You always know an American when you see one overseas. So, what do they do to make this obvious? Maybe, it’s their accents, idiosyncrasies, or style that make them stand out in the crowd abroad. Here are a few ways you can identify an American tourist abroad.
Can I Get Ice With That?
Ordering ice with a glass of soda or water is a typical thing to do in America, unlike in other countries. It turns out, a man named Frederic Tudor created a market for ice by giving it away for free to soft drink companies until it became a norm.
Spot Them With Their Baseball Caps
If you someone wearing a baseball cap on their head, then there’s a good chance they’re American. This baseball cap might be a mark for comfort, practicality, and a tad-bit of culture. Although the fascination to watch and analyze baseball games has transformed into watching footballs, this is one culture that Americans adhere to even while visiting foreign countries.
So, culture seems to play a bigger role in wearing baseball caps than its functionality. All analysis aside, they could simply wear it because they like wearing it.
All About Clapping
Whenever you see a person clapping at the movie theater or anywhere else really, you know they’re American. Nobody knows the reason for this unnecessary applause. For many, louder claps reflect a deeper acknowledgment. So, they clap whenever they find something extremely good.
On the other hand, many Americans state that “they are programmed for clapping since birth.” As hilarious as this may sound, it could indeed be the case. Jokes aside, it might seem like a silly trend, but the sentiment behind this unnecessary clapping is not as silly.
The Bro Culture
Calling random people “bro” and asking them “sup” is a trademark of Americans. However, saying these words to an elderly person in a different country might bring in some trouble no matter how affectionately it’s said.
If you are American and want to keep it low-key, avoid using these casual words as they might not fit into every culture. You do not want to get anybody alarmed although these words are nothing but casual.
Fanny Packs Around the Waist
Hold your laughter. Americans do not wrap fanny packs around their waist as a clothing accessory but as a tool to protect their belongings from the eyes of burglars in foreign countries. This is not something that they do in the states. Furthermore, fanny packs are easier to carry than large leather bags.
Fanny packs are also known as kidney bags in Spain and banana bags in France. So, this bag is not as uncommon as it seems. Also, carrying this kind of bag is nothing to be ashamed of!
Walk and Eat
Yes — this is also a classic way to identify an American. Everybody is aware of how most Americans work for long hours. They probably don’t have a minute to spare before work in the morning. So, they usually grab a bite on the way to the office.
They probably walk and eat out of habit more than anything. However, an American might stop this habit in Japan where tourists are asked not to walk and eat. They consider walking while eating to be a sign of poor manners.
No Metric System
If you encounter a person who scratches his head in confusion every time the conversation of the metric system comes up, that person is probably American. The existence of the imperial system while measuring the size of machinery during the Industrial Revolution was the main reason why Americans put so much weight on the IS system rather than the metric system.
Although Americans have a tendency to be leaders rather than followers, it does no harm to get acquainted with the metric system.
They Do Not Leave McDonald’s Alone
Whichever part of the world Americans visit, they always look for McDonald’s. They probably want to feel a bit at home in other countries by eating here. On the contrary, they might also go for McDonald’s because they want to compare the food and services of that country to their own.
Every country has its own uniqueness in its branch compared to others. So, visiting McDonald’s in some other country is not a waste after all.
Americans Do Not Keep Their “Drinks” on Hold
Americans drink to a great extent. When it comes to drinking, they never reach diminishing marginal utility — meaning, they won’t resist ordering another drink even if they’ve been going at it for the last hour.
So, if you hit the restaurants and notice a person ordering drink after drink, they’re probably American. With that being said, not all Americans are into this partying lifestyle; this isn’t a trademark of recognizing an American. So, you can recognize only a few of them.
They Converse With Strangers
Americans chit-chat and make small talk with random people for no apparent cause. If you hear a random line like, “The weather is nice, isn’t it,” chances are it’s coming from an American. Whether you’re traveling or eating at a restaurant, an American has no issue approaching you for a chat.
They can talk about everything starting from how you’re doing to what kind of industry you work in. While there’s nothing wrong with small talk, chatting with a stranger might be frowned upon in some cultures.
