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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  • Fabian (Austria)

    23, 27, 33 and 35 are true. The rest isn’t even close!

  • In Siem Reap, Cambodia (where I’ve been living for the past year and a half) they have a very funny tendency to bring you ketchup with everything when they find out you’re Amreican. Coffee, fried rice, salads, you name it.

  • Phil Simpson

    Not sure where you went… you do have a point with no.27 though. A British education means we are more than able to count without the aid of a waiter. No 8? Our infrastructure is second to none with 99% of mains travelling underground and power cuts so rare I don’t know anyone who can remember having one… unlike the USA with mains still travelling up wooden poles in so many states. Power cuts galore!! Our local Tesco , along with ASDA & other stores where you can buy everything from condoms to a 50″ TV are open 24/7. You know what?.. Just about all your comments make me wonder if you have ever left the good ol’ USA!

    • Sérgio

      Thats right! I live in portugal and the stores close at 24:00PM, thats true, macdonals till 4AM, but all the rest is not true 😛

  • Jack Gillis

    Even Buzzfeed would have rejected this, and there’s probably no greater shame than that.

  • Gavin

    Most of this is just plain wrong. Fair point about American holidays though, distinct lack of those in Europe for some strange reason.

  • Will

    Literally this entire list is wrong. Every city has outlets and convenience stores. Every city has delivery fast-food, and 24-hour drive-thrus. Every hot European country has air-con inside as standard, and you don’t need it in the UK and Nordic countries. ‘Most stores don’t open at all on Sundays’? This hasn’t been the case in decades. We don’t have household appliances? What are you talking about? Free refills are standard in plenty of restaurants, and free tap water is actually a legal obligation, in the UK at least. Most European countries have passed anti-smoking laws to prevent indoor spaces being smoky. ‘Waiters there expect you to divide [the cheque] up yourself’? No they don’t… If you ask, they’ll split it up for you. I’ve literally never encountered a waiter that wouldn’t do that.

    Of course we have peanut butter. In literally every store. Of course we have sushi – numerous sushi places in every single city. Of course we have FroYo – there are countless FroYo places, independent and chains, in every city. Of course we have bagels. Of course we have Netflix. Of course we have WiFi.

    Europe isn’t in the dark ages, you know… Just because your hotel minibar didn’t stock Reese’s Pieces, it doesn’t mean we’re some neanderthal land where we wash our clothes in rivers. Based on this list, I genuinely don’t believe you’ve ever been here.

  • Insanely wrong…

    When did this person visit Europe? 1963? I’m embarrassed for whoever wrote it.

  • Sam

    We have literally all of these things. Everywhere. Where were you, Siberia?

  • C

    Are you sure you’ve even left America? As someone from the UK who regularly travels in Europe I can be absolutely sure you’re talking out of your arse about pretty much all of that

  • Nikola

    If you tried a bit harder, you could’ve got everything wrong. This way, only more than half of the stuff are completely incorrect and in no way true of Europe.

  • Stu Barlow

    Where the hell did you go in Europe? 1974!?!

  • Franky Lisk

    Wow! And a new level of inconceivable idiocy, is spawned from the depths of ignorance. Please visit us, you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Tom English

    Mate, seriously, this is hilarious. Driving a car? (Ever been to the Vatican in rush hour?) Household appliances? (Where do we wash our clothes, in the river?) Free bathrooms? (Known as toilets, WCs etc in ‘Europe’, except in London where, admittedly, we’re still throwing our faeces out of the top-floor window). The rest is just you having a gripe about the rest of the world ‘not being America’. Some parts of Europe, in all fairness, have had enough of Americanisation, and as such, you may have to bring your own peanut butter with you. Unless of course, you’re happy to eat European peanut butter, which is widely available. Also, bagels are bread. Go to France, they’ve got shitloads of the stuff

  • Robyn

    There are only a few things on that list that I haven’t seen almost everywhere I’ve travelled in europe. This article is very negative about Europe and I’m not sure what to make of the claims that we don’t have streaming, ice or cars? Please be assured if you are visiting Europe we do have access to electricity, the internet, and water which we can use to create ice. Also fresh milk and a decent cup of tea you absolute imbeciles.

  • Peter Lovatt

    Fairly typical yank outlook………
    “Europe is a place that isnt America” therefore its all the same, and I dont need to worry about the detail.

    Well, guess what guys, there are 47 countries in Europe, all culturally and economically different.

    Go to London or Birmingham ( in the UK in case you were not sure ) and almost none of the above apply. Go to one of the small Greek Islands and thay may all apply.

    Small minded and, to be honest, says more about the small town mentality of a surprising number of Americans than about Europe.

