Skip to comments.America vs Europe - things that amazed me.
Posted on 11/18/2013 7:14:50 AM PST by A'elian' nation
Recently there was an interesting article about what foreigners thought of American culture - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3090848/posts
Just thought Id share my observations of times I lived in Europe. Here's a scattering of what I discovered.
All payments are electronic. Your salary, your bills, your insurance, your rent or mortgage, etc. You constantly have to check online to see where you are financially.
Hospitals are stark and bare. No beautification or art work. But hospital rooms have windows you can open and patients can buy beer in the cafeteria.
Electrical bills are paid in advance. You are billed for electrical usage that the electric company assumes you will be using for a half year at a time. If at the end of the six months you use less or more - compensation is then made.
Breakfast is not a big deal in Europe. McDonalds doesnt even open until 8 or 9 am.
Going to the bank is like going to the morgue. Deathly quiet. There is no friendly banter among clerks or clientele. Not like down here in the South anyways.
Shopping in stores is almost equally reserved. You are hardly ever approached with Can I Help You which I kind of liked.
Stores are only allowed to have SALES twice a year - usually late summer and then again after Christmas. All stores are required to have their sales on the same days so as not to give marketing advantages. Except for the middle Eastern tobacco shops and 7-11 type stores, the major merchants must close at the same hour.
Dogs and cats are allowed Everywhere - stores, banks, restaurants. Was always constantly amazed at how well behaved the dogs were even in the presence of other dogs.
A liter of gas costs almost what a gallon of gas costs here. Then again European cars get much better on gas mileage. I liked the Smart cars for city driving. It always amused me how many cars could parallel park on a street due to their small size. Polizei cars were also ridiculously small.
Oh man, the bread and the beer. Why cant Americans make good bread or beer? I could just about live on Olijven brot ( olive bread ). And the delicate confections at the konditoreis ( bakeries ) make our typical donut shops pathetic. A konditorei shop window is a true work of art. Marzipan anyone?
The chocolate. Need I say more
Walmart type stores are only found in the burbs. In the city there just isnt a store that has everything. You have to go to different stores to get things like paper clips and clothespins. Then again, all the small mom and pop food and craft shops were fascinating, and you could see the pride in their work. I loved the little Giuseppi-like toy store with hand crafted toys. Kids use their imaginations more; not so much emphasis on electronic toys.
Bakeries that open at 5am in the morning. You can get warm REAL bread. It was quaint to see the lines of people waiting to get into some of the better bakeries so early in the morning.
Eggs and milk are generally not refrigerated, although you can get them in the refrigerated section.
The farmers markets on weekends are awesome. This is where you to go to stock up on food for the week.
The doggie shops where you take your dog to do his doo doo business amused me. Unfortunately, not that many go there for that purpose.
The cobblestone streets. How cities do not get sued by little old ladies trying to navigate the uneven stones mystifies me.
The TV commercials and advertisements are so much more sophisticated than typical bludgeon hammer American commercials that insult your intelligence. Sexier too. Commercials are usually shown only at the beginning or end of a program.
The cafes. You can drink coffee and read your book all day. No free refills though. Restaurant prices are much more expensive than in America, but grocery items are considerably cheaper. Free wine samples in aisle 9 are often available.
* You wont find items on grocery shelves with price tags in the better stores. All items are electronically priced and displayed.
They just dont understand Americans. They see us as some alien wild west culture. They do not understand our distrust of government. They expect government to protect them. We expect to be protected from government.
Churches are more like museums than places of worship. Such beautiful cathedrals with magnificent sounding pipe organs, and so unattended. Churches get state support.
Transportation is never a problem. The trains are clean and efficient with cathedral-like train stations. Bikes are everywhere. Pedestrians beware.
Dont try to take pictures of shops with a merchant or customer in the picture. Its an invasion of privacy. I have some pictures where middle fingers are prominent.
