New Zealander reveals the major ‘culture shock’ she faced after moving to America: ‘Nothing is the normal price’

·2 min read

A TikToker from New Zealand is raising eyebrows after sharing the big “culture shock” she faced after relocating to America.

The video comes from popular user Jazz Thornton, who posts videos as both @jazzthornton_ and @notjazzthornton. On the latter account, the New Zealander revealed something strange she noticed when she temporarily moved to the U.S. 

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Her clip, which has drawn nearly 4 million views, is part of a longstanding TikTok trend in which users share their biggest international culture shocks. In the past, TikTokers have discussed why some fruits have different names in Australia, why Swedish people “only” eat candy on Saturday and what happens if you order “chips and salsa” in Italy

In Thornton’s video, which is part of a series, she pointed out one specifically “weird” fact about shopping in America: the way that price tags don’t really show how much something costs.  

Thornton begins by explaining that she recently tried to buy a dress in America and was shocked to discover that the listed price was way different than what she ultimately paid. 

“It was like $10 more,” she says. 

The issue? Sales tax. In New Zealand, the sales tax is typically included in the listed price — meaning what you see is what you pay. Of course, it’s a lot more complex in the U.S. 

“And then, when you’re in restaurants and stuff, the tax is added, and the tipping is added,” Thornton says of the U.S. “It’s like, nothing is the normal price.”

It’s a common confusion. Many countries treat sales tax similarly to New Zealand, where it’s included in the price. In the U.S., that’s not possible because sales tax differs by state or even by county. 

However, many Americans were shocked to learn that some countries do things differently.

“Wait, what? This isn’t normal?” one TikToker commented

“Can I please just come back to New Zealand with you?” another joked

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