Now that I am back from my trip, I may try to spend a little more time blogging on a regular basis (but am making no promises). I had such a wonderful time on my trip, and my friends in Amsterdam are all suggesting I move there. I have to admit it is tempting. As such, I started compiling a list of little pros and cons to each, in no particular order. If you have items to add to the list please do so in the comments, I would love to hear them.
1. Fruit – Europe wins hands down. The fruits and veggies may LOOK better in the US, but as with so many things here, it is style over substance. European produce tastes way better than all but the most expensive and rare organic stuff you find here.
2. Warm water and plumbing – USA, by a mile. For the life of me, I can’t understand what is so technically difficult for Europeans to grasp about mixing hot and cold water in a steady way. Whether it is Holland or France or the UK, you would think it was a secret as hard as splitting the atom. Here in the US, when I set the temp to something between freezing cold and boiling hot, it stays where I put it. There, you are never in a steady state, but only on your way to scalding or freezing, which gives you a window of a few seconds to wash before injury.
3. Socializing without stressing – Point Europe. In the US (NYC at least), it often feels that we are scheduled for small windows to do any socializing, whereas in Europe (continental at least), things seem to take their own amount of organic time, and people do not seem so over-scheduled. A dinner or picnic (when was the last time I had a picnic in New York?) with friends can last several hours, and people are genuinely relaxing. Here it often feels as if people are checking something off a list, and in a hurry to get to the next thing.
4. Laundry – USA, definitely. Maybe related to the technical difficulties above, Laundry seems easier to accomplish here, and cheaper (whether doing it yourself or sending it out). Although the amount of machine drying we do may reduce the useful life of our clothes.
5. Service – USA is definitely way better, but we also pay through the nose for it.
6. Health Care – This isn’t mundane at all, is it? Europe wins hands down. It is cheaper, better quality in most situations (with better overall outcomes), and universal.
There are, of course, tons of others. These just come to mind because they were subjects and experiences that came up in the course of my trip last week. Feel free to add your own down below, this could get interesting…