It isn't a prejudice: it's the truth: Americans love air conditioning.
They turn it on everywhere, and at levels that are unsustainable for most foreigners.
Be prepared for freezing temperatures in restaurants, theaters, museums and in general in all indoor places if you visit.
For some it may be pleasant, for me it is a real torture.
What you need to know before traveling to the USA is therefore that you must always bring a scarf and a sweater with you. Always, even when it is 40 Celsius degrees outside like here in Austin because, as soon as you enter a closed place, a gust of icy air will hit you and you will be taken into a different season.
Another peculiarity is that Americans disproportionately love ice. And this is true everywhere, in homes as well as at hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.
The more ice there is, the happier they are. It must be said that drinking without ice means having more drink and therefore when I ask to have a drink without ice they look at me as I’m trying to be sneaky and get more but sometimes that is not the case as many drinks usually have free refills so you can take as many as you like, paying only for one.
But that doesn't matter much, Americans love ice, period.
In addition to serving drinks with ice at bars and restaurants, the ice machine is ever-present.
Once a lady told me that she was in Italy for holidays and that she was amazed by the lack of ice machines in our hotels. One thing we don't even notice, it's of fundamental importance to them.
Furthermore, you can buy ice in shops. They sell it in huge 5 kg bags,either crushed, in cubes or in a big block and it is often used to fill the legendary polystyrene coolers, an indispensable ally of every road trip or house party in the States.
Ice is also the main ingredient of the slushy, a semi-frozen summer drink made with crushed ice.
It contains water, sugar, flavorings and coloring. Their preparation is relatively simple: all you need is an ice crusher. You need to shave the ice or crush it and pour over it syrup or fruit juice. Some alcoholic versions with wine or licor exist too.
I often make it at home using fruit juice.
”Speaking of breaking the ice”…Americans are very friendly.
Once I took a course on intercultural communication, and they explained to me the peach and coconut theory. In practice, populations with a ‘peach culture’ are very sociable with new acquaintances, they are willingly to chat with strangers, but hardly ever introduce new people into their private circle of friends. Soft outside and hard inside, just like a peach. The ‘coconut culture’ is obviously the opposite, cold in appearance but more inclined to deep and lasting relationships.
As far as Americans are concerned, they are considered belonging to the first cultural group and I think they reflect that a lot. Friends and acquaintances who have moved to the USA tell me that it is very difficult to create a circle of true friends and I’m noticing it is true.
People are overall friendly and very helpful, as soon as they see you holding a map, they will rush to help you and they are very welcoming too.
Even if you don’t speak English well, Americans will try in every way to help you!
The best way to click with people and make friends is to find a hobby in common.
Attending classes or practicing a sport together is a good way to meet people and perhaps by frequenting them often you will become close friends.
Overall, this is just written for fun because I think Americans are fun and nice people but I’m dead serious when I say it’s super cold in the malls here!