"My Cousins Go To School In Texas And This Blows My Mind": People Are Sharing Aspects Of American Culture That Are Totally Abnormal To Europeans

·7 min read

If you've ever been to Europe, you probably know there are lots of things about European culture you won't find in the US (think: stunning, Medieval architecture that has survived hundreds of years, free universal healthcare, yada yada). But it's also true that the US has some things that the European continent lacks.

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So redditor u/Suspicious_Theory437 recently asked, "Americans of Reddit, what is something you have in America that we don't have in Europe?" Here's what people chimed in with.

1."The whole US National Parks system. It's just amazing. It's open 24/7, there are maps available, trails laid out, and camping spots designated. It’s the most treasured and under-appreciated thing in the US, IMO."

A man standing in a slot canyon
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

2."Giant superstores like Walmart where you can buy groceries, furniture, a pet fish, and new glasses all in the same place."

The inside of a Walmart
Bob Riha Jr / Getty Images

3."Good Mexican food. It doesn't exist in Europe. I ordered a burrito in Berlin, and it was worse than Taco Bell."

A plate of tacos with rice and refried beans
P A Thompson / Getty Images

4."Boozy Sunday brunch. The only other country where I've seen this phenomenon is in England. Most other European countries more or less shut down on Sundays. Not the US, where the Sunday norm is to drink unlimited mimosas and watch football."

Brunch with croque madame and mimosa cocktail
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5."Incredible geographic diversity. In one country (and even in a single state like California) we have mountains, deserts, tropics, sweeping plains, fertile farmland, tundra, huge beaches, and rugged coastlines."

Highway 1 in California
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6."Turning right on red. It's still illegal in Germany and most other European countries."

A car at a red traffic light
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7."Mac 'n' cheese that comes in a box with dehydrated cheese."

Mac 'n' cheese in a pot
Hannah Loewentheil

8."Television ads for prescription drugs. Here in Europe we get ads for over-the-counter drugs like cold or flu medicine, but the thought of seeing an advertisement for something you need to see a doctor for like ADHD meds, antidepressants, or blood thinners is absolutely bonkers to me."

—u/Acriciel
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9."Easy access to root beer."

A mug of root beer and a hamburger
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10."Spacious refrigerators. Ours are so much smaller. Here in France, we call the style frigos américains — large fridges with big freezers, usually with two separate door sections and often in stainless steel. Bonus points for an automatic ice maker. They've become one of the trendier appliances people want in their homes here."

A spacious kitchen.
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11."Barbecue! As an added bonus, different states have their own twists and specialities, and it's all so freaking good. Before I came to the US, BBQ meant store-bought burgers and sausages on a grill during summer. Now it has a whole new meaning."

A plate of barbecue food
Hannah Loewentheil

12."The ability to live in just about any climate or landscape and still be an American citizen. You can choose basically any landscape that Earth has to offer, and you can still be in the US, whether you like mountains, volcanoes, the beach, the desert, the prairie, the rainforest, etc. The US has it."

Houses tucked in front of a snowy mountain
Miracky / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."Wide open space. You can start in Kansas, drive 400 miles, and still be in Kansas. You can't do that in Europe."

an aerial view of a car driving on a road
Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images

14."A zillion kinds of breakfast cereal. I lived in Europe for a while, and when I came back to the States I found myself constantly overwhelmed by all of the different cereals at the grocery store."

A cereal aisle at a market
Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

15."So much diversity when it comes to food. In most given US towns, you'll find so many cuisines. I have a Mongolian restaurant next to a Korean BBQ restaurant next to a Hawaiian restaurant next to a Greek restaurant, etc."

people eating Ethiopian food with their hands
Magicbones / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16."Corn tortillas. 😭 I'm sure they're somewhere in Europe...but not so much in Britain. Here they just sell things called corn tortillas that are actually 90% flour."

a taco
Hannah Loewentheil

17."Free refills. These unlimited cups of sugary delights are slowly killing us Americans, but that Mountain Dew tastes so good."

A person filling a cup from a soda machine
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18."Huge houses. I'm from the UK, and it looks like the houses in suburban and rural parts of the US are a million times bigger than they are here."

An aerial view of suburban houses
Michael H / Getty Images

19."An excellent variety of content on streaming services. I have to tell you, the Netflix selection throughout Europe is pure shit."

A girl using her smart phone to change TV channel
Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

20."So many soft drinks. I really envy the variety in the US. There are so many great options, even in the sugar-free category. It's improving here in the UK, but our selection is still pretty minimal by comparison."

drinks on a shelf
Jeff Greenberg / Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

21."24-hour access to food almost everywhere. The majority of the world doesn't have late-night fast-food restaurants or grocery stores that stay open all hours of the night. In America, if I need groceries pre-dawn? I know I can find them."

A neon 24-hour sign
Jaykay57 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22."The Mountain West region, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Red Rocks. I’ve lived next to the Red Rocks in Utah and Colorado, I grew up in the Tetons, and I've lived near the Rockies. Europe is so beautiful, but IMO the Mountain West is one of the most stunning places on Earth."

mountains
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23."The Grand Canyon. It's one of the most amazing things I've visited, and you can't see anything like it anywhere else."

The Grand Canyon
Dean Fikar / Getty Images

24."College sports. In Europe, universities compete with each other in sports, but it's nothing compared to the scale of and enthusiasm for college sports in America."

Athletes holding an NCAA trophy
Tom Pennington / Getty Images

25."Garbage disposal units installed beneath the kitchen sink. What a luxury."

A sink with a garbage disposal
Susan Vineyard / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26."Ranch dressing. Believe it or not, I know Americans who have packed bottles of ranch when moving to other countries."

A big salad topped with ranch dressing
Lauripatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27."Diners, where you can find fast and cheap comfort food available at all hours. One of the best meals you will ever eat is American diner food at 2 a.m."

American diner food
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28."Florida Man stories. Europe just has 'the English tourist on holiday in Ibiza.'"

Low angle tropical plants with a welcome to Florida sign
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29."Free tap water offered to you at restaurants. In Europe, you have to specify that you want tap water — otherwise you'll automatically be charged for a fancy bottle."

A woman pouring water into her glass
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30."So many extracurricular activities in schools. Playing a specific sport or being part of a team isn't something schools offer in Europe. I have cousins who live in Texas, and the fact that their school has tennis courts and a pool blows my mind. Some schools here have small clubs like theater or choir, but the options hardly compare to those offered at schools in the States. Your high school theater plays look like professional productions sometimes."

A school choir
Mattabbe / Getty Images

31."Massive tubs of cheap peanut butter. Its rare to find and expensive in most of Europe, sold only in small 4- to 8-ounce jars."

a jar of PB
Austin Benight / Getty Images/EyeEm

32."Perfect conditions for road trips. The US has nicely paved roads and highways that span from coast to coast, no border control, frequent gas stations, and lots of motels."

A car on a highway looking out onto the ocean
Cavan Images / Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

33."Drive-thru everything, from Starbucks to banks. In my hometown we have a drive-thru liquor store."

A car pulling into a Starbucks drive-thru
Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images