12 Ways You Can Spot an American Abroad

Spoiler alert: Most of these have to do with food.

All Europe

1) She will be the one speaking too loudly in the street or in the café, quieting down suddenly when she becomes self-conscious of her American-ness.

No... Clocks. DO YOU HAVE CLOCKS?   It's a good thing Chuck raised his voice, because Pedro understood loud English.
No… Clocks. DO YOU HAVE CLOCKS? It’s a good thing Chuck raised his voice, because Pedro understood loud English.

2) She will react confusedly to any word like “trainers,” “trousers,” “car park,” “lorry”…

3) She will be the one complaining about how slow waiter service is in restaurants. See also: This New Yorker in Before Sunrise. We are the same person.


Note: I have since come to appreciate Czech/European waiters’ special brand of indifference. I like being left alone. Except when I’m in a hurry.

4) She will be the one asking, Can I take this to go?

Note: I still find the sentence structure of asking in Czech “Can you please put this in a box?” impossible. And it took me forever to realize that I don’t have to double the “s” sound in “s sebou”- a huge tipoff that I was a foreigner.

5) She will be the one asking for 10 tastes of ice cream before buying. They don’t have a problem with it in the States! 🙂

6) She will be the one wondering, Why is the coffee so small here?

7) She will be the one proudly giving her ID to be checked in the pub because she most certainly is of drinking age- she turned 18 yeeeeears ago, thank you very much.

8) She will be the one trying to make everyone eat peanut butter. (True story. I have many converts.)



9) She will be the one wondering if the police will arrest her for drinking burčák on the street in broad daylight.

10) She will be the one snapping photos of people drinking as classily as they can manage on the train, because this would never in a million years happen in the States.


11) Wait, you can buy beer in a train station at 11pm and drink it in the waiting room?

12) She will be the one having a panic attack in Albert on November 20th because there are no pumpkins left by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. (I really never knew they weren’t seasonal in November. My American childhood was a lie!)


Categories Faux pas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Explore the city of Berlin with us as we share stories, information, and highlight the women of Berlin.


Life in the Czech Republic with my Czech-American family

Live an Untethered Life

The search for ways to add meaning to life through the mind, body and spirit.

Travel on a side note

Observations made by an observant traveler

Adventures in Wonderland

a pilgrimage of the heart

Croissants & Conjugations

my year(s) teaching English in France

Stories I've Never Told...

(...and some I have)

Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close