Weird Stuff Americans Do That They Don’t Know Is Weird

8. Unpaid maternity leave


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There’s no law mandating pay for pregnant women or mothers who’ve recently given birth on leave in the country, although it’s considered a basic right in many other parts of the world.

In fact, the U.S. is the only wealthy country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave, says Virginia-based news site

“I make $26/h. Get 5 weeks paid vacation (I pay ca. 30% Gov. tax + ca. 2% Social tax) 30 min paid lunch break. If need be; call in sick 12 days/yr with pay. Go to doctor/dentist during work hrs. – still get paid. The US seems like a different planet to me,” says Norwegian @SagbakMarit on Twitter.

9. Putting lots of of ice in drinks

@chloe_am_baker / Twitter

If you order a glass of water at the restaurant, your waiter’s probably going to bring back a beverage guaranteed to rattle your teeth — even in the dead of winter.

“Americans put so much ice in their drinks, took a sip of my Diet Coke and got hit full force from the wall out of Game of Thrones,” jokes @chloe_am_baker on Twitter.

Food site Epicurious says the obsession may have stemmed from the 19th century, when iced beverages were considered a luxury item for the rich. Ice is a lot cheaper to come by today — you can just stick a tray of water in your freezer for a bit and pop out the ice cubes whenever you want — but the craze hasn’t exactly melted down.

10. Tipping waiters

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Americans balk at the idea of tipping their waiters less than 15% of the bill, but the entire practice is frowned upon or considered rude in a number of other countries.

“How much are you meant to tip? Why do you have to pay the worker on top of what you’ve already paid for? Coming from New Zealand, it just confuses me and doesn’t make sense that workers get so underpaid they have to rely on the amount of money that someone decides to give them in order to have a decent income,” writes jadermeister on Reddit.

The federal minimum wage rate for tipped workers is just $2.13 an hour.


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