Friday, January 7, 2011

10 things I learned in Europe...

Hilarious graffiti outside a museum. Note the double stache.

Hello friends. Im back in the game. I actually missed this little bloggy. Just returned from a little trip to Europe (Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy). Things are beyond absurd there. Too much to even write about. I do have to mention some things that I learned when I was there though... so here we go...

1. When an Australian says they are going to go fill up their water-bottle in the toilet, do not be horrified and look at them with a disgusted face. Everyone thinks Americans are snobby enough. They will be confused and ask why you don't do such a thing. If you respond that it is because in America only dogs do such things, this does not make you more popular. Note: Toilet means bathroom. This simply means, they are filling it up in the bathroom sink.

2. If you go on an Italian cruise they will try to make you join approximately 12 conga lines per day. The ratio of refusing conga line joining and maintaining your dignity and to joining has to be about 9:1. Per every 9 times your refuse, you must join so as to not seem like you are not completely too cool and scoffing at their conga lines. Said Italians would get offended. 

3. Do not stretch in places where there are many different cultures in one place. If you are standing looking at paintings for 4 hours and feel the need to stretch your back and one leg at the same time, and you happen to bend over while stretching one leg out, someone from a different culture may take this as the fact that you are performing a grand bow to them and they may bow in return. Following moments could be extremely awkward, yet equally hilarious. Actually, on second thought, do it. 

4. If you are taken in by locals in a fishing town and and old man offers your BBQ'ed lamb on french bread in return for marriage go ahead and accept it. It will be delicious. You will never see him again. And if you do, well hell.... he makes some good meat. Things should be ok?

5. If you are in line ANYWHERE in Europe expect people to invade your personal space in any way they can. All forms of bubble popping are considered ok including but not limited to: trays in your back, breathing on your neck, elbows in your side or spooning standing up. Consider it fair warning. If you are in need of some close physical contact and human warmth and affection, go ahead and try to order a cappuccino in Florence. Your needs will be met. And more. 

6. When a Kiwi says that they are just "taking the piss out of you", don't be worried and think they are going to kick you in the bladder or something. They are just making fun of you or being sarcastic. Also if they say they are going to be a bit neckered later, it means tired and not to be mistaken for naked (although they sound exactly the same). They aren't warning you of the chance of running in to them in their birthday suits. Don't worry too much. They may also end up naked though. A wild sort, they are.

7. If you ever want to be more awkward in an elevator with one person, you should go on a Costa cruise. The inside of the elevators have naked renaissance paintings of women. Nothing says uncomfortable like an eye level 1 foot nipple between you and a stranger in an enclosed space. Seriously. 

8. If you go to a restaurant in Cinque Terre make sure you make sure to go to the one where all sandwiches are names of 90s bands. Be careful when ordering Cake though. You will not get a delectable frosting topped piece of sponge cake, you will get a salami sandwich. Very confusing. Nine Inch Nails and Smashing pumpkins should be ordered though. Quite delish.

9. If you want to see the worlds most overrated and disappointing christmas tree you should go to the Vatican. It is the world's largest charlie brown tree. They will advertise it as being a 100 foot fir tree and celebrate it. No. Don't buy it. It is a 100 foot stick with a couple branches and a few ornaments. Come on pope... step it up. I hear you have some power.

10.  If you all of the sudden think that you are in a riot because the only channel you have been watching is the BBC (only channel in English) and your frame of reference is skewed  and you think that riots are seemingly happening everywhere every second, think again. You may just be in Milan on a day when AC Milan is playing at home on a national holiday that everyone has off. Don't be frightened. You won't be killed. Or you might. They are seriously serious about their soccer.

There are so many things I learned. Here are some fun facts that didn't make it in to the top ten:
-"Sexy night" on an Italian Cruise is not sexy. Mostly 65 year olds in cruise wear.
- Cruise shows in Europe are different. Thongs acceptable. Not the shoe. Also men in butterfly wings and pink camo pants.
- The European version of glee is hilarious. Songs in english. Dancing horrid.
-The discoteca is full of teens. Don't go unless you wanna meet a 16 year old with gelled hair two stepping.
- Said discoteca also full of ridiculous techno. Including a song where the only word is "Barbara Streisand". Also including a song that only says " Sex.. sex.. sex on the beach."
-Honda fits are called "Jazz" there. Could the fit get more embarrassing? Yes.
-Some men find it acceptable to work out in jeans.
-Men dance on tables in bars to allure women. Backward. 
-When you spill bloody mary mix on your lap in the first hour of 16 hours worth of looks and smells like barf the rest of the time.
-Chestnuts roasted on an open fire are the bomb. I've been missing out my whole life.

That is all. Now I can get back to normal weird life.

-ALSO: checked off something on my 30 before 30 list. Read the s out of The Brothers Karamazov.  1/3 of goal #15. Haha. It was a long book. So. Long. Good though. It would help if the translator just helped Dostoevsky out a bit and called the characters by different names (read: Fred, John, etc.). 30 before 30 list.


  1. ahhh... you have returned safe and sound. I love love to hear you elaborate on some of your top 10... but I don't think that is your blogging style :) Glad you had a good time. ps- at my job i see boobs all day so I don't think the elevator thing would weird me out. No, I don't work for a porn company, I work in women's health.

  2. After having read a few intermittent entries on here I decided that you are officially funny, or very capable of noticing the things that are hilarious in life. I am now an official follower. side note: that streisand (sp? I don't even care, I hate that bitch haha) song isn't so bad (based on one listen 6 months ago or so. It's by Duck Sauce I think haha. And it's pretty American I think.