According to the dictionary, "culture shock" is a term used to describe the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within an entirely different cultural or social environment such as a foreign country.
When I first moved to the States, so many things were just “weird”. I knew tough that after living here long enough, all those little new things will eventually become “normal”. I wanted to be able to remember and smile about them in a few years, so I wrote a list. But remember, this is just for fun, from a completely subjective perspective
Coke has a different taste here than back home (in Romania)
when it comes to food, the "small" sizes are actually really big sizes
if there is no sign, you can turn right on red here
almost every room of American houses have garbage cans. We only have one—in the kitchen.
almost all food labels here say the percentages of fat content on them. Weird! I wonder how many people read them.
people here drink a lot of ice with their drinks, not just 1 or 2 pieces!
most places have free refills!! Can you believe that??
people send a lot of cards to each other on all occasions, but most cards are already written! Boooooo!
even though gas prices are constantly going up, it is still a lot cheaper here than home (1/3rd of the price)
Americans use a lot of cinnamon in everything. Love it!
many people order just plain water in the restaurants. the waiter back home might laugh at you for that
there are a lot of overweight people everywhere
it’s really annoying that sale associates call you even at home to advertise and sell their products/services
almost everyone talks about diets and losing weight. It’s all over the media too! huuuge business!
most people can play the piano or some kind of instrument
people eat fresh vegetables as a snack with dips (veggie trays!). Awesome!!!!!1
people are so much friendlier and communicative here!
most Americans have at least 1-2 credit cards…or more
eating soup is not common here at all. We eat it every day for lunch.
there are a lot more ice cream flavors here. Yumm
very few people use cash when they are out shopping
most Americans don’t like liver stuff and they don’t eat pig fat either. Who can blame them?
most people put up their Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. What’s the rush?
people actually like cats here. Not me!
people eat a lot of butter here!!!
the dessert recipes require twice as much sugar here. I always cut it in half.
there is air-conditioning in almost every building. Sometimes even in the winter!!! total waste of energy.
people drink milk as a beverage, but they never heat it up
Americans are very good in leaving messages on the phone in a very short time. almost everyone has answering machines
there are all kinds of sales everywhere. I love coupons!!
some girls wear flip-flops in really cold weather. Don’t they get sick??
not everyone locks their apartment when they leave from home. In Romania, they wouldn’t have a home if they did that
most people don’t like sparkling water here at all and it’s very rare in the stores
almost all beverages have a "diet" version too
in general they don’t use as much spice in foods as we do
there are so many different types of salad dressings!! I never ate salad dressings before I came here.
the TVs in the American homes are huge!!
most Christmas trees are fake. Ours are always real.
there are a lot more plugs in the rooms. Like it!
they use the driver’s license as their primary ID. Hmmm, what if you can’t drive?
the homes have a lot more lamps and light switches
people often take off their shoes in public and walk around in their socks outside
they use creamcheese and pumkin in desserts! how come we didn’t think of that one?
in the restaurants they give you plastic boxes to take your leftovers home
plastic bottles have a number on the bottom, so you know which ones to recycle
most Americans carry a water bottle with them everywhere. Very healthy!
there is a separate section on the restaurant menus for kids meals
most people like fake plants and flowers here. Probably because real flowers are much more expensive.
you can return almost any product at the store if you still have the receipt
the living rooms are full of family pictures
I love registries! (baby, wedding, etc.) How come we don’t have them?
a lot of teenagers have braces
most Americans don’t eat raw eggs. It’s prob. better.
people don’t go outside at 12.00 on New Year’s Eve. they watch the ball drop instead
even women play a lot of card games here, and often times they are better then men at it. I was never allowed to play cards.
most Americans don’t use their front entrance door
there are no gates around the houses
there are squirrels running around everywhere on the roads. at home you only see then at the Zoo
homes have more windows and often times there are no curtains on them
there are a lot of STOP signs everywhere, but very few YIELD signs
most people have contact lenses instead of glasses
you pay the road-toll on the highway here(at the toll-gate), and not at the gas station
the basements of the houses are huge, and they are not used to store vegetables
the sheep are not crossing on the roads here
the toilets often flush by themselves
the light switches, plugs and door handles are different here
they don’t usually pick their own herbs and make their own teas here
the toilet’s water tanks are not on the wall here
there are a lot of Christian bookstores everywhere and a lot of Christian radio stations
there is no public transportation in most places
the use of wallpaper is very common here
kids go to school on yellow school buses and they are picked up in the front of their houses usually
the beds are so much taller!
taxes are so much higher here!!
the laws about serving and buying alcohol are much stricter here
nobody drinks plum brandy here. So thankful! That thing is a killer.
some families spend thousands of dollars just to get fancy looking landscaping in their front yards
gift certificates are very common
many times little old ladies drive around in big vans or other huge vehicles. Hilarious!
most Americans buy things on credit and they pay that credit card off with another credit card. The never ending story.
there are a lot more types of vegetables to choose from in the stores
people don’t greet each other with a kiss here, but hugs are very common!
it’s amazing how many cereal types there are here!
for every occasion women, and even men sometimes wear the colors or the theme of the celebration
fashion is not as big here. Most people just wear jeans.
few women have unique taste in clothing
they love fried onions in all versions
most people have so much food stored up in their basement that it would be enough for months
most people have thick wallets because of all the cards they have (credit cards, ID cards, library cards, gift cards, etc.)
people don’t walk to work even if they live only one block away
most Americans like playing board games and competitive sports
some girls go outside with wet hair in the winter!
people eat huge bags of popcorn at the movie theaters
women decorate everything with snowmen around Christmas time
there are a lot of announcements every Sunday at church (verbal, handouts, bulletin board, projector, etc.)
even the "100 %, no sugar added" orange juice is a lot sweeter than back home
people drink huge amounts of pop every day
the kids are braver and louder here
most Christmas tree decorations have a significance to the family (for ex. there is an important date or picture on them)
many kids get checks in the mail from their grandparents for every special occasion
even banks and post offices have drive-through lines, so you wouldn’t have to get out of the car
almost every home has a piano (even if nobody plays it anymore)
the mailboxes are full of stuff every day (a lot of junk mail!!)
most houses have at least 2 cars parked in the front or in the garage
wooden porches are very common
wedding ceremonies are very short and not as much food either!
local phone calls are free in some areas
there are so many different types of exercise videos and equipments in the stores!
there fridge doors are usually full of all kinds of pictures and magnets
most houses are made of wood instead of brick
almost all the houses are painted white, gray or light brown on the outside
a lot of people drink coffee in the evenings, even before going to sleep
in the restaurants, if you ask for bread, you get butter with it automatically
peanut butter is very common in all desserts
girls don’t wear long skirts very often, or just skirts in general
the eggnog is a type of Christmas drink here, not a dessert like home
most office phone calls are answered by machines and you have to wait for a long time to finally talk to a real person!
golf is a very popular sport among men. But why is it so ridiculously expensive??
people don’t know too much about home remedies
nudity is not as common here than back in Europe
not too many people can cook without a cookbook and measuring utensils