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Thread: 30 Non-Americans on normal American stuff they find weird

  1. #61
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Aussie GST (sales tax) is 10% so easy enough to calculate but price tags, menus, quoted prices include GST so what you see is what you pay. I don't understand why it's not common practice in the US but suspect it's partly an old marketing trick to make goods/services appear cheaper. But I'm not complaining, the sales tax in the UK is 20%. Go UK economy!

    And yes, US expats/visitors can be just as vocal in their whinging about life overseas. A family from Idaho moved into our street and they never stopped complaining about how "weird" everything is here. They had great difficulty even understanding the accent. I vividly remember the look of absolute panic on Mrs Idaho's face when I told her we don't have Walmart in Australia. They only stayed 3 months. You could tell they had already decided to hate it from Day 1. Closed minds and absolutely zero sense of humour is a fatal combination.

    I've visited the US several times but only a tiny fraction of the place as a whole (NYC, Florida, West Coast, Montana, Chicago) and didn't find it homogeneous at all except for the junk food opportunities but that's true worldwide. But some of the comments in the OP do ring true and they are said with affection and amusement so it's not America bashing at all. Lighten up bitches.
    I think in some places they don't put the prices on items because of the difference in taxes in all states. Of course, if they use the little price guns in the actual store, that would be easy to fix. Every state has a different sales tax rate, so price tags would all have to be different, depending on the state the item is shipped to. Sometimes, it would even depend on the city. Is the sales tax in Australia the same throughout the country? Or so the states and territories have different tax rates?

    As for the original post, I have no idea what the whole grape flavored thing is. I don't see many things grape flavored. Jelly and a soda. And pickles? I love pickles but I know a lot of other cultures that eat a ton of pickles. Persians eat a lot of pickles.
    Last edited by KrisNine; November 6th, 2013 at 06:30 PM.

  2. #62
    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    No it's a flat 10% across the country, but doesn't apply to fresh food (apparently). It's all included in the price unless you're being invoiced for a service then they break down the cost plus GST but you still get a total without having to use your brain. All receipts are supposed to show you the figure for GST but again it's all included so we don't have to think.
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  3. #63
    A*O
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    It's the same in all states/territories. Imagine! Although we have three levels of Govt, local councils/state/federal (one too many IMO, take your pick which one but I'd ditch state) a lot of our legislation including GST is federal so country-wide.
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  4. #64
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Try living in Colorado, where there are several different sales tax tiers. Plus cooked food has a higher sales tax, with fast food being frowned upon in healthy Colorado, having the highest rate of all. And each individual town, not county, gets to set the tax rate of prepared food, so depending on which side of the street you buy a Wendys on, you could be paying anywhere from 8-12.9% interest.
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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    I would really struggle to budget with all that, i feel for your poor people!
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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    I'm hoping to be in Colorado for a month next year, so that's interesting Greys. I didn't know that.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Well if you do come, don't even try to figure tax out in your head, you'll just give yourself a headache.
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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    The only time I forgot about the tax was when I was 12 buying swimming goggles and my Dad had only given me enough for the price on the tag. The awkwardness of running squawking through the shop to find my parents still horrifies me to this day.
    Ain't nothing wrong with Ohio wang! - MontanaMama

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    I'm still laughing about the toilets...I had no idea ours were so different than the rest of the world's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    but they only have a few pillows, a duvet and a fitted sheet instead of 47 different sized pillows and decorative cushions piled onto the bed, along with about 4 different kinds of sheets, comforters, blankets, decorative throws, bedskirt, mattress and a box-spring mattress under that so that in the end you've got a bed that's 5ft high and it takes half an hour to get into it and about an hour to make it in the morning
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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I thought the post was cute and rather hilarious, and I would love to see a similar one about Canada! I think the US in this case is an "easy target" because it is so big and such a popular destination - so many people from all over the world have visited at one time or another. I mean, I could post a bunch of random things that I found weird about Scotland or Serbia or somewhere, but it likely wouldn't resonate with nearly so large a crowd. People might find it vaguely interesting but not nearly as many would be able to relate.

    I do understand that Mel is referring to a different kind of singling out, and I agree that that is unfortunate, unfair and often unwarranted. This post I thought all in good fun though. I would love to visit Texas, by the way, and am hoping to do so this winter!
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    A*O
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    I'm off to Canadia again in a couple of weeks. I will take notes and report back. I can already list those scary 4-way junction right of way road rules. WTF??
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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    There are a million things Aussies get shit put on us about - but hey, people still keep coming over so we must be doing something right.

    For example - any man who gets in the back seat of a taxi is un-Australian (unless he's drunk and with a drunk woman and they plan on groping all the way home). A real man - an Aussie man - sits up front with the driver. To do otherwise would imply that you're up yourself.
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  14. #74
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Aussie GST (sales tax) is 10% so easy enough to calculate but price tags, menus, quoted prices include GST so what you see is what you pay. I don't understand why it's not common practice in the US but suspect it's partly an old marketing trick to make goods/services appear cheaper. But I'm not complaining, the sales tax in the UK is 20%. Go UK economy!

    And yes, US expats/visitors can be just as vocal in their whinging about life overseas. A family from Idaho moved into our street and they never stopped complaining about how "weird" everything is here. They had great difficulty even understanding the accent. I vividly remember the look of absolute panic on Mrs Idaho's face when I told her we don't have Walmart in Australia. They only stayed 3 months. You could tell they had already decided to hate it from Day 1. Closed minds and absolutely zero sense of humour is a fatal combination.

    I've visited the US several times but only a tiny fraction of the place as a whole (NYC, Florida, West Coast, Montana, Chicago) and didn't find it homogeneous at all except for the junk food opportunities but that's true worldwide. But some of the comments in the OP do ring true and they are said with affection and amusement so it's not America bashing at all. Lighten up bitches.
    We don't have sales tax in Montana, so everytime I travel I always think wtf when the tell me the total (bearing little resemblance to the stated price). First time I came to Montana fort he first time before I moved here, I kept having to stop myself from asking if they took US cash because it seemed like such a foreign (read nice) place.

    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    I'm hoping to be in Colorado for a month next year, so that's interesting Greys. I didn't know that.
    Meh, come to Montana instead...same Mountain range, no math!
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    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    Pancakes for breakfast was weird too
    Uh, what? Pancakes ARE breakfast food. I mean, you can eat them at dinner, but then that's called "eating breakfast for dinner" (which I love anyway)

    I’m American, but a visiting Italian friend was very puzzled at Americans’ use of the phrase, “Oh, really?” in group conversations. Somehow he took that as a person challenging his opinion, when in reality, it’s just some habit a lot of us have that basically means, “Interesting. Can you elaborate?” The guy was red in the face after an hour because he literally thought everyone in our group was challenging every single thing he said.
    Interesting!

    Holy shit American bread is awful. We stopped eating burgers and sandwiches after a couple of days cos, I swear, all the bread was full of sugar. Towards the end of or trip we ate at a lovely Italian restaurant that had beautiful bread.
    This says a lot to me. They can't judge a country by its (presumably) fast/chain food places. When I go to visit my family down south, all you see for miles is chain joints and junk food. Don't get me wrong, I LOOOOVE me some Bojangles, but there is a limit. Inside 2 weeks, I'm ready to go back home to real Italian, good Chinese, and little mom-and-pop restaurants. Point being, I can see how someone would think that's all the US is, when the vast majority of people I know rarely, if ever, eat fast food. Ditto how everyone thinks my beloved state is all oil refineries and funny smells based solely on what they see driving down the Turnpike.

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