The American side of me won’t ever stop

Posted on 03.08.2013


I came to a realization the other day. I’m over in Europe for some job interviews and have been traveling a bit, and it struck me that there are certain things that my American mind can’t wrap itself around, and doesn’t want to.

It happened in Belgium, when I was staying with a friend and Sunday hit. I almost forgot what Sunday means over here until about 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, when I quickly started to freak out about whether we had enough food to make it through Sunday. Thankfully, there were restaurants in my future, and my friend was severely overstocked.

DSCN8910sIt happened again in Belgium, on multiple occasions, when I would nonchalantly check Yelp for restaurants in the area, and find next to nothing. While Yelp IS utilized over here, it seems that it is either ONLY utilized by Americans, or is only for really large tourist cities, of which the city I was in, was not. Or at least, is not YET. What ended up happening was that I was adding locations TO Yelp, and writing the first review. I got in the habit of taking photos of ALL of my food (and all of the food at my table), in case the restaurant reviews didn’t have any photos of anything.

This ended up leading to the third thing I noticed, or more to the point ‘remembered’: I don’t understand how any modern restaurant (or even place of business) can NOT have a comprehensive website. My mind automatically thinks ‘check the website’ for any question I could possibly have, and over here in Europe, it seems that most places have more of a homepage, if we’re even that lucky. And I find this majorly distressing. Which I in turn find humorous.

I also still have trouble accepting excellent gifts, or not talking to people who appear lost on the street. I can’t stand people cutting in front of me, or walking aimlessly in front of me and then stopping for no reason. I can’t sleep when it’s dead quiet. I also can’t help but to look at every shop window or flea market table I pass. I have to read the ENTIRE menu when in a restaurant, and will always want to hand people the money, rather than putting it on a table or in a box.

I think the things I was raised to do won’t ever leave me, and I think that’s ok, even if it will make me look a bit odd to the locals. It will be interesting to go to a new country and not be able to read the websites for a while.