Extreme Car Dependency
"American public transit is a joke outside of (certain parts of) a few large cities.
Some suburbs might have very limited and unreliable bus service, but more rural areas have zero transit at all... And even if you're in a place with decent transit, there's often no way to get from one city to another without a car. You really can't overstate just how car-dependent most of the US is!"
When you're from a country that has reliable public transit in nearly all locations, one could see why traveling to the U.S. would be a nightmare. In most cases, there's no good way to travel between cities, even states, except with a car.
Unsettling Experiences With Law Enforcement
"In 1990 my family and I traveled to the USA from Australia. We were pulled over on a motorway to check maps in or near San Diego which I think is illegal because a cop pulled up behind us. My dad in his akubra hat, stubby wearing gloriousness hopped out of our car and went to walk to the cop saying “Gday mate we’re a bit lost can you help us?”
Dude reached for his gun and screamed at dad to get back in his car. We were all sh*tting bricks because cops do not act like that in Australia. He made dad keep his hands on the steering wheel and gave us a stern warning about never ever exiting your car when a cop pulls you over. He ended up showing dad on the map where we had to go but f*ck, it put the wind up him!"
"I got mugged 2 hours after I arrived in NY"
"I am half-Japanese, and thus have a lot of friends and family from Japan who used to come visit, shop, and tour the states. Not anymore. Stuff always, every single time, has gone missing from their luggage.
They have to spend hours in line at immigration, where the staff is less than helpful to people who speak English poorly. The TSA routinely has hassled and sexually harassed my cousins, attractive Japanese girls who speak little English and get confused in our security checkpoints.
Last time my ex-gf came to visit from Japan, she had all of her underwear stolen out of her suitcase. It was all in a little baggy, which was taken. She said an LAX TSA agent winked at her and blew her a kiss. What the f*ck.
So g*d d*mn unprofessional, and it is turning people away from the states. These f*ckers are the first and last people foreigners see when they come to and leave the US, and they are the absolute scum of the earth.
And anyone that comes here and says "Oh, its really not that bad," travel outside the US and see how much better it is getting through security."
Home of the Free?
"I moved to the US when 19, from Switzerland...after a few years trying to make it, I realized I had to get out as soon as possible. But I didn't want to leave with out something to show for. So I got a college degree...and now; I sold everything I had in Cali- took my backpack to Thailand, was there for a few months before getting hired in Shanghai, China.
Now, most of you know Thailand is a paradise. I was a little hesitant about China, but g*d d*mn people, it is awesome here. I have more freedom in Shanghai, then in f*cking San Francisco- don't get me wrong San Fran is a cool place but ... if I can't openly walk down the street with a beer in hand- where is the freedom…"
"The toilet gaps are disturbingly huge? Like why the h*ll is there even a gap at all??"
"I went to a bar in Nashville that had shower curtains instead of doors."
"I'm from the UK and I'm still really baffled by this - surely it must be still possible to have a cheap door that afffords you the ability to shit without being in eyeshot of someone? I still am just confused as to why it's a cultural thing there - people can't like it or feel it's better? The ones here that are cheap still have gaps top and bottom but nowhere near the same size of the US ones."
Guessing Final Prices
"Sticker price is not what you will end up paying. There's taxes on top of that.
No f*cking idea why you couldn't just work that into each sticker price so I know exactly how much cash to pull out at checkout.
"Tipping. - We have the prices printed properly on the menu - There you have to factor in an extra percentage because apparently they don't pay their staff otherwise. I didn't know the first time I went there & things got very scary."
It Made Me Uncomfortable
"I've been to a few places - Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and also spent some time in Massachusetts. I liked meeting my friends there. I liked the goth/alternate scene in NYC (folk were SUPER generous to me). But some of the weirdness was really hard for a foreigner to get around and I'd need to be paid to go back. The sheer level of crazy danger in getting injured there and the insurance required is bonkers bananas.
Some of it, like people standing in my personal space, was just something you deal with, because you recognise you have a different level of comfort - people aren't being dead rude, this is polite for them. And people being curious about my accent was fine, I'm sure it was a bit funny. The Mexican food in the US, naturally, destroys Australian versions of Mexican with extreme prejudice.
And some of it like the GUNS GUNS GUNS and RELIGIOUS BILLBOARD IN YOUR FACE and YOU BETTER HAVE A FLAG ON YOUR LAWN HERE DUDE was...where the different values were too much for me to be comfortable. Also I kept being asked about my politics and who I'd vote for, and I really didn't want to have that conversation. And I'm sorry, but bread in the US sucks.
I'd go back if someone paid my way, for a visit?"
There Are Other Places to Visit
"I was planning to go to the US for a long time, but to be honest, recently all the toxic politics, fetishisation of guns and scary things that have happened to other Australians (Justine Diamond, Mem Fox etc) make Canada seem like a better option. I also had a cousin go to LA and he found it very dirty and unpleasant.
Canada’s mountain scenery seems similar and it comes across so much safer and friendlier."
"I have only been to California. It’s not that I hate the US but there are just 25-30 countries at least on the must see list ahead of them, so short of a lotto win probably won’t be back. oh and Hawaii, always forget it’s part of USA."
Some Unhygienic Situations
"The toilet water being so high. Wiping was terrifying!"
"Anyone who doesnt use bidet is definitely less hygienic imo."
"In my experience, most people don't really care in America and will wear shoes anywhere in their house. Some people will ask you to take your shoes off but it's rare."
"On my stag do road trip around America we visited Walmart a couple of times. My mates favourite story was when he was taking a piss in the Walmart toilet and a guy next to him dropped his lollipop in the urinal and picked it up and put it back in his mouth ??"
It's Just Depressing
"I have lived in USA 35 years ago. Went back 10 years later and backpacked for 4 months. Been back again twice since. Last time 2017. I found it a fabulous holiday destination. So much to see and do.
The only places I haven't been are the desert states. I come from desert here, so wasn't interested. Yellowstone is stand out. Also loved Seattle and The Smithsonian in DC has the most fantastic museums. Truly amazing. Grand Tetons have to be some of the most spectacular scenery on earth.
But I don't think I'll ever get back again. The gun culture terrifies me. And in 2017? The homeless just living on the streets was really depressing. And the whole "vibe" of the US had changed. People seemed stressed, angry, anxious and depressed sort of.
Plenty of workers surviving "on tips" just looked exhausted and would look straight through you. Not their fault. After travelling around a bit, my 10-year-old said "mum, people here seem so sad...." And I had to agree with her.
It's not the country I backpacked through in 1995."
"Never again. Went twice as a kid and it felt like the affluent areas were like a fake movie set and the rest of the country (behind the movie sets) were just sad, miserable people who were completely defeated. Never really felt safe like if you turned the wrong corner a mugging or death awaited."