13 Things You Shouldn’t Do when You’re in the US

The United States of America is home to many opportunities, and diverse people hoping to improve and level-up their lives. If you’re looking forward to visiting or living the American dream by migrating, read this blog first!

Here are the 13 craziest things you should never do when you’re in the US! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

1. Get a Payday Loan

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Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans that are typically taken out by borrowers who need quick access to cash. In the United States, payday loans are usually offered by storefront lenders or online lenders and are often advertised as a way to cover unexpected expenses or bridge the gap until the next paycheck.

One person stated, “People end up rolling them over every week for like a $25-$50 fee while the juice keeps running. By the time you pay down a simple $500 loan it comes out to something insane like a 750% interest rate over the course of a year.”

Another person commented, “It's better to take a cash advance from your credit card than a payday loan. The interest rate is better. Both of those are bad ideas, but the cash advance is the less bad idea.” 

“My [goodness] I wish everyone knew just how shady payday loan places are. Took out a $500 loan when I was 18 and dumb. They came after me years later and eventually got a court to garnish my wages. The settlement was for $17,850,” a third user added.

2. Go Times Square on New Year's Eve

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One person stated, “Go to Times Square on New Year's. The experience is so not worth it. It’s romanticized for some reason.”

Another person replied, “Soooo [many people go to the bathroom, waste is] everywhere.”

A third user added, “This. The ball is tiny and there’s more people there than there is air to breathe.”

3. Get Out when you're Pulled Over

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“Get out of the vehicle during a traffic stop. I did not know this, here in Australia we are perfectly OK to get out of the vehicle unless the cop says otherwise,” one person stated.

“Once I rolled through a stop sign in front of my college dorm and had parked and was out of my car before the cop pulled up behind me and screamed for me to get back in the car. I hadn’t seen him at all and the lights weren’t on until I was already out of my car. He was so angry and was asking why I got out of my car,” a second person replied.

Another user added, “Wow this is crazy. Here in South Africa people get out and yell at the cops, cause a scene, and go bananas.”

4. Trespassing

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“[Don't walk] on to someone's property without permission, or knowing the owner. It's cool in many places around the world to be able to go wandering through the countryside. It is not cool in the U.S. You might end up getting arrested, [or worse…]” one person stated.

“I also want to add here that it is dangerous to go through folks property not just because they might purposely [aim] at you. But also they might accidentally [aim] at you as a lot of people use their backyards as a range. Or they might have territorial animals,” a second person replied.

Another Redditor added, “Can confirm, two friends of mine when camping. Ate mushrooms and decided to go skinny dipping in the lake. Got disoriented and came out of the lake onto someone’s property. Saw a man on the property and called out for help but the man pulled a [firearm] on them…”

5. Leave your Sleeping Infant in a Vehicle

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One person commented, “Never leave your sleeping infant/child in a vehicle. This is fairly common in some places across the pond, but it is definitely NOT legal in the US.”

The second person replied, “Genuinely curious, in what places is it common to leave a child unattended in a car? And why is it deemed okay?”

One commenter added, “It is quite common in Europe to leave a sleeping child in the car or the pram/buggy outside of an establishment. People will go in to eat or run errands. They do pop out and check on the child fairly often. From Denmark to the UK, it is the way of life on this side of the pond. Unfortunately, many British and Europeans will go across to the US, usually as tourists, and not realize this. I expect if you do a Google search on New York you will come up with some actual occurrences as I've read about them in the news over the years.”

6. Record Videos of Strangers’ Children

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“Don’t take pictures or record videos of strangers’ children. I’ve had to warn many people coming over from Asia about this. Some have ignored me and it has led to screaming and threats,” one user shared.

“Genuinely curious: in other cultures, when might someone do this?” another person asked.

“Someone in China literally handed me their baby and took a picture of me with it. Everything happened so fast and I was so confused. I didn’t want the baby or my picture taken,” the third answered.

