Facts About America That Foreigners Find Unbelievable

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For better or for worse, Americans are known for many things people from other countries find odd. Odd doesn’t necessarily mean bad, it just means, well, a bit hard to believe.

A Quora reader wrote, “What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? Rakib Islam continues, “I’m from Bangladesh and here are a few things I find hard to explain to peeps back home.”

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His long list of things he finds hard to explain has garnered thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments since he posted it. Here are a few ideas that he says his friends back home find unbelievable.

America, You Won’t Believe It Till You See It

1. Fruits and vegetables are way more expensive than meat and poultry.

2. That, generally speaking, the poor are more obese than the rich.

3. That Americans, in general, are incredibly confused about the use of the apostrophe. Like seriously bad.

4. A lot of couples adopt children, sometimes in spite of having their own, and treat them exactly like their own. (To me, this alone is a marker of a great people.)

5. By and large, people do not carry cash.

6. That you address your boss (and some of your professors) by some abbreviated variation of their first name. And that applies to pretty much everyone, regardless of how much older they are than you.

6. Parents can get arrested for physically punishing their children.

7. Severe poverty, homelessness, etc., no matter how limited, actually exist. Even in America.

8. A name as common and as easy to pronounce as mine is almost invariably incomprehensible to most Americans.

9. America is literally HUGE. My home country is roughly the size of Florida, one of the fifty states.

10. In spite of society being openly hedonistic and liberal, the social norms and standards still have very strong conservative religious influences.

11. People don’t really care about the FIFA World Cup even though USA qualifies.

12. The importance of credit rating/ credit score.

13. Return policy. You can buy something, take home and even use it, then return it for a full refund.

14. The history behind Thanksgiving.

15. Black Friday and the frenzy associated with it.

16. Amazingly friendly, hospitable and helpful people. Yet, a very conveniently private lifestyle.

17. American foreign policy is a very inaccurate reflector of public consensus.

18. Grinding. The dance form.

19. That you cannot purchase alcohol unless you are 21 but can purchase a gun if you are 18.

Is He Right?

What do you think about his Quora post? Did he get it right?

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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.