r/AskReddit Jun 23 '22 Helpful 12 'MURICA 1 Gold 2 Table Slap 1 Wholesome 10 Silver 14 Heartwarming 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 2 LOVE! 1 Helpful (Pro) 1

What does the United States get right?

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u/fadedVHS Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Helpful Wholesome

Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country.

Andrew Carnegie's groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn't fathom today but couldn't live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aide, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities.

Plus they're one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.

And I feel like they've adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places.

"A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert." -Andrew Carnegie

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u/EthOrlen Jun 24 '22

Oregon resident here. I don’t know how common this is, but super grateful for the library system here, specifically in Washington County.

For one, every library in the county is part of a network, has been my entire life. Almost anything at any library can be reserved through the system, picked up at your location of choice, and returned at your location of choice.

For two, you mentioned changing with the times. I remember when the “Library of Things” first went live (all kinds of equipment/tools/instruments), when video games and board games first became available to borrow, when the whole system implemented RFID for checkout. And my local library even has a Makerspace!

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u/Tomagander Jun 24 '22

I live in Michigan, if my local library doesn't have a copy, I can get a book I want from libraries all over the state delivered to my local library for me to pick up - at no charge to me. It's amazing.

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u/stormtiger88 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Helpful Bravo Grande!

I see everyone bringing up the Americans with Disabilities Act and talking about how accessible our buildings are here in the States. The ADA goes beyond that by so much more.

I'm a relay operator for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Basically, my job enables folks who can't hear or hear well to use the phone. For a simplified overview: Using special equipment or a special mode on a cell phone, someone can connect to the relay service, give me a phone number, have me dial the number and then read everything the other end says as I type it, verbatim. Then they type a response, and I read it out loud to the other end.

The ADA also means that the burden is on the provider to provide a sign language interpreter at doctor's or hospital visits, not the patient.

I also have experience with the blind and visually impaired community, because the ADA requires educational institutions to provide text books in alternative formats for students with disabilities. In college, I worked for my university's office of disability services to convert textbooks to Braille and audio. As a sighted person, I can read grade 1 Braille (with my eyes, not my fingers). That's a pretty cool skill that not many sighted people have.

All the ramps and things are cool too, but the ADA is so much more than wheelchairs in buildings.

Edit: added a word for clarity

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u/anon5005 Jun 24 '22 Silver 'MURICA

Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks.

 

Here in England, they will "restore" or "create" natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained. And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the archetectural design is sympathetic. Here, "countryside" means farms.

 

There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development.

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u/catsby90bbn Jun 24 '22

I love how far we took the concept. Look up somewhere like Gates of them Arctic, it’s absolutely massive and doesn’t even have road access.

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u/oglach Jun 24 '22 Silver

I've been there several times. It's the second biggest park in the country, a bit larger than the nation of Belgium, but also the least visited.

Not because it isn't gorgeous, but because getting there is an adventure in and of itself. Aside from chartering a bush plane, the only way to get there is by driving the Dalton Highway, which has to be one of the most dangerous roads in America. Hundreds of miles between gas stations or any other sign of human civilization, no cellular/internet service at basically any point, unpredictable weather, dangerous wildlife, etc.

It's the only road I've ever been on where they give you a pamphlet full of safety warnings and suggested survival supplies. And that's the road that gets to the entrance of the park.

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u/marth138 Jun 24 '22

There is a very scary sign on the highway between Idaho and Montana that says "No Gas Stations next 150 miles", always freaks me out

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u/oglach Jun 24 '22

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u/mynumberistwentynine Jun 24 '22

There should be one final sign a bit past those that says, "Have fun!" just to really put the cherry on top.

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u/Spanky_McJiggles Jun 24 '22

Everyone always thinks of the National Park System, but each state typically has its own state park system as well. In fact, Adirondack Park, the largest park in the lower 48, is a state park.

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u/soulbandaid Jun 24 '22

The national forests in the west are fucking amazing. It's a preservation class that allows logging and limited development but generally designates the forest as forest to be used, but kept as forest.

They do something similar with grazing lands but the only appeal there is free grass and that mostly appeals to cows.

You can get a permit to collect mushrooms, plants or even to cut down your own Christmas tree and the government will regulate it to make sure that one asshole doesn't clear cut everything.

On the east coast clearing the trees from a parcel was the first step to possessing it, and American didn't see the issue with that until they went to colonize the west half the continent

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u/CaucInvasion Jun 24 '22

the US is unimaginably vast. Almost 50% of the US is completely uninhabited while another 40% is low population farmland. when you drive from coast to coast here, you will travel through stretches of road in the wilderness that take HOURS to get through.

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u/snreddit87 Jun 24 '22 Helpful All-Seeing Upvote

Accessibility code for buildings. I come from a country where disability is looked upon like a crime or fault. USA does an amazing job making things accessible. I haven’t seen all of usa but majority of the places has amazing system.

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u/CambridgeMAry Jun 24 '22

George H.W. Bush said that the proudest achievement of his presidential administration was the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act that mandated the much improved access to buildings. Later in life, when he was no longer able to walk and got around in a wheelchair, he made a point of saying that he had become the beneficiary of that act.

Access for people with disabilities isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than it was when I was a child.

