+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Non-Americans are sharing the quintessentially American things they wish they could do

Here are 19 things that Americans really take for granted.

american culture, american food, things americans love

A delicious corn dog with mustard and ketchup.

A group of self-described “non-Americans” shared the quintessential American things they wish they could do and it’s a great reminder of some of the endearing aspects of American culture that far too many of us take for granted.

At a time when America is plagued by political divisions, it’s refreshing to remember that we all share a unique culture that others appreciate.

The responses were prompted by Reddit user gaping__hole, who asked the online forum, “Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?” The most compelling thing about the responses is they didn’t center around the advantages afforded by the country’s commitment to freedom and individuality. Instead, they focused on the day-to-day experiences that the average American enjoys.


The “non-Americans of Reddit” seemed to be really interested in sampling America’s unique culinary contributions such as fair food or things that are deep-fried. They appreciated the lifestyle that Americans in small towns and middle-class neighborhoods enjoy.

They also wanted to take advantage of America’s size, whether that’s the diverse topography or the idea that one can change their life by moving a few hundred miles away.

Personally, the responses gave me a renewed appreciation for the small comforts that we enjoy as Americans whether that’s chowing down on a corn dog or watching a yellow school bus roll down the street full of happy kids.

Here are 19 of the “American things” that non-Americans have always “wanted to try.”

1.

"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox." — TotalAd6225

2. 

"Can I interest you in our lord and savior Waffle House?" — ShadowDV

3. 

"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV." — infiresemo

4. 

"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.' Garbage disposal." — Mnemonic22

5. 

"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process." — Gmtfoegy

Gatvolkak added:

"It really is a country where you can get up, move 3 hours away and completely reinvent yourself. The only thing that follows you is your credit score."

6. 

"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better." — fenrislfr

7. 


"Trick or treating at Halloween." — IvanaHug

8. 

"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff." — SpiraltoNowehere

9. 

"7/11 slurpees." — Elford12

10. 

"Corndogs, I don't understand what it is but I want to try it." — AFowlWaterfowl

11. 

"A friend of mine from China took a vacation to the US. He landed in Chicago, rented a car and drove down Route 66 until he could peer over the edge of the Grand Canyon, then drove back. Where he's from, a road trip isn't even a thing." — Henri_Dupont

12. 

"Chicken and waffles." — Wide-Flower3494

13.

"It's impossible, but the small town/suburban middle-class American childhood experience from the '80s (think 'ET' or 'Stranger Things' or 'Goonies,' minus the spooky fantasy stuff). What you guy's say about Blockbuster nights nostalgia, the shopping malls. Growing up in Latin America at that time, we had a few glimpses of that lifestyle in some movies and it was fascinating, dreamlike." steak_tartare

14. 

"I want to understand baseball. Man that sport looks boring, but a lot of movies are made about it I just wanna figure out how the game is played." — shweyzy02

15.

"Using the word 'ya'll' in general conversation." — Devlin_McGregor

16. 

"French woman I used to hang out with needed instructions on how to eat a chili dog. Blew her mind. Steamed and toasted bun, all-beef natural casing hot dog from a local farm, homemade chili, raw and finely chopped onions, and a bunch of Colby-jack cheese. She had seen pictures and wanted to try it, so I took her to this place run by a Vietnam vet who had wanted to own a chili dog stand since he was in the war. That was his life goal. Not get married, raise a family. But survive the war and open a chili dog stand. He finally made it after decades of biding his time, and all that passion went into the perfectly executed chili dog." — DeepStateofAffairs

17. 

"White Castle. Specifically that big box of white castle sliders. (I want to try it because of Harold and Kumar)." — Camus-Albert

18. 

"I've always wanted to go to a 'real' haunted house with actors during the Halloween season. Or those scary corn mazes with actors, etc." — tadpolecrusader

19. 

"Beer pong." — manserct

Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

More parents are taking 'teen-ternity leave' from work to support their teenage kids

Parenting through the teen years takes a lot more time and energy than people expect.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Raising kids through adolescence is not for the faint of heart.

When you have a baby, it's expected that you'll take some maternity or paternity leave from work. When you have a teen, it's expected that you'll be in the peak of your career, but some parents are finding the need to take a "teen-ternity leave" from work to support their adolescent kids.

It's a flip from what has become the traditional trajectory for modern parents. Despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world to not have mandated paid parental leave, most parents take at least some time off when a baby is born to recover physically from pregnancy and birth and to settle into life with their tiny new human. Many parents then opt to have one parent stay home full-time during their children's younger years, as full-time childcare is often cost prohibitive, and raising babies and toddlers requires an enormous amount of time, attention and energy.

Parents often return to work when their kids are in school full-time, and many feel a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of parenting as their kids become more independent and capable of doing things on their own. It's not that older kids don't need their parents, but their needs are different. Physical parenting gives way to more complex emotional parenting as kids get older, and for a while, those emotional challenges are somewhat simple.

Then the tween years come along. Then the teens. And for some parents, a realization hits that parenting kids through puberty takes almost as much time, attention and energy, as toddlers do. Only now, those needs are much more complicated and consequential.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People are debating the merits of a 24-hour daycare and the discussion is eye-opening

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the need for this.

StableDiffusion

Are 24-hour daycares a good idea?

Millions of American parents utilize daycare centers while they work. Since most people work during the day, most daycare center hours fall somewhere between 7:30am and 5:30pm. It's rare to find a daycare that's open after normal working hours.

But one "24-hour" daycare in Houston captured people's attention—and sparked a debate—when a mom posted about it on TikTok.

Adventure Kids Playcare in Houston isn't actually open 24 hours a day but it does offer childcare up to 10:00pm during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. In the video, the mom drops her daughter off and we hear the employee tell her they close at midnight. The mom later says she picked her daughter up at 11:55pm.

Reactions to the video rand the gamut from "24-hour daycares are a brilliant idea for parents who work odd shifts" to "Moms shouldn't be leaving their kids at a daycare late at night just so they can go out," sparking a fascinating and eye-opening discussion.

Keep ReadingShow less

A dad is looking for a little more respect at home.

The title of dad or father is a sweet and respectful way to acknowledge a child's special bond with their male parent. It signifies love and respect and shows appreciation for his role in their life. But the title works both ways. The term dad reminds fathers of the responsibility to guide and protect their kids.

The importance of the unique role dads play in their kids’ lives is why a father named Steve was upset with his wife for repeatedly using his first name when referring to him with their preteen children.

The father vented about the situation and asked if he was wrong in a Reddit post with over 10,000 responses.

“My wife recently started using my first name when referring to me to our preteen kids, as in ‘Steve's gonna pick you up from school tomorrow,’” the father wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum. “I asked her not to when I first heard it, saying I don't really like when you use my first name to the kids. Can you say ‘your dad’ or ‘dad’?”

Keep ReadingShow less

Husband's portrait of wife is so bad that she nearly stops breathing

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if what your eyes behold is objectively...not good? In what appears to be a creative way to spend quality time together for a married couple, things go hilariously wrong. Ted Slaughter, uploaded a video to his TikTok page of an activity he and his wife did together.

Slaughter's wife seems to be holding the phone so you can clearly see what appears to be a painting of Slaughter, who is sitting at the other end of the table in front of an easel. The text overlay on the video says, "husband and wife paint portraits of each other (gone wrong). But what could possibly be wrong, sure his wife's attempt isn't art gallery ready just yet but it's not bad.

Based on the critiques the man had of his wife's painting, surely his looks much closer to professional level work. Right?...Right?

Keep ReadingShow less