7. Relieve Yourself in an Empty Street

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One user commented, “[Don't think] that you can [relieve yourself] in an empty alley on your way home from the bars. A surprisingly large percentage of my European acquaintances have had to great experience of spending a few hours early morning hours in the drunk tank in various American cities – because it's really not that big of deal in most of Europe.”

“I’d add that it’s illegal to consume alcohol in most public spaces (sidewalks/parks) in much of the US. Exceptions: New Orleans, beer/wine in Denver parks,” added another.

Someone else shared, “And if you [relieve yourself] close enough to a school and get caught, you may have to register as a sex offender too.”

8. Bribe a Police Officer

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“Not just bribery! Apparently in some countries, if you get a ticket for something you can actually pay the fine to the police officer on the spot. NFL kicker and Raiders legend Sebastian Janikowski was arrested and almost deported back to Poland for trying to bribe a police officer, until he convinced the court that he just thought that's how it legitimately works,” one person stated.

Another person replied, “This is good advice. It's such a common practice in other countries that it's really good to know not to try it here. Police are increasingly monitored through audio and video recording (devices in their cars, but also that they must wear on their uniforms), so they can easily get in a lot of trouble if they take a bribe. You can get into even more trouble if you attempt to bribe them.”

9. Cheat the IRS

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One user commented jokingly, “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and a jilted IRS.”

Another person replied, “Only if you're poor. If you are rich with a decent accountant, you can get away with it for years, decades even. If your tax statements are 1000+ pages long, they can't be bothered.”

Finally, the third added, “Unless you are a millionaire or billionaire then you’ll be fine. IRS is set up for the working class.”

10. Engage with Angry Drivers

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“Engage with someone acting like a crazy person on the road. They might shoot you,” one person said.

“This is not exaggerated. I live in a really safe area and we have had a few horrible road rages shooting cases over the past few years,” the second person replied.

“Had a cousin get followed to a gas station by a guy he didn’t even realize he cut off. The guy came and hit him in the face with a wrench while was pumping gas. I always get nervous now if someone I’m riding with starts to escalate a road interaction,” someone shared.

11. Cutting in Line

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One person commented, “Cut in line. I've been in countries (example: Spain) where lines/queues are more of a vague suggestion of who goes first, this is not true if you cut in line in the US. Cutting in line in the US can literally lead to violence.”

Another person replied, “Wow you guys cut each other in lines and that doesn’t cause violence? That’s such a huge faux pas in the US that genuinely I thought that was a global thing haha. Shows little respect for the people waiting before you imo.”

“Cutting in line being acceptable in some countries seems absurd to me. It’s just common decency and order to let the person who arrived first go first. How can someone be waiting their turn then have someone else just get there and cut in front of them and not be [angry]?” another user added.

12. Make Generalizations

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One user commented, “Don’t base your entire opinion and generalization of the country just from one part or a particular region. Cultures, values, and people are so different all over the US.”

Another person replied, “The worst thing someone could do in that respect is form an opinion on Americans based on what they see on TV.”

Another user added, “In Michigan you can go from Detroit which is hugely liberal, to the west side of the state that's insanely religious and conservative, but then drive a bit north on the west coast and you pass through Saugatuk which is the unofficial gay capitol of the state up into Petoskey which is crazy old money rich people and then onto the Leelenau peninsula which is full of wineries and might as well be California, then take a trip into middle Michigan and you're in the south. Then go up to the UP and you're in rural Canada.”

13. Getting Injured without Insurance

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“Get injured/sick without insurance. You’re honestly better off just dying,” one person stated.

“Just to clarify, most of us don't want it this way. We just live within a system where what we want is very rarely what we get,” the second person replied.

“The worst thing is you can't even choose just dying, if something happens and an emergency is called, they'll take you to the hospital against your conscious consent and charge you. That would really piss me off. If something happens and someone decides to save me, don't charge me for it,” the third added.

View the original Reddit thread.

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