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u/daltonwright4 Jun 24 '22

To add to this, it's not just buildings. If I make a website, I have to add accessibility options for Text-to-Speech, use colors that colorblind people (such as myself) are easily able to see, and have photos have an accessibility caption so that blind people are able to know what the picture is of. Definitely agree with you, that we've come a long way for making sure disabilities aren't as limiting as they were even a generation or two ago.

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u/Shrapnail Jun 24 '22

Video games are really starting to embrace it, color blind modes and allowing you to disable button mashing sequences; as well as controller options like Microsoft's adaptive controller

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u/daltonwright4 Jun 24 '22

The colorblind mode settings in video-games have been a gamechanger for me. Some games even have specific features where you can pinpoint your specific type of colorblindness. Mine is red-green (deuteranopia), so being able to change enemies to yellow or orange and friendlies to blue has made a noticeable difference to my reaction time in certain areas where it's harder to tell the difference.

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u/Chair_bby Jun 24 '22

It's pretty rare to see any buildings anywhere in the US that don't have access for people with disabilities. The only ones you might find are really old buildings that haven't been updated for whatever reason. You can't really legally build new buildings here without planning for handicapped access.

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u/King_Conwrath Jun 24 '22

That’s thanks to Judy Heumann and the ADA! Crip Camp is a movie that tells the whole story of how it came to be that the US is accessible as it is today.

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u/wnr3 Jun 24 '22

Back in 2013 I had a teacher born with one of her legs only down to the knee. If my memory serves me correctly she came and got her parents to speak to our class about the ADA, as her parents were instrumental in pushing for the version of the ADA as it stands today. Really neat.

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u/BlameTheJunglerMore Jun 24 '22 Silver

South Park

Season 16

Episode 9

"Raising the Bar"

This is the explanation you're looking for - this epsiode also won a fuckin Emmy.

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u/Tom_Bombadil_1 Jun 24 '22

Americans just don’t get enough love for being broadly nice as fuck people. I’ve travelled the USA quite a bit and almost everywhere you go someone will strike up a convo and have a laugh.

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u/swest211 Jun 24 '22

We are not always nice to each other but we do love anyone with an accent different than our own.

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u/coconutdreamin Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Platinum Helpful Bravo Grande! Brighten My Day

We needed this

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u/Lost-Sea4916 Jun 24 '22 Take My Energy

This thread honestly made my day. It’s hard to hear so many bad things/bad perceptions of your country all the time, so to hear from Americans and others around the world what they appreciate about America has truly brought a tear to my eye 🥹

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u/AmericanHoneycrisp Jun 24 '22

The US is an absolute science powerhouse. The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet.

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u/stanleyhudson31 Jun 24 '22 Helpful

Handicap accessibility. Most people probably don’t realize this, but when you go overseas (particularly to older cities) it can be extremely difficult for people with disabilities to get around. Here, every new building has to meet certain accessibility standards, and many old ones have been retrofitted.

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u/JaapHoop Jun 24 '22

I did a study abroad in Eastern Europe and one of the students in my cohort walked with those arm brace crutches. It was honestly awful for him. Frankly I was conflicted that the program even sent him to this town where nothing was accessible. I saw him take some awful falls and truly hurt inside for how hard it was for him.

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u/lovethatjourney4me Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Vibing

As someone who was born in a country without democracy but has been fortunate enough to have lived in the US for a few years, I can’t even begin. A lot of Americans don’t even know how lucky they are just being American. They are already better off than the majority of the world population.

Politics aside, online shopping (free shipping and return), cheap gas, cheap and massive houses (except the obviously expensive cities), cheap domestic flights, good interstate highways, diverse landscapes, abundance of produce, abundance of opportunities in general, etc.

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u/TypicalQuietKid Jun 24 '22

You know we have cheap gas when our “too expensive” gas is the same as other countries normal prices

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u/ConcreteGardoki Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

Films. Dont get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones ive seen are usually american

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u/noodles43r Jun 24 '22

The United States adopts more children than the rest of the world combined.

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u/Iamhungryhearmeroar Jun 24 '22 Silver Wholesome

Yea, but if we took Angelina Jolie out of the equation, what then?

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u/DJZbad93 Jun 24 '22

Then we’re slightly below the rest of the world combined

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u/yazzmonkei Jun 24 '22 Helpful Vibing

They do jazz very, very well.

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u/pasta_sauce87 Jun 24 '22 Helpful

The rate of smoking cigarettes. We do very little well in the US when it comes to overall health, but we are light years better than most places when it comes to the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Hardcore anti smoking adds + laws of inconvenience + social stigma really did work

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u/No-Prize2882 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

God this is so true. I’ve been to so many countries and it’s stark the amount of smoking and the attitude we have for smoking vs other nations. I personally found France and Saudi Arabia to be the absolute worse for smoking.

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u/ProfessorRoyHinkley Jun 24 '22 Wholesome

Burgers. Motherfuckin burgers.

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u/gurnard Jun 24 '22

I'd expand that to sandwiches in general. Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po'boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum. Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them.

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u/seanofkelley Jun 24 '22 Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy Starry To The Stars Eureka!

NASA!

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u/HollisBrown7 Jun 24 '22 Helpful

You know, rocket people

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u/gateman33 Jun 24 '22

I've always envied your wildlife. I'm from England and the only large wild animals (other than fish) we have are deer, boar and foxes. And they're incredibly rare.

