9 American Habits that Brazilians will never understand
Before people start saying that we shouldn't generalize, that the U.S is a huge country, a melting pot and people that live in Iowa probably have different habits than people from Florida, I want to say agree with that!
But obviously there are many cultural differences per example between Brazilians and Americans in general. After writing two popular posts highlighting customs in Brazil that sound awkward for Americans, I decided to do the opposite and list some American habits and behavior that Brazilians find weird.
This post reflects only my - and some Brazilian friends – opinion.
Hope you enjoy it! Comments are always appreciated!
I am aware that bikinis in Brazil can be considered very tiny for pretty much anybody else that is not a Brazilian. I get that. But what to say about the American bikini?
Hmm... definitely way too big!!
Public display of affection
I have to admit Brazilians exaggerate sometimes on this regard. As opposed to the more reserved American behavior, we touch everybody and are not shy at all about kissing in public. A friend of mine has a channel on YouTube called Amigo Gringo with some hilarious episodes about that!
Ahhh the American coffee.... always an interesting and controversial subject. Sorry to say that my Yankee friends, but after a long debate with Brazilians and Europeans we came to the conclusion that your coffee is watery and weak. No offense.
Thermos with cold milk at coffee shops
What is the deal with that thermos that holds COLD milk at coffee shops? Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of being able to add some milk on my coffee or tea, but COLD milk?? Wouldn’t make more sense if it was hot?
Lots of ice on drinks
I learned Americans love ice the first time I ordered an orange juice in the U.S and the glass came ¾ full of ice with a small amount of juice on top of it. My fresh squeezed OJ quickly turned into a yellowish colored water sitting on a pile of ice. Ice ice baby...
Touching the food while eating
In Brazil we love napkins. Seriously. We use them a lot, more than you my Brazilian friends have probably noticed. We generally don’t like touching our pizza, sandwich or a “salgadinho” with our bare hands. We use napkins! But not in the U.S. Here people don’t use napkins for this purpose. They use them for wiping the mouth and fingers, after having them greasy from the food they just touched.
Eating lunch in the office
This is another habit my Brazilian friends and I have hard time understanding. I know life can be really busy – especially in NY where I live. But come on, there should be a time to eat your meal appropriately and take a lunch break and unwind right? Plus bringing stinky food to work is not cool.
The check at a restaurant
I have to say I find this very annoying and rude. You’re having a good time with some friends in a restaurant, and then suddenly the waiter rushes in, cleans the table and brings the check. Wait, who said I’m done? Maybe I want to have that chocolate cake and a coffee!
Take it easy people, eating out wasn't supposed to be something stressful.
Brushing teeth after lunch
OK maybe Brazilians are a bit obsessed with cleanliness. We take two (or more) showers a day, and brush our teeth approximately 4 times a day, and needless to say this includes after lunch. I’ve realized this is not a universal practice only shortly ago, while I was brushing my teeth at my work’s bathroom and my colleagues gave me that questioning/surprised look. But I've kept my embarrassing tooth-brushing routine until today :)