Overseas Life Random Musings

3 random things that show our American-ness

June 26, 2017

We recently went on a family vacation to a close-by European country…it was wonderful! It was great to relax and unwind as a family. We also pigged out, so it was best for our health that it only lasted a week. Anyone who knows our family knows how much we value eating yummy foods.

For our first breakfast in Europe, we ate Frosted Flakes and tortilla chips and salsa that were imported from the States. Can you tell we have been away from America for a year? My kids were so happy! 😂

It was eye-opening to see another western culture and it made me realize that there are some things that are so cultural for us Americans, some things that we value much more highly than other cultures. Here are 3 random things that I have observed that noticeably mark us as Americans…(these are just some fun generalizations).

  1. Air Conditioning– we Americans LOVE our air conditioning. Although central air conditioning is preferred, we will honestly take it in any form that we can get it! After we moved into this apartment,  we quickly realized that our a/c was broken while we were having a party here. Shortly after, I was trying to get the landlord’s help in getting it fixed since it is a new unit. When he came over to look at it, he looked at me confused and said, “Why are you trying to get this fixed? It’s only May. Why don’t you just open your windows?!” I know I looked like a crazy foreigner, but it was really important for my family to get it fixed BEFORE the weather started warming up! My language teacher said my landlord probably found it funny because the locals here might use their a/c once or twice on the hottest day of summer…like in August. Well, at the risk of looking like a crazy lady, I persisted and a couple of repair guys later, we got it fixed! 🙌🏼 It was a pretty annoying process, but well worth it now that it’s hot outside!
  2. Ice in our drinks. Other cultures that I have observed don’t seem to care as much as we do about ice in our drinks. We were sitting at one restaurant and there were fellow Americans sitting at the table next to us ordering sodas. As soon as the waiter brought them their drinks, the daughter asked, “Can we all get some ice? A lot of it please?!” Sometimes when my husband orders ice in his drinks here, they plop in 3 teeny-tiny ice cubes that melt within seconds, it’s pretty amusing. This cup below however was filled by a generous waiter who is very familiar with Americans😂.
  3. Clothes dryers– Our German friend said that he had never used a dryer in his life until recently. In Germany, he said that dryers are looked upon as a waste of energy. Well, this other European country must have had a similar mind-set because everyone was hang drying their clothes outside of their windows, just like they do here. A few of our friends from different countries in Asia said that dryers are uncommon as well…after this trip, I realized (even more than before), that it is more of an American thing to own a dryer. I do not want to live without mine. A washer AND DRYER were the first two things that we bought here when we moved. I love soft towels and clothes, but more than this, I love not having to hang dry 14 socks for my family after one outing. (Granted, most people don’t have as large of a family as we do… 😜).

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