First off, naps are generally required midday. Do not bother going to any shops during this time, as they will be closed, and enjoy the rest in your home.
Rule #1, If you are a native European speaking to a tourist:
It would be less offensive if when making a comment regarding a tourist you do it in your native language. I say this because I was in a small bar in when I took a Fanta out of the case and brought it to the counter. The man behind the counter babbled something in Croatian, Italian and finally in English. He kept saying "left". While trying to ponder what in the world he meant, he mocked me by saying to his friend (In English, mind you) "One to the left, one to the right" in a snickering voice. He was making fun of the way I looked all around for the object that I finally figured out was a can opener. On my next trip to Europe, I wore flip flops that had a can opener on the bottom, to prevent that from ever happening to me again.Remember: Every, and I mean every, distance between two points is 200 meters.
Food and Drink:
- For sodas, can openers dominate over twist caps, as you could see by my Fanta story.
- Speaking of Fanta, it's pronounced FOnta not FAnta.
- In restaurants, many items on the menu may not be available, and often, there are only 1-2 things that are actually being served.
- Hazelnut (Often called nocciola) ice cream is the ultimate best kind around, no questions asked
- Nutella is the new peanut butter.
- There are no hot dog stands. However, there are many panini-mobiles
- Orange juice that you buy from the store is actually 100% juice, no concentrate.
- They try to copy American foods. Perfect example: Frosties cereal.
- Lastly, if you see a Gelato place that has flower shaped Gelato, stop everything and try it! You won't regret it!
- (Yes, it needs to be separate from food and drink)
- You have to pay for the ketchup
- It is NOT, and I emphasize NOT, fast food. Period.
- The coke cola came out of the fountain in the sequence of a little bit of coke, little water, little coke, little water...
- Lastly, they sell beer!
- When outing at the beach, the proper attire would be either spandex, or... nothing at all.
- If you don't go to the beach by 10 AM, you generally can't go until it cools down, which is in the late afternoon, around 6 PM.
- When on an airplane, everyone
maywill begin to clap when a safe landing on the runway is made
- Locals walk practically everywhere
- If you have a bad flight time, it's possible to have been up since 9 AM on Thursday and I'll go to bed around 11 PM Friday, with a 3 hour nap on the plane.
- Everyone will be up and talking at 3 am, standing in the middle of the isle on a plane babbling.
- On Alitalia, the pilot may turned his mic on, while he's playing glee, shut it off and said "buona sera... Uhhhh......" Then put the music back on.
- In some airports, there are farms on the airport's grounds.
- One flight I was on played as High School Musical's Humuhumunukunukuapua'a as in-flight audio
- On a flight to Croatia, the safety video showed animated characters smiling as they jumped off a plane
- Although allowed on some roads in the US, passing is allowed virtually everywhere, including when a cliff is on one side, mountain on the other, and a tractor trailer is turning around the bend.
- When driving, beware of lambs crossing the road at their leisure
- Traffic lights go from R,Y,G to G,Y,R
- Rest stops are abundant, one almost every kilometer.
- Rome has better roads than Florida's (Which are very nice considering)
- No one understands the concept of a LANE
- Every, and I mean every, car that is going slower than you, pass them.
- Some truckers paint a saint on the side of their truck and name it
- When taking a tram, the automated voice is sometimes a whisper.
- The entrance to every metro is sooooooo much cooler than New York City's. They use motion sensors and you can't jump over them. I have another post explaining them here: Europe's Subway Systems, and why they're better
- The mailman often drops by for coffee and complains about the 10 houses he has to go to.
- It is completely normal driving to go 30-40 kilometers (20-30 MPH) over the speed limit.
- Not knowing where your 5 year old child is at 11:45 at night is completely normal.
- American songs are often on the radio, even though no one knows what they're saying.
- This includes songs with curses, such as the song "Airplanes."
- When an American song is sang by a cover band, the words are often mumbled, but everyone thinks the presentation was great. When I was in Croatia, A cover band played "Poker Face" and my cousin and I were the only native English speakers at the event. We were also the only ones laughing during the entire song. Unfortunately, my camera magically broke (after dropping it on the floor) only for the duration of the song, thus preventing me from posting the song on a YouTube fail video.
