(White House Salt & Pepper Shakers now on sale at the NeatoShop)
One of my co-workers is a Ukrainian-American. She grew up in the United States, but speaks Ukrainian fluently. She tells me that when she visits Ukraine, even when she's wearing clothing typical of that country, people instantly identify her as an American.
That's because, Ukrainians tell her, she walks like an American. That is, she moves like she "owns the ground" she's walking on. This is a mannerism apparently so distinctive that Ukrainians can spot Americans just by watching them walk.
Redditor ILoveTallWomen asks how Americans abroad can be identified as Americans in non-obvious ways. Here are some of the responses.
On campus in South Africa the female US exchange students uniform: tiny shorts (regardless of body shape) hidden socks and trainers, hoody (usually branded America college variety), back pack, hair tied up and a water bottle. Can be found frequenting coffee shops with free wifi.
We (Americans) describe distances in driving time, as apposed to miles or kilometers.
My European relatives always make fun of me for having no clue how far away the next town is, but knowing exactly how long it takes to get there.
They will start a conversation about anything with anyone. This can be a good thing because it's easy to socialise with an American, but out in public (on the bus, in the mall etc.) I, as the archetypical Dane that I am, usually just want to keep to myself.
EDIT: I should add that I don't think this a bad thing at all. While the stranger you just met might not always be in a talkative mood, it really is kind of neat to be able to strike up a conversation with just about anyone :)
ars3nal comments on fashion choices:
When I was visiting Germany in college, a girl said to me, "Do you know how I know you're an American? You wear white socks." Needless to say, I haven't worn white socks since.
RegionFree adds another fashion note:
I asked my wife (Japanese) she said "In Japan I can spot Americans by the way they dress. Compared to Europeans, Americans tend to lack fashion sense."
I'm American, so I can't answer.
I can answer: meggings with crocs are the height of fashion. The rest of the world just hasn't caught up yet.
Non-Americans, how would you answer this question?