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10 American Habits That Might Embarrass You In Other Countries – #8 is Plain Disgusting

It’s hard when you’re so used to doing something to suddenly find it’s considered rude in other countries. But for Americans that might well be the case – many American customs are a no-no abroad.

Going on holiday? Feeling nervous? Well here’s 10 American habits you’l need to avoid in other countries:

Sitting in the back of a cab.

sitting in the back of a cab
via mid0nz.tumblr.com

In America you jump right into the back of the cab, but in places like New Zealand, Australia and Scotland it’s customary to ride shotgun when you’re by yourself.

Laughing with your mouth open.

via Reddit.com

In Japan it’s considered very, very rude to laugh with your mouth open. Indeed, showing off your teeth when you laugh is thought to be horse-like.

Being fashionably late.

via bustle.com

For Americans it’s perfectly normal to say you’ll arrive at an “ish” time, but not everywhere! In other countries (particularly Germany) it’s considered the height of rudeness to be late as you’re wasting that person’s time.

Keeping one hand in your pocket.

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It might be fashionable in America to walk around with one hand in your pocket, but avoid doing it in countries like Turkey and South Korea. There is considered the height of arrogance.

That athletic fashion isn’t popular outside America.

wrinkly clothes
via cbc.ca

Baseball caps, flip flops, sweatpants and wrinkly clothes – it’s all part of that athletic fashion trend in America. Beware wearing your gym wear in a lot of Europe or Japan though. It’s considered very disrespectful.

Altering your meal.

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Americans love sauces – may it be barbecue, hot sauce or ketchup – sauce should go with everything. Be careful with your condiment love in European countries like France, Spain or Italy. Asking for sauce that isn’t already on the table can be a big no-no.

Eating outside a restaurant.

via sploid.gizmodo.com

Enjoying an ice cream walking down the street is perfectly acceptable in America, but not in Japan. Here eating anything outside a restaurant or hotel is considered very rude.

Blowing your nose.

via Giphy.com

When you’ve got a cold blowing your nose is completely necessary, unless you’re in countries like Japan, France, China, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. In these places it’s considered utterly repulsive to blow your nose in public.

Finishing off your food.

hungry eating food
via cosmopolitan.co.uk

To Americans finishing off your plate of food is a compliment to the cook – it means you really enjoyed it. Be careful in places like Russia, China, Philippines or Thailand as here eating all your food suggests your host didn’t give you enough food.

Not declining presents.

not declining presents
via ditchthelabel.org

In China you’re expected to refuse a gift three times before finally accepting it. In America gifts are gladly accepted and given.

via Tumblr.com
Steph Cosway
Steph Cosway
Journalism graduate and 100% geek. I have worked in writing for the last 7 years as well as dabbling in a science laboratory. So if I ever stop writing, it's because I've been in a lab experiment and turned into a super villain. I'm particularly interested in video games, comics and Harry Potter. Oh and I have lots and lots of cats.


  1. I totally and completely agree with blowing one’s nose in public. Disgusting. And most do not wash their hands afterward. Worse- blowing out snot from one nostril onto the pavement. Barbaric.
    Wearing sweat pants and causal attire in the US has run amok and embarrassing to me. After a visit to Rome where most people dress stylishly to run errands it was a shock enough to make me ill when I arrived in the US and saw the majority of “Americans” dressed slovenly with zero consciousness of how poorly they appear. Unmade beds walking around.
    Sadly, classy or dressy clothing is nearly gone. People do not understand how badly it reflects on them. Why would anyone respect or take seriously a slob?

  2. Don’t blow your nose in public, that’s disgusting. Hold it in until there’s so much snot in there you can barely breathe, and it starts to dribble slowly out of its own volition. So much more civilised 😛


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