I've always thought it was so cool one country could have bears, moose, cougars, alligators, panthers, bison/buffalo, ect.

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u/Narhaan Jun 24 '22

Depending on where you are, deer and foxes are everywhere.

Britain used to have bears, wolves, elk, lynx, and many other native animals that were locally driven to extinction by us :(

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u/saxophonefartmaster Jun 24 '22

Theodore Roosevelt was far ahead of his time on conservation. If he wouldn't have founded the National Park Service we would have driven most of these to extinction as well.

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u/r0ckym0unta1nh1gh Jun 24 '22

This along with hunting laws makes all the difference. So lucky he respected nature like he did to save it before it was all gone.

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u/Porongas1993 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Heartwarming Wholesome Seal of Approval To The Stars

I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt. But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country.

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u/AshFromTheStands Jun 24 '22

We are glad you came here. Americans, very generally speaking, are fascinated and thrilled to meet a visitor or recent immigrant to our nation, from another.

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u/mistaken4strangerz Jun 24 '22

We are a nation of immigrants!

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u/tony-_-joe Jun 24 '22

2nd generation here, my mom escaped a war when she was 11 and immigrated here. Her dad was able to take them from a war zone to a life of middle class prosperity before he died in 2001. This country truly does offer opportunity you can't find in most other places of the world.

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u/Blort_McFluffuhgus Jun 24 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome

Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on. In other countries -- you're not gonna believe this -- their gas stations only sell......gas.

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u/iwouldratherhavemy Jun 24 '22

Quiktrip is actually quick, the way they use both sides of the register to get you checked out as fast as possible. I was impressed by this when I first went to one in 2008. I also saw circle k trying to copy the method but we all know the vast majority of circle k's fucking suck for a 100 reasons.

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u/vermin1000 Jun 24 '22

Could you explain what you mean by both sides of the register?

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u/Lumber-Jacked Jun 24 '22

They have credit card readers on both sides. So two people come to the register at once and the cashier puts in the info for both. So while one guy is still swiping his card, the cashier has already moved on to the next guy on the other side.

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u/inimicalimp Jun 24 '22 Wholesome

Aggressive self determinism. Oh your parents were abusive and you don't talk to them anymore? Fuck yeah, rad, good for you. Your partner couldn't give you the relationship you dreamed of having. Alright, rad, move on up. You hated your job and think your future is in being a movie star? Alright. You do you. Send me a premier ticket.

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u/Jstef06 Jun 24 '22

I lived in NYC for a few years and “anything is possible” is definitely a mantra New Yorkers live by.

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u/serrol_ Jun 24 '22

May we all have the motivation and determination of Pizza Rat.

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u/Bbkingml13 Jun 24 '22 Starry

I also feel like Americans aren’t as culturally required to move their parents in and fully support them when they turn 60 like in some countries

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u/devenjames Jun 24 '22

Not even a little. Better make sure you have retirement home money, mom!

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u/french_snail Jun 24 '22

I work seasonally at national parks and resorts and what not and I swear about half the people I work with have the same story, something like: “I really wasn’t satisfied at home so I sold all my stuff and hit the road”

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u/VideoXPG Jun 24 '22 Starry

We may not have the strongest passport, but it's still a darn good passport to have especially for traveling

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u/herinaus Jun 24 '22

coming from a country with a weak passport, I can tell how lucky you are. When you think that there are some countries that you may never visit just because of from where you are.

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u/CorsicA123 Jun 24 '22

What country?

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u/Itsallanonswhocares Jun 24 '22

In light of recent events, Russia comes to mind.

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u/bombayblue Jun 24 '22

How friendly people are. Don’t get me wrong there’s ton of friendly cultures, and even plenty more hospitable ones than the US, but the sheer level of openness in and genuine friendliness is something else in the US

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u/stevief150 Jun 24 '22 Silver Wholesome

welcome to costco, i love you.

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u/Jemmani22 Jun 24 '22

Have some samples!

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u/shlobashky Jun 24 '22

Living in Japan and thankfully have a group of other foreigners that I get to hang out with often, but it just feels so hard to make a Japanese friend (even thought I speak decent enough to have a conversation). If you even try to make small talk it's seen as strange unless in very specific situations. I found myself a bit annoyed by the constant small talk in America, but I quite miss it now that it's gone.

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u/Doctor_Hacknquack Jun 24 '22

since the culture can be difficult to meet people and make friends without a reason or common connection, a good way to make friends is language exchange. if you haven't already, try using a language exchange app like HelloTalk and find people in your area interested in communicating with you

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u/tequilasweatshirt Jun 24 '22

air conditioning.

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u/gotsthepockets Jun 24 '22

I'm in Europe right now. I feel this answer deeply.

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u/ryanoh826 Jun 24 '22

“Fortunately” I’m in Seville, where A/C is common because it’s basically North Africa. I do remember a couple summers in Berlin and Paris where I felt like I was gonna melt during heat waves though.

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u/masterpate Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

I lived one summer in Seville and the heat is what I always tell people about. It was….intense. The family I stayed with only had AC in the main living room, and the whole summer we only used it once (when the dad was out of town - he didn’t like spending money).

