10 Things Americans Do That Confuse All Other Countries

  • Published on Aug 22, 2018
  • How to avoid some awkward situations abroad? The US is home to some customs that are very confusing to foreigners. Do you know which habits you should leave in the US before heading out on your travels? Check out this list of things Americans do that confuse the rest of the world.
    No metric system 1:04
    Customizing restaurant orders 2:30
    Vacation time 3:15
    Can I get a to-go box, please? 4:42
    Tipping 5:53
    Alcohol laws 6:35
    Variety of goods 7:13
    Thumbs up 8:15
    Being extremely patriotic 9:06
    Sales tax 9:59
    #americanfood #americanrules #newyork

    - The rest of the world is familiar with meters for measurements, kilograms for weight, liters for volume, and Celsius for temperature. But not the US! Only 3 countries in the world still use the imperial system of measurements: Myanmar, Liberia, and the US.
    - In America, it’s customary to request substitutions, additions, or changes to a menu order. But some foreign cultures that take great pride in their cuisine might consider it impolite if an American wanted to make substitutions, order a different sauce, or ask for an item to be left out of a dish.
    - Americans have very little time off compared to the rest of the world. 30% of American workers have 5 to 9 days off annually, 38% have 10 to 14 days, and 16% have 15 to 19 days. 8% have less than 5 days, and a lucky 2% have over 24 days. This means that the vast majority of Americans only have 10 to 14 days of vacation. Since there’s no law in the US to say that vacation time is mandatory, one out of every 4 Americans doesn’t get a single day off work.
    - A common American custom is to ask for a to-go box for their leftovers. However, if you do this in a foreign country, it might be frowned upon.
    - In America, given that waiters earn a small wage, it is customary to leave a 15%-20% tip. In Europe and most Asian countries, the service charge for restaurant dining is already included in the bill. Tipping in countries like China and Japan is practically nonexistent.
    - Most countries in the world have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. The US, along with countries like Sri Lanka, Samoa, and Kuwait, has a legal drinking age of 21.
    - Foreigners are amazed by the variety of goods sold in American supermarkets and pharmacies. Foreign supermarkets are mostly designed to offer food and a few home necessities. American superstores like Walmart offer a huge selection of food, furniture, car items, home improvement tools, and clothing.
    - Americans might think that giving someone the thumbs up is a universally positive sign, meaning “Well done!” or “Everything’s good!” But don’t use this gesture in Australia, Greece, or the Middle East as it's a rude way of telling someone to get lost. You might think that pointing at something is OK, but not in China! That gesture is considered to be very rude.
    - A lot of foreign countries reserve the use of their national flag for official government buildings. But in the US, you see the flag everywhere.
    - An aspect that confuses most foreigners visiting the United States is sales tax. They might be confused when they take an item to the register only to find out that it costs more than advertised. In Europe, sales tax is already added to the price displayed on the price tag; in the US, it gets added at the register.
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Comments • 6 231

    BRIGHT SIDE  9 months ago +176

    Hey everybody! Are there any confusing things in your countries?

    • Sven Svensson
      Sven Svensson 9 hours ago

      At nr 8 you forgot to mention the time of using one thing in common. 9mm 😂

    • Beun007
      Beun007 19 hours ago

      @Annabelle Stenfield You should be! But, the US is not a saint country! Instead of that it lost it's innocence long before 9/11! I'm not trying to be insulting because me as a European should be gratefull for what the US did in the past and is still doing things well, but it's not a saint country!

    • Beun007
      Beun007 19 hours ago

      A doggy bag can also be asked in some (Chinese) restaurants in NL!

    • Bustemada M
      Bustemada M Month ago

      We don’t compliment eachother

    • first things first
      first things first Month ago

      Yes why is trump the leader of USA 🇺🇸

  • Warren G
    Warren G 3 minutes ago

    A doggy bag

  • JackVlogsAndGaming
    JackVlogsAndGaming 21 minute ago

    I live in Australia and I do thumbs up all the time same with all my friends and pretty much everyone else

  • guatito1
    guatito1 2 hours ago

    This video has a mistake regarding the location of Liberia when they are discussing the Metric System. Liberia is not located in the center of Africa as shown in the illustration, it is located in the West coast of Africa, near Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, That country shown in the illustration looks more like the CAR or Central African Republic, but not Liberia.

