Phew, I’ve been absent lately. It’s simply that I have to study A LOT again and I’m also working more than average to cover for a rather sick coworker. I also had to buy new shoes for work (we have a sort of “uniform” at the cafe now, I’ll tell you more about that soon!) and they don’t fit very well… my feet are blistering! It’s not pretty.
Anyways, I’ve always had issues adapting to certain things in Europe – daily life things. I’m crying on a high level here, though, so I’m not really going to complain, but here are some facts:
1. Did you ever run out of milk on a Sunday or holiday? Did you ever run out of anything on a sunday and just went to buy it? Well, you better be well stocked in Europe, because shops close on Sundays and holidays. All of them. The entire day. No exceptions made. Even if you live in a region in the US where there are restrictions, you’ll most likely still find what you need on a sunday. Not so in Europe! Of course, important facilities are still open (like hospitals) and typically gas stations.
Funny fact: There are no restrictions for bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and so on. Alcohol may still be sold like every other day of the week.
2. I bet my socks that you pay most of your shopping with a credit card. Feel free to leave that safely at home if you ever come here, because credit cards are about as alien here as little green men. Literally no shop, restaurant, gas station, whatever, will accept your credit card. Some hotels do. The only rather common form of electronic cash are debit cards. However, many smaller restaurants and cafes don’t accept that either. Your safest bet is to have the money you’re going to spend with you in cash. It can be quite annoying to realize you can’t pay whatever you want simply because you don’t have cash with you.
3. Big cars. Nothing like feeling high up there in a truck. Trucks are something you won’t see here (just like credit cards). But I guess it’s for the best. A Smart the size of a golf cart needs a lot less gas anyway.
4. Which leads me to gas prices. I don’t know how much you pay for gas in the US at the moment, but we pay $9 for a gallon. Makes you not want to drive a truck, right?
5. Empty land. I love Europe, don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful with lots of amazing nature, but, wow, it’s crowded! You won’t find much empty land anywhere any more. Driving for 2 hours without seeing a trace of civilisation? Pfffft! In Germany alone we are almost 85 million people living in a country slightly smaller than the state of California! (Compare: The US altogether has “only” ~300 million citizens) Think about that next time you’re driving through miles and miles of empty land. It’s beautiful.
Yes, I guess that’s my Top 5 of the things I miss. What do you think you would miss if you were to live in Europe?