talking politics in their frequented public spaces.” said another.
“Don’t discuss politics in open, normal meeting places. We prefer to save those discussions for places like the bar, home, private parties, etc. American politics is pretty polarizing and almost always ends up just becoming an annoyance.” said yet another.
There are several things that one should never do (or at least avoid) in the United States. It is essential to be aware of local laws and customs when traveling or living in the United States and to always treat others with respect and dignity. Additionally, it is essential to be mindful of one’s actions and to always strive to be a responsible and respectful member of society.
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.