Do you own a gun?No I don’t and I only know a handful of people who do.
Wait, so you’re old enough to own a gun and drive a car but you can’t drink?Yep, got my license at 16. Now I see 16 year olds driving and it terrifies me.
Do you believe in evolution?Yes, again I know very few people who don’t.
Why is your political system so weird?Do you have three hours?
Have you seen snow before?We have mountains.
Oh you must not be used to rain it always sunny in California right?
What the hell is rain?
Do you surf?Only when I need to go to school.
There are a ton more questions that I get asked but I can't really remember them all. I always try to explain the vast size and diversity of America. Cultures very from state to state and America is geographically massive. I always tell people that I am from California rather than saying America partly because I generally get more positive reaction from people but also it is just more accurate. My experiences growing up in California are vastly different then people who grew up in the mid-west or the south.
Because America is so prominent in exporting media and because the only domestic news from America that reaches Europe is generally an embarrassing controversy. So people watch TV shows like "How I Met Your Mother" and hear things like Todd Akin's statement about "legitimate rape". But this isn't really a good representation of America. It has been a fun and enlightening experience talking to non-Americans about the American way of life. It really illustrates the differences between how different countries and cultures operate. It is much harder to examine your own culture when you have not been exposed to others. I think this perspective will be one of the greatest things I will gain from studying in Sweden.