If you’ve lived in the United States all of your life and are now going to be living in a different country for a while, you might be in for some culture shock once you see how different things can be in other parts of the world. So to help you with this transition, here are three things that might surprise you when living outside of the United States for the first time.
Authentic Cuisine And American Cuisine Are Very Different
While you might have eaten a lot of different foods while living in the US, in general, these were likely very Americanized versions of the food that you’ll find in the actual countries where these dishes originated. So when you order food that you think you recognize, be aware that it could look and taste much different. While you might enjoy this, it could also take a while for your gut to get used to these new foods and flavors, so just be prepared for a little trial and error at first.
No Ice In The Drinks
Along with the food being different in other countries, the drinks will likely be different as well.
One way that drinks in other countries, especially European countries, differ from America is that drinks do not automatically come with ice in them. In fact, many think that it’s very strange that most Americans put ice in their drinks. So while ice likely will be available to you from the chiller of whatever restaurant you’re visiting, you’ll have to ask for ice explicitly if you want it for your drinks. And in some countries, you’ll have to be careful about getting ice in your drinks at all, especially if the water isn’t safe for you to be drinking, as the ice that would end up in your drink could have been made from that exact water that you’re trying to avoid.
It’s Rare To Tip Someone
Another part of American culture that many countries don’t have as part of their culture is tipping.
While some places or some services will do tipping very similarly to how it’s done in the U.S., there are many places where tipping isn’t seen as something that is customarily done. Rather, a tip is seen as something you give if you really were given outstanding service.
Keep in mind, however, that some places view tipping as being offensive to them, as it makes them feel like you believe they need more money than they are getting. So before you try to tip someone, make sure you’re aware of how tipping is viewed in the exact place where you’ll be living.
If you’re going to be living in a country other than the U.S. for the first time, consider how some of the things mentioned above might be different for you in this new country and with their different culture.