Hey there, fellow travelers! Mark here with Wolters World. Today, we’re in Springfield USA! Yes, the home of The Simpsons. Well actually not the actual home of The Simpsons. There’s actually about 20 or 30 Springfields throughout the US.
This just happens to be Springfield, Illinois. And today what we have for you are 10 things that are going to shock you about when you come to the US, because there are things that do shock people when they come here. You know, how many flags are flying all around every single city, and how many Starbucks and McDonalds are in every single city, and the Americans actually eat cheese that’s in a can that they spray in their mouth?
What the heck is that? And look! “No need to refrigerate!” I’m not even talking about the politics in the US, which is also a shocking kind of thing.
Today what we’re going to focus on our 10 things that shock foreign tourists when they come to the US. So let’s get started, okay? Alright, so the first thing that’s going to shock you when you come to the US are the sizes of the US. Now when I talk about size of the US, I mean the actual size of the US; this country is huge!
I mean it’s the size of a continent, okay? When you want to get around. But also the sizes of the food you get here, the portion sizes free refills. Oh my God, it’s soda without end but also the size of the people and that’s why I really, kind of, focus on the size of the US is that first kind of shock. because I’ll meet tourists that are coming to the US and they’re like, “OH!” I am going to fly into New York, just rent a car in New York, drive down to Miami, and then, drive over to Las Vegas and do some gambling.”
“That shouldn’t take so long. I mean, it’s all in the same country.” What you need to realize is the US is huge! That drive from New York City to down in Miami is going to take you 18 hours straight of driving.
I mean that’s no potty breaks, no getting food, no getting gas. 18 hours straight. And of course, no construction, no traffic jams, nothing like that. I mean it’s literally, you know, 1,300 miles, or about 2,000 kilometers just from New York to the tip of Florida.
And then, if you want to go from Florida to Las Vegas well that’s another 4,000 kilometers And it is huge distances when you are traveling in the US. And that does surprise people when they realize this, “Wow, this is a lot bigger than traveling around Germany.” Well, yeah. Germany, you can the train around and see everything.
Here in you US, you just really can’t do that. The distances are just too big. And of course, with those sizes, you have the portion sizes here. One of the things that I love to see is when people realize that we have free refills in the US.
If you are getting soda, not in a can, but a fountain soda where they pour the soda for you if you go to a restaurant, most of the time, your Coke, your Pepsi, Mountain Dew which as super caffeine stuff, your Dr. Pepper, or Root Beer, which foreigners tend to hate but we Americans love, it’s free refills. You just get more and more and more so you only pay once and you get all the soda you ever want. Sadly, that free refill stuff doesn’t count for alcohol. Dang It! But the thing is that free refills, but also the portion sizes here in the US, kind of explain…….some of these things.
Because you’ll see, when you’re going to get your McDonald’s, or whatever in Germany, you get a large there ok. The large is a half liter. Well, the large in Europe is just a medium here. Because, here you can literally get larges that are this big. it is insane.
The portion sizes. And when you go to a restaurant sometimes you’ll think, “Man there’s enough on one plate to feed two people.” Yes, there probably is. So, just know, that when you are coming to the US, you might pack on a few pounds or kilos or stones, whatever, you know, whatever. (chuckles) whatever measurement you want to use, because there are a lot of big portion sizes but there are a lot of really good food around here in the US No, it’s not just McDonald’s. We go to other places too.
And then the third of those size things, are the size of the people. Yes. There are a lot of …… husky, as I like to call myself husky, fluffy Americans. Yes, we do eat a lot and no we don’t go out a lot. We are driving around and things like that so you will see a lot of big people here. But the thing is, not every American is a big, fat, slob like me, ok?
There’s all kinds of shapes and sizes of Americans, like that you are here. So don’t just think that every American just goes to McDonald’s and gets fattened up. That’s just me. Ok? So, just know that there are these sizes of the US will shock you when you look at those things.
Alright? Now, the second thing that’s going to shock you when you come here that has to do with the people, is the people! Look, there is this rumor that Americans are just this fake, friendly.
No. Americans really are super friendly. No matter where you go, people will try to help, will show you around they’ll say, “hey, which restaurant you should go to in this town? “What site should we see? Hey, I am lost, can you help me find the highway?”
People are really nice from the US and in different parts. You go to Minnesota where they are insanely friendly. And the south, they’re insanely friendly. And that’s one thing that people need to understand is that in the US, we do help each other out. We do ask you, “Hey, how are you?