Oversharing Is Not Caring
Americans have no filter in the information they share. They might even share their personal information with a cashier at a grocery store! If you find someone talking to you regarding their marital status, you know they’re from America.
Now, there’s no explanation why they do it. They could be in search of deeper connections. Or perhaps it’s just a cultural construction in which oversharing is normal.
Shorts and Violation of Folkways
Wearing shorts in both the summer and winter might be commonplace in America. So, you might be able to identify an American according to the type of pants they’re wearing However, it’s important to note that this kind of dress code violates folkways in some countries.
People in countries such as India believe that shorts are only appropriate for children. Wearing shorts in broad daylight in Indian streets would be like wearing shorts to a job interview — just no. Now, no one would charge at the American tourist for wearing shorts, but they might get a few stares…
The Tipping System
We all know that not everyone tips, and that’s okay because it’s not always custom depending on the country you’re in. But, Americans are quite generous when it comes to tipping compared to European countries. They take the poor hourly rate of waiters into consideration and give them a little extra.
This consideration makes Americans differ from everyone else. So, if you ever see someone giving their waiter a generous tip, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with an American.
The Conventional Sign of Recognition
The accent. Yes, it’s the most common and accurate way to know if someone is American. You know a person is American as soon you hear the American ‘R’ and ‘T’ sounds. Moreover, they’re never going to use “Going to” but rather replace it with “gonna” when they have the slightest chance of doing so.
There’s nothing quirky or weird about the American accent yet it is somehow quite unnerving. If you’re an American, though, embrace it. You have nothing to be embarrassed about — not about the accent, at least.
Emulating Other Accents
Many Americans choose to do this — emulate the accents of others to hide their own American accent. Now, if you’re learning the language of that country, it’s crucial to properly learn the accents and sounds.
However, if it’s done to sound smarter and to conceal your American identity, you probably won’t succeed. And that’s perfectly fine — you shouldn’t try to mask who you are or where you come from.
Not Being Bilingual
Knowing different languages can help one form different connections. It’s almost surprising how most Americans aren’t bilingual despite being so friendly. Many American schools don’t put much emphasis on learning a separate language. Apart from that, no social advantage arises from being bilingual.
This is probably why Americans put “learning a different language” in the last row of their list. So, you may be able to recognize an American depending on how much they struggle with other languages.
They Are Loud
Americans are easy to spot with their loud volume. Whether it’s to greet someone or grab someone’s attention, Americans have a tendency to be loud no matter where they are. While abroad, it seems as though Americans haven’t quite yet understood why it’s important to speak at a lower volume.
Still, if you can’t recognize an American by the volume in which they speak, you might be able to spot them depending on their accent.
Oblivious to Customs
Most Americans would break a rule or two during their stay in a foreign country whether it’s wearing shorts or consuming ice with each beverage. These rule-breaking tendencies likely make Americans much more noticeable to other people.
A vacation is probably a way to get rid of the hustle and bustle. So, they don’t usually have time to research the customs or learn a new language. They simply use their existing knowledge to survive the trip.
When seen from afar, these two people may look as if they’ve known each other for ages. When you get closer, though, you’ll hear them talk about where they’re from in the states and what they do in their free time. Then again, it does make some sense — souls of similar countries might find better bonds in a different land.
When an American runs into a fellow American, however, they become loud with excitement and make an indirect announcement on which state they’re from. In this case, they don’t leave it to your deduction to figure out where they’re from.
Grab Coffee & Leave
Most Americans don’t gaze and sip their coffee until it has become cold. They prefer to take the coffee and leave immediately without further ado. They drink their coffee just like they eat their food — they walk, eat, and drink simultaneously.
In the states, they might only have coffee during breaks. So, they may not know the luxury of savoring the coffee. Anyway, back to the point, you can likely spot an American with the disposable plastic cup in their hands as they make their way down the street.
Sanitizer and Peace of Mind
Americans have a tendency to sanitize their hands now and then. This trend of using sanitizer started way before the pandemic hit. For many, using sanitizer is associated with peace of mind. Otherwise, they get paranoid about spreading germs.
So, if you notice somebody pulling a Purell bottle out of their bag on every occasion, they’re probably American. It’s not that other people don’t use sanitizer in the rest of the world — but it’s definitely more common in America.
