‘Blew my mind!’ British expats share the most ‘bizarre’ aspects of life in the USA

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Reddit user u/m_26_7_5 posted: “What is the most bizarre thing Americans do that feels unbelievable by British standards?” They asked expats what they found “totally alien” about life in the States.

One of the things British expats found most “bizarre” about America was the country’s healthcare system.

Redditor bonkerz1888 said: “Going bankrupt because you needed your broken leg realigned.

“Being homeless as a result of needing to pay for cancer treatment. America is such a dumb and poor place at times given its alleged opportunity and wealth.”

Although many other commenters agreed , one said: “You go to the hospitals and they will work with you so you do not go bankrupt.

“My friend’s father was out of work for two years and their hospital gave him free open heart surgery because he needed it.”

Some American residents will receive healthcare insurance through their work but others will need to pay themselves which can be unaffordable for many.

One expat found America’s lack of kettles very odd. Most Britons wouldn’t think of making a cup of tea without a kettle.

User ladysusanstohelit said: “Boiling water in a pan (or microwaving it!) for a cup of tea or coffee. Where are all the kettles?”

Another expat shared their shock at the amount of products that can be bought via ‘drive thru’ in the USA.

Redditor, cantab 314, said: “Drive-thru everything. Here it’s pretty much just fast food and Covid tests. America has drive-thru cash machines.”

Another commenter added: “Drive thru coffee. Drive thru tire/oil changes. Drive thru weddings. Pharmacist. Liquor, marijuana, cigarettes.”

TamarWallace said: “I once saw a drive thru liquor store that also sold ammunition and lottery tickets when I was in Utah. Blew my mind!”

British expats also shared their amazement at the lack of pavements or sidewalks in America.

User sihasihasi tweeted: “No pavements/sidewalks in some places. I went to Dallas for work some years ago, and was dismayed to find that I couldn’t just ‘go for a walk’ from the hotel.”

Another expat commented: “They don’t think twice about driving tiny distances because petrol is so much cheaper over there.”

One person said their friend from Iowa really missed walking when she moved back to the USA after living in London for a few years.

While it’s pretty common practice to tip waiting staff in the UK, some British expats found the American tipping system bizarre.

Redditor dowza8 tweeted: “Having to pay extra at restaurants to make up a living wage for servers, and accepting that it’s ok rather than the restaurant just paying a good wage.”

BrightonTownCrier added: “Not only accepting that it’s OK but shaming people for not adding 20 percent to everything.

“I had it when getting a bottle of beer at a bar. The barman expected a dollar just for taking off a bottle cap.”

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