  • Lidya Sheikh
    Lidya Sheikh 4 hours ago +1

    My dad barely gets any breaks. He works day and night, only sleeps 5 hours. He works every single day and doesn’t get the weekends off. He only gets 5-9 days for breaks. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Cliff Arroyo
    Cliff Arroyo 7 hours ago

    when did people begin to say 'to go box'? I always said 'doggie bag' - the fiction being that you're taking the uneaten food home for your pet...

  • Marely Gutierrez Martinez

    That would is why in America were I live schools teach both systems

  • Beun007
    Beun007 19 hours ago

    in NL you will notice a lack of patriotism actually...

  • Beun007
    Beun007 19 hours ago

    The US should illegalize owning a weapon! In NL you will be fined with 10.000 Euro for owning one...

  • Kanda Kpoto
    Kanda Kpoto Day ago

    two things I want to say Liberia does not use the imperial system anymore and it is not inside Africa its near the coast I have been there for vacation

  • Mr. House
    Mr. House Day ago +1

    Except sales tax, imperial measurement and drinking age, everything else is the same in Israel, tips are expected, patriotism is everywhere, and so on.

  • JKosbro
    JKosbro 2 days ago

    Things Americans do that confuse other countries?
    #1 Starting wars and interfering with internal affairs of other countries

  • Fiona- PubG
    Fiona- PubG 2 days ago

    We do not trip......at all in singapore

  • missSeri176
    missSeri176 3 days ago +1

    To go box is normal in my country, Malaysia and many other countries.

  • dave yo
    dave yo 4 days ago

    The American way is the best way, if you don’t like it than F off!

  • holdthatdiggs
    holdthatdiggs 4 days ago

    7:22 is a shopping centre in the UK, not US

  • Ashu Raikvar
    Ashu Raikvar 4 days ago +2

    India, in Delhi drinking age is 25.I don't drink alcohol but such high age bar is really a party killer for college going people.

  • SilvanaDil
    SilvanaDil 4 days ago +3

    Many Europeans have plenty of days off; it's called being unemployed.

    • MsG.
      MsG. 3 days ago


  • Cornelius Dr Vanderbilt

    Although America appears to be a ONE giant of a Nation, in reality, there are 50 Nations that have chosen to work together delegating some responsibilities to the Federal Government that has no Land of its own.

    • Stratplayr
      Stratplayr 4 days ago +1

      That was the original plan but it didn't last. It really is one giant nation, with the Federal government taking over more and more from the states.

    ANTONIO M. M. FRAGOSO 5 days ago +1

    You mean, Anglo- Saxon! British, North- Americans ( U.S.A & Canadá), Australians &N.Z., R.S.A, IL.

  • B Sm
    B Sm 5 days ago

    9:29 The New York Stock Exchange is not a Government building. 9:12

  • Maria Varela
    Maria Varela 5 days ago +1

    America isn't a country. It's a whole continent. Cheers!

    • Allison Holwell
      Allison Holwell 4 days ago

      Maria Varela you are right America is a continent and not a country. Just like Africa is a continent comprising of many many countries. America is a continent that includes Canada 🇨🇦 as well as Mexico 🇲🇽 and drinking ages in Mexico and Canada are not 21. We don’t learn the US pledge of allegiance in school and we use the metric system.

  • erickofspirit
    erickofspirit 6 days ago

    I’m an American who lived in Europe. When I was there I loved that the price you see on the shelf is the same price you pay at the register. Because they include the taxes when they show the price. Being back in America it drives me up the wall that I never really know how much I’ll pay when I reach the check out. In Germany, I wasn’t doing well financially at one point and I had to rely on knowing the exact cent of how much I was going to pay. In America, it’s just one big marketing scheme to make it look like you’re going to pay less.

