Weird American Shit

This page is going to contain all of those weird little things that I noticed about America and Americans during my year in Washington DC in 2006…

  • The Toilets all have these little handles to flush instead of a button on top
  • And the toilets again? They flush really weird. All the water is sucked out from the bottom and then refilled just as quick Small u-bends too so they get clogged alot.
  • The light switches are back to front generally. Up for on and down for off.
  • The showers suck. You cant control the strength of the water, only the temperature. What the hell? I thought it was just where I was living, but it seems to be like that at other places as well.
  • All sinks have a little hole in them. Just in case the sink overflows I guess.
  • There are so many ‘trucks’ here. Big SUV’s and pickups and 4 wheel drives. The Americans love that shit.
  • Dont get me started on driving, but one big thing is that noone seems to indicate, They change lanes willy nilly and don’t even think about telling people, let alone look.
  • Lamps don’t have those little clicky things there are in Australia. There are little knobs that you turn. One click for half, then turn more for full and then off.
  • A lot of rooms do not have overhead lights in the ceiling. Just lamps.
  • The walk signs at room crossings look white and not green.
  • The bees here are huge. They are fully bumblebees, not the little ones we have in Australia
  • You get pickles with everything. You know, those big long green pickles? Yeah. They include them with sandwiches.
  • Chicken Burgers are called sandwiches. Burgers here are Beef ONLY. And then you get to pick how cooked you want them. Even KFC has Chicken Sandwiches. Weird.
  • Things are old here. The houses look old (even if they are really new) and the American cars all look sort of old as well. It’s like, people just can’t accept change and new things.
  • Curtains don’t seem to exist much here. They love their blinds and their shutters, but no curtains??
  • People like to talk themselves a lot. Just randomly on the train, walking, eating. They talk. No-one even seems to notice.
  • Tipping sucks enough as it is, but there seems to be no way to avoid it. Tipping a buck a beer is normal, and that’s after paying $6 for a beer in the first place!
  • People don’t say ‘You’re Welcome’. They are more likely to go ‘Uh-huh’ after you thank them for something. Like ‘Uh-huh’ is somehow a word??
  • If you ask for chips with your burger, you end up getting a packet of potato chips. Gotta remember, Fries…Fries…Fries…
  • The photo of George W Bush and Dick Cheney as you walk down the gangway at LAX Airport? Freaky man…Freaky.
  • Noticed during the World Cup: When a player is brought down in the box (or in Italy’s case, when a player dives in the box) there is a ‘PK’. Not Penalties, or Penalty Kicks, but PK’s. Freaks.
  • Americans are obsessed with the weather. Especially in DC. If there is a spate of rain, wind, sun, snow or nothing at all they make a hug deal about it in the news. Oh yeah, and they go ‘crisis-shopping’ for all the water and bread, like they won’t be able to make it through the puddles of water…
  • TV Commercials are aimed at the stupid or the weird. They are either so damn obvious and un-subtle, or really twisted and surreal that you don’t know whether to laugh or raise an eyebrow.
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21 responses to “Weird American Shit

  • Jill

    I don’t know where you’re showering, but my handheld massaging showerhead is to die for!

  • Glenn

    The lamp thing is doubly odd when the powerpoint is linked to the wall switch (it tok forever to figure out why some sockets didn’t work). But turning on red is so useful

  • Lady E!

    Frankly, I don’t think the phrase, “You’re welome” is a part of the american vocabulary system. One can always tell americans are about…not only by their unmistakable loudness, but by their, “Uh-huh” or “No problem”.

  • larry

    every country has a signature phrase, Canadians have eh, Aussies have gday…we are loud, we are obnoxious at times..but we are who we are..good bad whatever, we make no apologies, if you think you might not like your visit, buy a round trip ticket.

  • spankme

    The ‘chips with that’ is like Kiwis asking for scallops. They expect battered scallops of the seafood variety, and are really surprised or feel they were ripped-off when they only discover battered mashed potato. 🙂

  • Van

    Lol, awesome observation about us. I think this line is the most factual about the American people “It’s like, people just can’t accept change and new things”.

  • Jason

    The TV commercials crack me up! Especially the pharmaceutical commercials (“ED” anyone?) where they espouse the benefits of the drug in question, and then REALLY quickly list all the possible side effects at the end like the ads you get in Australia at election time.

    And the fact that you can turn at red lights.

  • Rex

    And another thing, they dont differentiate much between afternoons, evenings and nights. A Teacher in my highschool says to a student , “Liam please dont joke around in class. Havent we talked about it last night”?. The heck does that mean school ends in the evening at 3 – 4 pm or so. Did she have a romantic conv. with him in actuality last night on the phone?..

