1. The Beer:
It’s not big, and it’s not clever. It’s watery vom. Get yourself a decent European pint America! And I mean PINT! Not some girly half measure! Sad fact is?
1 US pint = 473.176473 millilitres
1UK pint = 568.261485 millilitres
But the bastardization of the Metric System will be the least of your worries when you realise the lack of libation variety on offer. Trying to buy cider in the states is like trying to have sex in the middle of a supermarket: awkward and likely to raise questions. Cider is considered an ostentatious import. So forget your fancy brews, in the US you have to settle for some terrible yanky beer like Budweiser or … Budweiser. Or just stick to filthy spirits.
And enjoy the judgement! Alcohol in the USA is reserved for the worst types of people: Bums, wife-beaters, red necks, students, and foreigners. It’s rare you’ll find anyone else at an American bar, unless you’re on the tourist trail.
This is the country where (in some states) it’s legal to marry at 14, enlist to fight the infidels at 17, and purchase a rifle or shotgun at age 18… but where you’re not allowed to even look at a bacardi and coke until you’re 21. They will ID you if you look under 50. Just in case you’re 19 with an unfortunately haggered face.
Buying alcohol is SO embarrassing to our state-side friends that American Liquor stores furnish you with a big brown opaque bag in which to sequester your purchases, just in case someone outside the store catches a glimpse of vodka in a translucent carrier and assumes you’re going to go tip it down their child’s throat.
BUT everyone knows what’s inside an opaque brown bag: Booze! So if you’re wielding one in the street, the fact you’ve been to the liquor store is obvious and now everyone’s agrandizing that your brown-bagged Bucks Fizz is actually some lethal concoction of absynthe and everclear, which you’re taking home to down perpetually in front of some porn.
America. Land of the free. Unless you consider drinking a freedom.
2. EVERYTHING is air-conditioned:
Sure, it’s nice the first three seconds you step out of that scorching heat, but soon there are icicles hanging from places you didn’t know existed. Outside= 102 degrees. Inside = -4. Try dressing appropriately for that mayhem! We’re not asking you to switch off the sun America… just to moderate your cooling systems to suit our sensitive British dispositions. We don’t do hot, we don’t do cold, we don’t do seasons… we just have year-round-wet. Stick a couple tepid sprinklers on inside, and we’ll be fine.
3. The gaps in the toilet doors
My first impression as a female walking into an American washroom? “I CAN SEE PEOPLE PEEING IN THERE! WHAT THE …!?” It’s quite obscene, yo! And positively manly.
Public restrooms really are public in the states. I’m not talking about the large expanse at the top and bottom of the doors, (even though that’s also undue!) No: Every bathroom stall door has an inch-wide gap between itself and the wall it’s attached to. LOOK:
It’s hard to find a picture which properly illustrates the fact that there is an inch-wide gap on either side of EVERY lavatory door in the USA. “It’s so you know if someone is in there…” testified my American friend. But isn’t that what a LOCK is for?
In America, not only do you KNOW if someone is in there… you can positively SEE them in there. You get dual confirmation that a pee is taking place. This is not what anyone needs in their life.
If you are a lady sat on the loo and you can achieve eye-contact with the woman at the sink then something has gone dangerously wrong somewhere… or you’re just drunk and have left the door open. Sort it out USA! You’re not the third world, you can totally afford an extra two inches of material for each and every one of your doors. It’s not like you’re spending any of your taxes on important things… like health care. 😉
As a Brit, I am terrible at tipping. It’s not something I do. Unless the waiter at Harvester was especially hot. We just don’t understand how much to leave, or when to leave it, or how to leave it… and it quite incapacitates us. You will see British people in American restaurants undergoing several forms of cardiac arrest because they just can’t figure it out.
“Is it 20% or 10% here!? Can I leave it in change? WATCH THAT AMERICAN FAMILY OVER THERE, SEE HOW THEY DO IT!? THEY JUST GOT HERE? CHRIST, WE BETTER SIT AND STARE AT THEM UNTIL THEY LEAVE!” There should be formal tipping instructions issued to all Brits as they enter the country.
In the BritLand you tip sparingly, and only if the service is pretty good. Even then a standard tip for great service is just 10%. In the States, you’re supposed to tip 10% regardless if the service was appalling, because appalling service is still considered a service. Who cares if he hit you? He still took away your plate!
It’s 15% + for good service in the US. Mind-blowing! Though you will feel BAD about not leaving a tip when you realise that there is no minimum-wage for a waitress in Kentucky, and she’s probably only making 70pence a day.
5. Sales Tax:
America is federal, hence each state reserves the right to set their own sales tax rate. In New Jersey you’ll be paying 7% sales tax, whereas in Colorado you’ll be paying 3%. Whilst states like Alaska and Delaware have NO sales tax. This wouldn’t be an issue… if it wasn’t for the fact that from sheer laziness, Americans don’t add sales tax to an item until you get to the cashier. Sure it’s PRICED as $10. But when you take it to the till you’ll find out it’s not $10 at all. It’s actually $10.70! Where is the sense in keeping it secret!? This also means that the 99 Cents store is a complete LIE! … In New Jersey for example, everything in the 99 cents store actually comes to $1.06, which is a shocking fallacy! Just call it the one dollar six store! Or the store of mystery and deceit.