Reddit Users Share 20+ Things They Didn’t Realize Were So American Until They Went Abroad

The American culture is continually spreading around the globe. There’s probably no one left who hasn’t heard about trick or treating for Halloween, who hasn’t tried a burger at McDonalds, or who hasn’t watched Friends. And while the rest of the world seems to be so absorbed in U.S. traditions, Americans themselves usually see them as totally normal until they travel out of the country.

To find out what really surprises Americans when they compare living in their own country to what happens abroad, Reddit user TJBullz started a thread where they could share their experience of traveling abroad. We at Bright Side went through their answers and chose 24 unique things that, apparently, exist only in the U.S.

  • Saying “bless you” in public when somebody sneezes. I said this to a lady at the Guinness factory in Ireland and she looked at me like I murdered her family. @miamiamoa
  • The ability to “turn right on red” doesn’t seem to be universal. I was thankfully warned ahead of time. I had no idea that wasn’t normal. @LetoMultus
  • Measuring walking/driving distance in blocks. It’s the unit of measure I use most frequently when giving directions — the restaurant is 3 blocks away, go south one block and then 2 blocks west, and so on. But when I studied abroad in England, I got a complete blank look when I asked someone how many blocks away the library was. @Glaggies
  • Dressing like crap to do stuff like grocery shopping. Went to the Netherlands for about 2 weeks, and we never saw anyone dress in comfy clothes. Everyone looked nice, everywhere, at all hours. Here you can catch me walking through Walmart at 3 a.m. and I’m wearing old pajamas, whatever shirt I happen to exist in, and I’m probably not wearing socks. @Blfrog
  • In the US, we have fire safety codes that require doors to open outwards to prevent people from getting crushed against doors or trapped in the event of an evacuation. This was not true in any of the countries that I’ve lived in abroad — Peru, Germany, and Brazil — or at least not enforced, and I spent a lot of time trying to push a door open only to discover it was a pull. @dormilonaluna
  • Clothes dryers. They exist in other countries, but they’re tiny and take forever to dry anything. I know many people in Australia who have dryers but still air dry their clothes. Even though it constantly rains there and it’s infested with monster spiders. @CalvinDehaze

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