I have learned to appreciate being in Europe over the years. This wasn’t always the case. The first couple of times I came over, I was miserable and entirely out of my element. I’d lose weight because the food was not the same… I would stay places and be completely baffled everyone didn’t embrace the same things we did. There are people who love to travel because they enjoy experiencing new things and can appreciate all the differences life has to offer…and then there is me. I’m the type of person that will order the same thing each and every time at a restaurant because I already know I like it. My favorite meals at my favorite restaurants are probably the only meals I’ve ever tried. But they make me happy…
But I do appreciate things now that I may not have before. And I’m open to the experience and going with the flow as much as possible.There are a few things that haven’t won me over though, and it’s very likely they never will…
*warm soda…what’s wrong with ice? How come I only get 1 cube if I ask for it? It is very rare that I ask for a diet coke, but when I do, I like it to be ice cold, not room temperature. Let’s add to this the size of the drinks…everything is in shot size.
*small beds…I’m not even a big person, so I know this could be way worse, but I do move around a lot in my sleep and I prefer to sleep sideways on a bed. This may not work when I get a husband, but it also does not work in Europe as the beds are made for immobile midgets.
*no washcloths…hotels never have washcloths and this is bothersome to me as I don’t travel with my own, but definitely prefer to wash with one, especially after a day of jumping in sand.
*language barriers…of course I don’t expect everyone to speak English. I just don’t expect you to speed up and talk even faster when you know I don’t understand you. Becoming more animated and deliberate does not make your words any clearer, yet it seems whenever it is clear that we don’t understand each other, they think whole paragraphs said at rapid speed might help. It does not.
*the disregard for deodorant…no, this is not a continent wide problem, it just is very noticeable in certain parts. And as much as you must take public transportation, it can be unbearable at times.
*chain smokers…It has not yet made it across the pond that smoking is no longer the “cool” thing to do. Therefore, everyone from 8 years old to 80 seems to be smoking all.the.time…
*line cutters…this goes into a much bigger issue of the disregard for personal space, but just know you will get cut off in a hot second over here! Give an inch and you have given up your spot!
*Starbucks…y’all know I loooove me some Starbucks. But that’s only because it’s the most convenient and decent thing around in the states. Over here, most countries have a plethora of the cutest little cafes that serve the most amazing coffee. So I really can’t stand to see the big bully popping up everywhere you look.
*disappointing sandwiches…one thin slice of meet, a sliver of cheese, and some spread that’s neither mayo or mustard is the norm. And I still can’t figure out why they prefer the bread hard??!
Hopefully my list is not offensive to any of my lovely European readers. I plan to follow it up with all the things that make this place so wonderful! But I find that certain things will continue to baffle me no matter how much time I spend over here. For those of you that have visited Europe, are there any things I left off my list? And just to be fair, for you Europeans, what things would be on your list after visiting America?