35 Things You Appreciate About America After Living in Europe

July 4, 2013 1:45 pm 45 comments Views: 305008

1. Convenience Stores


It is nearly impossible to get toiletries, snacks, and ibuprofen at the same place in Europe.

2. Diet Soda

Diet Soda

Though you can easily find a lukewarm Coca Light in most food establishments, any other diet drinks are basically unheard of overseas.

3. Ice


Why is a glass of room-temperature water OK over there?

4. Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee

Naturally, life sans ice means life sans iced coffee. Leisurely sipping on a cold coffee drink isn’t really a thing in Europe. It’s all about the espresso shots.

5. Online Streaming

Online Streaming

The lack of a Netflix/Hulu-type situation in many European countries is unreal. How are you supposed to keep up with your shows?!

6. Driving a Car

Driving a Car

As practical and useful as public transportation is, sometimes you just want to roll your windows down and jam out on your way to work in the morning, in the privacy of your own vehicle.

7. Froyo


Sure, they’ve got gelato, and they are all about Magnum ice cream bars over there, but every once in a while, you craving some low-fat frozen yogurt.

8. Electrical Outlets

Electrical Outlets

Oh, the luxury of blow-drying your hair without an adaptor, converter, and fear of blowing a fuse.

9. Outlet Shopping

Outlet Shopping

Little European boutiques are great, but so are sales and a wide variety of sizes.

10. 24-Hour Drive-Thru

24-Hour Drive-Thru

What do Europeans do if they get hungry after 9 p.m.?

11. Wi-Fi and/or 3G

Wi-Fi and/or 3G

Using 3G overseas is crazy expensive, and Wi-Fi can be scarce.

12. Free Bathrooms

Free Bathrooms

Public bathrooms in Europe are sporadic at best, not to mention rarely free of charge.

13. Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Europe, we thank you for the wonder that is Nutella, but what about a little PB and J action every once in a while?

14. Solo Cups

Solo Cups

You might think you know how much you appreciate Solo cups now, but wait until you spend a few months overseas. Solo cups are a novelty in Europe.

15. Personal Space

When a French man tries to kiss you upon introduction, you’re like…

Personal Space

16. Law & Order: SVU Marathons

Law & Order: SVU Marathons

Admit it, the opening narration is like music to your ears. “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous…”

17. No Smoking Zones

No Smoking Zones

Especially when indoors, it’s nice to dine without a cloud of cigarette smoke above your head.

18. The Abundance of Sushi

The Abundance of Sushi

And of all Asian food, for that matter.

19. Football


From body paint and tailgating to cheerleaders and halftime shows, Europeans miss out on American football and its culture.

20. American Candy Brands

American Candy Brands

We thank Europe for Lindt, Kinder Bueno, and a wide array of truffles, but what about some Reese’s Pieces?

21. State-to-State Cell Phone Coverage

State-to-State Cell Phone Coverage

Even if you buy a European cell phone, it probably won’t work from country to country.

22. Swim Trunks

Swim Trunks

You thought the Speedo was funny at first, but it’s just not your style.

23. Free Refills

Free Refills

Especially on water, free refills are common in American food establishments but rarely found in European restaurants.

24. American Holidays

American Holidays

The 4th of July and Thanksgiving, for example.

25. Ketchup


The majority of Europeans seem to prefer mayonnaise, even on French fries.

26. Household Appliances

Household Appliances

Such as dishwashers and dryers.

27. Separate Checks at Restaurants

Separate Checks at Restaurants

Waiters there expect you to divide it up yourselves.

28. Pancakes


From crepes to frixuelos to palacinky, pancakes just aren’t the same abroad.

29. Air-Conditioning

35 Things You Appreciate About America After Living in Europe

Enough said.

30. Drinking Fountains

Drinking Fountains

They’re probably unsanitary anyway, but walking everywhere sure can make you thirsty, and water fountains are rare in Europe, even in museums and monuments.

31. Food Delivery

Food Delivery

They never order pizza in Europe! At least you don’t have to tip the delivery guy.

32. Screened Windows

Screened Windows

In Europe, when you open your window to let in a nice breeze, you accept that you are letting in whatever else might be out there, bugs and birds included.

33. Store Hours

Store Hours

Stores close early, and most don’t open at all on Sundays.

34. Bagels


Just another example of the deviations of breakfast foods.

35. The USD


It all comes back to the dollar, dollar bill, y’all. The USD/EUR exchange rate is not in our favor. And all that loose change gets heavy! There are eight different euro coins currently in circulation, as opposed to the four we use in the United States (five, if you include the half-dollar).

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