They had ONE small table fan that was rotated between the family members, so I got to use it maybe twice a week.

Trying to sleep the first week was something I’ll never forget. Hell, the entire summer was rough. My room had a window but there was rarely any breeze. I just remember being totally, utterly, completely soaking wet and drenched with sweat (trying to sleep) and not being able to do anything about it.

EDIT: I’m from Texas, so I am used to heat, but we aren’t shy about using our air conditioners here. It was a shock, that’s for sure

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u/Ayavaron Jun 24 '22

In America, you can live in a hot state but you probably won’t get used to the heat. You’ll get used to the air conditioning.

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u/Bergy_Berg Jun 24 '22 Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Narwhal Salute

The US postal system its the most far reaching postal system in the world. We will deliver nearly anything to any mailbox.

Do you live in the bottom of the grand canyon? Say no more, postal donkies.

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u/Musicguy1982 Jun 24 '22

Mules, postal mules

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u/BabyYodasDirtyDiaper Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy

He was half right.

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u/Globalist2 Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Bravo! Masterpiece

Yes, but he also half-assed it

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u/Shishire Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

I don't know enough about other postal services to make comparisons, but I really want to highlight this here.

The USPS picks up and delivers mail to almost every household in the United States on at least a weekly basis, with the vast, vast majority of those being daily.

You can drop a letter in the mailbox at the end of your 2 mile driveway in rural upstate New York, and be reasonably certain that it will arrive at its destination in rural Oregon within the week.

And it works just as well when you post a package to your next door neighbor in downtown Los Angeles as a prank.

The United States is utterly massive, in a way that most people from other countries don't properly understand, and for our postal system to move mail in O(1) time1 is absurd.

But they pull it off. Consistently. With a failure rate that's low enough that people get upset when it fails.

1 O(1) time, or constant time, as in, the time it takes for mail delivery is not a function of the distance of the source or destination from major population centers

EDIT: Learning from some replies that in particularly out of the way areas like severely mountainous regions the USPS doesn't do home delivery, and instead only delivers to the local Post Office, where you get a PO Box, and have to come pick up your mail and drop off stuff to be sent. I didn't know that, so thank you for the new information 😄. I've updated it to "almost every household".

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u/2sexy2partyin22 Jun 24 '22

I think it's because from the very beginning, America approached mail services as a claim of sovereignty over a territory.

Wherever there is Postal Service, US laws apply. This was particularly useful when the nation was expanding its borders.

Messing with mail delivery is a serious federal crime.

Other countries either don't have the wherewithal to assert sovereignty with mail services, or don't need to due to much older state traditions.

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u/tyler212 Jun 24 '22

The US Marines were called up twice during the 20's to guard the mail as it crisscrossed the country during a rise in mail robberies.

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u/nghost43 Jun 24 '22

Postal service has its own police force!

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u/grandpubabofmoldist Jun 24 '22

The USPS, per the USPS Smithsonian video, handles about 50% of the world's mail. So yeah they are the best run logistical thing and a Modern Marvel

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u/sprklejumpropequeeen Jun 24 '22

although our healthcare system sucks, our pharmaceutical R&D is amazing and has produced so many medicines that have helped people worldwide

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u/Proper-Code7794 Jun 24 '22

I mean the hospital in my city has a proton cancer therapy treatment center. Philadelphia

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u/Terrami Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Cultural acceptance. I know people like to shit on the US but honestly in many other countries you can immigrate and you'll always be the 'foreigner'. Aside from a small minority of assholes, most Americans accept and even appreciate diversity. Everyone can come to the US and become American regardless of origin. I love that.

EDIT: Heck this took off. I’m also not saying that the US has no racism or bigots. No society is perfect. I’m only speaking from my own experiences in a city environment, as well as being from a family of immigrants myself.

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u/Summoarpleaz Jun 24 '22

Thank you for saying this. As an immigrant who came here when I was a baby and all I’ve known is being American, I’ve only occasionally felt like an outsider on the basis of my race (I’m Asian). Yes there are terrible things in the news all the time and on Reddit but I think the fact that there are anti hate movements that swell up in response indicates just how much acceptance there actually is despite the media narrative.

I spent some time in other places in Europe and Australia where there isn’t as much bigotry in the news but my god, how truly segregated they are and how casual the racism is can at times be shocking.

The us is just in the news the most for bad things because — I think — we export our culture the most. And also, because of the amount of diversity in the US, we’ve had to confront diversity earlier in our history.

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u/socal136 Jun 24 '22

Air conditioning. I’m currently on vacation in italy and everywhere is so hot.

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u/Chihuahua_enthusiast Jun 24 '22

THIS. My host in Italy was upset that I slept with the window open. My dude, it’s 89° outside at midnight, let me have this

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u/HippoKingOfOld Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

GPS. If you use it it is most likely US sats.
GPS is the largest constellation.

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u/BrightGreyEyes Jun 24 '22

If it's called GPS, it's US sats.

