Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You must be an American.

I've noticed a few differences between Europeans and Americans so far. Of course I've pretty much only lived in UT before coming here so it may be more of a difference between Utahns and Europeans. Here's my short list that is sure to grow.

You must be an American/living in America if...

1. Free refills are the norm.
2. You think ordering water in a restaurant should be free.
3. You stay inside when it is raining (or at least don't ride your bike).
4. You drive your car across the street to go to church.
5. You think eating plain mayo (not mixed with ketchup) on your fries is weird.
6. You speak only one language.
7. You think it's a good idea for bikers to wear helmets; or maybe even for children on a bicycle to wear one.
8. Your library card is free (at least mine in UT was...it costs approx 30 euros for one here).
9. You can wait longer than three days in between trips to the grocery store (I feel like I have to go almost every day).
10. Unfurnished means no furniture in the house...as opposed to no flooring, curtains or even light fixtures...here in Holland they generally take these out when they move out of their houses leaving them completely empty! If you want flooring and light fixtures you have to ask for a semi-furnished home.
11. You're shocked that you must insert coins into the shopping cart at the grocery store in order to use it.
12. You expect someone else to bag your groceries for you.
13. You did not bring your own bag to put your groceries in.
14. You think a building is old because it's been around for 100 years.

That's it for now. It's fun to notice the differences. We're starting to get more adjusted. It was weird at church to have no nursery class to take Jimmy to. They didn't have a need for one until he came in. Looks like he'll be joining Primary sooner than normal. He seemed to enjoy it. There was no more than 10 kids in the whole Primary this past Sunday. I had to type his papers he brought home into Google Translate to see what he learned about that day!

I planned on going to the store today but alas it is raining and really don't feel up to dragging the boys out in the rain. Plus I'm extremely tired due to the fact that I was up every hour during the night with either Glade or Jimmy (not sure why but hope it doesn't happen again).

I'll end this post with a short conversation I had with one of the guys that works here at the hotel:

Man: How are you liking the weather here in Holland?
Me: It's nice when it isn't raining.
Man: You're sounding Dutch already!


Ashlee said...

It definitely makes you appreciate what you have when you visit other countries. We really are so blessed. Mayo on fries, that grosses me out!

Karlene said...

Okay, most of those I can just chock up to cultural differences--no problem. But you have to PAY to use the shopping cart?!? That's probably why people shop every day, so they won't have to use a cart.

Amy said...

Crazy things you have to pay for huh?...I hope the rain subsides and you have a sunny day to cheer the boys up!

Rachel said...

Send some of that rain over here! I miss it. But I'm sure if it were daily I'd tire of it too. Do they charge you to use plastic bags? I'm getting better at remembering my own bags. Go green! Love ya!

Jill said...

What fun! Just wait until you have to pay to use a public "toilet." They have a lady waiting outside to collect your money, and sometimes hand you a few squares of toilet paper. At least with the shopping carts, you get your money back when you return the cart. I can't imagine shopping for a whole family there! Everything comes in such small quanities. You're right, plain mayo on fries is gross. Not only that, you're expected to eat them with a little fork and not your fingers. The people there are great about offering you a drink when you visit, but they don't drink anything with their meals, and never use ice. I remember getting made fun of on a daily basis for wearing a helmet. Crazy Dutch people! Aren't they so fun?! It's great to learn a new culture. Somethings make sense, and others just seem nuts! Enjoy the rain, it will keep coming. Hopefully you'll get used to it. They don't even call off a picnic there when it rains. Have fun!

Katie said...

I loved this post. It's so ineresting to hear about all the little differences. I'm glad you're keeping us updated. House hunting sounds like it must be real fun! lol. We'd love an email when you get a chance! :)

Michelle D said...

Oh what fun. I want to go on an adventure!!!!

Danielle said...

Hi Erika! Thanks for your comment on my blog. Your boys are so cute! Jimmy's lip looks awesome. I'm wondering what you are doing in Holland? It looks so neat there.

Chira said...

hi sweety! SO CRAZY!!!! house hunting sounds intersting! Have you paid to use the public restrooms yet?! I can't believe you have to pay to use the shopping cart--and bring your own bags! i guess they're one step ahead of us here. miss you!

mikensi.jimmy said...

lol! wow, that is insane! but hey, might as well save a tree or plastic tree and bring your own bags to the store. leave the children, too.. apparently you gotta carry everything out to the car... ;)