As an Australian visiting the US, I found quite a few things strange about their culture. One thing that Americans do that Australians do not is clap at the end of a movie. Granted, in Hollywood there may be some chance of having someone involved with the production present, but it is unlikely.
One day, after climbing up a mountain in the late afternoon we sat down among other hikers who had made the climb, like us, for the promise of a spectacular sunset. While perhaps helped along by air pollution, the sunset was indeed spectacular. When the sun finally went down and the audience was left in dusk, they spontaniously began to clap, in appreciation at the end of the show.
My question is: They were applauding whom?