From the towering skyscrapers of New York to the rolling hills of San Francisco, the United States will never cease to amaze. But besides all the famous cities and fabulous sites, what makes this country special? From 24/7 shopping to “chic” sweatpants, there are more than a few things that are unique to the US. Confused? Don’t be – these are among the strange but wonderful things that only those who’ve lived in the US will recognize and understand…
1. Drive-throughs rock
Ah, the drive-through…what a wonderful American invention. Picture this: you can pick up your morning latte, snag your noon sandwich and order your dinner – all from the comforts of your car. Just roll down your window, speak into a little microphone and your food will be ready to pick up at a window. And all this without lifting a finger (except to open your window). Don’t you just love the US-of-A?
2. It’s all about sweatpants (all day, every day)
Ever have those days when you’re too lazy to put on real pants? You know the days– when you look longingly at the TV and wish you didn’t have to actually dress up to go buy groceries? In the US, you can. That’s right – it’s totally acceptable to remain in your sweatpants if you need to run errands or just don’t really feel like putting on any real pants (hello Sunday!). Workout gear is also acceptable because hey, nothing screams healthy and active like sneakers and yoga pants!
3. Everything is supersized
From natural wonders like the Grand Canyon to skyscrapers like the new One World Trade Center, the US really lives by the motto, “big is beautiful”. After all, we’re talking about the country that spawned Hummers, SUVs, and Big Macs. Here everything comes in XL, including roads and parking spaces (at least there’s no need for complicated parking maneuvers!)
4. Coffee’s always to go
In the US-of-A, forget sitting down and chatting around a warm cup of joe. Americans are always on the go, and the US was all about travel mugs before Starbucks made it cool. In America you can rush to your next appointment, with a coffee in one hand, so you can keep caffeinated at all hours of the day.
5. BBQ ribs are a national treasure
Ok, it’s time to get down to business. Fact – no country does ribs like the US. I’m talking tender ribs slathered in hot BBQ sauce served with a side of fries and a large Coke to flush it all down. In fact, I’m pretty sure this mainstay of the American barbecue should be listed as a national treasure.
6. College life rules
It’s good to be a student in the US: universities are built on campuses where the classroom, cafeteria and dorms are just within blocks of each other. You live in a true student town, where your peers become your TA and the DJ on the radio station is your STATS 101 classmate.
7. 24/7 everything
The US is a country that never sleeps: you can go grocery shopping at the oddest hours of the night – and stop at the pharmacy along the way. It is truly a shopaholic’s paradise.
8. Sports are everywhere
Sports are a major part of life in the US, and they are cause for major celebration. In fact, athletics are so important that many sports metaphors now infuse American speech. For example, a classmate will “step up to the plate” (a baseball term) when they accept to do their part for a project or a friend will “hit a home run” (again from baseball!) if they successfully passed their exams.
9. Thanksgiving’s a big deal
On the fourth Thursday of November, the entire country slows down to celebrate an all-American tradition: Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, even more than Christmas, families from around the country reunite to partake in a traditional dinner and express their gratitude for their good fortune. The feast always includes a roasted turkey with sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and to top it off, pumpkin pie. Yum.
10. Nothing is impossible
The US truly lives by the motto, “nothing is impossible”. Got a good but far-fetched idea? “No problem,” you’ll hear, “we’ll make it happen.” This can-do attitude is truly one of the greatest gifts America has given to the world, and it’s no surprise the US is the motherland of innovative companies like Apple, Google and Uber.