Have been traveling with family on a European three country vacation and noticing differences from here and back in the states.We complain when gas prices go up a nickel but what if they were twice and three times more per gallon than what we pay in the states?
What if pedal bikes were more plentiful and trains were used to be carbon neutral with other concessions made to help the environment?
The hotel rooms in London and Paris on our family trip need your room key inserted by the hall door switch to light. And you don't get extra keys handed out like candy so they know you are not leaving the room with all the lights left on.
And if the only language you know if English and you run in to folks traveling around Europe that speak three or four others?
Does that make you think maybe learning another is not so out of the question? So everyone does not have to just learn and speak yours, but the other way around to connect in their native tongue too?
Bathrooms, ten cents to thirty five cents each and some are right out of the ghetto style and smell ripe like the one with an accordian player making lively music outside the door in Brussels changing high speed train.While others are marble, with attendants and swanky "pit stops" like the one in the Paris train metroplex. The resources we waste become evident when you hit countries where you sense all around you economize, reduce, reuse, recycle. Mastercard and Visa machines in small stores and taxis that are announced as taken on the outside door and then mysteriously they are not honored. When pressed, the machine is broken and when you put the bottle of Champagne for New Years back on the shelf, to conserve euros you have exchanged for the trip suddenly the machine is working again. Ha.
The British cabby is the most aggressive bull dog driver behind the wheel of their LTI to get you to your destination. quickly. The French on the phone with ear set and hollering when a biker gets too close to their Mercedes or Citroen that has leather seats, moon roof. Nothing like a recycled police cruiser in the states painted bright yellow. Difference in some ways, and not so different in others.
New Years in Paris with fireworks, folks singing in the streets and the following day of all wishing each other happy new year continues. Everyone country has some common practices, traditions. America is a blending pot of nationalities but it is so educational to visit other countries where it all began. Before everyone got Americanized, rolled in to one country. Food is not so large in proportions and is expensive. Folks living here are not casting such a large personal shadow because of it. Internet in Paris where I am waiting for the boys to finish a nap is like lighting. Usually stingy with it in most places and purchased but free in this Ramada right next to the Eiffel Tower that I will upload images on in another blog.
Security in England very high, and sweeps, checks common. But trains from Amsterdam to Paris seemed non existent and not so evident. In all the countries and around airports, train stations, warnings about pick pockets common over the loud speaker address system. Maine, its fun to travel but I'm not moving from Vacationland. Traveling to Europe has made me think how does the brand new person surfing for Maine real estate on line and eventually visiting Maine, the states, New England take it all in? What is his or her reaction to the experience, comparison?