I have returned from the 30th birthday European adventure. Ya'll. YA'LL. It was absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to tell you guys all about it! So beware, the next couple of weeks will be trip overload on my blog. But today, I want to share some things that my trip to Europe reminded me to appreciate about America.
Land of the free.....water and bathrooms.
I bet you that half of my daily budget was spent on water and bathrooms. No lie. There is not water for free at every restaurant in Europe. You have to ask for it and usually pay for it (exception in Vienna where the tap water is ok to drink, but you still have to ask for it). And you have to really specify that you want still water, or else you get this carbonated water crap that will make you gag. And there is no ice in Europe, so all the water is hot. I am a girl who loves her water, so I was thirsty the whole trip.
Here is an example photo I took. They brought me water in a beaker and gave me a shot glass to drink it from. By the time I had enough to make me not thirsty anymore, that table looked like a cross between a huge chemistry experiment and a frat party with all the beakers and shot glasses.
Men who wear real pants.
I am no fashionista, but on the real, men should wear real pants. By real, I mean full length, boot cut, not colored. I took the liberty of getting some photos to prove my point.
|Are they pants? Shorts? If I have to ask, do not wear them!|
|Skinny jeans. Not okay.|
|Red was the most popular male pant color. Mustard was second.|
|Unless you live on Desperate Housewives AND are a woman,|
no sweaters tied around the neck.
|These man purses were everywhere. Did they not watch Friends|
circa 1999 when Joey ruled this out for us all?
Cinch jeans and square toed boots.
On a related note, for the love of George Strait and all things good, a girl should not have to go two weeks without seeing a man in Cinch jeans and square toed boots. It is bad for the soul, I tell you. Long live, God bless, and thank you for American cowboys.
|Yay, America: Where men ride horses. Not vespas.|
Real 'normal' sizes.
I am a relatively averaged size girl as far as sizes go. I am a bit shorter than average, my feet a big larger than average, but all in all, I am pretty standard. I will let my facebook status from last week explain the incident I had in Vienna.
Today while shopping in Vienna I was told my feet were too large for my size of shoe to be 'typical' in a European store, and I was informed that they only had jackets in 'normal' sizes (smaller than I needed).....but I showed them by buying a one-size fits all scarf and then going for gelato. Take that, Europe. Take that.
I am not a needy person. I honestly never complain about a waiter. But for crying out loud. Service in Europe is not something I can handle. They are slow, do not pay any attention to your glass being full, take forever to take your order or bring you a check, and in some places (cough, cough, Prague) are really rude. There were exceptions, like the cute kid who waited on us in my favorite restaurant in Veinna, but everywhere else, they drove me crazy.
Now, this may have just been the places that we stayed. We were on a budget and in rental apartments and then one night in a hotel. All of the beds sucked. Some places felt like I was sleeping on a board. And do not even get me started on the overnight train situation. You will get an earful on that next week. Not comfy does not even begin to describe that bed.
And while we are on this note, nothing is soft there. Matresses are hard. Couches are hard. Towels are not fluffy. I am telling you, a little softness could really improve the quality of life in Europe. A lot.
I do not think of myself as a big Ranch dressing person. I grew up in Logan, where people but that stuff on literally everything from pizza to spicy chicken to fries. Gag me. But after two weeks in Europe, this girl needed a salad with some full fat, unhealthy-style ranch, STAT. That oil and vinegar stuff did not cut it.
Plug ins that do not blow up my stuff.
Last time they killed my Chi straightener This time, the victim was my computer charger. Even with converters, there is something about European electricity that screws me over every time.
Free church entry.
It fundamentally bothers me to have to pay money to go into a house of God. Like deep down, bothers me. Maybe from the whole time where Jesus went into the temple where they were buying and selling things, had a fit, and turned over a few tables? Anyway, I appreciate in America that I do not have to pay a fee to go into any church. Even my favorite church and one of the most beautiful--the Washington National Cathedral--lets you in for free and is upkept from donations (which I always happily make). I just think charging a fee is wrong somehow. This is also why Poland was my favorite country, because it was much more rare there to have to pay to enter a church. In Warsaw, all churches had their doors open and they were happy to have you coming in to look around, take pictures, pray, whatever you felt like.
|St. Stephen's Bascilica - Vienna, Austria|
I like old music as much, maybe more, than the next guy. But everywhere we went was like a flashback to 4th grade with the music. The mid-1990s were not that great of a time for classic American pop music is all I am sayin.
I am quite sure that the three of us were the only non-smokers in Europe. Everyone, and I mean everyone smokes there. Old people, young people, kids. I swear I saw one girl on a school field trip who could not have been over 13 smoking away. Girls, guys, rich people, homeless people, you name it. Have they not heard that smoking, ya know, kills you??