8 Things I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Understand About Europe

1.  Europe provides universal health care for all, but you have to pay to go to the bathroom.

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2. There are bakeries on every corner with desserts and sweetbreads and fried food galore not to mention a real ice cream and gelato obsession and you won’t see a single obese person. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

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3. Churches are not child-friendly. Surely churches originally were meant to allow children? All I know is in their current state, churches are silent, still, and full of people who don’t seem to welcome a toddler to disturb the atmosphere. Ryder can also be happy as pie, walk into a church and immediately become a screaming, sobbing mess. Why, I don’t know. All I know is that I had to leave Ryder at home to go to Mass. That seems weird somehow. Kids are close to God, I think. But in Europe, churches aren’t for kids.

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4. Europeans are all so health-conscious and green-friendly—anti-Monsanto sentiments and recycling bins abound– but it often feels like every last one of them smokes unabashedly.

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5. Pharmacies, called apothekes in German, don’t have many “over-the-counter” choices. You basically have to ask the pharmacist for everything…there’s no browsing the products allowed. Nanny state, anyone?

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6. It costs almost $500 to notarize a house sale document in Austria by an Austrian notary, while at the US embassy it costs $50. Why can they charge that? Apparently because, well, they can…I think I need to get into this racket of a business.

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7. If everyone has access to healthcare, why is dentistry not as valued? Where I come from, braces, teeth whitening, and perfect smiles are par for the course… Teeth are not prioritized in Europe when normally fashion and style are prioritized…I don’t understand.

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8. I know waiters don’t get tips the same way as in the States, but does service really have to be that bad? The tourism industry glorifies the situation by saying “in Europe you can hang out in the cafe as long as you want!” I call it having to roam through the restaurant looking for a waiter to pay my bill. Not easy when I have a little monkey with me.

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Overall I think Europe is the most livable continent on the planet…but there are some things that I just don’t get.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 366 awesome articles for us.

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