The 7 Strangest Things About America For Europeans, According To Harry Lloyd

Helen Sloan / © HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Harry Lloyd is perhaps most recognized for his memorable turn as Daenerys Targaryen’s scheming older brother Viserys in the first season of Game of Thrones, but don’t be surprised if you start associating this up-and-coming British actor with much more than HBO’s hit fantasy series. Lloyd’s acting resume has been steadily growing over the last few years and already has an impressive array of film and television work. Lloyd had a prominent role as Stephen Hawking’s close friend Brian in last year’s Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything and is also part of the main cast of the WGN American drama series Manhattan, which will begin airing its second season this October. Currently, Lloyd is busy filming the World War II-era film Anthropoid alongside Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy (set for a 2016 release), but he took some time out of his busy schedule to write an exclusive piece for Goliath on the strange bits of culture shock he’s experienced in his visits to the United States.

Here are the 7 Strangest Things About The United States for Europeans (according to Harry Lloyd):

Photo by Rex Features

7. It’s a Continent, Not a Country

People talk about the other states like Europeans talk about other countries. Coastal folk are snobby about the mid-West, Oklahomans have a deep deep hatred for Texans, and only now are the Confederate flags coming down. It’s extraordinary that all this diversity is contained in one country, with one man running it.

http://consciouslyenlightened.com/it-has-happened-jade-helm-has-begun-cell-and-cable-is-down-all-across-america/ Via consciouslyenlightened.com

6. Tax

Why is it not included in the price? You never know what anything costs, and the tax is different state to state so you can’t even work it out. Who needs to know the subtotal of what they’re going to buy? Is nuts.

https://www.tyracpa.com/bitcoin-sales-taxes/ Via tyracpa.com

5. How are you?

This is not a question in America. The correct response is also ‘How are you?’ And not ‘How are YOU?’ like the British say it, but a complete repeat: ‘How ARE you?’, ‘How ARE you?’ Once I’d worked this out, life became much simpler. I used to be at the shops and the teller would ask ‘How ARE you?’ and I would be so pleasantly surprised to be asked so earnestly that I would begin to really explain how I was. Unnecessary.

http://mrdiv.tumblr.com/post/2349592521/hello-how-are-you-click-for-larger-version Viamrdiv.tumblr.com

4. Scale

Americans just have a totally different idea of time and space. A nine-hour drive is not something just for truck drivers. People fly from New York to Chicago for dinner. 100 miles is round the corner. If you’re in the next door state, you might as well visit. It’s pretty cool actually, that.

http://compositedrawlings.blogspot.ca/ Via compositedrawlings.blogspot.ca

3. Accents

Why aren’t there more accents? Compared to Europe, and even to Britain, there are so few. There are drawls and twangs and regulars, and lots of little variations of these, along with foreign accents chewed into Yank-speak. But for the size of the place and the number of speakers it’s weird. People from thousands of miles away can sound the same.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/general-u-s/727741-accent-map.html#b Via city-data.com

2. Bacon

Even the thick-cut stuff is super thin. I understand a preference for crispy, but if you ever want pig with a bit of chew, you have to order ham. I really think the U.S. Is missing out. Some proper Danish or Dry Cured Smoked Back Bacon. Crispy outside, succulent centre. None of this snap it in half with your fingers business.

http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/will-always-love-bacon-bacon-fad/ Via ModernFarmer.com

1. World’s Largest…

While making Big Significant Things we came across a load of these roadside attractions. Some have been endorsed by The Guinness Book of Records but most are really the Country’s Largest. Or State’s largest. There are a whole bunch of World’s Largest Frying Pans in the U.S. alone. Guess you don’t need to worry about the rest of the world when you live in a country that big. My favourites are a World’s Largest Shoe we visited in Pennsylvania where you can stay the night and feel like the old woman with too many kids in the nursery rhyme. There’s something both awesome and sad about these monuments. They’re funny and inspiring, but after you’ve taken your picture, it’s often a bit awkward til you leave.

They are one of my favourite things about the country though. People doing funny little things for no reason, but on a massive unnecessary scale.

That’s America. Go big or go home.

http://www.visitnc.com/listing/world-s-largest-frying-pan Via visitnc.com


You can catch Harry next in the film Big Significant Things, releasing July 24th in theaters, VOD, and digital. The trailer can be found here.


Harry Lloyd