What was the strangest cultural thing you have experienced as a foreignervisitor in the United States?

Lettuce varieties in the Philippines

From Canada (yes, its not that different-- but maybe those small things are interesting).


I lived in Las Vegas for a few years after living in Korea, where there isnt much variety for western goods or groceries: the salsa at the supermarket consists of, well, the one bottle of salsa.

Then in Vegas theres a giant row of 10,000 different brands and combinations and sizes of salsa.

I had option paralysis at times, too fatigued to choose anything.


The portions are mammoth, so large that I often just ordered appetizers there.

You also dont get much chance to eat your meal, oddly, as every two minutes the server is in your face bothering you: is everything alright, is everything still alright, are you still working on that, my name is Brandy, Im studying sociology, is this a special occasion, would you like something else.



,Holy mother of pearl on the sugar.

I thought the Philippines has sweet food, but American dishes felt so full of syrup and sugar that my daughter came home from a birthday party once and told me the cake was crunchy from it.

You soon learn to order a salad dressing on the side or else you will get a sugary lettuce soup.

,The gun thing.

I never saw a gun until a vacation in Montana when I was seventeen.

In the states theyre everywhere.

They still make me nervous.

,The rest of the world does not exist.

When I lived there, there was a debate on whether to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.

Weeks of public arguments and reasons, and not one expert once noticing that the northern country next to them might be worth examining (in Canada its 18/19).

Ditto with Obamas healthcare plan--I saw almost no interest in the question might we discover whether it will work or not by studying other countries experiences?,Flattened levels of respect.

In Korea the professor is next to the king.

In Canada, he/she is just a prof, but still treated with some deference.

In the states, its hey doc, and often first name basis, and the odd instructor wearing sweat pants (at UNLV, at least).

Americans make a point of treating people in authority as equals.






Except for peace officers.

In Canada you might see a police officer once a year (more if youre naughty and get caught speeding).

In Vegas it was about once a week.

And you dont joke or chat with police, or immigration guards, or government bureaucrats, who are all armed and serious and ready to send you for waterboarding if you try to import that perilous Kinder Egg.

,The ability to laugh at gripes such as the ones Im making here (hopefully affectionately).

In Korea, God forbid a foreigner make a criticism about the noble Han people, and Canadians can be pretty humorless and preachy about ourselves.

Americans were (mostly) confident enough to take a joke.

Green leaf lettuce

It is similar to cabbage and since it is a foreign vegetable I dont think there is a suitable hindi name and as lame as it sounds could be some slang used by sabjiwallahs like videsi pattagobhi.

You can easily find it reliance fresh stores and similar markets.

In delhi even the street vegetable vendors have it but thatll be difficult in a small non metro city.