Top 5 Things Every European Does but USA Will Never Understand: There are countless memes and stereotypes about Europeans and Americans, because in general, they tend to fall on opposite sides of the spectrum. Here are 5 things that every European does without even thinking that Americans just don’t understand.
1. EAT MUCH SMALLER MEALS, OR OFTEN SEVERAL SMALL COURSES RATHER THAN ONE HUGE ENTREE
Portion size is an international issue, with more and more people around the world becoming obese. However, there’s no denying the stereotype that portions are just enormous in America.
Sure, there are spots in Europe that may serve more generous portions, but in general, they serve up a reasonable amount — in America, an appetizer may pack an entire day’s worth of calories, and an entree would likely be enough for an entire family to share.
Europeans tend to eat much smaller meals, and often split their dining experience into a multi-course indulgence — by which we mean a small salad, a light appetizer such as a soup, a small portion of an entree, etc. It’s just an entirely different way of eating that Americans can’t seem to wrap their minds around with their super-sized portions.
2. CONSUME ROOM TEMPERATURE DRINKS/WATER
If you were asked how much ice was in the last drink you consumed, you probably wouldn’t be able to answer, because it just isn’t something you really notice. However, it’s something that many Europeans say stands out about their experience in America, and vice versa.
In America, drinks at a restaurant are often served with basically an entire chopped up iceberg. You’ll get a few sips of your arctic water before you have to wait for the ice to melt down a little bit. In Europe, on the other hand, drinks are often served without any ice at all. It seems like such a minor detail, but you’d be surprised at how much it stands out when you’re actually sitting down to dine and you receive something that’s different from what you normally expect.
3. MANAGE TO DINE WITHOUT HAVING A TRILLION DIFFERENT CHOICES
Europeans and Americans just have different ways of eating, on average. Americans tend to have bigger portions served up, particularly in restaurants, and they also have a lot more options.
Chain restaurants often have menus that span 6 or 7 pages, and even the simple act of getting a fast food sandwich can turn into a whole ordeal as you’re asked which of 6 types of bread you want, which veggies, how much of this, how much of that, which of the 12 condiments you want to finish your creation off with, etc.
Europeans tend to take a bit of a simpler outlook — you order a ham and cheese sandwich and you’ll get it the way that the restaurant wants to make it, plain and simple. You don’t always need the opportunity to customize everything.
4. TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT ALL THE TIME
In general, unless you live in a big metropolitan city with a good transit system, like New York City or Chicago, most Americans just don’t take transit. The transit systems are often poorly planned, particularly if you’re commuting between a rural spot and a city, and it’s just plain easier to jump in your car and drive to where you need to go.
In Europe, transit systems are often built out a lot better, and much more frequently utilized. While you still need to drive around if you’re in a rural community, in most cities the transit is efficient enough that many people just never bother to drive at all. Now, their transit system isn’t perfect either, but it just goes to show that putting some time and effort into public transit can definitely pay off.
5. DRIVE MUCH SMALLER CARS, IF THEY DO DRIVE
Again, this one is a bit situational. If you’re a European farmer living out in the countryside, you may very well have a truck that helps with hauling things around. However, in general, Europeans who drive tend to have much smaller cars. They’re efficient, they get you from Point A to Point B, and they can easily be squeezed into small parking spots in the city.
Makes sense, right? Many European cities and streets are designed with pedestrians in mind, where the cars are a bit of an afterthought. In America, on the other hand, it’s very much a drivers’ world — the roads are big, the parking lots are bigger, and most people drive huge trucks or SUVs. I mean, can you imagine driving a massive truck through the tiny cobblestone streets of a European village? You would literally never find parking because it would be impossible to squeeze that monster anywhere.
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