Notice the Graphic T-shirt
Americans love graphic t-shirts — from “I Love NY” to John Lennon’s “New York City” tee, people from the U.S. just can’t get enough. No one really knows when this became a trend in the fashion industry, but we have to admit that we understand why these tees have become so popular.
It seems to be associated with their casual attitude. So, in a nutshell, spot that graphic t-shirt and you know an American is wearing it.
As you already know, Americans love to clap for any and every occasion. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that they’re filled with unlimited positivity and enthusiasm. They believe that everything is achievable even in the face of a massive economic or social downturn.
Anybody who visits America would be awestruck to see this. Americans don’t shy away from showing excessive positivity when they’re abroad. So, spot them with their zeal.
Americans simply love to state how outstanding the USA is. You might even notice them get lost in their thoughts while conversing about New York City and its bright lights. Americans love everything in their country, starting from the stadiums to the restaurants.
At times, they might compare the facilities of their country with the foreign country they’re residing in without even realizing that the conversation is turning into a game of bragging. They have a magical power in which they can connect anything that you’re talking about to how amazing America is.
Messy Rooms in Hotels
Unfortunately, this is not visible in the streets. Hence, it’s not for everyone to see. However, if you’re a person who provides some service at a hotel, you’ll understand this better than anyone else. Generally speaking, Americans keep their hotel rooms unapologetically messy.
They don’t usually organize the rooms before leaving the hotel. This tendency might have stemmed from their busy life where they cannot find two minutes to organize their clothes. Whatever the case may be, an American leaves the mark of being an American with a messy room.
They Shoo Other People Away on the Streets
It doesn’t matter whether they’re on their way to work or going on a trip to a foreign land — Americans always seem to be in a hurry.
In that process, they might shoo you away in your own land. Why? Well, because they want to reach each of their destinations with the speed of a cheetah, all without paying heed to the needs of people around them.
They Need Everything in Their Traveling Bags
If they could, Americans would pack their entire house for a two-day trip. The concept of packing lightly seems almost impossible when it comes to Americans. One reason could be their lack of faith in the products of other countries. The belief of unavailability of these products overseas could be another.
The process of checking a thousand bags is not intimidating to them. They don’t sway away from this behavior even if their backs hurt from carrying these loads.
The Phone Attraction
Americans are attracted to their phones no matter which part of the world they visit. You would never see them looking at you directly because they’re too busy looking at their phones. Still, we cannot claim that they’re less attracted to art or culture.
However, when there’s a competition between the two, their phones will always win. With this kind of behavior, they might as well look at everything online rather than physically going to the sites and attractions.
They’re not only inclined to use their phones at all times, but also to take selfies constantly. They’ll shamelessly take their selfie-stick out at every opportunity they get. Then again, it’s not like people of other countries aren’t into selfies.
However, when it comes to Americans, they’ll willingly turn their back to the beautiful site that they were supposed to enjoy — and all in search of the perfect angle.
Dirtying the Streets
Americans are greatly involved in littering. With disposable cups and plastic straws in their hands, they barely realize which area they’re contaminating while walking and eating. Sometimes, you can even spot them mindlessly toss an empty bag chip bag on the beach.
Now, don’t get us wrong — we’re not trying to humiliate Americans. Not all Americans are into these sorts of things. However, many of them are. Littering is in no way acceptable whether it’s in America or in another country. So, it’s wise to throw your trash in the bin.
It was a routine home renovation for one man, who needed to add a little more space in his home as his family continued to grow. But he couldn’t know the ancient secret hidden below.
Beyond The Wall
The man decided the most reasonable place to begin his expansion was from the basement, where he could easily dig out the earth to create another room, but when he knocked down the wall, he found an ancient secret that had been hidden for centuries, just waiting to be discovered once more.
When the man originally set out to dig, his intentions were very pure. All he wanted was some more space for his family to grow in. The easiest solution for a quick expansion was to dig in the basement and expand the underground part of the household. But just when construction got underway, things took a very different turn.
A Hole In The Dark
What this man found under his home came as a surprise to archeologists and historians in the region, and despite his home holding such an impactful revelation, he has otherwise remained anonymous. His home looked just like every other home in his village, which is located in a mountainous desert. The village was populated by carved white stone dwellings that had not yet been modified. But it would seem this man’s property was different than everyone else’s.