    • MsG.
      MsG. 3 days ago

      Basic math😐

  • Mark D
    Mark D 6 days ago

    Congress did this 1975?
    What is that in the metric system

    • Stratplayr
      Stratplayr 4 days ago

      Yes, they did. I was a kid in elementary school at the time and we were being taught metric. Like the video said, the metric effort was voluntary, so nobody bothered with it and it died out by the end of the 80's. However, lots of things use metric (2-liter soda bottles, 5K races, medical and science fields). I've used both and metric is far easier to use, once you get a feel for it. Most people's problem is that they can't visualize how big each unit is, so they choose to avoid using metric if possible.

  • JAP P
    JAP P 6 days ago +3

    In Sweden you get ca 5-7 weeks holiday

  • Ayesha Erika
    Ayesha Erika 7 days ago +1

    I’m from Kuwait 🇰🇼 and 90%of the people don’t drink alcohol 🍺

    • Amghannam
      Amghannam 2 days ago

      Alcohol is illegal in Kuwait.

  • CruzeTD
    CruzeTD 7 days ago

    There is a nomad in all of us, and Americans are no exception. In their wanderlust, they go to many sparsely populated places and run into local rural communities ... I am yet to run into an american who even knows about your channel, but just like people of any other country the ratio of the ignorant to knowledgeable is about 50-50. Which means that regardless of what americans think, they too are a part of the planet. They too were born after swimming in the amniotic fluid in their mother's wombs like other humans.

    Expecting to eat with forks and spoons for example ... is unheard of in many areas in the sub-continent.

    And then there is the issue of immunity. Even though the U.S. government requires her citizens to get shots before embarking on journeys into tropical countries, invariably they fall sick when they arrive, say, in a city like Nowgaon, Brahmagiri, or Trashigang .... that is simply because the people in those places do not live under the near-sterile conditions that exist in the U.S. where just about *everything* is regulated to an obnoxious maximum, caused by the morbid fear on the part of the corporations of getting sued out of their existence.

    Every now and then I tun into your "lists" which border on being totally absurd and useless. The universe does not revolve around the USA. Personally, I have nothing against the US. I live in it. The particular joy of living in the U.S. is the ability to have my opinions without fear of persecution. The only other place I can be as I am is India.

    It would make a lot more sense if the focus is on how best an american can belong to the rest of the planet rather than expecting the rest of the planet to adjust to suit american demands. This may actually apply more to China as well .... so even there, the U.S. is not unique.

  • Sam Khuu
    Sam Khuu 7 days ago

    forward thumb up is good but don't swing it over your shoulder

  • Ismaeel Hussain
    Ismaeel Hussain 7 days ago +5

    So untrue. To go box can happen anywhere your just trying to make USA seem good

    • Soff1859
      Soff1859 2 days ago

      I dont think i have ever seen that here in switzerland. Sure there are to go restaurants, that specifically sell this. But if you go to a normal sitdown restaurant with waiters and all, it would be highly unusual to ask for the left overs to go. So the waiter probably wouldnt be offended or anything but most likely the restaurant just wouldnt have adequate containers or so.

  • Commander Erik
    Commander Erik 7 days ago

    8:41 Notice not something, but rather someone. In China pointing at something is normal, but pointing at someone is rude, especially pointing at people who has higher status/rank/ older than you.

  • Robin  Brown
    Robin Brown 7 days ago

    If I’m paying for a meal, the chef is working for me...I should get what I want. If the chef invites me to his/her home, then It may be rude to ask for substitutions or special order, so I would happily eat what was served to me....lol

  • Alwin Mora
    Alwin Mora 7 days ago

    Im in the same city and there are two stores. One of them is expensive and other is cheap store.

  • Ryan & Amanda Donovan


  • Ender5wag624
    Ender5wag624 8 days ago

    21 to drink, 18 to smoke but you have to be 8 years old to use a ouja board and summon effing satan??!?!?!?!?

  • Ray Fridley
    Ray Fridley 8 days ago +4

    New Hampshire, Delaware, and Nevada(I think) don't have a sales tax.

    • Mark D
      Mark D 6 days ago

      Please add Oregon. Other taxes make up for this.

  • Joshua Funcion
    Joshua Funcion 8 days ago

    Land of the Free is Thailand.

