It's interesting to look at first impressions of a new country. When I came to Japan in 1991, I was surprised to see vending machines everywhere, and I couldn't stop thinking the yellow "in" signs placed in front of Japanese restaurants were In-n-Out signs, beckoning me to come in and have a Double Double. (In-n-Out is the best hamburger chain in the American Southwest, trust me.) Going into restaurants and having the employees shout Irasshaimase! ("Welcome to our shop!") took some getting used to, as did using coins for the equivalent of $1 and $5 bills (I prefer them now though). Going the other way, Japanese people are surprised by various aspects of life in the U.S. when they go there, starting with the sizes of everything from American roads to houses to "medium" Cokes that are three times a large as they need to be. If they go to a part of the U.S. other than Southern California, they're amazed to see that there are four distinct seasons, which they usually believe is a unique feature of Japan. They're also surprised at the amazing number of breakfast cereals available in our supermarkets. One of my ESL students once wrote, "In SAFEWAY, many kinds of corn flakes about one hundred have overpowered me. I felt a difference of the staple foods." Japanese stores usually have about 8-10 varieties including Kellogg's "Corn Frosty" or "Genmai Flake."
Japanese are surprised at the selection of cereal in the U.S.