America the Land of Opportunity
The United States of America has bestowed our world with light snacks, little technology, fine movies, fine sports and of course, a fine President (just kidding they messed up on that last one). In all seriousness though, as a girl growing up in Europe, I was obsessed and intrigued by the American life and culture; the towering skyscrapers, the nightlife, the yellow taxis and just the general liveliness of the land.
However, I would be remiss if I said that I have come to terms with the American culture and way of life. It’s not a huge gaping hole of discomfort, but there’s just something wrong about it. Kind of like adding the milk before the cereal, or applying mustard on a hotdog horizontally; you know they it’s not the end of the world, but it still bothers you.
To all my fellow human beings out there who don’t swear by the star-spangled flag, here is a list of four very American things that will completely dumbfound you. I promise; if you do plan to visit that land, you’re going to have to be prepared.
- 21 and over
Here in Europe, where the minimum age for drinking is as low as 18 years, the legal age of 21 in the USA can throw you for a loop. We all enjoy a can of the old’ beer now and then with our high school friends, but over there, you have to wait till you’re an adult (wait for it) before you can start counting down the three years after which a drink of an alcoholic nature becomes legitimate for you.
Trust me America; there is not a bucket load of difference between getting wasted at the age of 18 and three years down the road.
- Gotta get down for fry-day
For some insane reason that my rational mind can’t quite wrap itself around, Americans love to fry stuff. Pizza? That great emblem of Italian delicacy and traditional dining? Let’s throw it in the fryer; it’ll be fun. Broccoli? Hmm, no one likes it, so how about we fry it? Butter? Hahaha, let’s try that too; nothing better than fried butter on a stick.
Yes yes, carry on. Just give me a second while I fry my American visa right now….
- The bathroom door gaps
For the life of me, I will never quite understand the concept of having those wide gaps in the stall doors in public bathrooms. What I do in within the confines of my cubicle is not for your viewing pleasure, kind Sir/Madam. How hard is it to build a proper bathroom door that also ensures privacy? Surely that shouldn’t be a burden on the government of the superpower nation.
- The metric system is taboo
Don’t measure in kilograms or your third child is going to be born with tentacles sprouting from the small of his back. That’s pretty much what Americans could be said whenever they resist the metric system that is used pretty much all over the world. Pounds, miles, gallons…..it’s pretty frustrating having to fish out your phone to check what 5 pounds of salmon is in kilograms.
Since its beginning, America has been known as the land of opportunity. People from all over the world immigrate here and have families of their own who are ethnically diverse. USA offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country and is an incredibly diverse nation.
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