Intercultural differences sometimes make it extremely challenging to achieve mutual understanding. Despite the United States’ cultural influence on the world, some aspects of American culture and daily life turn out to be completely alien to those outside of the country. There are multiple things unique to the United States, including the widespread marketing of pharmaceutical products, differences between actual prices and prices on product tags, and unusual food, such as spray cheese.
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Firstly, what every foreigner needs to know about the U.S. is that the nation’s tendency to value time and convenience can lead to the popularization of very unusual alimentary products, such as aerosol cheese. Many things that Americans consider usual will be labeled by foreigners as some “weird American quirks” (Tufekci). When it comes to food, aerosol cheese is a valid example of peculiarities to induce this reaction. Aerosol or spray cheese can be described as processed whipped cheese that is packaged in metal cans and can be extruded from it similarly to aerosol whipped cream. Importantly, this product is rather popular among common Americans since it reduces the amount of time needed to cook cheese sandwiches and appetizers. Despite being an unusual product, spray cheese is very convenient, which makes it a good choice for outdoor picnic parties or similar events.
Secondly, the fact of life that many people outside of the U.S. would probably find unusual is the legality of direct-to-consumer drug advertising. This approach to advertising involves the use of marketing channels to promote medical products, including prescription drugs, to common consumers instead of focusing on healthcare providers and organizations. For example, in the U.S., one can find advertisements for prescription drugs on social media websites or on TV. Therefore, this approach to advertising shapes healthcare consumers’ preferences. Also, it eventually pressures providers to prescribe the most extensively publicized drugs that are not always the most effective. Tufekci supposes that many see the U.S. as “a place of risk-taking and ruthless competition.” To some degree, the decision to legalize direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceutical drugs has to deal with increased health risks and the intensification of competition in the pharmaceutical market.
Thirdly, when going shopping, foreigners should understand that price tags in the U.S. do not show the full price of a specific product. It would help those who think that they “had seen enough movies” about the U.S. to avoid awkward situations when making purchases (Tufekci). In particular, price tags mention the price of the product without adding the tax, which is why one should be ready to pay more than expected. It happens because sales taxes vary depending on the state and even the city. Finally, Americans prefer to know the exact sum of money that they pay in taxes, and price tags that show only the final price would make the size of the tax unobvious.
To sum up, dissimilarities between objects and phenomena that the representatives of different cultures encounter should be taken into consideration. For those planning to travel to the United States, such things include unique drug advertising practices, differences between price tags and actual prices, and peculiar snacks. The awareness of these and similar phenomena can definitely help a person to understand the uniqueness of American culture.
Tufekci, Zeynep. “Why the Post Office Makes America Great.” The New York Times, 2016, Web.