You might say that America is, at origins, a European colony and, as well as both continents are developed and seem pretty similar in terms of civilization, there cannot be striking differences. But trust me – there are huge differences and I still cannot understand Americans very well, not even after so much time spent in Columbus’ continent.
There are shocking differences between Europe and America in terms of food, of socializing and on urbanistic system. Most of them are food-related. Did you experience them?
They are huge in America. Us, Europeans, tend to eat just enough, not too much, not too little. Americans eat double than us! Portions at restaurants are huge, enormous, one meal can be big enough for two Europeans (ok, let’s say two European women). And besides, Americans tend to order a full meal, with dessert and big caloric cocktail included!
Food Presentation and Preparation
Food is very tasty in America, but that is because everything is fried, or sweet and necessary fat. Us, Europeans, would rather have a salad with olive oil and lemon dressing, while Americans would opt for a mayonnaise dressing or a very sweet molasses. Fish and other main dishes come with butter sauce, melted butter with lemon sauce and heavy cream sauce in most of the restaurants. Everything is oriented into calories and fat.
This is my biggest issue in America. Most of the foods are genetically modified, melons don’t have seeds, raspberry’s seeds are barely noticable, all fruits and vegetables are big, perfect and shinning, but have no taste at all. Whilst in Europe and especially in countries that preserve traditions (such as Romania) – fruits and vegetables are smaller, uglier and much more tastier.
In Europe we go to restaurants to socialize, to feel the vibe of the city. On the other side, Americans go to restaurants to eat quick. They prefer chain restaurants and fast-foods and do not understand the concept of slow-dinning.
A European might even ask what a chain restaurant is, as long as the only ones he is popular to are McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut – American, of course. But in America, most of the restaurants belong to a chain, whether it is a fast food or a high-end one, such as Truluck’s.
As long as America is a new country, all cities are accordingly. Cities are not concentrated in one place. Americans go everywhere by their own car, everything is far and all the places in a city are spread. There is no supermarket at the corner of the block and there is no pharmacy at each 0.5 km as we are used in Europe. Walking distance concept simply does not exist in America. It might be present only in big cities, such as New York and Washington DC.
The Superficiality of the People
Ok. I have a British mentality and I simply cannot understand why people talk to you on the street. For example, I was strolling on the street and a woman started a conversation with me; she told me the store forgot to open the door and it is already 10:05, five minutes late. Every person you will interact to will ask you “How are you?” – I find it so fake and useless, it is such an unnecessary conversation.
Size of Everything
While traditional European cities’ inhabitants tend to drive city-cars, in America everybody drives big. SUVs are everywhere, but even those are bigger than what we know in Europe. They are huge!
Houses are big as well, they have too many rooms and probably most of them are kept empty. I love the small and compact European cities and I simply can not understand this US lifestyle.
Why all so different? As a European, it is so hard for me to understand all these. At restaurant: would you like 200lbs or 250lbs of crab? I don’t know! But anyways, as food portions are huge, I would definitely go for the small.
People asking Can I set the air conditioning on 78 degrees? Oh, my goodness! Do you want to broil me in my own juice? Ah, you are talking about Fahrenheit degrees, ok.
I understood that Trump plans to align all these to the metric system and it sounds like a great idea to me!