We Americans like to talk amongst ourselves about the interesting/weird/shocking stuff we see when we travel to other countries.
But we don’t get to hear what they think about their travels in the U.S. very often. In this AskReddit thread, European travelers share their biggest WTF moments about America.
1. Cherry pie
“Did a house exchange in New Jersey (from UK) and on the second day a neighbour came to the door with an actual cherry pie to welcome us and ask us to dinner. Was:
A huge confirmation of stereotype
Really touching and sweet (pie was also wonderful btw)
A bit weird because we knew our neighbours wouldn’t give a flying f-ck and we felt bad :/ “
2. Why not?
“It was my second trip to California, I was only 18 years old. When I got out of the plane, as usual, I had to go through all those security checks. At the last checkpoint, the officer asked me whether I have anything in my suitcase that I didn’t mention on tis CBP thing. Then he asked for drugs and then for alcohol. I honestly answered all questions with “No” when surprisingly he asked me “Why not?”.
A bit confused, I told him that I knew, I wasn’t allowed to take drugs or drink alcohol in his country. He got interested and asked whether it was different where i’m from (Germany). Here the minimum age is 16 for light beverages like beer and wine and 18 for the other stuff like spirits. He was so interested, he kept asking stuff for like 5 minutes, not even minding the 100 people behind me. When he let me pass, he instantly turned towards the guy in the other checkpoint was like “Hey, did you know … ” “
3. Welcome to Florida
“In 2015 I went to Florida. We walked past a crazy golf place and a guy was holding an alligator in his arms, he also told me he had an 8-foot alligator in the back.
I’m from England, so I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over just how casual he was having a dang alligator in his arms.”
4. Free refills
“Went to some diner in Portland, Oregon and I ordered coffee. Half way in my coffee she asked me if I wanted a refill, I politely declined telling her I was short on cash. She laughed and said refills are free of charge, and to top of my amazed reaction she complimented my shirt. Needless to say, she cured my hangover and I fell in love.”
5. Big country = Big cars
“I really wasn’t prepared for the size of the cars! I’m used to getting into cars by opening the door and sitting down, not climbing up. And we had a rental car, a Dodge of some sort, that was pretty much a tank, with tiny windows so you could barely see where you were going.”
“While in Florida, we went through a drive through and the lady couldn’t understand what i was ordering regardless of how slowly and carefully i spoke so, i decided to go inside instead where the lady behind the counter couldn’t understand me either, i am a northern brit but not too too broad an accent.
My little sister had to put on her Florida accent to order for us, the manager who eventually took the order said she was sorry as the staff were only used to “normal” English lol.”
7. Interesting points
“Boston: didn’t notice I had left Europe.
Houston: the people were as friendly as they were huge. And loud. Hugely loud. And loudly huge, I guess.
Nashville and other places I went kinda blend together in my head, except for the delicious food.
Oh, and the person who asked if my country had coins and traffic lights. I.. what.. yes? I mean.. wat.”
“While walking around Austin, random people would just give me a “Hey, how’s it going” as they walked past. In the UK, if someone even looks like they might glance in your direction, it probably means they’re about to try selling you something. I probably offended a couple of them with how defensive I seemed…”
9. Made his day
“First time I flew to America, right at the airport I see this guy walking around just all dressed up like a cowboy and my day was just made right there.
They’ve always just been these fantasy characters from TV or movies, in the back of my mind I knew they’re real but no matter what you can never be prepared to really see one.
He wasn’t even a cowboy, just an American.
10. Into the great wide open
“The space. You guys have so much unused untouched space, it’s crazy. In Europe there is barely anywhere that isn’t owned or isn’t being used. In Europe we have protected forests, in America you have some unrestricted, uncontrolled forests that are massive!”
11. The horror
“I’m actually in NYC right now, so that was good timing! I’m from the UK.
Yesterday I went to Central Park and there were literally two guys just driving around on segways with giant a– snakes around their necks. Occasionally they’d take them off and drape them around the nearest random person. I was actually frozen with horror.”
12. We’re the best!
“I’m an Aussie who visited USA, hope it’s okay for me to crash this thread.
We LOVED our visit – loved the whole bloody place, but i was absolutely gobsmacked when I found Froot Loops with marshmallows. I genuinely did not think it was possible to make Froot Loops more unhealthy, but you guys did it – love your work!”
“Ordered a BLT sandwich in Las Vegas, I swear that sandwich was 90% bacon. Under a mount Everest of bacon were two tiny lurk warm tomato slices and a single leaf of lettuce almost apologizing for being there. 10/10 would visit America again.”
14. People pleasers
“In Florida, how amazingly friendly people were whilst talking absolute nonsense to make us happy. We are from Wales in the UK, this guy at a burger store asked where we were from and started to tell us how he loves Wales, then went on about how his mum lives there.
We asked what part of Wales does she live?
His reply, “Paris, I think”. “
15. The usual
“Pretty stereotypical stuff. Couple we stayed with were hugely nice but very religious and overweight. They voted for Obama and then Trump. Also drove us 4 hours for a daytrip! The bread is inexplicably sweet. A nice healthy pancake with blueberries for breakfast was actually five pancakes with blue syrup and whipped cream. I could get used to root beer floats though.”