How’s it going? How could I help you?” These are normal things. And that service, kind of, scares tourists when they come. They’re like, “I just walked into the store and they are asking me how can they help. I don’t even know what your store has yet.
How can you help me when I don’t even know what you have?” Look, just know that in the US, we are all about service. We are going to ask you right away. “What can you get?
What do you need to drink? What do you want to order? Can I help you with your clothes?
What are you looking for?” That is just how we work here. Another thing, when you look at the US, you’re going to have a big mix of people here. There’s no one American. You know?
You hear of these stereotypes of this or this or this of Americans Look, Americans come in all shapes, all sizes, all religions, all colors, all creeds, all “hairnesses” because, honestly, the only fake stuff you see in the US are the artificial colorings like you’re going to see, like, the Fantas, and the sodas, and the cereals. You’re going to be like, “Wow, those colors just, like, glow in the dark.” Yes, the artificial coloring thing here, that’s the fakeness of the US.
The friendliness of the people? That’s not fake. They’re awesome. So, we are in Las Vegas now and the third thing that’s going to shock you when you come to the US is ID please.
I need some identification please. The fact that people have to have an ID to buy liquor, and buy cigarettes in the US. Because in the US, you have to be 21 to buy alcohol, and 18 to buy cigarettes, and basically you have to look like your 40 to actually buy them without having them ask you for ID. So, make sure that you keep your passport with you so if you are going to buy stuff, you have that.
And it’s not just you, the person buying, but the people with you, they might need an ID too. Alright, we left the desert of Vegas, and now we are here in the coast here in Florida and the fourth thing that is going to shock you when you come to the US is the the price is never actually what you pay in the US. Now, in Europe and other countries, you already have this VAT, value added tax, that’s already put into the price. Here in the US, we have what we call sales tax.
which is add on after you buy the product. So, if you go to a McDonald’s and you say, “I want to get a hamburger on the dollar menu and I got one buck. I should be able to buy it.”
No, no. That one buck and then you got to put the tax on top of it. It can be anywhere from, I don’t know, 7 to 15 percent. Some states have it.
Some states don’t. It can very between locations so that one dollar cheeseburger or hamburger can actually cost you a dollar ten ($1.10) It gets really frustrating, when you think about it because it’s not just sales tax that gets added on to the price. If you go out to a restaurant, you also have tipping. And tipping in the US is traditionally between 15% and 20% at a sit down restaurant So think about it. You go to a sit down restaurant, right?
You have a $100 bill. Ok, I got a $100 bill in my hand, and the bill for the meal is $100 bucks, I should be fine. Oh no, no, no, no, no. That $100, well you gotta add on another 10% because of, well taxes, right? And sales tax. And another 15% on top of that for tipping.
So now, your 100 dollar bill for dinner is actually $125! And I know, people might not agree with tipping, but that’s how it works in the US. They’re not paid a great wage, but they make a lot more money on tips and that’s why you get this good service that we kind of talk about sometimes. That’s where that comes from.
Now the fifth thing that we have that shocks people is when you come here and you think, “Wow. The US. It’s so developed. They got all this stuff here They must have good public transportation.” Hahahaha. Good and public transportation in the US do not go together.
Yes there are some cities that have decent public transportations; Chicago, New York, Boston. Big cities. You probably can get some decent public transportation within the city but a lot of places out there, there are either no public transportation, or very limited transportation or public transportation that a tourist would not want to ride on.
I would say that that does get kind of frustrating. You’re like, “But wait. You have all this stuff but you gotta drive everywhere.” Anyway, the sixth thing that’s going to shock you when you come here are the toilets.
And specifically, The public toilets in the US. Look, I know I talk about toilets a lot on my videos, and actually, one of our fans made a video of me just saying toilet, toilet, toilet, and all these different places. But I’ll be honest, when you come to the US, public toilets are free. There are tons of public toilets.
Restaurants have them free for everybody, but the thing is, public toilets in the US are usually kind of gross but what I think is funny is when you look at toilets in the US I get a lot of friends of mine coming from around the world like, “Oh my God. Your toilet has so much water in it!” And, yes, the US toilets do use a lot of water. Now, they’re starting to get the lower water content toilets but there are a lot there. So you can be like, “On my God.
Am I supposed to wash my feet in the toilet here?” “Or do I go to the bathroom in it?” It’s kind of crazy. And probably another toilet thing that shocks people is when you go to a public place and they have toilets, there’s so much space between the doors. You can literally look through the crack and see who’s in there doing their business, what business they’re doing what book they might be reading, ok? Because you’re going to be able to look through the side of it.
