While living in New York I found a lot of differences between America and Europe. They have a lot of habits that we as Europeans find really strange and will never understand. No matter how many times I visit New York, there are a few things I will never get used to.
One of the most annoying things, they interrupt you every three minutes while you’re in a restaurant eating your food. Don’t be fooled it’s not because they are just being friendly, they are reminding you in their ‘subtle’ way that you need to tip them. Tipping here is mandatory, which I find really weird. I used to think of tipping as a reward for exceptional service. If I have to pay at least 15% extra, then include it in the bill!
The prices you see on the price tag or menu is not what you are paying in the end, they fool you (again ?!). Next to the tipping, you also have to pay taxes. I just don’t understand why they don’t include it into the price, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I would like to know how much I really have to pay, so I don’t get surprised at the check out.
I have never experienced this anywhere else, free unlimited refills ?????? Sometimes when your glass is nearly half full they will already refill it to the top. Surprisingly there are still people who order a large cup, why …. I now understand why obesity is such a big problem in the United States. They also serve really big portions, most of the time when I order a starter it’s already enough for me (doggy bags are great!).
How are you?
I’m not exaggerating if I tell you that I hear “How are you” more than 30 times a day. They use it here as a way to say hello, they don’t care about the answer. The funniest part, they don’t even wait for you to answer if you are okay. They already know that you are going to answer ‘great’ or ‘good, thanks’. Nobody wants to know how you really are.
Drinking age & drive age
One of the many things I don’t understand is that you are allowed to drive when you are sixteen, but have to be twenty one to order a alcoholic drink or go to a club. I mean.. does that sound logical to you?
We’ve seen it in every movie and I always wondered if it would be the same in real life. But guess what, it is .. Everyone is running around with coffee all day every day (and why is everybody in a hurry?!). In the morning there’s a huge line in every single coffee place. And again, when you order a normal sized coffee, it is as big as your head.
Despite all these things I (and probably a lot of Europeans) don’t understand about the Americans, I love New York and definitely want to visit more cities in the United States!
P.S: Did you liked this post? Make sure to also check out my travel blog about New York.