  • P S
    P S 9 days ago +1

    In India, employers don't allow employees to take off

    • Jean Grey
      Jean Grey 3 days ago

      I've a friend he's from India . He told me this same thing . i couldn't believe it when he told me that interns do not get paid and must work long hours as real professionals w/o pay as they're learning and working out in the field of medicine.
      It's very unfortunate cause Hindu medical field is very high education .

  • Beth Di Bartolomeo
    Beth Di Bartolomeo 9 days ago

    Well, now I know not to order a salad abroad. I like them with iceberg lettuce and plain as paper; dressing and croutons and romaine are no-nos for me (I'll take the shaved carrots and onions, though). It's very hard to come by here in the U.S. If I can't make substitutions to make the salad the way I like it, forget it. But, I wouldn't mind trying other foods without substitutions, just hopefully they're light on sauces. Yes, I'm a picky eater, but at least I've learned to broaden my horizons a little bit.

  • Mark Czarnecki
    Mark Czarnecki 9 days ago +1

    People on America say pop instead of soda

    • MsG.
      MsG. 3 days ago

      Soda water
      Soft drink
      Coke (with whatever flavor)

  • Husaria Polska
    Husaria Polska 9 days ago

    Your data on Austria is wrong - it’s 25 days of paid leave as standard

  • Aaryaman Gupta
    Aaryaman Gupta 10 days ago

    When I visited america they deep fried everything. We don't do this anywhere else do we. Yeah but sure their deep fried food is top on the list.

  • Marcus Seyfang
    Marcus Seyfang 10 days ago

    Wrong about thumbs up in Australia.

  • Vanessa Shantae
    Vanessa Shantae 11 days ago +2

    The supermarket one is true. It was some south Africans who came to the US and I used to work at Walmart and they were amazed you could get a TV and groceries in the same place. Lol. I mean like they filmed it all, genuinely amazed. 😂😂

  • marios frag
    marios frag 13 days ago +1

    No ,giving someone a thumps up in greece means well done like in america,uk ect.

  • Tom P.
    Tom P. 13 days ago +4

    Um, actually the UK is still using the imperial system alongside the metric system.

  • Frank Hooper
    Frank Hooper 13 days ago +1

    In many countries, the first floor is upstairs. What Americans call the first floor is the ground floor.

  • Epi Sepdiatmoko
    Epi Sepdiatmoko 13 days ago

    to-go box is still in indonesia

  • Swag Bro
    Swag Bro 14 days ago +3

    For Liberia you showed Central African Republic

  • gdaholic
    gdaholic 14 days ago

    I think the reasoning for not including sales tax is because there are different orgs and companies that do not pay those taxes. Then you have to factor in different states have different items that don’t have sales tax and some items that are extra taxed. Yes they could always calculate that at the register, but it’s nice to automatically know what the price is before sales tax, so that when you buy a mix of produce and prepared foods and you don’t pay taxes or taxes on certain items, you can easily budget as that company or individual. Since the U.S. doesn’t have as many social programs, the gaps are made to be made up by non profits and such. So there are much more non profits in the U.S. than most countries. Also another thing the U.S. does different, which is also harmful, is that it’s the only country that advertises pharmaceutical prescriptions to the public and doctors in the U.S. prescribe the meds. In almost any other country it is illegal to advertise to the general public any pharmaceutical prescriptions and it’s the job for the Pharmacist to prescribe the drug once the doctor has diagnosed you. This causes Prescription drug addiction in the U.S. to be dramatically higher than other countries. It doesn’t help that the U.S. government is bought out by pharmaceutical companies and GMO companies. Many other countries also have higher quality standards of food than the U.S. including Mexico. Even Whole Foods orders their produce that they can’t receive locally from Mexico if they can.

  • dzevad mesic
    dzevad mesic 15 days ago

    I love thumbs

  • dzevad mesic
    dzevad mesic 15 days ago

    Well i do like supermarket and restorans

  • dzevad mesic
    dzevad mesic 15 days ago

    I hate USA

  • Bohemian Bedouin
    Bohemian Bedouin 16 days ago

    In Italia, you order Cappucino only in the morning; Italians are disgusted by American pizza with pineapples.

