I had not expected to be shocked when I went to the US as Australia is not that far removed, and of course we watch 'them' a lot on TV. Don't get me wrong, I loved a lot about America. Would love to go back there and do a road trip. I just did not expect to be shocked there. But I was...mostly by small things, like:
1) They really don't know anything about Australia. Like what language we speak. Or exactly where we are on the map (one pointed at New Guinea). And um whether we have cars. This is kinda cool as you can pretty much tell them anything 'oh yes, all the men in Australia wrestle crocodiles', 'yes, we have lots of desert. We are made tough in Australia, you know'. Of course, in many cases, they won't actually understand you, no matter how slowly you speak.
2) Shiny white shoes and white socks. This I noticed on my first day in Disneyworld. Otherwise attractive men would be wearing shiny white running shoes, with perhaps just one or two stripes, and bright white socks, stretched neatly up past the ankle. I realised then that I was highly unlikely to find any American male attractive.
3) Denim shorts, beige shorts. Apparently this is the travel uniform of the American, and they are all briefed on it at birth. Whether in Disneyworld or a Las Vegas casino, you could divide the American tourists into two groups. Denim short wearers. And beige short wearers. In most cases, teamed with a 'fanny pack'. Gorgeous!
4) The food. On my first morning there I went to a place called 'Ponderosa Steakhouse' for breakfast. Apparently icecream, fruit in heavy syrup (as in pie type), and a lot of fried materials constitute a good breakfast. And parents actually let their kids have icecream for breakfast. In Florida there was a lot of difficulty in getting healthy food (including total failure to get low fat milk for coffee...everywhere had only half n half). In my journal for day 5 of the holiday my last lines were 'Feel like my body is polluted - food here is so disgusting'.
5) Gum chewing. Everywhere. In the supermarket line. On the monorail. While walking. While talking. Not just kids. Adults...people actually with kids. Frequently with mouth wide open. Snapping it loudly. Chewing it as if it was sport. I found this just gross.
6) Conspicuous patriotism. Rows of flags at car dealerships/shops/restaurants/schools/outside people's houses. Calling it 'the greatest country on earth' on TV. Here we just don't do that...Australian flags are on display at some government buildings. That is pretty much it. If someone has a flag outside their house it is rare enough that you can use it as a marker in giving directions (just down Canning Highway, and left just after the house with the flag...).
7) Brochures advertising 'female company'. Not everywhere, but in Vegas they are handed out to all men (at multiple points) as they walk along the Las Vegas strip. It doesn't matter if they are with their wife, children or grandmother, they will be handed a brochure with photos and contact details of the women at the particular establishment. With no doubt at all as to what is being offered!