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Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 6 years
I have to agree with of the other Europeans who've said this list waaayyy over generalised! If I wanted to take that one step further I might say that these customs you're talking about might be more applicable to mainland or Continental Europe, but even trying to find a catch all attitude to life for central Europe would be pushing it. From on my own perspective in my little corner of Europe (Ireland) I can honestly say that practically nothing on that list related to the way most people live here! We don't eat especially late, almost everywhere opens on Sundays, you would cause shock and consternation if you took your top off on the beach, we don't have siestas, we were the first country in Europe to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces (just this morning there was a debate on the radio as to whether we should ban people smoking in their own cars!), most coffee shops also do take out coffees, we have a highly dysfunctional and unfair two-tier health care system (although our new government plans to try to introduce a universal system), your average person is no more or less fashion conscious than anywhere else, but just as with anywhere there are extremes to both degrees (if you walk down our main fashion street you're just as likely to see someone wandering around in their pyjamas alongside someone tottering along in their Manolo Blahniks), we get two weeks annual leave in the summer (but this staggered so that thankfully we don't have a situation where the whole country ceases to operate, which must be incredibly annoying!) We don't have high speed trains, and as for sexual open-mindedness... please! We are probably one of the most notoriously repressed countries in the world! If I had to take a guess I'd say 60% of people only speak English. We always tip at least 10% in restaurants here, even though waiters are on quite a generous minimum wage to begin with, so really the only thing we in Ireland have in common with the Europe depicted in this list is that our legal drinking age is 18 and it's relatively socially acceptable to drink in public. But if I could find the part of Europe where all of the things on list are a part of every day life... I'd move there! It sounds great! :)
KateAthens KateAthens 6 years
Ok, i live in Greece and we have all these (well fashion sense is relative). Some comments: Universal healthcare. Well its not anymore as it used to be. That stands for all EU. Tolerance to smoking. Well its not anymore as it used to either but we're not like NY. No tipping: Well that's not true in most countries at least. Tipping isn't always 10% though. At coffee shops and normal restaurants we always tip. We even tip at food deliveries. Like Mr. White said in Reservoir Dogs "You don't care if they''re countin' on your tips to live?" I am pro everything but no tipping.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
Speaking as a woman the other side of the pond, sorry to hear that Sagagirl, but I promise you, things can change.
sagagirl sagagirl 6 years
The topless beaches would be great but Americans, have such a jacked up view of a sexually liberated woman that it would never work.
losteiffel losteiffel 6 years
Love this slideshow!
losteiffel losteiffel 6 years
Wow, I wish America was more open minded! The lifestyles in Europe are fun and laid back.
Carri Carri 7 years
Wow. I'm more conservative and stuck in my ways than I thought. They can keep it all!
shoppingqueen4755 shoppingqueen4755 7 years
what about the hour and a half lunches! as Americans we could use a few pointers from Europeans. I am portuguese and there are some things they do there I wish we did here
hislizzy hislizzy 7 years
Kids, it's not all as lovely as it sounds. I'm American but I live in Italy. 1) Late dinners, I like. But they can be a little hard on the kids. Having the option of dining earlier can make life easier for families. 2) Yes, Italians can drink in public. But they don't. The only people who do are tourists and punk teenage kids. It's not a civilized habit. 3) Stores closed on Sunday is a royal pain in the neck. End of story. 4) I don't really care about topless beaches one way or the other. But I will say that they were annoying when I was breastfeeding because my daughters saw breasts everywhere and constantly wanted to nurse! 5) Siestas are another pain the in the neck. Stores and institutions are closed for hours in the afternoon, which means those are dead hours for everyone. It also negatively affects the economy. 6) Italians cannot smoke inside public places like bars and restaurants. But they smoke everywhere else. Pregnant mothers smoke. Ancient grandmothers pushing newborns in carriages smoke. It's not pretty. 7) Espressi and capuccini are delicious, but I love American coffee to go, too. 8) Universal health care is not all it's cracked up to be. We're lucky in Florence because we have a world-class pediatric hospital with private funding. Everywhere else is running into debt (in the billions). There's more to this topic, but I would need pages and pages. 8) Some Italians look fabulous. Others look awful. This is the same everywhere in the world. 9) Long summer vacations are nice, but are you willing to compromise for them? That means making less money than your American counterpart, not rising quickly or at all in your profession. For those not on vacation, it means most stores, dentists, governmental insitutions, etc. are closed for the month of August. Try renewing your driver's license in August. Not going to happen. 10) High speed trains are nice. No complaints. 11) Sexual open minded-ness is not the same as acceptance of the human body. I haven't noticed much difference here. Italians do not get married as much as Americans, though, and when they do it's much later in life. And yes, their divorce rate is pretty high despite the fact that it takes 3 years to finalize. 12) I know very few Italians who can speak English, or any other language. 13) The tip is usually included in the bill, so this is not exactly accurate. 14) A lower drinking age is a good idea, and I think the law should be changed on a state by state basis in the States. Italy is a good vacation spot, but I think a lot of Italians would jump at the chance to live and work in the States.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
As someone who is from the UK but brought up in France, rarely wears a bikini top,at the beach and loves a slow coffee in a cafe I found the responses to these interesting. But I was totally perplexed how anyone could vote against people speaking multi languages. These are the very people who help you out when you travel!
