Whenever you visit a new place, it's easy to experience a bit of culture shock or, at the very least, to witness some things that shock you. So redditor u/FloridaLife96 asked, "Non-Americans of Reddit, what surprised you the most on your trip to America?" Here are some of the responses.
1."I thought Americans ate pizza every single Friday, which is why I wanted to visit the USA in the first place."
2."I believed Hollywood Boulevard was a beautiful place made up of only famous people walking on red carpets dressed in gowns. A few minutes there and I realized, boy was I wrong...big time."
3."I found Americans to be a lot friendlier than I expected. Even in New York, I found people to be extremely friendly, polite, and helpful."
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4."I was expecting most Americans to be morbidly obese. Then I arrived in Colorado, where 90% of people are fit as hell."
5."My German friends wanted to shoot all my guns. When I told them I didn't have any, they looked at me like I was lying."
6."That there are 50 states...not 52. Almost every non-American I know thinks (or thought, at some point) that there are 52 states. I suspect that Hawaii and Alaska might be involved."
7."I thought more people would actually say 'yeeehaaaw' a lot more."
8."How surprisingly cold it can get in parts of Arizona. I visited AZ after spending a year in northern Ohio and didn't dress for the elements. I didn't think anything could be worse than winter in Cleveland. Nope, I almost froze to death when I went to see the Grand Canyon."
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9."I didn't realize those red Solo cups were actually real and that everyone uses them at parties. I thought it was just, like, a thing in movies."
10."I was really weirded out by how high the water was in the toilets."
11."I knew America was big, but I was so very wrong thinking I could easily drive from New York to Florida. I just didn't quite register how bloody far away everything is."
12."The drug advertisements on TV. Who am I to tell my doctor what drugs I think will be most effective? The whole concept is ludicrous."
13."How much fast food there is and how many different fast-food restaurants you can always choose from. Here in Canada there are about four choices, but in the US there are at least 15. And there's a definite hierarchy in terms of fast-food quality."
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14."I thought most Americans were affluent because I grew up in Asia, and most Americans I met there lived in really nice houses and had all the latest gadgets. Now I'm studying in the US, and I've noticed that's not the case. In fact, there's a huge socioeconomic gap."
15."American markets have a whole aisle dedicated just to soda."
16."I thought the states would be more unified, but it surprised me how much Americans identify with their home state...and how much they talk shit about other states."
17."At Rite Aid you can get a flu shot, an HIV test, a bottle of tequila, a Snickers bar, and pizza pockets all from the same store. And at IHOP you can get an entire days worth of calories in one meal."
18."I thought that living in the US meant I could go to Disneyland whenever I wanted. Turns out it's very far away and also really expensive."
19."How unglamorous LA actually is compared to how it's depicted in TV shows and movies."
20."I thought tipping in the US was a courteous thing to do without realizing that it is a mandatory and expected custom. Why don't you just charge 18% more and pay the staff 18% more? It'll never make sense to me."
21."The size of your popcorn portions when I went to the movies. I could basically fit my whole arm in the bag of popcorn I bought."
22."I thought American cuisine revolved around bacon. It was sad to discover this is not actually the case."
23."I was shocked that the American Southern accent is real and not just made up for TV."
24."All the different combinations of foods at restaurants and the portion sizes. Like a plate piled high with pancakes, bacon, and maple syrup... This breakfast combo has changed my life."
25."I thought that American beer would be terrible and they only drink Budweiser. The US has so many craft beers it's amazing. I went to a bar in Boston that had something like 200 different beers."
26."That those bright yellow school buses are real and not just used in movies."
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27."I used to think it snowed all over the US during the winter and all Americans got to celebrate a white Christmas. I was pretty let down when I landed in Dallas on Christmas Eve."
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28."I thought cheerleading teams and competitions were just something fictional made up for movies. Turns out they're real."
29."I didn't think sheriffs were real for some reason, at least not anymore. Turns out, they still are."