Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some thoughts on Europe and tourism thus far...

I don't expect Europe to be like the US, but there are certain questions and observations I have about tourism and European life...

1. Why do certain people insist on taking pictures of EVERYTHING? Yesterday, a couple (nationality not disclosed) had the wife standing and smiling in front of a memorial to Jews who were slaughtered in the 13th century. Did they know what it was and thought a smile was appropriate? Or did they not know and decide it just made for a good pic?

2. What is with paying for the toilet? I knew that was the case in Europe, but the bathrooms are no cleaner or better looked after than those in the US. And the taxes here are higher so if it is a public restroom, shouldn't the local government pay for it? Can anyone educate me on this one?

3. I find it interesting that some towns have all the signage in the local language, UNLESS something is forbidden. They make sure to put it in English too. No one wants the English speaking tourists walking on the lawn or not paying for the toilet. :)

4. And did someone curse that skirt I bought in Brussels? I wore it the other day and let's just say it turned out to be windy.

5. I've seen some great picture signs here. Like the one with a man in a top hat walking across the street indicating a crosswalk. Or the one with a woman holding the hand of a child to indicate there are pedestrains present. Too bad most tourists don't know how to read pictures and cross the street where they shouldn't or turn the wrong way down a one way street.

6. Germans like their smokes and there must not be a legal age to buy cigarettes because every other corner has a cigarette vending machine. Tobacco companies must love it here.

I apologize if this post comes off arrogant or picky, that is not my intent. (I'm extra sensitive while travelling in an effort to not come off as an egocentric American.) These are just some things I find humorous and/or CRAZY about Europe and tourists. I've made plenty of my own mishaps (see post on Brussels - skirt incident). :)


Karen Stein said...

Oh, Julia, that skirt is going to be priceless by the time you get home. Watch out for the Italians.

By the way, I cut off most of what little hair I have yesterday. Actually, Nancy at the barber shop cut it off. Guess what. I suddenly have naturally curly hair! CRAZY!!!


tanyaa said...
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