- Traditional dancing is often accompanied by a cow or lamb pipe player. When I saw a performance, the man clearly had too much to drink
- A radio station sometimes begins a song on the radio before the commercial is finished
- California Gurls is one of the most popular songs - in ITALY
- They don't focus on light fixtures. Ever. I have countless pictures of bare, hanging lights. Instead, art, the kitchen fixtures & appliances, along with plants, are emphasized.
- Haircuts are much more... Unique, than in the "States" -the general term for The United States of America, shortened into one definitive and mocking term. When my cousin got a haircut, he started crying because it was so much different than what he was used to in the US - Partly because his grandma said something to the barber too quickly.
- The water tastes great! But look at the label below! How can you not question that?
- They think putting an empty water bottle on the back of their tire (which sounds like a dying horse) is cool.
- Seeing Justin Beiber wanna be's in Rome is perfectly normal. All you need is a pair of sunglasses, a Yankee's hat and the haircut. For example, look to your right.
- Good Ice Cream Shops have a 10 minute wait before you get to the counter.
- In my experience no Gelato is as good as il Gaurdino (Which was a restaurant on the Island of Ventotene)
- No, it's not weird to create a statue of a semi naked woman holding Gelato. It's honored.
- This is the life of the city.
- This is where kids play soccer at 11:30 PM.
- This is the place that never closes.
- This is the heart of Europe. It's a shame there are no REAL Piazza's in America.
- Some have fountains that you can stop the flow with your hand and use as a water fountain.
Tourist attractions- In Pictures:
You would think the walls in a place like the Vatican would be repainted often. Nope, the thousands of people's dirty hands line the walls of the Copula.
"Would you like an umbrella?" "For the 5th time. No."
There is an overwhelming amount of peddlers in Rome.
My experience in a Roman Hotel:
- While trying to buy wifi from an Italian hotel manager, I heard fighting in the lobby. It was two young boys who were saying "See! Now you know how it feels you little F***in s**t!" (Referencing to a kick in a certain place) and they kept going. Then I got totally ripped off by the man and went upstairs. I came back a few minutes later and he was talking in Italian about basically "a stupid American boy trying to buy wifi." I see this, and he sees me. Later, when I logged in, I had an extra hour of Wifi time.
- Remember, it pays to argue in Europe (Except with customs! -I learned my lesson with them)
- The flight landed an hour late for the next flight. The worker says in Italian "we gotta run". She jumps in a mini car there and tells everyone else to follow, running. With our luck, we had to go to the furthest gate from the entry terminal. We ran, took flat escalator and even a tram. At customs, one person lost his boating pass. Once he found it, we're greeted by the entire plane's stares. Like always, the takeoff was crazy and the pilot turned one way, then changed his mind, while listening to High School Musical.
- Basically, it was the Port Jeff ferry, a small ferry line that goes across the Long Island Sound, jacked up on mountain dew and Fanta. Even if the ship was huge, the pool was smaller then a kiddie pool. The cabin was small but I didn't care because it had bunk beds. In the restaurant, there was a kid who meowed quite loudly in the restaurant who only meowed when her parents weren't nearby. Later, I was on the top deck listening to a German on the phone making noises impossible for me to repeat. At the port, they had trucks that brought trailers into the boat. The seats would turn around to drive backward.
The random ad campaigns - In English too?
Sorry, in attempt to keep this blog post shorter than a book, you may have to click the pictures to read them.
My experience on a tour bus - Coincidences:
- We got off the original bus and got on about two hours later, onto the same bus with the same guide.
- I'm standing on a train and 2 people put their hands in the middle of the door as they close. Next to me, a metro cop's dog smells drugs and starts barking and running toward them. The two people dart out of the train and she follows them with her dog up the station, jumping over the turntable.
- We went to a park that required you to take the subway, a tram and a practically vertical tram. This park was perched up on a cliff. The next day, we heard on the news one of the rides crashed, killing 2 people. The regulations are not as closely watched than in the US.
- In Rome, some streets have lights floating in the middle of the street
- Also In Rome, I took a free bus ride because my friend told the driver he'd pay if the Air Conditioning worked. The driver agreed.
- Construction workers often wear a collared button down shirt... I don't exactly know why.
- Italy and many other European countries have a "Saldi Seaon" every and I mean every, store has signs saying Saldi, in many languages, with sales ranging from a whole 3% to a nice 50% off.
- "That lad over there is as pissed off as a cow when I kick it in the face."
Feel free to add your own tips and experiences in the comments! I'll add them to the post!