10 things about the USA you should know


The sidewalks are empty!

When we are in California, we like to go for a walk with our little grandson. We noticed that the sidewalks are empty everywhere, you meet at most a dog owner, who turns a round with his dog. Worse is it in residential areas of Beverly Hills. As we walked through the streets we were looked at by some drivers very strange. We felt like we were doing something forbidden.

Without a car, nothing happens in the USA!

Everyday stuff is all done by car in the US. Also, if it's just a stone's throw to the nearest supermarket or bank, you can do it all by car.

There is a drive thru for almost everything, so you do not have to leave the car. Whether it's bank money, eating at fast food chains such as In and Out or Starbucks, there are car switches everywhere.

Pass the traffic jam on the Carpool lane

On highways of the United States, for example, in Los Angeles, you will find an extra track on the extreme left, the Carpool Lane.   By now we know that this lane may only be used by cars with at least two passengers. It is worthwhile to use this lane in traffic jams, because it is usually free, because the Americans almost always sit alone in the car.

American toilets work differently!

American toilets work on a different system. The toilet bowl is always at least half filled with water. Due to the amount of water, the odor is lower, the leftovers are immediately largely surrounded by water and disposed of without sanding marks. That is why you will find in the US rarely a disgusting, contaminated with bacteria toilet brush, since the water vortex cleans the toilet.

Shopping yourself pack a no go!

We go shopping almost every day when we visit our family. In Germany, I am used to packing everything immediately into a bag or a basket, but I gave that up after a few attempts in the USA. Almost always an employee of the supermarket is directly behind the cash register and does this job. I used to go shopping with my grandson in the supermarket and had a lot of shopping, because I was driven by this friendly helper the cart to the car. But not only that, he also stowed the bags in the car and took the shopping cart back with him.

Winter boots in hot temperatures!

We've noticed very often in California that many winter boots wear, but not only in winter as some may now think. We were sweating at about 30 degrees in October through the Citadell Outlet and were happy about every spot in the shade. Not so many Californians who went shopping with cuddly winter boots.

With pajamas on the plane!

When we arrived at the airport in Los Angeles, we did not believe our eyes. There were really people in pajamas on baggage claim and waited for their luggage. Of course, I immediately asked my son, who picked us up from the airport. He explained that even the celebrities travel on long flights in their pajamas because it is more comfortable on the plane than conventional clothing. Since I had to agree with him, it was quite uncomfortable with my jeans. In the meantime, I fly in a jogging suit and then I prefer the pajamas.

Doggy bags in restaurants!

In American restaurants, it is common to have everything you do not eat up and take with you. Simply leaving it would be an insult because it would mean the food did not taste good. So you ask for a so-called doggy bag which is gladly provided by the staff and takes it home.

Refill, refill as often as you want!

Most American restaurants have water for free to drink. If you order a soft drink, the waiters fill it as soon as the cup is only half full again immediately or you will immediately get a complete new drink. This can happen several times during a longer evening and it is called Refill. In fast food restaurants there is also that there you fill your cup just as often as you want.

Alcohol in brown bags!

Drinking in public is banned in many states in the United States, and alcohol is not often seen in this country. Already when shopping in the supermarket, the purchased bottle of whiskey was packed in a brown paper bag, because alcohol in California has to be sold in paper bags. Many USA visitors may have already seen the beer drunk from this brown paper bag. This is an attempt to hide the fact that you drink alcohol in public.

There are still many things about the US that are worth knowing, more about that in another report.


  • I did not know that with Carpool Lane. That's funny, they should also introduce here.
    Most of the sidewalks are empty, because everybody drives by car.

    • That's right, I think that's a very good idea but I think there would not be a single one left.

  • USA is always worth a trip. Thanks for your great contribution

  • That the sidewalks are damn empty, I know from my visits to South Carolina. I also noticed very much.
    I have not seen passengers in pajamas yet.
    However, I have to say that they dress really smart long-haul flights. Nice and comfortable in sweatpants, I always do it! I learned from my first long haul flight wearing jeans. Does not go, I get terrible flatulence, even in sweatpants. When I see how uncomfortably most Europeans travel, I have to wonder. Optics is unimportant.

    • You're right, I felt the same way after the first flight, but you're capable of learning. I got something informed and amazed how many photos there are celebrities in pajamas at the airport.

  • I was in NY and Florida 7 years ago. I found it terrible ... Without a car, nothing works and everything seems so terribly superficial. Was nothing for me!

    It's really amazing to me the empty sidewalks, because in movies and TV series you can see them totally enlivened ... but fine, if everybody does it all by car 😉

    nice sunday my love and best wishes also,
    ❤ Tina from http://www.liebewasist.com

  • Very interesting aspects! I did not know any of them either!

    Best regards!

  • great report, true. The toilets, I was amazed at my first time in the us not bad.

  • Hello,
    I would also find cool if our purchases would be packed 😀 always bending over is a pain for my back! Like an old grandma!

