I have been compiling this list of strange things I have learned since I have arrived in Europe, and I have been here for a whole ten days. So, obviously, you can expect it to be totally comprehensive and perfect.
- Heathrow Airport (in London) is the strangest place. It is not an airport. It is a mall. And I don’t particularly like malls.
- The first thing I saw of the Netherlands was a plethora of wind turbines about 5 miles off shore, which was the most perfect “welcome sign” I could have seen.
- Airports are also strange here because you actually get off of the plane outside like in movies and such (not sure if this is universal, just my experience!).
- The Dutch are not too crazy about traffic lights, and they LOVE their rotaries (traffic circles for you New Hampshire people).
- SUVs are very close to non-existent here.
- Emergency vehicle sirens sound just like movies and are very different from American sirens.
- Edward Sharpe is the best soundtrack for a train ride through the country of the Netherlands.
- Buildings are very modern looking in the Netherlands, and they are lower to the ground than most American urban buildings.
- There are very few free-standing houses here, most are all attached in rows.
- Two words: Albert. Heijn.
- For those of you that don’t know: Albert Heijn is a European grocery store chain that is extremely well-loved by the Dutch people.
- The countryside of Germany looks exactly like how it is depicted in the film Inglorious Basterds, it is absolutely beautiful with sweet farmhouses and fields.
- Skies are very open in this part of Europe, much like the center of the US, because it is SO FLAT here!
- Many, many, many German roofs have solar panels on them, even the farmhouses I just mentioned (you can imagine my happiness at this).
- That being said, there’s a weird amount of smokestacks everywhere…I am not totally sure what they are used for but it isn’t very appealing looking!
- There are an absurd amount of power lines strung through farmlands.
- STUDENT. DISCOUNTS. EVERYWHERE.
- I wasn’t expecting even the food labels in grocery stores would be in Dutch. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting the foods and signs to be written in, but they are definitley NOT in English.
- Berlin smells. So badly. Apparently it was built on a swamp.
- Sometimes you will be checking out at a restaurant and the big, German, male cashier will start singing “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” in a thick German accent.
- Berliners love graffiti, and it is beautiful.
- They also love posters, as you might be able to tell from the main picture of this post.
- 10 hour bus rides are not that bad when you have beautiful scenery brand new to your eyes, a good book, and clever riddles from your new, fun friends.
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