Photo: Nathan Dumlao

12 Things That Will Surprise Brits in the US

Culture United States
Photo: Nathan Dumlao
Flora Byatt
Nov 10, 2017

I knew Americans are a little different from us Brits, but I wasn’t prepared for quite how different. Here’s what Brits visiting the US should look forward to:

1. Asking to “use the toilet” will make you feel like a dirtbag. Learn to ask for the “restroom”.

2. American flags are on everything, everywhere you look.

3. American beer is extremely weak. Does no one have any alcohol tolerance?

4. Be ready to be suspiciously examined when providing your ID to buy or order booze. Americans write their dates as follow: month-day-year, not day-month-year, which is a breeding ground for confusion if you ask me.

5. Everything is gigantic. Indoor theme park in the middle of a mall? No problem!

6. How does everyone eat so much?

7. Subtlety is not an American’s forte. Is “You’re so sexy!” the accepted norm of how to tell a girl you like her?

8. What’s with the gaps in toilet doors? Do people not enjoy privacy when pooping in the US?

9. Automatic cars are everywhere and if you get to drive one on your trip to the US, you will learn to love them — why bother using six gears when you can smoothly shift from “drive” to “reverse” in one easy push?

10. Everyone drives. Most Americans have been driving since they were 16, and they all have their own cars. I don’t know about you, but I’m 22 and I’ve never sat in the driver’s seat.

11. Coffee is the drink of choice, not tea. You’d better hope that tipping in a lot of vanilla “creamer” (whatever that is) is the right thing to do.

12. Cinnamon is not just an ingredient used in baking. Everything is cinnamon flavored. Even gum. Even applesauce: a small, strange packet of what seems to be baby food.

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