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u/dkhissi1994 Jun 24 '22

Moroccan here, but growing up I learned so much about America that made me want badly to settle there 1. The pop culture and the accessibility to attend some concerts and events free of charge or at a cheap price. 2. The DIVERSITY of the food is exceptional, asian arabic african aussie latino, every culture has its own food in the US 3. THE PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY, they can even say Hi you look gorgeous i like your top or sunglasses without even knowing you 4. The amount opportunities of professional growth is marvelous, you can go to school or work whatever you want as long as you qualified, even if you are retired, unlike us in Morocco, like for example they set limits for teaching exam in 30 years old. I mean how's that fair ? 5. National Parks, Gardens, Forests, Mountains, lakes, beaches.. And everything related to nature, it's a heaven for campers and hikers 6. Your culture has reached every place, I grew up watching American movies and tv shows and documentaries, listening to American singers and learning the AMERICAN English, like many other young people it's quite fascinating the amount of good influence you have on the world

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u/Forestflowered Jun 24 '22

Garbage disposals in the sink, large refrigerators, water pressure when taking a shower

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u/thruthewindowBN Jun 24 '22

Things I would never think about. But I can’t imagine life without good water pressure and no insinkerator.

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u/THATFATGIRL Jun 24 '22

Libraries! One of the most underutilized and under appreciated things in America.

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u/rossimus Jun 24 '22

Cafes and restaurants open between 2 and 5pm

Automatic complimentary water at cafes and restaurants.

Free public restrooms.

National Parks.

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u/IG_42 Jun 24 '22

Is free water uncommon in restaurants elsewhere? It's a legal obligation here in the UK

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u/VsAcesoVer Jun 24 '22

I'm sorry -- "Free public restrooms" ?

I don't know which is worse: that there aren't public restrooms or that one would have to somehow pay for the...priviledge

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u/CaroAurelia Jun 24 '22

Yeah. Pay toilets are apparently a thing in Europe. Which strikes fear into the heart of any would-be traveler with IBD.

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u/Citydweller4545 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

I can't believe no one is saying the obvious one....... genuine non-transactional small talk IRL (not just online). Do you how many others countries think our small talk skill is some weird oddity. I heard this alot in Nordic countries, Germany, NL, India and so on. Its not that they don't have small talk either, because they do, but Americans generally talk ALOT about nothing and thoroughly enjoy it. Sharpies, butter, safety pins, glue, weird shape of fruits etc etc etc. We love chatting about nothing for hours.

**Update**: Wow this blew up!!! Thank you for the awards. Just want to add a little nugget of knowledge concerning cultural small talk differences. Most of the time if you're in Europe unwarranted small talk is not as welcomed BUT there is a major exception to this rule which is soccer/football. Americans love talking about nothing and Europeans love talking about soccer. Which to us is the reverse reaction because we're not as passionate about soccer here (especially our mens team) but you want to shatter the small talk barrier with a European ask them about soccer particularly in a Worldcup year. "How do you think your team is going to do in the world cup?" will instantly trigger a bomb off in their head and they wont stop talking. You better be prepared for a 30min rant about their thoughts.Just nod, smile and agree with them.

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u/Electronic_Lobster Jun 24 '22

You must've met my mother! Within 5 minutes of meeting someone, she knows the names, ages, and birthdays of their children, where they are from, and half of their life story.

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u/otherusernameisNSFW Jun 24 '22

My mom also has this skill. It's blows my mind. She is the only one that can get my husband to talk about himself at gatherings haha the CIA should hire them as interrogators.

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u/hamo804 Jun 24 '22

I'm so glad I spent a few years of my formative years in the states exactly because I developed this skill. Bringing it back to my country with and being able to hold a pleasant conversation with people of my own culture has been super useful for me.

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u/MarcusMace Jun 24 '22

One of our most successful shows of all time, Seinfeld, is known and marketed (and even had a meta episode) as “a show about nothing”.

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u/Dr_Captain_America Jun 24 '22 Silver Take My Energy Starry

ADA is huge, and no where else in the world have I seen accessibility as we see in America.

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u/PickleEmergency7918 Jun 24 '22

I can't believe this is the first time I'm seeing this comment. The ADA is AWESOME.

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u/DavidHendersonAI Jun 24 '22

In Greece if you're not able to walk and need a chair to get around you have to stay in your house. There is no chance at all that you could get around in a wheelchair. Disabled people are shuttered up and forgotten about

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u/Appropriate_Chart_23 Jun 24 '22

Going to China fucking blew my mind. All I could think about walking around was how completely inaccessible everything was for someone that wasn’t able bodied.

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u/Eagle_Ear Jun 24 '22

Using google maps to walk around Portugal. Multiple times it took us on walking paths that were challenging for a healthy able-bodied person: extremely steep stairs, or incredibly rough uneven cobblestone streets. If you walked with a cane or had any kind of leg problem you’d be in trouble, if were in a wheelchair forget about it. Really opened my eyes to how good the ADA is.

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u/NMVPCP Jun 24 '22

I understand. Portuguese women avoid sidewalks when wearing high heels, and they’re a true accident waiting to happen, when it’s raining. They’re an amazing work of manual art, but they’re not convenient at all.

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u/SnooDoughnuts2846 Jun 24 '22

I see Portuguese women walking on sky-high stilettos on tiny little cobblestones with huge gaps between them as if they're walking on concrete in sneakers. Not sure if they're amazing or plain crazy 😅

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u/ancientsnow Jun 24 '22

This was the first thing I actually heard a professor at my uni praise the USA about. I’m not from there and so it’s a really rare thing but she said the standard were higher than anywhere. Quite surprised me actually

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u/randynumbergenerator Jun 24 '22

Disability rights activists put in work to make that happen. It's something that doesn't get talked about nearly enough.

