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Weird Things About America

Insight from an opinionated foreigner

American flag flying in the sky.

Photo courtesy of AP images

American flag flying in the sky.

by Sarah Dolder, Social Media Editor

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In September 2013, a life changing move happened to me. My parents decided that after living in South America for all of our lives, we should move to the United States. Moving here was quite the change; I went from a Spanish speaking country to an English speaking country where everything was different. Over the years, I’ve learnt to adapt, but there are still things that after almost five years of living here, I find completely astonishing and just weird. Here is a list of things I find weird about America:

Big Food Proportions-

Before moving here, I always saw on social media and TV that America had huge food proportions, which, at first, I thought that was just an over exaggeration, and perhaps it wasn’t as bad as the media portrayed it to be; believe me when I say that the first time I ate out with my family at a restaurant, I was completely flabbergasted by the amount of food that was served on my plate. I mean, who needs to eat that much food? No one.

Bidets-

Although this is a very common thing in Argentina, where I lived for 7 years and basically grew up, it isn’t common in the US. Many people think that it’s a second toilet or that it is rather unsanitary, but the reality is that there is nothing more sanitary than a bidet. Why aren’t these more common in America? Out of all my friends, only one has a bidet in their home, and out of all my friends, not very many are even aware of what a bidet is.

Spelling-

Even though this isn’t weird but rather more uncommon, the spelling of certain words in the American english vocabulary really gets to me sometimes. There is no U in favourite, neighbour, labour and humour; American english spells everything with a “ze” rather than “se”, with words such as apologise, recognise and organise and last, but definitely not least, the switching of the letter R with the letter E when spelling theatre, centre and litre. I absolutely hate this, because I’ve been learning british spelling all my life, and once I move to the US, it is a completely different spelling which often gets me points deducted in essays and any type of school papers. To all my teachers: it’s not wrong, it’s just different.

Measuring system-

This is a very common thing, that many people are aware of, but the US doesn’t use the metric system like every other country in the world, which can be very confusing when you first move here, having absolutely no idea of what a mile or a gallon or a foot are. After five years I still struggle to understand the concept of the measurement system here. Which leads me up to the use of Fahrenheit vs Celsius. Why does the US feel like completely changing up every single commonly used measuring system? I wish I had the answer for that, but sadly I don’t, so I’m just going to sit here and pretend I am not confused.

Reality TV-

Last, but most definitely not least, is American society’s obsession with reality TV shows and the celebrities that make up most of them. Although I know that there are reality TV shows all around the world, I’ve never seen such an admiration and infatuation for people who, deep down, have no talent whatsoever. Now, I am not bashing on anyone that watches reality TV, as I sometimes enjoy watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but I simply can’t bring myself to understand how America manages to make these insignificant, talentless people so famous when there are millions of actually talented people who are waiting to be found.

 

Moving to the United States was probably one of the best things that has happened to me, over the years I have met amazing people and have learnt so much about a different culture and what it means to be American. However, there is not a day where something new comes up that I just cannot comprehend and will forever be weird to me, despite other people’s opinion.

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