A Hidden Chamber
On the day he was fated to make his discovery, he descended the steep stone steps into his cellar, which was dark and cool, despite the heat of the day. He carried his tools with him, and got to work dismantling the wall farthest from the stairs. But while he worked away at the stone, he could feel an odd breeze wheezing out onto his skin. Something wasn’t right, but he continued along anyway, thinking perhaps it was just a hidden room. He was wrong.
Into The Abyss
The man decided to find a flashlight in order to inspect the room he thought he found, hoping against all hope that it would mean the end of his work. But when he slipped into the opening he had created, he realized this was no room at all, more like a narrow corridor. He shined the light around the corners, encouraging any dangerous critters to flee. His heart pounding, he took one step, followed by another…
So Much To Fear
As the man stood in the darkness of this newly discovered chamber, his mind raced on, presenting all of the possible ways his life could end in the shadows beneath his home. He quickly gathered that he was not indeed standing on edge of a precipice, and hoped against all hope that the subterranean area was not inhabited by any of the many venomous snakes that populated his area. It seemed likely that the walls above him would continue to hold, so he pressed onward…
Engulfed In Shadows
His intuition proved correct: he was in fact in some sort of corridor, which twisted its way into a massive underground hall. It was the sheer size of the room he found that set his discovery apart from similar archeological sites in his province. The previously uncovered archeological finds included storage caves, tombs, and ancient temples that were several millennia old. But little did he know, this humble man was about to change the course of history.
Unquestionably Man Made
It was readily apparent to the man that the room had been cut from the interior of the mountainside by ancient men. Its stone floor had been smoothed by the thousands of feet that must have passed over it throughout its years of use. At the far end of the chamber, he could see the darkness deepen, indicating that the labyrinth plunged deeper into the earth. Half expecting monsters to emerge around him, the clutched his flashlight ever more tightly, and continued his trek.
Pondering whether or not there could be any artifacts left in the vast, stone hall, the man carefully aimed his flashlight into each corner, stepping slowly so as not to potentially damage anything that had been left behind. His hand brushing the wall, he found another fissure in the rock, leading to a passageway that only just accommodated the width of his body. Barely daring to breathe, he walked step by step, when he felt the floor give way from underneath him.
A Stairwell Cut From Stone
It was a steep, stone cut stairwell that quickly dropped him untold meters further beneath the earth. Though the man was not particularly tall, the ceiling was low enough that he had to crouch as he continued his descent, barely believing that he wasn’t in the midst of some bizarre dream. He briefly mused on how his family would react to the news, but knew in his heart that once he notified the antiquities department, their lives would never be the same again.
The man had an inkling that his find was beyond significant. He continued for what seemed like hours, twisting through a never ending maze of rooms, corridors, and stairwells, wending their way through the heart of the mountain, as if it were protecting a dragon and its treasure cave within. Though no cache of ancient treasure ever appeared, the man went as far as he dared before turning heel and returning home, fearing his fate were he to fail to retrace his steps.
Emerging from the darkness into the familiarity of his basement, he hurried to inform the Turkish Antiquities Authority. Located in the province of Nevşehir, it was common knowledge that ancient civilizations had once dwelled on the very same lands. Known by historians as Cappodocia, the first mention of the ancient city comes from inscriptions that date back to the 6th century B.C. regarding two Persian kings, Darius I, perhaps better known as Darius the Great, and his successor, Xerxes.
Looking For Answers
Archeologists swarmed the newly discovered site, with an untold number of questions forming in their minds. Though it was generally accepted that the area’s earliest inhabitants were the Hittites, whose short-lived empire began sometime around 1600 B.C, the site changed hands a number of times, and was eventually incorporated into the ancient Persian empire. But with such a vast network of rooms, it was important to researchers to discover why any of these people would have need of an underground city.
The Lost City
Turkish researchers gathered to probe the newly uncovered caves, not realizing that they were now linked to the most important archeological discovery in history. After making a thorough inquiry of the space, the archeologists realized that the hidden city was ancient Derinkuyu, which until then had thought to be a myth along the lines of Atlantis. It was then hypothesized that the first rooms were constructed between the 7th and 8th centuries B.C. by the Phrygians. But there was even more to the story underneath.
