I just came back from Germany a couple of days ago, and while I was there I noticed a few things. Well I noticed a lot of things… I should hope. But there were certain things that they do that I realized seemed just backward or silly, and thought of how much better we have certain things in North America. On the other hand, there were a bunch of things that we don’t do nearly as well, and I wanted to share these random thoughts with you.
What does Europe (or Germany, at least) do right?
- Not censoring too much
- Letting people drink in the street / park
- Eating dinner at the right time
- Style – everyone just seems well dressed and like they put a little bit of thought into what they wear.
- Putting prices on things in store windows – though I imagine it would be better to trick people into walking into your store before revealing your inordinate prices.
- Tipping – mandatory tipping is just effing stupid.
- Being laid back about language (but maybe that’s just Quebec being stupid and me noticing it)
- Letting dogs be everywhere – they’re allowed in stores, restaurants, the metro (subway), busses, everywhere! So much better.
- Maintaining / not maintaining parks – they have parks with actual green areas with ponds, bushes, weeds, whatever and it makes it 1) better for the environment and the animals that can actually live there and 2) feel more wild and more “not the city”.
What does Europe do not so well?
- FREE WATER AT RESTAURANTS, DAMNIT PEOPLE COME ON. I get it if it’s a place where you can’t drink the tap water but… Germany? Grr.
- Free bathrooms – they really really don’t like these. Like, really? Basic human need here!
- Being open on Sundays
- Smoking everywhere (or almost everywhere)
- Being nice when people actually bump into one another – though this is likely just the cities I was in / German thing.
Pictures from this article were taken during the trip, and you can find them all here. Anyway this doesn’t speak for all of Europe or all of North America, but I’ve been to quite a lot of places on both continents and it seems like my opinion wouldn’t change much about these things. That’s ma rant. Hope you enjoyed.