Traveling the world, learning languages, and immersing myself in new cultures.

Friday, September 8, 2017

10 More Differences This American Notices between Europe and the USA

Last time I traveled to the US from Europe, I saw some differences and I thought I thought of all of them. Well, I'm back in the US and I've found some more differences! Again, I am doing the unspeakable by lumping all the countries in Europe together, haha.

How are the US and Europe different?

1. In the US, prepaid cell phone plans are robbery. The cheapest I've found is about $30 for unlimited calling/texting and 1GB of data. In Spain, I paid 7€ ($8.50) for 50 minutes (never used any), 200 texts (again, unused) and 1GB of data. In Belgium, I paid 12€ ($14.50) for unlimited calling/texting and 2GB of data.

2. In the US, it is legal to pass on the right side in a car. In Europe, this is unthinkable and dangerous. 

3. Europe has limited options on custom license plates, usually limited to subtle designs. In the US, you can customize the words, add pictures, among other options.

4. When new tech is released, the US gets it right away and  it's cheaper - tvs, phones, drones, headphones. Currently, the Galaxy Note 8 costs $929 (779€) and in Europe it's $1204 (1009€). The iPhone 7 took almost a month after the US had it in stores, to arrive to Europe stores. The Galaxy Note 5 was never for sale in Europe.

5. Customer service in a department store in the US, 15 different people will offer to help. In Europe, you have to set off an alarm to get someone to look in your direction. 

6. In the US, it is very easy to buy over-the-counter medication, and in large doses, that normally you have to have a prescription for in Europe. 

7. The US has free bathrooms in most stores. Europe is a mixed bag, but many times, you incur a ridiculous expense.

8. After living in Europe and documenting a year of wine in Spain, I have a new appreciation - and expectations - for wine. In the US, a glass of wine is super expensive, and the American wines are not that good to be paying a premium.

These are more specific to my personal behavior

9. When I see something - a statue, monument, landmark - in the US with European heritage, especially a country I've been to, I get so excited. In Europe, when I see something with an American name, there's no feelings. 

10. Piggybacking on the last one, when I see something - a statue, monument, landmark - I take photos and do handstands in them. When traveling in the US, even if it's something new, I'm a lot slower to pull the trigger on a handstand and a photo. 

 Skopje, Macedonia
Skopje, Macedonia
Bonus. WiFi is readily accessible almost everywhere in the US - restaurants, parks, businesses, etc. In Europe, there is often WiFi, but you have to track someone down and get a password, if they even know it and are willing to exercise #5 above.

What do you think?

Do you agree or disagree with my list? More to add? Dispute? Have you noticed these differences? Check out the first article in this series here!


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