The Legacy Of An Ancient People
The early Phrygians moved into the region on the tail end of the Hittite empire, and were contemporary with the beginnings of Ancient Greece. Phrygian music had a profound effect on the development of Greek music, particularly their war anthems. Another ancient myth that stemmed from Phrygian culture was that of King Midas, whose touch turned everything into gold. But without further research, it was impossible to know if Derinkuyu would have been contemporary with such a legend.
Just How Old Was It
From the man’s initial excavation of the hidden city in 1963, researchers were preoccupied with the purpose of the underground metropolis. It was theorized to have possibly been a retreat from natural disasters, which would not have been uncommon at the time, though some more far fetched proposals have suggested it was a hideaway from aliens. The ancient city may be referenced in a Zoroastrian text, which would place its establishment between 1500 and 1200 B.C, even earlier than what was once thought.
Into The Center Of The Earth
Excavations of the site showed that the labyrinth descended 18 stories deep or more, which would place it as one of the greatest underground building projects ever constructed by an ancient civilization. The engineering feats required to build it rival that of the ancient pyramids. The network is so vast, archeologists have proposed that it could accommodate nearly 20,000 people at its capacity. But why would so many need to live so far from beneath the earth. What was it that they feared?
Life Under Siege
The last known construction in Derinkuyu took place during the Byzantine empire, and it’s likely that the subterranean metropolis was covered by another city built above the earth. Though the mountainous terrain would have served as some protection to the people who were being ravaged by the Arab-Byzantine War, which endured for nearly 400 years, the city’s inhabitants needed a way to live without feeling like they were under siege. In their last stand against would be Muslim invaders, the Byzantines fled underground.
A Respite From War
When the opposing army would assault the city, the citizens of Derinkuyu would head underground, where they would be virtually undetectable by the Arab armies. During the Muslim Civil War, which took place in 659 A.D. the battered Byzantines had a chance to fortify their city during a break from the continued attacks from the south. With the unification of Arab factions into the Umayyad Empire, the war was reignited. Those who dwelled in Derinkuyu were only spared by being hidden from sight.
Emptied Of Life
When the foreign armies arrived to besiege the city, they would find no trace of life left, even the animals would have been taken underground. The entrances to the hidden city were easily concealed, and constructed in such a way that an invading army could only cross it one man at a time, thus giving the defenders the upper hand in an invasion. There were nearly 100 such entrances that allowed access to the underground maze, making it easier to clear the upper city.
Better Fortified Than A Castle
As with any good fortress, the underground city was constructed primarily to shield the population from an onslaught by a ruthless enemy. A multilayered security system was put in place in the primary design of the city. Its 18 stories were connected by narrow stairs, again ensuring that an army could only take them one at a time. Should the hidden entrances be discovered and an upper level breached, the inhabitants could move ever deeper into the earth, sealing the upper floors with large boulders.
Nearly Modern Technology
The complexity of the structures the builders of Derinkuyu engineered is impressive even by today’s standards. In order to make it a viable option for residence, the city planners had to account for fresh water access, which they did by drilling underground wells that could only be accessed from underground, which prevented attackers from poisoning the water supply. Additionally, they knew it was important to drill ventilation holes, without which the city could have never sustained a population.
Welcome To The Netherworld
It was easy for the concealed entrances to the complex to have been lost over time, as they were built under bushes, into walls, or in private courtyards. Researchers have also found evidence of ancient kitchens, meaning the ventilation system built into the city was good enough that families could cook without fear of smoke inhalation, though it seems the smoke must have been ingeniously released to not be caught. The presence of fire is apparent from the number of blackened ceilings the archeologists saw.
Let There Be Light
Similar to other underground cities that have since been discovered in the region, a multitude of different structures have been distinguished from one another. In addition to obvious kitchens and bakeries, there were structures that housed wine presses and churches. But most important for a city without sunlight was the “bezirhane” which are rooms where the inhabitants pressed linseed to produce oil, causing archeologists to conclude that the shadowy corridors were likely lit by linseed lamps.
