Beaker, my husband, starts a new monthly series called Under Beaker’s Microscope. Not so long ago I asked him to write a post on how it feels for an American to visit Europe. He wrote. When I read it, I was not sure how to react. I leave it up to you! Enjoy and don’t take anything personally.
I was born and raised in the United States. For most of my life I did not travel anywhere which is sad because
I have always wanted to travel and see the world. Reading about culture and history is fine. But, actually being there and taking in the sights and sounds is an experience that cannot be imagined.
I don’t want to bore you with the comparisons between Europe and the United States. It is impossible to compare many hundreds of years of history to just a couple of hundred of years of history. Honestly, when you think about it, the United States is a child compared to the old, mature European countries that are rich in architecture, art, literature, and culture.
Europe has had many hundreds of years head start, and that is very apparent when you visit. Where can you get your picture taken in front of a castle originally built during the medieval times that you can only read about in history books? But yet, the castle has been rebuilt exactly like it was before, and right where it was located before it was destroyed by the bombings of the Germans during World War II.
I don’t want to bore you with comparisons because you can’t compare apples to oranges. Can you compare the beauty of the churches in Europe to the churches here in the States? I live in Utah and, believe me, the Mormon churches that are here on almost every corner are dull, drab shacks compared to the churches I have seen in Europe. The churches in Europe take your breath away, and you stand awestruck not wanting to move because you don’t know if you should be in there looking around like some tourist. You feel like you are taking away it’s beauty or purpose by taking pictures or staring at the paintings.
I don’t want to bore you with these things because I know you have heard it all before. The beauty of the tiny cobble streets. The architecture of the old buildings and churches. The long history of Europe whether it is fascinating or gruesome.
I told myself I was not going to bore you with such things, instead I will tell you about the people there and how they made me feel. Everywhere I have visited so far everyone has been very gracious and nice, even though I don’t know the native language, and all I know is English. Everyone I have met and interacted with has tried to help me.
It amazes me how many people speak English. It makes me feel really dumb that all I know how to speak is one language. As far as I am concerned, everyone in Europe is a genius and I am glad they are not as lazy as I am and know only one language. That is one of the things that I did not like about visiting Europe. I feel stupid and lazy, and I should have studied more and learned another language or even two.
The other thing that stood out for me is that the people are skinny and in shape. You never see obese Europeans. I think this is because the portion sizes in their restaurants are small. If you have a big American appetite, you are going to be very disappointed because the food is wonderful and you don’t want to stop eating. It makes me wonder how they stay thin.
You can’t compare a seed to a full grown flower. When I am in Europe I feel:
- and fat.