    • Jay Armbruster

      What, are you goofy? I’ve lived in America for 60 years, and I’m fairly sure I know the difference between morning, afternoon, evening, night, day, dusk, and dawn. You know, stuff like that.

  • Georg

    I am a German who lives in in the U.S. and in regards to the toilets here:
    They get stuck extremely easily (I am in no way overweight if you know what I mean). Maybe it is the plumbing, maybe it is the small pipes. Maybe there is a limitation on how much toilet paper can be used. Toilets in Germany hardly ever get stuck, a plunger is an absolute must-have in every American bathroom.

  • Some American Girl

    I believe some of your statements are a bit exaggerated and unfair. Just because America operates different from your country doesn’t mean we’re weird. We’re different. I have neve been to Australia, but it sounds very exciting and if I do go, I know I would be amazed at all the different things that I am not use to-not put your country down because it’s not what I am use to.

    Rex, their must have been something going on in the night time with that teacher & student because we know how to tell night from day. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! As for the picture of George Idiot Bush, I don’t believe there’s a pic of the president and vice president at the LAX just because California is strongly against him and something like that would trigger some kind rage. As for the showers, standard showers are built like that, if you’re rich, you probably can get a shower where can control pressure. Well, America is not perfect. No country is.

  • Monsieur Lapin

    Brilliant list. Pure hilarity.

    You forgot to mention that Americans have their “feelings” hurt very easily by any criticism of American culture, no matter how accurate or humourous.

  • valaki

    hali! Nem tud valaki angol káromkodásokat? Pl.: Bazdmeg! Anyád! Seggfej…
    Annak nagyon örülnék 🙂

  • Batbitch

    I think the list is great. In fact, I’m stealing it for a friend of mine. I’ll see that she gives you credit. 😉

  • matthew

    You might as well just tell us you hate america…and not tell us your problems.
    Half of those are damn finicky and situational.
    and
    what you don’t talk to yourself?
    I am a proud north american(not american).
    We have big stupid vehicles, but we are no louder and blunter than australians.
    we have manners.
    I have grown to co-exist with most of the people of your country. I hope you give N.A. a second chance too.
    m.

  • Zinto

    You really should go on Fox News with that list. They’d FILP OUT! Call you horrible names and then cut your mic off before you could respond. And then they’d go back to kissing George W. Bush’s and the Republicans asses.

    That’s what they call fair and balanced.

  • Rachel

    Laughed out loud from this. All these things are normal to me, and it’s funny to hear someone describe them as weird.
    Good work.

  • Susan

    Laughed so hard when I read this. Thank You for the good laugh. As an American this stuff is true for the city people. Not all of us are in the city. Loved your blog about the food at snow time. The milk, bread & eggs are always gone at this time. I’ve often wondered what are they doing-Making french toast? Some of us choose not to take part in the silliness of buying the petrol & food, for the big eternal snow that never comes. Keep up the good work here, so I can tune in for a good laugh. Thank You

  • Jeff

    Go to Greece, sometime, or Guanajuato, Mexico. One is absolutely forbidden to put toilet paper in the toilet, even for “# 2.” There is a wastepaper basket for that purpose. Just wipe and fold neatly. In the case of Greece, the plumbing is quite narrow. In the case of Guanajuato, I don’t know, but it is not common in Mexico to forbid paper in the toilet; but in Greece, EVERYWHERE you see signs to only use the wastepaper basket.

    As for making a free (free of cars or pedestrians) right turn on a red light, this has been the case for decades, and helps to keep the flow of traffic moving. I mean, who wants to sit at a red light for no reason! You are also permitted to turn left onto a one-way left street, when there is no traffic coming.

    Driving varies around the country. I actually hate driving in my country (US) because people go the same speed on all lanes of the freeway. Slower traffic does NOT keep to the right as they are required to do. And I love driving in Europe, though forget Romania for about 5 years, as there are far too many potholes, or else they are repairing roads and you’ll get stopped for “one-lane open only” roads. We had a 20 km stretch with 5 stops to wait for other traffic! Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece are fine, however. But Poland has no north-south freeways and the great towns are all on a north-south plane, so it is slow driving on the national/local roads. Western Europe? Great driving!

    Yes, the light switches are different from Australia, and also different from Europe. Not worse, nor better, just different.

  • Melly Mel

    Hehehe u got some really humourless and easily offended people responding to this post didn’t you? LOL Glad that there is a mix of folks with a great sense of humour in there too that know how to have a laugh. 🙂

  • mutuelle

    I think the list is great.

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