The United States is a great country. Yes, we have our flaws, but what country doesn’t? We also have some traditions that seem weird and unreasonable to other countries. Here are a few of the many that make folks from other countries scratch their head.

(Image Source: Flickr | Mike Kalasnik)


There is a Wal-Mart store within 15 minutes of 90% of America. Needless to say, shopping there is convenient and, well, affordable. What really confuses a good portion of the rest of the world is not the cheapness of everything in the store it’s what you can buy. For instance, you can buy a shotgun, dishwashing detergent, running shoes, and frozen vegetables in the same store.

(Image Source Flickr | James Willamor)

Tailgate Parties

We love our football here in the United States. We love it so much that just showing up to the game and taking our seats isn’t enough. Before the game begins fans show up hours beforehand and hang out in the parking lot. There is a lot of drinking, cooking of food, and other interesting activities. To top it off, some of those tailgaters don’t even have tickets for the game. They just hang out in the parking lot the whole time.

(Image Source: Flickr | Sebastian Anthony)

Kindness of Strangers

When people come to the United States they are often thrown off by the kindness of strangers. Americans are willing to help anyone who is lost or just looks like they need a hand. Another act of kindness is our constant smiling. While some travelers find it appealing others find it obnoxious because they’re unsure of when we actually mean our smile.


(Image Source: Flickr | Nicholas Babaian)

Disinterest In The World Cup

While the rest of the world is celebrating their country’s battle on the fields of the World Cup, the majority of us Americans are not. Futbol, or soccer, is not a popular sport here nor will it be anytime in the near future. But, what isn’t understood is the lack of support for our country on the world’s stage. Look at the soccer hooligans in England and other parts of the world. Our hooligans are busy with football.

(Image Source: Flickr | jennie-o)


It isn’t necessarily the holiday itself that the world doesn’t quite understand. It is the way we show gratitude and patriotism on the holiday that becomes blurred. The curiosity of it all lies in the need to smother plates with turkey and gravy to show thanks to our fellow statesmen and family members. Oh, and enter football.

(Image Source: Flickr | Diario Critico)

Black Friday

This is one I don’t even understand as an American. People stand in a line miles deep for hours outside of a store for a great deal on a television? That should be strange to everyone. That’s all I can really say about that.

(Image Source: Flickr | Jerry Huddleston)

Portions And Portions Of Food

To an outsider, it seems like our restaurants are all about having bigger portions than others. In the United States our portions are huge at any meal of the day. Usually, when someone comes to America from other countries they can’t finish the entire meal put before them.  The value for the amount of food is great until you notice the pounds being packed on.

(Image Source: Flickr | Alan Stark)

Driving Everywhere

Having a car in the United States isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. We drive 40% further than Canada and 60% more than Australia. One would think we’d take public transportation more since our country is so large, but we are the driving capital of the world. Most of Europe relies on trains, buses, and, wait for it, walking.

(Image Source: Flickr | Pug50)

Political Correctness

In a country as diverse as the United States, one would think that speaking your opinion without fear of offending someone would be the norm. But, it’s not. It seems that we are even afraid of telling a close friend what’s really on our mind because we don’t want to hurt his or her feelings. Political correctness is disastrous to free society and a majority of other nations seem to understand that.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

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