Toilets, Cutlery and Door Knobs

Cutlery in the form of forks and knives.
Door knob.

There are many things that Americans have or do that most other people in the world don’t have or do. To begin with, in the United States, toilets fill up with a lot of water, causing Americans’ rear ends to almost touch the water when they sit on the toilet. This, as Europeans, Australians and many other people would attest to, is remarkably different from the tiny bit of water at the bottom of the toilet bowl which is standard in other parts of the world.

Fork and knife

When Americans eat, to bring up another cultural differentiator, the traditional way for right-handed people to use cutlery is to begin by holding the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand. Using the fork to steady the food, traditionalists then cut the food to bitesize pieces with the knife before putting the knife down and switching hands with the fork. With the right hand only and the tines of the fork facing upwards, the same people thereafter load bitesize pieces of food onto the fork and put it into their mouth. This on-hand act, logically enough, is then habitually repeated until the plate is empty, contrasting the consistent use of both a fork and a knife by “non-traditionalist” Americans.

Door knobs

Moving on to doors, lastly, in the United States it is common for doors to have knobs instead of handles. Consequently, to open doors in America you often have to turn a knob clockwise or counter-clockwise rather than press downwards as you do with handles. This need for turning a knob, as easy a procedure as it may seem, makes it difficult for toddlers and pets to learn how to open doors, a fact that in most situations is considered a benefit. Still though, by the same token, if you yourself are carrying something with both hands and need to turn a knob, you usually cannot open the door as easily with your elbow as you could if the door had a handle.