A cousin from Austria is currently visiting me in California, and of course I asked what stood out to her the most during the first few days ever in the U.S. She mentioned the large variety of items (cakes, ice-cream, sodas, …) in supermarket and how friendly everyone is. She was amazed that we could walk into a store just a few minutes before closing time and the shop assistant still would be friendly and not upset at us for coming in at the last minute. Yes, that is a different attitude than the one I noticed in Austria.
The conversation went well with a map of stereotypes about the U.S. by British tourists – see here: http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/04/28/the-stereotype-map-of-every-u-s-state-according-to-british-people/. I was surprised the stereotype of the California Central Valley is “hot and sunny.” Surprisingly, the stereotypes for the Bay Area are rather negative with “earthquakes” and neutral to boring with “tech firms.” And the stereotypes completely ignore the impressive coast line of Northern California.