Some Bulleted Thoughts...
June 3, 2017
My writing's not too great and I'm not sure how to weave all of these things into my log, but they're interesting differences I noticed and nifty little thoughts I had during the semester. Many of them play on stereotypes and generalizations...so I'm sorry if you get offended. However, it's through these generalizations that I was able to make comparisons of different societies and viewpoints...so it's okay. If you're still not chill, don't read it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I'm probably going to remember or think of new ones as time goes on, so I'll try to keep this updated.
- European doors open in weird ways. There doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern as to which way they open...they don't adhere to American fire code. In hindsight, this might just be German doors.
- No free refills is still something that ticks me off. Furthermore, water is not free...which makes me even more angry.
- Restrooms are also not free in public places. Like, da fuq.
- Europeans hold very different hours. Americans party from 9p-1am typically. Europeans sleep from 9p-11:30p and then go out to party from midnight until the wee hours of the morning (6am-ish).
- Europeans are much more interested in their appearance. They are far more stylish, and are far more vain about their appearance. Americans might be materialistic about possessions (TVs and whatnot) but Europeans spend a metric shitton on clothing and haircuts.
- Traveling within Europe is super cheap. Like, unreasonably cheap. Like, I can't handle how cheap it is. Why can't the US do this?!
- Being in Europe reminds me of being on the East Coast. People aren't super friendly like in the Midwest.
- Most Europeans will ask you where you're from but unless you say Texas, New York, or California they won't have any idea where it is. I don't blame them...I just find it funny. I figure a good percentage of Americans probably couldn't even point out Germany on a map of Europe. Sad.
- Fast food in Europe is much more expensive, but it's also much higher quality.
- There isn't really a thing like American national pride in Europe...especially Germany. The UK, France, and Russia are probably the closest things.
- European cars are small. There are no pickup trucks here and people typically drive standard-shift cars.
- German high schools are kind of screwed up and classist. In high school they basically determine whether you'll be blue collar, white collar, or an academic for you. So much for "social mobility".
- Most Europeans know several languages. It's really tough to practice language here because if you try to speak their language to you and you screw it up, they automatically revert to English.
- Bathroom stalls actually make sense in Europe. There aren't enormous gaps between the doors that random people can see through.
- Europeans don't care much for political correctness. They're very forthright with their stereotypes and many are surprisingly racist (although racism is more focused towards Arabs instead of the black communities). Even then, there are hardly any minorities in Europe (or at least Northern Europe) for there to even be much discrimination.
- Liberal Arts doesn't really seem like a thing here. People learn their specialty and don't really branch out much. School is much cheaper though!
- Northern Europe is what I imagine Washington state is like—cloudy, cold, and kind of depressing. Denmark tries to rationalize this by saying "hygge" is a thing and many other countries seem to deal with it by partying inside and drinking lots.
- Europeans are very progressive with renewable energy. It's tough to travel aronud by train and not see a wind turbine or solar farm somewhere in the distance.
- Europeans travel A LOT. About an estimated third of Americans hold a valid passport while three-fourths of Europeans do.
- SO MANY Europeans smoke. It's a bad cultural habit to have that Americans, thank God, have overcome. We may be obese, but at least food is delicious and tastes good (well, good food anyway).
- Germans don't have air conditioning...like, what?! How do they survive? I lived without air conditioning the first half of my life and it was terrible...
- Germans blow their noses like horns. Loudly. In all of the places. Restaurant? Sure. Bus? Sure. Middle of a wedding when they're saying their vows? Probably.
- European drinking culture is much more reasonable and responsible than that of the US.
- I'm hopelessly American. I've tried Europe. I've explored. I enjoy Europe. It's nice to visit and read about. But I don't think I'll ever be able to move long-term to any place other than America.
So yeah, that's my list of stark differences or things I could remember.