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16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here

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Two Ravens:
I think this board is the best place for this. A very interesting article on things people could not believe about America (& Canada). I wonder if any other posters have opinions or something to add.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/michael-koh/2013/11/16-people-on-things-they-couldnt-believe-about-america-until-they-moved-here/#QVCi2tDAywsOrL2r.01

The one that struck home for me was:

--- Quote ---I wasn’t from Chicago, New York, or Hollywood. Or Sacramento. That’s all there is in America, according to movies/I-dont-know-what.
--- End quote ---

When I was abroad, someone I met told me they had a cousin living in Chicago, and seemed bewildered when I said I'd never been there.

mumma to KMC:
Years ago, my dh did a project in Paris and met a great group of people while working on it. One of the people from the project was coming to the States (NYC) and wanted to get together. Well, we lived in Ohio at the time and told him he'd either have to rent a car or catch a flight. He was pretty sure he could catch a train and make it to our house. We tried to explain it to him, but he just didn't quite get it...until he got to the States and saw how trains work here. :)

GlitterIsMyDrug:
I think this is just the most intreasting thing to read! I worked in a hotel for a few years and my favorite thing was talking to people from other coutries about how different the US is. I remember once I was driving two men to dinner in our shuttle and they noted a cross and some flowers on the side of the road and asked what it was for. I explained that when someone dies in a traffic accident there are often memorials by the sides of the road, I still remember one of them saying "And that's allowed? It's not against the law to display a cross?", I said no not at all and that generally the memorials are left alone. They told me in their country it would be illegal to to display a religious symbol in such a public place.

One of my friends from China, she was surprised when she met me that I was in my early 20s, unmarried, and lived completely on my own. She just couldn't fathom it (why was I not living at home?), she even asked once if my father was ok with this. When I told her that I didn't know my father and he'd never been involved in my life, well I've never seen someone's eyes get so big! She told me, point blank, that would never go over in her culture. My father would've married my mother, no questions asked. He would've provided for us. She even said "Where was his father? Or your mothers? To make sure he did the right thing?", at which point I decided explaining my family to her was going to require a lot of time. She finally got it but it still baffles her, how a man could just leave a girl her got pregnant. Her exact words one night "Not much of a man", I agreed completely. I've actually had a lot of friends from other cultures who can't fathom a man just not being there when he has a child. They can't understand how this allowed. If you get a girl pregnant, you marry her, her support her and the child, you make a family. End of discussion.

I love reading everyone's reactions to our country. I loved how they talk about how nice and smooth our traffic is! That's like, our number one complaint. Teaches you to be greatful.

menley:
I'm an American living in Europe and it's always fascinating to be having an ordinary conversation with my European friends and to find that something in my life that is very typical is unusual or unheard of to them. I can't really think of a good example offhand but I think the one that comes up the most often is that my husband has a concealed carry handgun license and has firearms, but he's not either a police officer or a Mafia criminal ;) They are truly baffled that an ordinary person who is not a criminal has firearms.

GlitterIsMyDrug:

--- Quote ---The credit system in America will create a numerical value (credit score) to asses everyone’s financial fitness. No one know how the score is calculated but you need that to get a loan… or two… or three… and beyond.
However, in order to get a credit score, you need to get a loan e.g car financing. In order to get a loan… well… you need a credit score (notice the circular reference). Your credit score can also be created by using credit card. You just need a credit score to apply for a credit card.
--- End quote ---

This made me laugh. As someone born and raised in the US...I feel the exact same way.

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