An internet user asked, What’s the strangest conversation you’ve had with a foreigner about America? 

Below are the 15 best responses

The Stereotype Of Americans Being Pale White

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“I’ll start. My mom is white but has tan, brown eyes and brown hair. I was talking to a French girl, who asked me where she was from. 

I said, “She’s American” and she said, “No, where is she really from”. I was confused, and she stated that “You can tell she isn’t American because she isn’t white”. My mom is full of white German descent. She’s just not, extremely pale. She also referred to all East Asians as “Chinese” and all black people as “African”.” 


The Tourist Supposition Involving Distances  

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“Had to disappoint a German couple who came into the gas station I worked at needing directions. They were older and didn’t speak the greatest English, and my high school German was never that amazing, but we figured out they wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Today.

We were in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.

They didn’t want to believe me when I said “eintausandachthundert kilometres.”  Until I pulled out a map and showed them.  Blew their minds.  So I gave them directions to the Columbia River Gorge, which was only about 45 minutes away.  I hope they enjoyed it.” Said one. 

“Always a good shock when people come here expecting to see NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Miami in 2 weeks.” Another added. 


Does the Tipping Culture Exist?

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“I was driving for Uber at the time, and I had an Australian guy in my car. I collect money from different countries, so at one point in the ride, I asked him if he had a few Australian dollars and I’d give him the value in American money back. He clearly misunderstood my ask, and he thought I was begging him for a tip.

He preached to me for what felt like 30 minutes about how the tipping culture in the States is so much different and how he doesn’t normally have to tip in Australia. I tried to explain that I wasn’t asking for a tip, but he wasn’t listening. It was just so awkward. He tipped me a few dollars in the app after the ride.” 


American Food Is BAD! Or, Maybe Not?

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“Many years ago, I was at the convention.

There were a group of Italians next to us who whined about how food is bad in America since they were only eating out from Pizza Hut. When I pointed out that the site is within walking distance of a great steakhouse, their reply was that they only eat Italian food.” 


To Know What’s Happening In The US, Watch Brazilian News 

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“Saw a Brazilian argue with 4 Americans that they didn’t know what life in the US was really like because they didn’t follow Brazilian news.” 


The Cool, Not-So-American Vibes

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“I was living in London in a big house with 11 people living in it from a bunch of different countries. I and the other Americans are talking to the French girl. 

She says “You guys are very cool, unusual. It’s surprising, you’re not like other Americans.” My buddy asks her, “How many other Americans have you known?”  “Oh, you are the only ones.”.” 


The Ironical Point Of View Of Americans Being Ignorant Bigots 

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“I worked in the UK with a ton of Europeans. One Hungarian guy was particularly insistent that Americans were ignorant bigots, although he conceded he had never visited the US or gotten to know an American. The irony was lost on him.” 


The Discussion Post The Iraq War

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“It was right after the start of the Iraq war (or at least within a year of the start). I am on a Caribbean cruise and went to go get breakfast. It was one of those where dinner was assigned seats but not the rest.

So I am about 15 and alone so I just went because I love breakfast food. So a few people sit down and this older Australian man starts to debate me over the war. I just think it’s weird. I tell him I don’t have much of an opinion and am not even able to vote.

This gets him really upset. At which point I point out that Australia invaded Iraq too… It was just weird because he was at a table of most Americans but picked on me. I just didn’t want to engage because it caused a bit of a divide in my family.”


Is Medical Trouble In America Really Equal To Bankruptcy?

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“I have a good one for this! When I was studying abroad in Italy, a French guy that was also there found out I had had a few surgeries when I was a young kid.

He was absolutely dumbfounded that I could afford to study abroad or even go to college. It was clear that he thought any medical condition meant guaranteed bankruptcy for almost all Americans.

No matter how many times or ways I explained health insurance, he just refused to believe me. He threw out a half-dozen theories about it, from back-alley surgery to well-hidden financial ruin to his ultimate conclusion that my parents are secret billionaires. I even showed him government websites, showed him my parents’ insurance plan, and shared a story of one of the surgeries almost not getting covered and cost my parents thousands as some middle ground. No matter what I said or did, he just refused to believe that medical trouble isn’t automatic financial ruin.” 


Americans Breathe Air Or Bread

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“My parents are from Korea, but I was born and raised in the US. When I was a kid, I visited Korea to meet some of my extended family. I stayed with an aunt and uncle mainly.

Every day my aunt kept asking me if I wanted her to buy me some bread. We’d eat breakfast and she’d ask. We’d be out for a walk or shopping and she’d ask… after lunch, dinner, etc. I didn’t question it until I visited later on in my 20s.

She asked whether I wanted any bread and I remembered my visit as a kid so I asked her why she kept asking me that even back during my visit as a kid. Koreans traditionally eat rice as a staple she assumed Americans ate bread in the same manner so she figured I “needed” bread at every meal like Koreans expect rice at basically every meal (at least back then, food culture’s changed a lot in Korea since then).” 


Old People Don’t Exist Or They Just…Die?

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“In Beijing, talking with a taxi driver and him not believing that we don’t have old people since they get shot and die before being able to reach an old age.” 


Who’s More Culturally Diverse?

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“A British girl tried to argue that England is more culturally diverse than the US and tried to back it up by asking when was the last time I heard someone speaking something other than English. She refused to believe that I’d heard anything other than Spanish maybe once every 6 months.

That’s one of the very few things that I can’t criticize about this country lol.” 


Not Everyone Understands The Concept Of Cheese Enchilada!

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“Went to school with a friend who had moved to the US from London with his dad when was around middle school age. He sees me unpack the cheese enchiladas and refried beans n rice my dad packed and is hovering over them.

I ask him if he wants any and he asks what I brought. He just had a blank look when I told him. I cut one in half so he could see the inside and he just looked absolutely confused still.

He takes the piece on the other fork, looks at it all around and puts it back down because he “doesn’t understand.” We were both confused but I still ate lunch. Many years later he married a Latina and regularly eats Mexican food (especially enchiladas) and refuses to acknowledge that one time lol.” 


Peanut Butter And Jell-O Sandwiches

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“I’m in a discord with mainly US and then Western European folks. The subject got on food and on the different things names of foods that both places have.

One person thought it was gross that we eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because they thought that (and to them it is correct) Jelly = Gelatin Dessert (Jell-O for many of us) rather than just a clear Jam.

And they would NOT be convinced otherwise. Like, no matter how much we tried to explain that in the US, Jelly is basically just what they think of as Jam, they remained convinced we ate peanut butter and Jell-O sandwiches.” 


What’s More American: The Stereotypical Cowboy Outfit Or Shorts And T-Shirt? 

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“When I was in Japan an older gentleman in the most stereotypical cowboy outfit stopped me and exclaimed in the most hilarious Japanese accent with a Texas twang. I’ve heard that he was more American than me because he dressed the part.

I was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with a monotone American flag on it. Before I could do more than smile and raise an eyebrow he was off with his buddies to another bar.

Being in Japan as anything but Asian is wild, especially if you get slightly out of the touristy areas. This was in Sapporo, Hokkaido.” 

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The article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.

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