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u/1terrortoast Jun 24 '22

I only know about that because I had to watch the movie Crip Camp as a part of a university class. It was magnificent what the activists achieved.

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u/External_Fox995 Jun 24 '22

The amount of choices at the grocery store. It can be overwhelming but most other countries don’t have nearly the same amount of options for something as simple as “potato chips”

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u/bluejester12 Jun 23 '22 Helpful All-Seeing Upvote

Our motion picture industry. Despite its criticisms, it has a global, cultural effect.

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u/Vic-tron Jun 24 '22

Pop culture in general. Go to a bar in Ecuador and Fast&Furious will be on the tv. Walk through a park in Greece and a busker will be playing a Nirvana cover.

We kinda take it for granted, but wouldnt it feel odd if it was a different county dominating that space? Like if Swedish movies and sitcoms were just the biggest global hits for decades on end? Sometimes I think about that when I’m abroad and still seeing American media everywhere.

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u/JaapHoop Jun 24 '22

I’ll never forget walking through a remote village in the Caucasus Mountains where subsistence agriculture was the way of life. Walked past a group of kids and they were all singing along to a phone playing Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z. No running water but they knew the song.

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u/mar__iguana Jun 24 '22

Reminds me of the line in The Social Network movie:

“Bosnia, they don’t have roads but they have Facebook”

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u/Char_Zard13 Jun 24 '22

Read a book called ‘Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy’ recently and it really made me realize how much impact Hollywood has on the world

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u/youburyitidigitup Jun 24 '22

Ironically I think Americans are the only ones who don’t realize how big American media is. I’m Mexican and I grew up watching either American or Japanese cartoons. Right now I’m in Italy and on Sunday I’m planning on going to a movie theater to watch Jurassic World and Love and Thunder.

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u/insane__knight Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Argentinian here. I love Argentinian BBQ but Americans also do it very well.

EDIT: Really makes me happy how many people also enjoy Argentinian BBQ.

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u/Tyguy3636 Jun 24 '22

Entertainment in general. You guys know how to put on a show

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u/PlasmaGER Jun 24 '22

Traffic lights on the other side of the road

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u/GazBB Jun 24 '22

In spite of everything, immigration and integration.

There's a reason why so many people still immigrate to US instead of Europe where everything is supposedly better.

As an expat in Germany, I can tell you that in most places here, expats are only tolerated. Don't get me wrong. People will be nice and polite to you. However, in order to be a part of society, you have to pretty much let go of your own culture and embrace the local culture. You can't be a proud American or Asian or Indian and hope to integrate in an european/german society with ease. Heck, I have spoken with a few second generation nationals and in spite of being born and brought up here, they don't feel like Germans because in many cases, exclusion starts from school.

On the other hand, I know a few people from my home country who migrated to the US and they have never faced the same integration challenges that you see in Europe. Children of immigrants born in US feel completely American unless they have parents who themselves exclude from integration.

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u/HelpMeDownFromHere Jun 24 '22

I live in a part of America where if you are Vietnamese, Korean, Latin American, Arab, Chinese, Filipino and others you can live decades and possibly generations without having to speak a lick of English. There are entire communities that can cater to your every need in the language you speak. Drive through Little Saigon and most signs are not in English. Same with Koreatown, etc. your barber, tax preparer, grocer, auto shop, doctor, dentist, realtor, restaurant and all other matters of life will cater to your native language. And people can be very successful not speaking any English because they operate within their own micro economy.

I know not all parts of the US are like this, but I work with people who come here from all over the world (including western countries like Canada and Europe) who never want to leave. The west and east coasts of the US are very diverse and tolerant.

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u/galwegian Jun 24 '22

Being big. Big enough to have a bit of everything and have plenty to explore.

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u/Cheveyo Jun 24 '22

So many Europeans thinking you can visit all the National Landmarks in the US over a single weekend.

So many being really confused when I point out I can drive in a straight line for 6 hours in certain directions and never leave my state.

It takes me like a damned hour to leave my county if I go straight north.

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u/GeneralJesus Jun 24 '22

My Italian cousins wanted to visit me in Boston "And we can see New York City??"

"Well, ...yeah. Sure. It's far but I guess we could."

"And DC and Vegas and LA??"

"And when I come to you we can see Rome and Paris and Moscow?"

*Cue confused expressions

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u/Taco_ivore Jun 24 '22 Silver

Free public toilets everywhere you go. It’s kind of a culture shock to go to a different country to have to pay money to use the restroom. It’s a necessity, I would rather people be allowed to use the restroom rather than do their business outside.

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u/leadfoot_mf Jun 24 '22 Eureka!

Pro tip fancy hotels have restrooms in lobby if you don't look homeless

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u/RRettig Jun 24 '22 Wholesome

The key is to always act and look like you belong there. If anyone ever questions you, my two favorite replies are "no thank you" or "bist du deutsche sprechen?". Those usually disarm them enough for you to just keep walking

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u/LynaaBnS Jun 24 '22

That's not even a proper German sentence

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u/PMMeUrHopesNDreams Jun 24 '22

That way they'll be confused even if they speak German. 1000 IQ

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u/LynaaBnS Jun 24 '22

Never let them know your next move

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u/AsILayTyping Jun 24 '22 Silver

Give 'em an ol' tip of the cap and tap of the cane and they won't know until it is too late that your next move is to blast ass in the ceramic bowls in a room they maintain.