The carnivals and fairs are a feast for the eyes and palate. The winter Christkindlemarkts are a delight of the senses. I miss the giant thinly rolled up pannenkoeken - pancakes.
The giant marionettes of Royal de Luxe. If you havent heard of them, head to You Tube right away. This Nantes based street theater company takes over whole towns and mesmerizes them for a week at a time.
Europe has Legoland and the Alps. Sigh.
Europe has roundabouts. That almost cancels the above Sigh.
Be prepared to recycle - paper, glass, plastic, etc. Even colored and clear glass.
Universities do not have team sports. Soccer is the international mania. The nationalistic fervor during the Weltmanschaft is stirring. You really get swept up in it. A nations loss is palpable. A win is utter frenzy.
The European Parliament in Brussels has to be the most undemocratic institution on earth. It is a Regulators Heaven.
Take a GPS to Europe. Road signs are few and far between. And no billboards - just giant bird killing windmills.
Hollands favorite Christmas tradition is St. Nikolaus and the Zwarte Piet ( black elves). Im sure that would go over real well here.
You just dont see that many fat people in Europe - at least in northern Europe. They just eat smarter.
Things like an appreciation for a full breakfast and school sports we get from the Brits. (Roundabouts aka rotaries, too, in some parts of the U.S.)
Roundabouts are big fun.
Indy suburbs are adding them in a lot of intersections.
Especially in a Miata, LOL.
Especially Amsterdam. We saw a bike park there, literally thousands of bikes, one wonders how somebody can make out which bike is theirs.
Yeh its called socialism. :-)
When my daughter was in the hospital I would have killed to be able to crack open a window.
They just dont understand Americans.
They understand us just fine when they need our money or men to die by the thousands to fix their own damned problems.
We're sex saturated enough...I have no desire to have sexy eiropean TV commercials playing in my home. Thanks just the same.
A healthy skepticism of government would have saved the Germans a fair amount of grief. Perhaps they should consider that.
America was founded on a wise biblical teaching: “Put not your faith in princes, in whom there is no help.” Psalm 146:3. We would be far better off today had America stuck to that verity.
One other thing I noticed, hotel rooms have thermostats, but they never seem to work.
Modern feudalism isn’t awful. That’s why people support socialism, it’s only awful compared to our society.
The two things that made the biggest impression on me were the lack of growth-what was at a place had been at that place for likely hundreds of years.
And they use human waste in their fertilizer and you can tell.
You like Europe? Stay there.
At least they’re getting a better bang for their bucks... We’ve devolved into a quasi social state, but with none of the perks.
The vast amount of stimulus was spent on “shite” projects that didn’t improve infrastructure instead going to Union boss payoffs and contractors.
The most impressive thing that Germany does... is build roads really well. Particularly repaving jobs... they’re done to last decades upon decades.
We have ONE in our fair city.....I call it the ‘circle of death’
The writer lives in a dream world. Face reality...Europe is like a dirty Disneyland. Living there only works if you have lots of money and time to waste. Then there’s the muzzies and the commies. How many times has America bailed out their butts with our men’s lives and our treasury? Ingrates. I have some relatives that are unrepentant LIB moonbats...they love Europe, visit months at a time and praise it to high-Heaven. By the way, they are big time socialist sloths and losers.
They live their lives for pleasure. Dinners take hours and everything is social.
They have beauty in everything, every little doorknob, window latch, everything has a delightful element of design.
You walk through history, usually starting through Roman times to the modern day.
The butter, cheese, bread and yogurt is unbelievably delicious and the food is PURE.
The street signs are up high on the corners of the buildings and very easy to find.
They all dress better and appreciate fashion, not to mention the men’s shoes.
I live part of my year in Europe and just returned. I notice the differences immensely. I could go on and on of my love of Europe. The politics stink, but most think Obama is a scourge on the planet, unlike in 2008 when he was a God that come from heaven to save us all.
Thanks, new tagline.
Roundabout scene in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”
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