And then, underneath there’s like this much gap underneath so you can see, “Oh are their feet there?” But literally, you can see everything. So those public toilets really are quite public when you are there. And it does kind of shock people when you are there.
What is cool, is that you do have the toilets all over the place and they are free all over the place in the US so, that is a really cool thing. So, we have moved from the sunny coasts of Florida to the sunny coast, or banks of the muddy Mississippi River. And the next shock we have for you when you come to the US are the Americanisms when you come here.
Look, there are things that are typical U.S.A. and part of that is U – S – A! U – S – A! U – S – A! Yes, one of the Americanisms here is the patriotism in the US You will see the flag flying all over the place. And the people, they love America. ”
‘Murica!” You will see that. Some of the, kind of, quirky things about Americans, when you do come here, you will see.
And it’s not just America in general. You know, when I talked about the toilets well, one of the things about the toilets is by the toilets you will always see this kind of silver box next to it and people are bending over at it. And you’re like, “what is going on here?” It’s a water fountain.
Ok? We like to give away free stuff here in the US. Whether it is free water or free bread at a restaurant, or go to a Mexican Restaurant and you have free chips and salsa until you vomit, and you don’t have to pay for it! I mean, there are so many Americanism little things that when you’re here. With the flag, how much we love it?
You’ll have American flag t-shirts, heck, you could have American flag undies! Ok? We joke about, “Oh Americans and their fast food.” But, literally, there is fast food all over the place and, yes, we do have McDonald’s everywhere, but we have more than McDonald’s.
You have Culver’s in the midwest. You got In-N-Out burgers on the West Coast. Whataburger in Texas. Shake Shack in New York.
And you have all these fast food places all over the place with their super huge drinks. “The large holds one liter.” I believe, that’s what you people call a liter, ok? OH! And liters!! There’s a whole thing right there.
Americans don’t get. Do you know the only way Americans know the metric system is because of Our SODA! This is a 2 liter of Pepsi and this is a 2 liter of Coke, and, you know what, that’s how we know liters here.
It’s by our soda sizes, ok? Otherwise, we use gallons, we use feet, we use inches, we use miles. That’s how they do it here. And a lot of tourists have a hard time with that when they are trying to figure out “well, how much is a gallon?” A gallon is about 4 liters, just so you know. Ok, it’s like 2 of these out there.
OH! And in the US, how you get great quantity discount. See this Coke? This was $1.
See this Pepsi? This was $1 at Wal-Mart. Love you Wal-Mart! Let’s not forget about the Wal-Marts out there.
24 hour shopping? Think about it. Yesterday, my son – my oldest son – spilled ketchup all over himself crashed his skateboard, and ripped up all his clothes and so he really had nothing left for today. So guess what I did at 2 o’clock in the morning. I went to Wal-Mart and got some Coke and Pepsi and I got him clothes.
At 2 a.m. And we love it when we come here, and that’s why tourists love it when they come here. From the friendly people to the 24 hour shopping to the cheap soda (HEY!) I know, you can drive those 20 hours from Florida to Illinois if you have a couple of these with you (WooHoo!!) Go a little crazy, but that’s the thing, there are these really fun Americanisms when you do come here and that’s one of the things.
All you watching, and if you have any of those funny Americanisms, please put them in the comment section below, because we are going to make more videos on funny, little American things when you are here. But, anyway, I guess I’ll go and to the next, kind of, shocking thing when you come to the US. And our 8th shocking thing, and we are going to go back to that thing with the metric system and we can only understand (chuckles) with the soda it goes into the driving. OK?
Here in the US, people get shocked about the driving. I know I talked about how there is a lack of public transport and you have to drive when you are here but when you do drive when you are here, you will be shocked at how big the roads are how big the cars are. Oh, an also, they’re all automatic, ok?
If you can find a stick shift, good luck, and yes, you do do miles per hour here. Not kilometers per hour, but miles per hour. And the speed limits, they change all over the place. You never know when, you’re just like, “Oh, it just changed.”
And the cop gets you. Oh, there’s a shocking thing. You know, some countries, they just have the camera that takes pictures when you’re going too fast. We have that some places in the US but most of the time, you have the cops sitting on the side of the road with their radar guns watching you and, OH, you’ve gone too fast and the sirens come on and they drive down and pull you over. It is quite the American experience to be pulled over for speeding, so don’t speed when you are here. And there are some other little things that are different.
Here in the US you can take a right turn on a red light, so if you are sitting there and you can take a right turn and you have your blinker on, and people are honking at you, it’s because they want you to take a right. Make sure you look and make sure there’s not other traffic is coming. But you can take a right on red. And the thing is, we Americans love our cars. I mean it is the most liberating thing when you are sixteen years old, ha sixteen years old and you get your drivers license here.
