10 Things That are Normal in America That are Considered Weird Elsewhere

6 min read

Have you ever thought to yourself that foreigners sometimes do some really weird things? Well, guess what? They think the same thing about us. Here are ten things that are normal in America that are considered weird in other parts of the world.

10. Ice-Cold Beverages

Ice Cubes
Source: Pixabay

There’s nothing better than an ice-cold refreshing beverage on a hot summer day–well, at least that’s the way Americans feel. People outside the U.S., however, have a much different sentiment. It’s not that they don’t like ice, but they feel Americans put way too much ice in their drinks. And, in Europe they don’t even really use ice cubes. Instead, their beverages are served at room temperature.

FUN FACT: Putting ice in our drinks goes back to the early 1800s, when a man named Frederic Tudor expanded his ice harvesting business by convincing bartenders to incorporate his product into drinks. “The object is to make the whole population use cold drinks instead of warm or tepid,” Tudor wrote in his diary, according to The Boston Globe. “A single conspicuous bar keeper…selling steadily his liquors all cold without an increase in price, render it absolutely necessary that the others come to it or lose their customers.”

9. Paying Sales Tax

Source: Pexels

It’s not that people in other countries don’t pay sales tax–the fact of the matter is they do. It’s just that it’s usually built into the price shown on the tag or menu or whatever it is they’re looking at. According to USA Today, it confuses foreigners when they come to the U.S. and end up paying a totally different price at the register than the price shown on the item they’re purchasing. There are even advisories warning people who are traveling to the U.S. to be prepared for sales tax when shopping.

8. Stores That Stay Open 24 Hours

Open 24 Hours
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Justinc CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=400301

Many Americans love the convenience of being able to make late-night runs to the store or to the drive-thru of their favorite restaurant. But in the UK, this type of thing is pretty much non-existent. They did actually try it, but unfortunately it didn’t work for them. According to The Cheat Sheet, it just simply wasn’t worth the cost–at least it wasn’t for Tesco anyway. The store, which happens to be the biggest retailer in the UK, tested the 24-hour model at 400 of its locations, but there weren’t enough interested shoppers to cover the cost of overhead.

FUN FACT: Most European stores close early in the evening on weekdays. And, on Sundays many stores aren’t even open at all.