ZEMA ZEMA 7 years
Hey! we have all of these good habits in Québec! :)
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
That was in Klamath Falls. Very small town. And I'm talking about high school kids here. But yeah, it was pretty shocking. I was counting down the countries I've been to and one girl asked if I'd also been to Europe. I also met some very smart, informed people, though.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
starbucks==that's super weird. I live in Oregon, Portland, to be exact and I used to live in Eugene, OR (a student for U of O)--like a tv host for Foxnews once said, Eugene was the hot bed/breeding ground of liberalism. And if you're talking University students, I barely ever met anyone that ignorant, if anything they were or at least very tolerant and not insane like you've mentioned LOL. I'm an immigrant (from Indonesia), while yah, there are ignorant people (can't escape those), most of the people I've met so far have been very liberal and more educated than what you've described. Which part of Oregon did you go to school to?
Burkina Burkina 7 years
Europe is a continent. Like Africa, Europe's countries get slumped as one. What is seen as normal varies from city to city, let alone between countries. Not everyone hangs out with their c.ocks out.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
In Germany they have to give you tap water for free if you order something. I used to be a waitress. But if you just order water, they'll serve you sparkling water that will cost you. And yeah, no refills, except for some American fast food chains.
Rouge14 Rouge14 7 years
RoaringSilence, wow :s I'm shocked by that, I mean, the whole purpose of asking for tap water is to not have to pay for times when you're short on cash, you may as well ask for Evian or whatever else of that kind if you have to pay for it. Well I know that it's illegal in France and in the UK at least, and most of the time they even agree on giving you tap water without forcing you to buy anything with it, if you ask nicely, so I guess that's a start, hopefully it will become like that in Germany too some day. I'd be sad without my free tap water that's for sure!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Rouge14, paying for water is the norm in Germany. It's not illegal at all. A lot of places don't even give you tap water, but give you a choice of sparkling or non-sparkling mineral water. This costs only a little bit less than soda, and there are no free refills on anything, ever. I very much appreciate the free water when I go out to drink in the states, because I can consume as much water as I want, without worrying that the water is costing about as much as the beer.
ggiinnaa ggiinnaa 7 years
@Anon #30, where do you get pizza by the slice in France?? Sandwiches and kebab I get, but pizza? A big fat slice that'll cost you no more than 1 euro (the standard price for a huuuuge slice in Canada is 1,50 dollars)? I'm interested! But I'm not a Parisian, so maybe that's only in Paris... :S
Souslesoleil Souslesoleil 7 years
As a Euro (French) Girl living in the USA, I love this post! :D It didn't bother me at all! I found it kinda cute and funny. I'm also flattered that the "Euro" way of living can be an example! And yes there are all kind of people in Europe as there is anywhere else. There are as much stereotypes about the Americans coming from Europeans! I thought it was a cute, funny post showing some of the habits displayed in Europe. What's wrong with that? I'd sure like a little cafe where I can sip express and people watch and Universal healthcare! :D
ggiinnaa ggiinnaa 7 years
@Starbucks, I feel for you... Reminds me of that scene in 'L'Auberge espagnole' with the British kid and his offensive comments about Germans... A very good movie, btw, especially for those of us who experienced living abroad firsthand. Which makes me think: the Sugar network posts very American culture-centered posts, but judging by the comments, a large part of the readership is not American at all, eh?! Not that I'm complaining, I love to learn about American culture! Hey, I even watch Fifteen Candles and the Breakfast Club not so long ago due to the incessant references here! ;-)
Asche Asche 7 years
Okay, as a European, this post bothers me a bit as well. On style: Not all Europeans are stylish. I'm from a VERY unstylish country. As with America, you tend to only see very style-conscious people in large cities. On tipping: The "no tipping" policy is a load of crap. Yes, you have to tip, but in most countries here, 10% is considered insanely high. The reason? They're making a starting salary of about $50,000 a year, plus any tips they accrue during the month. And no, you do not have to pay for tap water in restaurants. As it is the law in America, it is also the law in the EU that restaurants cannot deny someone water due the fact that it's essential to living. On sexual awareness: Yes, as a continent, it seems we are more accepting of the human body. In most countries, you can see breasts on television, uncensored sex scenes in movies, and even the occasional *gasp!* penis (and no, I'm not talking about porn). The one thing I take issue with, is this notion that as a continent of people, we fully accept infidelity. I don't know anyone who has ever had an affair! While I do think that extramarital affairs are more common among the wealthier classes in countries like France and Italy, I would never go as far as to say that the average European is "okay with it."
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