10 things I learned about Americans in 11 1/2 weeks

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I’ve been in the US for about 11 1/2 weeks now and boy, did I learn some interesting stuff.
For example, you can buy avocados, barbie band-aids and shotguns in the same store… not to mention that you can do your banking, get a haircut and have an eye examination there, too.
But behold, the revelations don’t end here. The far more interesting part is the American people themselves.
Drawn from close observation of Americans in their natural habitat, I proudly present the following list of ten things Americans do that are weird, surprising, or weirdly surprising to me:
1. Buying birthday cake. Sorry, but that’s just really sad.
2. Paying for everything with a credit card, even if it’s a $2 gas station coffee. You’re all in for a mighty surprise, and slight panic attack, if you ever make the leap over the big pond and find that a plastic rectangle won’t buy you happiness in Europe.
3. Serving free tap water and offering free refills. And you’re still wondering why the economy said “bye-bye” and moved to China.
4. Using one trash can for everything. You have no idea how much it pains my recycling-loving heart to see a piece of paper and a glass bottle being thrown into the same trash can.
5. Making cocoa (chocolate milk) with chocolate syrup. What first seemed like a barbaric abnormality turned out to be rather tasty. Good job, America.
6. Using the same tires all year round. Don’t you people know there are summer and winter tires for a reason?
7. Complimenting strangers. I’ll always think back to the time a lady in Walmart shouted “I love your shirt!” at me while running past me, or that one time a girl in the elevator just randomly told me I was pretty. Why thank you.
8. Making breakfast bacon in the microwave. I think this is the single most American way to use a microwave.
9. Burping in public. It’s like some people were born without a sufficiently working shame gene.
10. Eating PB&J sandwiches. I don’t know who came up with slapping together two slices of untoasted “bread” (a.k.a. the dough version of a floppy disk) and putting peanut butter and jelly in between, but I’m convinced it was part of some sick social experiment and the whole American nation fell for it.
Bonus 11. Embracing their love for foods with unnecessary holes in them. Looking at you, bagels and donuts (and why on earth would you sell the ring and hole separately?)

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