The US is quite the country. So many people from other countries dream to move to the US and live the “American dream”. The US has great shopping, the best military, loads of power, an amazing music and film industry, and it’s the birth country of Wikipedia and Disneyland.
I even married an American, which is perplexing in itself, but in spite of this country’s awesomeness there are some things that sometimes really frustrate or perplex me.
1. Their work is their identity.
Americans define themselves by what they do, hence the awful common socializing question: “what do you do?” This question is not very common in Latin America nor Europe. People don’t live to work in other countries like they do in the US. One’s job is just part of what they do, and only part of their life, not their whole life and identity.
2. Everything is a competition.
The US wants to be the best country of the world, because of this, I do admit they are a pretty good country; but it doesn’t stop there, everyone in the US competes against each other too. Competition is inbred in kids since very young and because of it life has become a game in this country; a game to climb the ladder and reach the top, never to be satisfied with one’s position. They play to win instead of to enjoy the journey of the game.
I wish the whole country would just take a step back, take a chill pill, relax, play, make time to cook with fresh food, have time to gather with friends and family, and have time to do so much more there is to do besides work.
3. Women can’t be nice to men just because (and vice versa).
Coming from Mexico I see a big difference between men and women relationships. In the US, if a woman is nice to a man, the man automatically thinks that she is into him. Same thing happens the other way around. It seems like men and women in the US really can’t be just casual friends. In Mexico, I had tons of guy friends which I never even thought of dating (even if they were attractive.) And frankly, it was really nice having friends of the opposite sex without any sexual tension.
Additionally, I don’t know what’s up with American women that they love accusing men of sexual harassment. It’s a problem. Also, men can’t be friendly to stranger kids without the fear of being accused of pedophiles.
The whole situation is frustrating.
4. The dichotomy of American football.
The image is self-explanatory.
5. Being, technically, the only country in the world that doesn’t use the metric system.
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius you have to deduct 32, then multiply by 5, then divide by 9… or something like that. I just want to know if I need to bring a sweater today.
Also, every time I get asked my date of birth for anything in the US I feel like they’re going to think I’m making it up if I have to stop and think to remember my date of birth when I’m just trying to figure out the order.
6. Creating their own vocabulary and insisting that everyone else is wrong.
No red squiggly lines! You’re wrong.
7. Setting the drinking legal age at 21.
18 is way better. I felt like an adult since I was 16, you’re going to tell me I can’t drink until I’m 21? Even worse is moving from a country where the legal drinking age is 18 to the US (where it’s 21) when you are 19 years old. I’ve been drinking for years already, come on, just serve me a beer. And even more frustrating, being over 21 but they won’t take your recently expired driving license. I promise you, my date of birth didn’t change when my license expired.Do any of these bug you too?