    Love Linni

  • The US is really a thrilling country - I should make a wonderful trip to the West Coast last year. Some of the points you mentioned came to our attention as well - we also walked through Beverly Hills because we wanted to see the houses. The cars of the homeowner were always very close to the front door or parked in the garden - you really had the impression, as they would like to go by car in the house 😉
    We are very positive that people were very open and helpful. Before we could ask for anything, they came to us by themselves to help us. This has spread through all areas, in the shops, in the public transport, in the restaurants.
    I wish you a beautiful Sunday!

  • Oh yes, that's right, I remember that, the sidewalks were really always empty! very nice facts about the usa!
    glg katy


  • Dear Sigrid,
    that's what happened to me on my first visit to the USA! We had actually tried to get to Miami Beach on foot. You just have to cross a bridge, but the pedestrian "away" ends after a few meters - so no chance to walk!
    Best regards, Ina

  • That's interesting information about the US. Since I had never been there, most of it was not yet known to me. I like the very well thought-out toilet system. That could also be introduced with us!

    best regards
    Britta from http://www.fulltime-mami.blogspot.com

  • This is a very interesting report.
    Never been in the USA since then, but these facts are really good.
    That with the winter boots when it's so hot, is really strange.
    best regards

  • Beats and Dogs

    Great facts about the USA! Unfortunately, with us in Europe, everything will become more and more modern by car. Personally, that's a pity.



  • Hmm and what's up with the sidewalks? I mean if not to go on what then? :))) and that with the brown bags I find a bit weird but yes these are the Americans
    Glg check

    • You hardly meet people. We always feel very stupid if we walk to the supermarket which is 500 meters away.
      best regards

  • This is a really great and very interesting contribution.
    I wish you a pleasant evening.

  • Dear Sigrid,

    The Carpool Lane I think is great! That's a great idea! And that the Americans like to fly in the Jobbinganzug I noticed as a flight attendant ;-). I have always found that terrible. Then they put on some sleeping-socks and pretended to be lying on the sofa at home. Now I think it's very funny in retrospect.

    Again an interesting contribution!
    best regards

    • I have to admit, meanwhile, I always take a pair of my self-made socks, so I do not get cold feet.
      best regards

  • I actually googled that with the toilets when we were in the US for the first time.
    Sometimes it's really funny what the Americans do and have for customs 😉 But they are very very sympathetic to me 🙂

    • I love the people there, they are almost always friendly and in a good mood, not as disgruntled as some of us.

  • The alcohol I find something contradictory.
    If he has to be sold in the brown bags, then everyone knows that there is alcohol in there.
    Even if you drink from it. That's no real hiding anymore? 😀

    I know that with the long flight and comfortable clothes too well. Although I did not have a pajamas on, but a cozy pants that I could roll up in Singapore. Is just more comfortable than jeans. But I find the people who take off their shoes and socks and their bare feet everywhere stretch out to their neighbors everywhere. Feet are not very nice, I think ^^ "

    Greetings from Singapore!

    • I think you should make it as comfortable as possible with such a long flight. By the feet I agree with you, I would never do that, think it disgusting.
      Greetings to you to Singapore

  • I already knew a lot from Australia, they handle everything very similar but I did not know that with Carpool Lane. Great written your contribution 🙂

    Lg Clara from http://www.clarakatharina.com

  • Dear Sigrid

    We love traveling to the US and even I found something in this report that I did not know! Thank you!

    Yes, walking with this is something I do not like so much, I would like to do something on foot from time to time in America, but either it is not or it is too warm, so we just drive by car or by bike! ; oD

    Have a nice day!


    • Dear Jacqueline
      We try to run as often as possible, meanwhile we know each other well and know where to go for a walk.
      best regards

  • I already knew most of the things since my best friend lives in the USA. I did not know that with the toilets. Really interesting.

    Thanks for the contribution!

    All the best!

  • How funny! 🙂 And why are the sidewalks empty? Even with the Carpool Lane I find funny. 🙂

    All the best,

    • The Carpool lane is really helpful because you can just pass the traffic jam. With us, everyone would drive on this track, even if he sits alone in the car, the Americans have just one more discipline.
      best regards

  • Yes, more customer service in the supermarket would inspire me too. However, that would probably be a mini job with us, right?
    Great article, was fun to read.

  • Weidemann dagmar

    Thank you very much for the great report, all very interesting news, encourages me in my long-held wish to fly over the big pond and to discover this great country itself, in this sense, best regards

  • Hello Sigrid.
    It was great information from America again. Of the toilets you had already reported.
    In the supermarkets, I would be annoyed if someone else packs my food. Not even my husband is allowed to do that? Are they doing that too well, or are they just putting everything in their bags? Here I always find it terrible if the sales people just throw the goods over the tape, because I've complained before.

  • A great contribution! Finally something that I have not read anywhere before.
    LG Kati

  • Very nice post, these are really very interesting differences!

    best regards

  • Really interesting and exciting differences you describe! Thanks again for the educational informative contribution!

    Lg from Norway

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