Monday, July 8, 2013


There are many differences between Europeans and Americans, here are a few observations. All little kids are the same. It doesn't matter what mom or dad look like all the children want to have fun and act a little goofy at times. Many of the kids were definitely enjoying themselves even if they had no clue why mom and dad brought them to this place.
Europe has us beat in property graffiti especially in the big cities and along rail lines. Evidently they don't care about removing it. On the other hand Americans are leading in body graffiti. I saw a few tattoos but nothing like everyday life here in the USA.
They have toll roads all over and it can get expensive. In France they are called the Peage. The results of those tolls are very smooth well kept freeways. We drove many of those roads as it was simply the fastest way to get from A to B but I would have preferred driving more back roads and we could have saved some money. Of course I live in Northern California where toll roads don't exist unlike parts of the mid west and east coast. A downside of freeways just like the U.S. is it is difficult to see anything. Back roads through small towns are much more interesting.
Cars are smaller in Europe especially in France. We saw a few larger cars in Switzerland and more in Germany. We had a small brand new Mercedes diesel with no room to spare. The trunk was completely stuffed with bags but there was enough leg room and the riding was comfortable especially if the sandman started beating on me.
Ireland, France and Germany operate on the Euro which is worth more than the dollar. So when a meal costs 20 Euros it is really $25.70. I had to continually tell myself that an item in Euros is more in dollars but we forget. In Switzerland the currency is Swiss Francs and 20 CFH is $20.74, much easier to keep track of. The glitch is you don't want to leave Switzerland with Francs or Europe with Euros, I have about 15 Euros taking a long out of circulation rest at home.
I may have said it before but here it is again, Europeans walk much more than Americans especially those who use public transportation. Many of the cities are designed for walking and cars are banished in many parts of the cities. I think people are healthier because of the need to walk and they look more fit.
Every where we went with a few exceptions it was pay parking. All the city streets are pay parking even in front of our Ireland condo. The price of gas and the pay parking make public transportation look very reasonable. Someday the U.S. will get there.