Now that it has been about two months of us traveling through Europe, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what, in my opinion, Europeans are doing better than Americans (and in another post I will do the reverse). So here it goes…
Price of alcohol
Back in America it seems like every time I want to go out to a restaurant, about half of my cost is from a pint of beer or a glass of wine. I don’t think I’m a raging alcoholic or anything and would imagine most other people in the states see something similar ($4-8 a glass). When you look at that relative to other things on the menu though it’s ridiculous. Why is beer 4x the cost of a soda?
Well it shouldn’t be and in Europe they get that. So far prices have been lower in general, but the big thing for me is that all drinks cost the same, whether it is juice, soda, alcohol, etc. It makes sense to me. I don’t think it costs more to make a Coke than it does a Budweiser…. Right?
These things are no doubt God’s gift to mankind. For some reason I’ve neglected them my entire life up until this point. Here in Europe, there are Gyro shops literally everywhere, and every country has a slight variation to them, which is awesome.
Generally, they are a pita, lamb/chicken, veggies and tzatiki sauce with a couple of modifications like in Greece they put french fries in the gyro. And the best part? They’re insanely cheap. They’re like $2-3 each and some days Meghan and I have had them for lunch and dinner. In fact, in one two-day stretch we had them on five separate occasions. You do the math. Nom nom nom.
Instant boiling water
This is a really weird thing for me to love, but I think this might be my favorite part of Europe. I never realized how much of my life I’ve wasted watching water boil. It’s insane.
If you haven’t seen these contraptions, it’s a plastic jug that you plug into the wall, and you just press a button and water starts boiling within three seconds. No joke. Do they have these in America and I’ve just been missing the boat? Not sure, but I’m definitely getting one when I get home.
No tip required
I’ve never worked in the service industry so I could be totally off here, but not tipping your server is how it should be. Rather than paying a server a dog shit salary like we do in the US and making people dependent on tips, they actually pay their employees a livable wage. Then when service is above and beyond good that’s when you actually give them the extra 5-10%.
In New York you could have the shittiest service of your life, but you still felt obligated to tip 20%. It’s insane. I much prefer to pay a little more on my meal and then tip out extra when I think the service deserves it.
So at first when I saw roundabouts in Spain I was terrified of them because it didn’t look like there was any control to it. Literally cars just flying around these things honking while motorcycles weaved in and out. However, after a couple of days of driving around we figured out how they worked and these things make a lot of sense.
There’s no need for stop lights, which kept things moving along and there is very little traffic as a result. Meghan was driving and we only came close to wrecking like twice, which is also an improvement from America.