Rough toilet paper: there is no difference between tissue and sand paper! Enough said.. it was horrible!
Ice chips and air conditioning are a luxury: I guess I’ve been spoiled by these very common “American” luxuries… either that or the European have no idea that thirst can be quenched with some ICED water and heat can be tolerated with the help of AIR CONDITIONING… it amazed me that no one even considers the possibility of taking advantage of these two things… Most stores and homes have no air conditioning and ice is only served upon request. So make sure to take note of these un-luxurious ways if you’re thinking of traveling to Europe…
The food is amazing: the food really impressed me in both Paris and Madrid… In Europe, prosciutto ham, goat cheese and Nutella crepes are an every day thing and of course I couldn’t resist eating all this delicious stuff in almost every corner (hence the extra weight I brought back)… Even hot dogs (which by the way are put in a French baguette) are to die for… Food was definitely one of the highlights of our European vacation.
People pee in the streets: I was less than impressed with the hygiene of French people (but then again, they are “famous” for their un-hygiene).. I had never seen so many people (both men and women) peeing freely in the streets… I almost fainted when I saw two girls peeing in front of the The Louvre museum, and then, day later, I saw a guy with his “thing” out giving his pee contribution to the metro.. Nasty!! Of course, a lot of streets stink like old pee and there are trails of yellow “substance” in stairs and most street corners.
Dirty metro: Paris is very famous for its wonderful Metro system and while it is good (considering every line connects with each other), the metro is less than clean… most wagons are in poor condition and I don’t think people make big efforts to maintain the trains. The Metro in Madrid was much better in this regard and it didn’t smell bad like the one in Paris. Nevertheless, it’s always a great way to move around… it is expensive though (each trip is 1.16 Euros)
Heavy smoking: I don’t think I have ever since so many people smoking so much. Not only do they smoke heavily in every street, but I also saw special enclosed “Smoking Areas” at the Madrid airport. These areas are little glass rooms in which all the smokers go in to smoke together… it’s crazy how many people go in there at a time… the smell of the room often gets out and spread all throughout…it’s disgusting…
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