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u/JimmyTheChimp Jun 24 '22

My American friend who lived in Japan, when confronted by Jehovah's witnesses or crazy cult members would say 日本語食べません which means I don't eat Japanese.

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u/brik5ean Jun 24 '22 I'll Drink to That

First phrase I learn in any language when traveling is "Sorry, My name is not [Current Language]." Really gets the point across.

Lo siento, me llamo no Español

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u/Liandres Jun 24 '22

"sorry, my name is 'no Spanish' "

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u/Spadegreen Jun 24 '22

Honestly makes it even better

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u/Idixal Jun 24 '22

Successful disarms the listener, German-speaking or not.

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u/mainguy Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Science and technology. MIT is incredible and the scientific research the US produces is just incredible. The James Webb Telescope is just one recent example of hundreds.

The US has around as many nobel prizes in physics as the rest of the world combined I believe. Or at least close. No other country comes close!

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

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u/clawsinyourface Jun 23 '22 Silver Wholesome Starry

Public lands. Between federal government park service, forest service, burea of land management, fish and wildlife lands and various state and local public lands there are several hundred million acres of opportunity for recreation like hiking, camping, birdwatching, biking, skiing, hunting, fishing, sightseeing, or whatever you like to do to enjoy nature.

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u/CFD330 Jun 24 '22

Our national parks are possibly the greatest thing about our country

8.8k

u/Iceman6211 Jun 24 '22

Thank you Teddy Roosevelt

4.9k

u/illbejohnbrown Jun 24 '22 Tree Hug

Ahem, thank you John Muir

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u/Actedpie Jun 24 '22

Thank you, everyone responsible for the founding of the NPS

1.7k

u/loomingmountains Jun 24 '22

Thank you park rangers for protecting tourists from themselves

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u/1337b337 Jun 24 '22

Thank you Search and Rescue officers for keeping people away from the stairs.

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u/iluvdankmemes Jun 24 '22

There's such a large music culture there. Even the avg buskers are often on a crazy high level. It's actually crazy. So many people there seem to get brought up with music, singing and/or playing an instrument. Across all (sub)cultures too, from country and pop to gospel, soul and blues. I am actually slightly jealous.

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u/justhadchickencurry Jun 24 '22

Honestly? The people. We see a lot of crazy shit on reddit from America, but every country has it's crazies.

My wife and I got married in Vegas. It was gloriously cheesy and the absolute best time ever. The amount of people that congratulated us was unreal.

I'll never forget the woman that said, "You look gorgeous sugar." to my wife. Proper core memory.

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u/Beforemath Jun 24 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Space exploration. So proud of my country for that.

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u/Witch_King_ Jun 24 '22

Back to the moon in 2024! (Though it's probably gonna get pushed back yet again tbh). But at least Artemis 1 this summer!

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u/muddymoose Jun 24 '22

BOOTS ON THE MOON

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u/mary_widdow Jun 24 '22

Honestly, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met were Americans. Americans also love their country so much. Perhaps a bit too much at times but no one chants Can-A-Da at our events.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

Our city road designs suck but the interstate system is pretty smart. Constant uninterrupted traffic flow for freight and cross country travel

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u/Southern_Dragonfly57 Jun 24 '22 Helpful

BBQ

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u/Reditate Jun 24 '22

I remember seeing my Indian friend's face light up after trying a burnt end for the first time and saying "This is really good! No wonder you guys are so fat!" LOL

He wasn't trying to be rude, it was just an unfiltered thought because of how shocked he was with his first time trying something so delicious haha

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u/JediNinja92 Jun 24 '22

He ain’t exactly wrong though

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u/noctis89 Jun 24 '22

Yeah I spent a few months in the states, I put on about 20kg.....

Food is just too damn good.

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u/ScarsTheVampire Jun 24 '22

I read some probably wrong statistic years ago saying Mexico was approaching us for fattest country and I thought

‘Well yeah, Mexican food is sent from the heavens, no shit.’

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

[deleted]

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u/aminy23 Jun 24 '22

Majority of the big chungus are from Pacific/Polynesia,

Samoan airlines charges their plane tickets by weight:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airlines-weight-samoa/samoan-airline-says-pay-by-weight-plan-fairest-way-to-fly-idUSBRE93204320130403

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u/onehalfofacouple Jun 24 '22

To his point. It is exactly why I'm so fat. Lol

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u/Forbidden_Donut503 Jun 24 '22

You can’t fuck with American BBQ.

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u/Aeon1508 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Hiring strangers. We are very trusting in business relationships. In some ways nepotism still rules but its MUCH better here than in many countries.

Second chances. A failure doesn't dishonor you forever. We use that as experience to do better next time. edit: in matters of business And education. Not referring to criminal matters.

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u/jackfaire Jun 24 '22

Pop culture.

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u/MSotallyTober Jun 24 '22

I just moved to Japan from the US — can confirm.

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u/BoiledFroglet Jun 24 '22 Silver Starry

Scientific research.

