Fun Facts

In America… In Belgium…
 … popcorn is salty  … popcorn is sweet
 … most Americans cannot call foreign phone numbers because operators block these by default.  … no telecoms company would think about blocking foreign numbers.
 … you need to be 21 to drink alcohol, and ID’s are taken when you wish to buy alcohol.  … you need to be 16 to buy alcohol, but it is common for younger people to be able to buy beer at pubs or in shops.
 … stronger alcoholic drinks should be bought in special “liquor stores” and cannot be found in the normal super markets.  … all drinks can be found in any normal shop or supermarket.
 … Identity theft is very common as american payment systems have little or no protection. Credit cards, for example, are simply swiped and signed off with a signature (which are rarely checked).  … All cards are protected with a chip and you always need to enter a pin-code when you make payments.
… at traffic lights, you can go right on red (yielding). … red traffic lights means stop and all traffic should hold till green.
… cops will stop you and put in in jail for speeding. Speeding is a crime. … cops sit in cars reading the paper or taking a nap, taking your license plate picture if you speed, using an automatic camera. Later you simply receive a ticket. Speeding is a national sports and a source of income for the police.
… most cars have automatic transmissions and diesel cars are very rare. … people almost exclusively drive manual and diesel cars make a significant part of the car park.
…credit is based on past credit. The value of the goods bought is of less importance. …credit is based on your actual income and the value of the goods bought.
… in traffic, you can cross a full white line, you should just try to avoid doing so. You cannot cross the full yellow lines. …in traffic, you must not cross the full white lines to overtake or switch lanes. They are considered ‘invisible walls’.
… when someone calls you, the telecom company charges you for using the minutes too. This is very problematic when telemarketers call you all the time. … you only use minutes if you call yourself. Never if someone else calls you.
… Mint toothpaste is green, as toothpaste should have the color of what it tastes like. … Mint toothpaste is white, as toothpaste must look like it is clean and white is the color of clean.
… People in Texas use airco all the time, being sweaty is their worst nightmare. Offices being cooled down to 68F (20C) is no exception. … In Belgium people easily start heating their homes, everyone is scared of being cold. Offices being heated to 21C (70F) is no exception
… in the Country of Credit, credit card bills need to be paid by the end of the statement cycle. You have a maximum of 30 days between paying and transferring money to the credit card company. … Credit card statements are created at month end and you have till your next statement to pay the bill without interest charge. You have a minimum of 30 days between paying and transferring money to the credit card company.
… Wire transfers (Electronic payments from a checking account) are pretty expensive. Consequently most people use checks or credit cards. … Wire transfers are free within the EURO-zone and checks are in process of being phased out because they are insecure and expensive.
… It is illegal to deliver mail to someone’s mailbox. The mailbox is USPS property, even if you bought it! … You own your mailbox and anyone can drop anything into it. Preferably mail.
… Milk can be found in the refrigerator. … Milk is stored with other drinks, since milk only needs refrigeration once opened.
… Windows open upwards, which means only half the window can be opened, but you do not need room to open windows. Although in most places in the South you are not supposed to open windows at all and only use air conditioning.  … Windows open inside the house, so you need some space available to open them. However, once you do open them, they open to the fullest.
 … People take 1 week off, max. Most Americans are afraid to take more than 2 weeks off, because they would be considered slacking at work.  … Everyone takes off for summer. The whole country shuts down and nothing happens for about 5-6 weeks from July 21st to end of August. It’s fairly common for people to be off 3-4 weeks.

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