Life Goes On
The main purpose of the complex was not merely to withstand a siege by an invading army, but to spare the population the usual losses inherent in living in a war zone. The city was as equipped as any above ground city, with residents continuing to go to school, places for their horses and other livestock to live, and large store rooms to sustain the population during prolonged conflict. The concept was so successful that it managed to protect the locals through centuries of invasions.
A Religious Refuge
Derinkuyu was used for several millennia as a hideaway for local populations in times of trouble. Even the original inhabitants of the area, the Phrygians were an offshoot of the Greeks, as evidenced by the similarity in their languages. The population of the city remained largely Greek until the tunnels were entirely abandoned in 1923, meaning sanctuary for the minority Christian population was of the utmost importance. The most precious religious relics as well as the chapels were located on the lowest levels of the city.
One Out Of Many Others
The underground tunnel network was not relegated to Derinkuyu alone. In fact, the sprawling city was just one out of at least 200 other subterranean havens, all of which are composed of no less than three levels. Each of the cities were connected to one another by miles of subterranean roads, which allowed for the population to be safely evacuated to a neighboring locale, sealing off the route with large doors carved out of heavy rock.
Surviving The Mongols
Derinkuyu and its neighbors protected the Greek Orthodox inhabitants through an endless wave of conquests as the land was passed from the Persian Empire to the Byzantines, who held off the Arab invasions for nearly 400 years. The people fled underground once more when the Mongols began their incursions into the west from the Central Asian grasslands. While Tamerlane may have slowed the Ottoman takeover of Anatolia, his death fractured his budding empire, paving the way for the Ottomans to eventually establish theirs.
As the Ottomans slowly encroached on Byzantine territory, the citizens of Derinkuyu were called underground once more, as they continued to have to defend themselves from Muslim incursions. Their underground city could not prevent the fall of Constantinople in 1453, which finished the empire off and solidified Muslim rule of the area. Though the Muslim Ottomans were generally fair to those practicing minority religions, there were still periods of persecution. The tunnels were officially abandoned when the Turks and the Greeks exchanged populations in 1923.
Finding An Even Bigger City
It is still unclear exactly who built the underground city, but the Turkish Department of Culture hypothesizes that the upper layers of the city were in fact built by the Phrygians several thousand years ago. Derinkuyu was the largest of the subterranean cities discovered in Turkey until 2013, when builders were clearing low income houses from the perimeter of a Byzantine castle, found a new network of tunnels, that led them to uncover a city that is estimated to be 30% larger than Derinkuyu.
Related To The Greeks
Though the most recently discovered city may be larger, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as old as Derinkuyu. The first written testament seems to come from the archives of Xenophon, a Greek philosopher whose work dates to between 430 and 354 B.C. Xenophon’s writings can’t answer the question of who first built the city, despite studying with Socrates, but it does help us to better determine how the original inhabitants may have lived, which will perhaps eventually explain just how the ancient people built the tunnels.
Composition Of The Ground
Some of the answers to the construction mystery may lie in the local geology. The proliferation of volcanoes in the area means that much of the earth is made of up prehistoric volcanic ash, which forms a very light and easily carve-able stone that geologists call “tuff”. The rock’s airy composition have made ancient excavation possible, but it does cause some problems for archeologists exploring the artifacts today: namely, the hidden city is prone to collapsing under their feet.
The Volcanoes That Threaten
Nevşehir is situated atop the Anatolian plateau at a height of nearly 3,280 feet above sea level. The barren desert landscape is punctuated by by volcanic mountains rising up out of the parched earth. Cut off from any large bodies of water, its inhabitants are largely familiar with scorching summer heat contrasted with frigid, snowy winters. Variation between the two is scarce, as is the rainfall. With the constant threat of renewed volcanic action, it seemed possible the labyrinthine cave system is related.
An Ancient People’s Legacy
In 1969, 6 years after the anonymous man first found the labyrinth hidden beneath his home, Derinkuyu was opened as a tourist attraction, though only a tenth of it is accessible to the public. With such an extensive amount of ground to cover, archeologists and researchers still have many more layers to probe. As they move ever deeper under the earth who knows what secrets they will find. We only hope the mystery of the construction will one day be brought to light.