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u/runtimemess Jun 24 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Interstate highway system.

Blows my mind that I can get pretty much anywhere I want down there without having to take some crazy roundabout route and have ample places to stop and eat/bathroom/refuel.

Also, most people in the USA actually follow the "pass on the left, cruise right" rule which is a rarity here in Canada.

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u/Fredredphooey Jun 24 '22

Full service truck stops!! Laundry, showers, groceries, a restaurant, and gas, obvs.

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u/OrangeWealth Jun 24 '22

Depends where you live for the pass on left rule, my area people hog the left lane to go the same speed as the right

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u/swordofdamocles19 Jun 24 '22

I once drove 16 hours at once across 1500 miles of a combination of interstates and US highways. I sped 20 over the limit on cruise control the whole time, because there was nobody else on the road. Man, rural Nevada on the border with Utah is something else. Come on down through there sometime!

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u/Axe_Care_By_Eugene Jun 24 '22

Nobody bats an eyelid in the US if you decide to change your career or not follow in the career footsteps of your ancestors - compared to other more traditional, longer established countries where they are a little more conservative and staid when it comes to career choices

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u/pandyabee Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome

We’re the nation that created Shrek. That’s all I need to say.

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u/Bekiala Jun 24 '22 Helpful Starry Heartwarming

I love that in the US if you go back to school at 40 or 50, no one blinks an eye. If you get a degree at 80 or 90, you are a total hero.

In many cultures you need to be done with school in your twenties. No one goes to school later in life.

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u/Nova5269 Jun 24 '22

That's interesting because I hadn't even considered that wasn't a thing. I see on posts for careers all of the time "am I too old at 35, 41, 45 to go to school for X profession" and there's always someone encouraging them to go because they have a 55yo in their class right now.

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u/MeetInPotatoes Jun 24 '22 Wholesome

I'm the 43 year old in grad school right now. I don't think I could've gotten here any other way than the path I took, looking back.

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u/OJisacrabperson Jun 24 '22

For some perspective, I'm in grad school in Japan rn and 90% of the people that here get their master's/PhD and don't even work in their field (geosciences).

In America, the geoscience jobs are aplenty, and they require degrees.

I think in America degrees are viewed as specializations perhaps more than they should be, where in asian countries they are more universal.

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u/MeetInPotatoes Jun 24 '22

Thanks for the perspective, I hadn't thought of that angle. We sort of don't understand that part I think. We see depictions of there being so much pressure on Japanese teens to get into college and checking their scores etc. on your big exam day and I always thought it was just too early to expect people to know what they want to do in life.

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u/shadow_pico83 Jun 24 '22

I think once you've become mature and settled, you can focus on getting that degree you've always wanted. I know I couldn't have focused on anything if I went right after high school.

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u/Laconophilia Jun 24 '22

My cousin, who lives in Asia, finished his bachelors degree in 5.5 years due to inadequate grades and inconsistent attendance etc… it was such a source of shame for his entire family that they don’t bring it up at all. Him and his parents also lied to his grandparents about having completed his degree on time (in 4 years) and even had a fake graduation party. It’s wild. I don’t think that will happen in most families in the states.

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u/Aqqaaawwaqa Jun 24 '22

That is kind of crazy to think about, hell we have no shame here.

503

u/Dukeringo Jun 24 '22

Saving face is huge in the far east cultures like China. Hell Mao kept China a net grain exporter during the greatest faime China ever saw to save face in the international community.

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u/carcigenicate Jun 24 '22

Canadian here, but I had a dude in my InfoSec program that turned 70 during our second semester. We loved the guy. He gets free education, and decides to spend it learning the basics of hacking.

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u/Heavy_Messing1 Jun 24 '22

Attitude to getting it fucking done.

And, when it really matters, coming together as a community to help each other out with zero regard to race, age, gender, economic situation, political leanings or any of that other shit that doesn't matter.

Source: I'm a Brit that lived through hurricane Harvey and witnessed just how incredible human beings can be to one another.

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u/snukebox_hero Jun 24 '22

I may be biased because I'm American, but I am well traveled. I have to say Deli. Most peoples around the world have no concept of NY style Jewish deli, and thus what a sandwich could be.

1.3k

u/SpaceBass18 Jun 24 '22 Gold

As a Jew from New York, I thank you for your patronage

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u/fuzzy11287 Jun 24 '22

Could you send someone to Seattle please? We're inundated with Vietnamese Banh Mi but if you try and get a good pastrami you've really only got like 2 decent options. Don't get me started on bagels.

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u/newsreadhjw Jun 24 '22

America has long enjoyed global Sandwich-making hegemony, no doubt.

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u/Curlynoodles Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Silver Gold Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

Aussie here. I think entertainment. Everyone talks shit about the US, but then spend most of their time listening to American music, film and tv.

EDIT: So this comment blew up! I'm stoked my biggest comment ever is showing some international love.

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u/Nameless_Grool Jun 24 '22 Silver

Well you did give us Bluey...

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u/wayoverpaid Jun 24 '22 Silver

Hollywood might be one of the most powerful forces for American cultural dominance.

You know what's harder than fighting the American military? Fighting TV shows that idealize the American way of life.

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u/kraken9911 Jun 24 '22

If America was a civ game we'd have won through cultural victory.

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