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.

cafesperl_01

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.)

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Czech-Specific

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.

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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!)

ahh

Categories Faux pas

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