Last month was my first time travelling internationally. Needless to say, I was nervous. Mainly about forgetting my passport but also because I had no idea what the process was going to be like (because there’s no such thing as the Internet). After we arrived at the airport my nervousness went away and I was finally able to let my excitement bubble over. The trip was absolutely amazing and we had such a fantastic time with my friend, her sister, and both of their husbands. Traveling with awesome people only makes the experience better and it was truly an amazing one. BUT this post isn’t going to be about our incredible adventures per se, but about the cultural differences I found to be interesting.
No Joking Allowed
I’m not saying that Europeans don’t have a sense of humor, although I know first hand that Customs and Border Control do not. Seriously, don’t try to make those people laugh. They’re not fucking having it and won’t even crack a weak ass smile for you. I mean that there are some things Europeans take seriously. Here are a few that I’ve noted.
- Airport security. We connected through Heathrow and they are quite serious when it comes to security. TSA in comparison is a joke, the truly laughable kind. I’ve left my liquids in my carry-on and TSA hasn’t done anything. Heathrow? Oh, hell no. I definitely didn’t consider some of my makeup (that primer and CC cream, remember?) as liquid so I didn’t take it out. Big mistake. Big. Huge. You know what they did? Pulled the bag aside, took out everything, and then watched as I tried to fit my liquids in their provided baggies (very convenient and thoughtful, btw). Nearly everything fit except for a few things so it could have been worse.
- Stand Right, Walk Left. After our week of running around Germany’s Black Forest, we decided to spend a few days in England. Our hotel was a half mile from the nearest Underground station so we became very familiar and used it quite often to get around (it’s fabulous and I love it!). Escalators are a large part of the Underground (423 actually!) and the “stand right, walk left” is in full force. Neither of us were that person but we did see someone on the receiving end of a fussy commuter. No, thanks.
Where My Noms At?
I think my second favorite thing about Europe was the food. Surprised it’s not #1? Me too. I like trying to new food so this trip was a gold mine for that. Like everything else, there are a few particular foods that stick out in my memory.
- German sausage. It’s on every menu for every time of the day with every kind of side you can think of.* We definitely had our fill of sausage but it was so good! Irecently ordered white sausage at an American restaurant expecting to get the same I had at a German restaurant. It looked the same but it didn’t taste the same. I was sad but I should have expected this.
- German pretzels. Like the sausage, it was everywhere.* Did we mind? Hell, no! The pretzels we had were the best I’ve ever eaten. I can’t even think about an American pretzel. I’ve been spoiled.
- Water. On the other hand, the water in Europe was something I never got used to. When you’re out to eat, you will not automatically receive water and have to order it. Then you’ll have choice between still (mineral water) or sparkling (carbonated). My friend explained that it’s part of the table service, which I completely understand but was still hard to get used to when you’ve been accustomed to free water with ice since birth. Ice. I got fucking excited when one restaurant put ice in my glass, no joke.
- Bacon. A friend told us the bacon was back-fat bacon. Sure, whatever. I thought nothing of this. Bacon is bacon. No. It’s not. British bacon is from a different part of the pig than American bacon. This makes it look and taste (slightly) different. It taste a little more like Canadian bacon which I actually like more anyway. Here are some pictures I found to help explain the difference.
Bacon locations. Courtesy of Caerleyhill.com
We went abroad and things were different. Imagine that!