  • Parker Parker
    Parker Parker 17 days ago +4

    Oh and also you highlighted central African republic instead of Liberia which is actually more Eastern then the country you highlighted

    • Amghannam
      Amghannam 2 days ago

      Yeah that makes no sense.. Why Liberia be in the center of the continent if this is where most slaves in the US come from.. I mean even if you don't know geography, at least know it should be in the West Coast of Africa somewhere..

  • Parker Parker
    Parker Parker 17 days ago

    I am American

  • Amaia Vael
    Amaia Vael 17 days ago

    Don't ask ketchup on your steak ( DON'T) also do't order it Bien quit... that's just rude

  • Hayamir Alforja
    Hayamir Alforja 17 days ago

    in the philippines you can buy alcohol in a mini store or tindahan but in a bar you need to be 18 i have friends that are 11 but drink alcohol

  • Pubg Potato
    Pubg Potato 17 days ago

    Honestly, just like the philippines

  • Sister vs brother
    Sister vs brother 17 days ago

    I leaned the pledge of alegense in kindergarten we say it everyday

  • Ramzes
    Ramzes 18 days ago

    Watch in 1.25x

  • Obehi Ola
    Obehi Ola 20 days ago

    Yeah, Austria

    YOLO WOLF 20 days ago

    Hey bro love your channel but i am from greece the thumbs up dont mean get lost people on greece we dont do it that much but it mean good job

  • Anakin Foc
    Anakin Foc 21 day ago

    that country you call Liberia in the map its Central African Republic...

  • Ian Ting
    Ian Ting 24 days ago +1

    sometimes its good to leave a 30+% tip if service is excellent

  • Billy Jason Vuelta
    Billy Jason Vuelta 25 days ago

    In the Philippines, put the flag in bikinis and you are bound to go to jail.

  • Rachel Jones
    Rachel Jones 25 days ago +1

    I live in New Hampshire. Sales tax confuses me too, since we don't have one either.
    My more importantly, your map of Liberia is wrong. You highlighted the Central African Republic.

  • SS / Super Steve
    SS / Super Steve 26 days ago

    1:24 I'm sorry but libeieria is not the CAR It's by the ocean further west.

  • greaterfiend
    greaterfiend 27 days ago +1

    The US not using the metric system confuses me, and Im an american.

  • Amghannam
    Amghannam 28 days ago +12

    This was not Liberia, you highlighted Central African Republic.
    Kuwait? It is illegal to drink in Kuwait. There is no legal age.

    • Amghannam
      Amghannam 2 days ago

      @Soff1859 No, it is illegal for everyone in Kuwait. No stores or hotels have alcohol. I've lived for 15 years there and actually worked at a hotel there for some time.. The only way to get alcohol in Kuwait is well.. on the streets, like other drugs.
      And by street I mean someone you know and trust, DO NOT try to find alcohol or drugs on the street.

      In the UAE alcohol is not illegal and you can go have a drink at a bar no problem. Maybe in some Emirates it might be illegal, dunno, but in Dubai - the only Emirate I've been to, it's not.

    • Soff1859
      Soff1859 2 days ago

      There are probably some exceptions to the alcohol ban in kuwait. Like in the UAE its usually illegal but non muslim foreigners can buy alcohol at special stores and hotels. So there might be a drinking age for those ;)

  • Jeonghan’s judging face

    in the UK if you do a peace sign you should have your palm facing away from you otherwise you're swearing.

  • Archibald Ryan
    Archibald Ryan Month ago

    using thumbs up in australia isn't rude.
    I live there and use the thumbs up sign all the time!

  • Archibald Ryan
    Archibald Ryan Month ago


  • Barta James
    Barta James Month ago


  • curious me
    curious me Month ago

    Well here in Germany you can also add or leave things for your order, also here it's also nice to leave a tip and we can also ask for boxes to finish our food later (I mean it's better than throwing it away).

