Travel

17 things you need to explain to international visitors about America

Foreigners are kinda like parents: Sure, sometimes they can be annoying, but we really wouldn’t be here without them. And since we’re not exactly the most gracious of guests when we visit their countries, it only seems fair that we explain the way things are done here in Amuuurica -- with the hope that they go home, convey what they're doing wrong, and make our next visits there even more enjoyable.

1. You MUST tip your waiter/bartender
And if you don’t tip, we might revoke your visa. 20% of your bill is good. 18% is okay. Anything below 15%? Congratulations: the entire waitstaff now hates your country. They may also hate you if you do any of these 16 things, just so you know.

2. Sales tax isn’t included either
Most states charge an extra 5-10% of the price in tax. So when you pay for that $.99 bag of Funyons with a $5 bill, expect to get your body weight back in change. Which sucks because…

3. Our coins are pretty much worthless
Unless you have a hankering for an oversized gumball. Or enjoy frustrating ten-minute conversations with clueless sales clerks about how, yes, the gold $1 coin is real. Just because nobody uses them doesn't mean they're fake.

4. We’ll ask how you are, but nobody really cares
Seriously, don’t think for a second that the girl at the Walgreen’s check-out counter has any interest in why you’re buying four kinds of laxatives and a copy of Hola! Also, phony interest, enthusiasm, and hospitality is decidedly more prevalent south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You've been warned.

5. You have to pay to see a doctor
And the 6hrs you spend at the hospital will cost more than your house. 

6. You can turn right on a red light
Yes, all of the people behind you slamming on their car horns can see the light is red. They can also see your right blinker is on and you’re not moving, which now makes you roughly as popular in America as Kim Jong-Un. Or Juan Pablo, if you're more of an US Weekly reader.

7. The drinking age is 21 and we mean it
If one person in your group is under age, consider your awesome birthday trip to South Beach officially ruined. Unless that person is female. And hot.

8. We speak one language, and expect you to know it
Your country teaches our language in school so that we don’t have to learn yours. Also, you're better at languages than we are. We can all agree on that at this point, right?

9. America doesn’t really do the whole “Public Transportation” thing
Maybe in New York, Boston, or Chicago. Otherwise it’s a great way to involuntarily give your crisp new dollar bills to some of our tougher citizens.

10. Football is played by men carrying a ball in their hands
Why? Hey, we don’t see any chirping insects around your sticky wickets, so let’s just drop it, cool?

11. Nobody cares about soccer
Outside of Ohio and Oregon, ask the guy in the FC Barcelona jersey who his favorite player is, and he’ll say “Beckham.”

12. We put ice in everything
Even coffee. In the winter.

13. Don't get out of the car when a cop pulls you over
Unless you enjoy the refreshing jolt of a Taser.

14. Soda refills are free!
If you didn’t have to pay for ANOTHER 64oz Mr. Pibb, your country would be fat, too.

15. Food portions are huge
What? Your grocery stores don’t sell five-pound bags of pretzels and butter by the gallon? What is wrong with them?

16. The country is enormous
And you thought you’d just pop up to San Francisco on your weekend jaunt to Los Angeles? Nice try. In the time it takes you to cross three countries back home, you won’t even get to Bakersfield.

17. We have our own system of measurement based on arbitrary things from 500yrs ago that nobody can explain
We’re aware the metric system makes more sense. We’re also aware that we didn’t win two world wars so the rest of the world could tell us 32 degrees was hot.