So you get your 16 license. License to drive, license to live, oh yeah! And, I mean, that’s part of the US culture. We eat in our cars, we drink in our cars (soda, don’t drink and drive, the cops will throw you in jail, they don’t care what country you’re from, you will go to jail.
Don’t drink and drive. You know, drink your liters of Coke and Pepsi!) So, the ninth thing that is going to shock you when you come to the US, OH, we are here in Boston the kind of, heart of history of the US and the American Revolution.
And the ninth thing that is going to shock you when you come to the US, is you will see a lot of homogeneity, i.e., that means, like, everythings kind of very similar everywhere you go. Also, you will see definite, different cultures and culture and history in the US. We get tons of comments like, “Oh the US, there’s no culture there. There’s just McDonald’s and there’s no history there. It’s too young.”
No, there is history and there is culture here. But on the other side of it, there is a lot of homogeneity so, when you go travel around, you see the same stores. You see, “Oh, look. There’s an Old Navy. Oh, look. There’s a Sephora.”
And you’ll see the same stores again and again. And it gets kind of repetitive. Especially when you are going into the suburbs and you are going into the newer cities and newer towns it really looks like, I mean, you can’t tell the difference between going to one city in one part of the country versus another when you are doing that shopping experience or hotels and things like that.
So it does give you a kind of shock when you’re like, “What town am I in? It seems the same.” But having said that, there are distinct cultures and regions here in the US and that does shock people because you come here, to the Northeast, to New England, you know they have different food You gotta have the clam chowder, and they have what they call the “New England Shield” where they don’t really talk to people, but they’re friendly once you get to know them Or you got the south where you got the Southern hospitality where they feed you for days and give you tons of food and ask you, “how are you doing?” and all kinds of stuff.
Or you got the cool, cooky West Coast. There’s definitely different cultures here in the US and it does shock people when they drive around and realize, “Yes, a lot of the stuff looks the same but the people are different in different parts of the country. So, just know that, yes the homogeneity will shock you but there are different cultures out there, because yes, there is fantastic history here in Boston, and great museums around the US – Getty in LA, Art Institute of Chicago, The Met in New York where you can have great history. You can have great art, You can have great culture when you are here. Because this is a big melting pot of the world.
And the tenth thing that is going to shock you when you come to the US are the hotels. Look, you can actually get a good, medium priced or lower priced hotel here in the US There are tons of hotel chains here. You know, Hampton Inns, Holiday Inn, and all these kinds of places and it’s very standardized, ok? If you get a double room, you can probably put 4 people in a room there Or 40 people people in there, because the rooms are a lot bigger when you get two double beds when you get a double room, it’ll have two beds, i.e., two big beds because there’s no two single beds pushed together like in Europe. You have all this extra space when you are there.
Now, one of the things that does kind of shock people when they do go to the hotels here in the US is, it’s kind of like, the relatively cheaper the hotel is, the more stuff they give you! You go to a cheap chain hotel or a medium priced chain hotel like a Hampton Inn or something like that, and you get free WiFi, you get a free breakfast – like as much breakfast as you want – umm, you know, they’re going to have a pool, all kinds of really cool stuff no resort fees. Oh my God. And if you go to, like, an expensive, nice hotel, breakfast?
Oh no, you get to pay for that. You want internet? Oh that’s $19 a day. Oh the pool?
You want to use the pool and do the fun stuff? You need to do the resort fees and pay extra. You’re like, “Wait, I am paying triple the price for a nice hotel and I actually get less amenities when I go there.” it kind of boggles your mind. So, when you come here, just know that you can actually stay in some of these chain hotels and it’s not a problem what-so-ever, ok? Read the reviews about them, but, you know, you’re going to get one Holiday Inn Express is pretty much the same through out the country.
Remember, the homogeneity of number 9? That really does come out in the hotels, but they are clean, they are safe, and there really are a lot of price options out there, so just know, if you want the free stuff, actually, you go to the cheaper one versus the more expensive ones who have better locations and cooler rooms (maybe) but they make you pay for a lot of things. So it does kind of shock you. “Wait, I get less for more?
Or more for less?” Yes, I know, the US with our stuff. It’s kind of crazy. Anyway, those are our 10 kind of fun things that might shock tourists If you want to learn more, check us out on our website on woltersworld.com. Have a great time in the US, I hope you like the video. Please, click that like button.
We will see you later. Bye! !