  • Dave Cannabis
    Dave Cannabis Month ago

    ya got one thing wrong thumbs up in Australia means good , once a long long time ago it did mean up your arse , but no longer


    Put your facts right bro do the researchers carefully pin head

  • bmguninc
    bmguninc Month ago

    very interesting

  • Carlos Teo
    Carlos Teo Month ago

    Is u say American u mean all America south and north

  • Carlos Teo
    Carlos Teo Month ago

    America is not a country

  • Jayantilal Dasani
    Jayantilal Dasani Month ago

    1:25 its car

  • Nebu Mathews
    Nebu Mathews Month ago

    Liberia? You showed Central African Republic.

  • captain _ rex
    captain _ rex Month ago +1

    I live in Australia and there is nothing wrong with Puting the thumbs up on someone

  • beena rajeev
    beena rajeev Month ago

    America, the land of obesity

  • Ravi N. Hiremath
    Ravi N. Hiremath Month ago

    how about hugging and kissing? some times, they are also confusing in other countries other than US.

  • GreenBaldrick
    GreenBaldrick Month ago

    The most confusing thing about Americans for me is their total lack of awareness when it comes to the outside world. Even most influental and educated (one might think) people lack basic knowledge of so many things it makes you wonder WHAT do they teach in schools.

    • Wills Womble
      Wills Womble Month ago

      They teach to bomb everyone else to git what they want!

  • Ben Gloag
    Ben Gloag Month ago +1

    I'm from Great Britain and I must say that some of these American gestures are baffling to me. I certainly have a dislike towards the one about sales taxes as I never knew about that. This is rather interesting and the video is great. I must say I'm not feeling patriotic towards my country what with Brexit and all this rubbish.

  • Elgene David
    Elgene David Month ago

    in phillipines, people always eat meals with rice unless its pasta

  • Dylan Marguccio
    Dylan Marguccio Month ago

    Puttting your thumbs up to someone in Australia is not rude it is rude if you put your middle finger up at someone

  • Bloody Eclipes
    Bloody Eclipes Month ago

    I live Malysia, I see malaysian flags about medium amount.

  • first things first
    first things first Month ago

    I’m Canadian oof

  • Fiona Gregory
    Fiona Gregory Month ago +1

    I do not understand what pounds mean when weighing people. I am 9 stone and I can visualise stones a lot better.

  • Fiona Gregory
    Fiona Gregory Month ago +1

    not vacations but holidays.

  • Fiona Gregory
    Fiona Gregory Month ago +3

    fries are called chips.

  • Fiona Gregory
    Fiona Gregory Month ago +1

    I am British but I like imperial best as I learnt that being 58 yrs old.

  • Fiona Gregory
    Fiona Gregory Month ago +1

    yanks cannot spell properly.

  • OrionSentry
    OrionSentry Month ago

    Why would civilians in the USA be allowed to have so many guns. Even rifles. Guns and Guns galore. No wonder there are so many mass shootings. Smh.

  • Nathan Lindeque
    Nathan Lindeque Month ago

    Nice job mixing up central African Republic and Liberia

    I'm tense 😠

  • J E W E L ' S
    J E W E L ' S Month ago

    I'm from the U.S and mostly every one on here is talking about how the U.S is NOT the land of the free and home of the brave, and that the U.S is NOT the greatest nation and how we don't get as many vacation days off and that we don't get every fact right about other countries!? WHATEVER!!! If that was true, then why are thier foreigners moving to the U.S and why do immigrants sneak into the U.S?? I see foreigners all the time and hear about immigrants trying to sneak in BECAUSE we are the greatest nation! If you don't think so, well, why would you? You dont live here in the U.S. OHH and i don't here or see any U.S people wanting to move to foreign countries 😂😂😂 its only the foreigners wanting to come to the U.S and all kinds of people around the world moving here to the U.S. WE people hear and read about it all the time and that is bc we are the land of the free and home of the brave and their is more opportunities here in the U.S. Just recently, a young guy from the UK moved to the U.S in LA to get better education... Really? Think on that. US is better!

    • Stella Cavazzoni
      Stella Cavazzoni Month ago

      Everyone thinks his country's the greatest, sorry dude.

  • sherry collins
    sherry collins Month ago

    Im from texas and i cann tell yall paitroistism is over did mann

  • Sugar Plum Fairy
    Sugar Plum Fairy Month ago +1

    Americans call their President the "Leader of the free world". Makes me laugh every time.