Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessons Learned: Europe Edition by B,I, and E.

1. Don't lose your chewing gum. Chewing gum is very important.
2. Every city transportation system is different. Sometimes you keep your tickets to exit, sometimes you don't have to activate it more than once. If you don't know the system you may get stuck in the station (forcing yourself to jump turnstiles) or arrested. 
3. German is a cool language... but it didn't really make for good music. Germans singing Irish music is a little rough, too. German architecture makes up for it though.
4. European toilets: little button for little things, big button for big things.
5. European trains run on their own time... regardless.
6. Everything is normal on a European train.
7. Homeless men hangout at CDG airport, get drunk, sing, and get in fights at night.
8. One can in fact stay overnight at CDG for free.
9. Staying 17 hours in an airport isn't the best way to spend a day.
10. Have a back-up plan to your back-up plan.
11. Booking flights on an airline you know actually has customer service is a good idea.
12. The Vatican has a dress code. This may mean you cross dress.   

13. Pack snacks. Snacks will SAVE you!!
14. Europe is expensive - very expensive. Just suck it up and spend the money since you're already there. :) This is also the reason that you should pack tons and tons of snacks.
15. Traveling on countless planes and trains will make your ankles swell to the size of grapefruits. Just roll with it.
16. Smile really big when you don't speak the language and say thank you over and over again. Hopefully, the locals will find that charming instead of obnoxious.
17. When the people in the line in front of you at the airline counter are angry, grouchy, negative, rude, obnoxious, and totally debbie downers, ignore them completely. Smile at the poor guy who has had to put up with their ranting and be nice.
18. Don't let the Europeans cut in front of you in any line, regardless. Box out and block them - this goes for bathrooms, attractions, gelato, and airline counters. Stand your ground, yo.

19. People are just people, no matter where they live. They all have the same needs and feelings even in different countries. I think that is pretty awesome.
20. Be prepared to encounter God's creation, the nude form, pretty much everywhere... street corners to museum walls. :S
21. Do not force a visit to both the Louvre and the d'Orsay back to back... just go to the d'Orsay :).
22. The Mona Lisa is a postage stamp... make a decision early on what is important to you: a blurry, up-close picture of it while suffering elbow jabs and body shoves or standing back to watch with pure amusement how immature people of every culture can act in front of a 500 year old woman.     
23. Always, always have a backup plan.
24. In Europe, the customer is not always right. In fact, when customers are irritating and whinny, customer service representatives stop responding.  
25. Rent bicycles!
26. If you are offered whiskey at the Queen's birthday party, it is a necessary rite of passage to take a least a sip ;).
27. In the moment it is overwhelming and three weeks feels like an incredibly long time, but looking back it is hard to believe it happened, it was just a flash in time.

1 comment:

Lanna said...

I wish we had big buttons for big things!