  • douchbag

    U R A

  • Jamie

    6 is not very convincing with the picture of BMW… 🙂

  • LOL

    This is like the most inacurate and retarded article i’ve ever read.

  • Miguel

    Dear sir, thank you for confirming once more that what USA really stands for is Utter Stupidity Amplified. My guess is that you’ve lived in a slam in Bangladesh and think that it was in Europe (no, Bangladesh is not another word for Belgium). In fact, in real Europe we have about 31 of the 35 things you claim we don’t – fortunate exceptions, for instance, are bagles (we also don’t have more than half of the population with morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome) and american football (that would be because to play actual football, it takes a brain).
    On the other hand, there are a few things that we do have in Europe and you should miss in USA: a History of more than 2 centuries and a half is an example that pops into my mind. And do you know what’s truly bizarre about that History? It doesn’t start with the massive genocide of the true europeans.

  • Oh My

    Most of these are ridiculous.
    The majority of countries in Europe banned smoking indoors years ago. French men don’t kiss each other to say hello (some do but only for very close friends). Pizza deliveries..? Seriously? We do have that, everywhere. We can also get Asian food delivered btw. Speedos? Where on earth did you go??? We have dishwashers. We also have washing machines, like one each, we don’t share them in Europe. :p
    On 6, 10 and 33… I understand but you should understand that some countries care about environment and workers protection.
    I nearly forgot: find me one country in Europe where you can’t find Heinz ketchup. Just the one.
    Most items on your list are just nostalgia / convenience, which is OK but not so interesting (like outlets… I get the same problem when I travel to the US…)

  • Oh My

    However, I have to say, on 27 and 32, I’m with you.

  • Jonathon

    Kind of off, the article is just a generalisation of Europe. I mean “They never order pizza in Europe”? Dishwashers and dryers?! Come on…

  • John E.

    Did this moron even VISIT anywhere in the EU any time in the past 15-20 years? Good lord, this sounds like it was written by a fifteen year old who didn’t like the trip his parents made him take with them instead of going to the beach over the summer.

  • Elaine R

    ummm, you forgot to mention the ‘here be dragons’ signs that we have upon entry to every country in Europe

  • Oh dear

    Did the author travel to Europe, or just find a magazine from 60’s in his attic?

  • Rasmus Hornemann

    really before you talk about europe they spending time in all the contrys so you dont sound so uninformed… jezus what a pain to read nothen is father for real life then this shit

  • Strange

    This is a pretty strange and quite revolting list. I don’t know in what trash hole the author of this article lived while in Europe, but most of these are false and ridiculous.

  • at least go to eurpoe before you write

    THIS LIST IS BASICALLY BULLSHIT. having lived in germany and spain for a while, the only conclusion I can come to is that because you dont speak the language of most european countries, you just assumed everything to be the way you said. in germany there is a chain of convenience stores called kaiser, as well as privately owned ones all over the place. sorry if they didnt translate it to english for you. ask for ice. youd be surprised, but it exists there too, and servers are more than capable of throwing some in a glass for you. considering netflix is usually 2-3 seasons behind, you cant use it to “keep track of your shows” anyway. if it isa on netflix here, and you happen to not be able to use it in europe, try cable. bitching about not being able to drive a car in the continent with the autobahn is just idiotic. my 3g plans in germany and spain were ectually unlimited, not the shit att gives you. wifi is available at more cafes than in the us. i have not seen too many free bathrooms in the US, the fact that people use them in convenience stores and dont buy anything is a method that can be replicated not only in europe, but anywhere in the world. smoking indoors in publicly accessible spaces is illegal in the entire EU. in fact, many establishments (bars mainly) have had to become private clubs to get around this. im not going to keep going, as i dont want to type another few hundred words, but stop spewing bullshit. go to europe in this decade, or at least research before you ridicule yourself online

  • beats

    Where the fuck did you go on holiday in Europe? Auschwitz? So we don’t go to work in cars in Europe??? We invented them fuckwit. What do Europeans do if they get hungry after 9 p.m.? Cook, you lazy cunt. At least 30 of your list are bollocks

  • bigolpoofter

    This is why America can’t have nice things!

  • European

    The number 6 is outrageous! So you think that you americans are right about driving your own car all the time? I lived in Texas for a while and I can understand why America is spoiling the world’s environment like anyone else! Not happy about driving your car, you have to drive your BIG car with BIG engines and BIG consuption, alone! How long the planet will have to pay for your right to drive your own f*****g car? Take a bus, a metro, ride a bike, whatever, you can maybe loose some fat as well! Europe shows greater development, in technology, life quality and environment issues.

  • Mariana

    This is so stupid… Really. You definitely do not know Europe.

  • kfb

    the most stupid thing i’ve ever read.

  • Francesco Anastasio

    Just a few of these things are true, the rest is bullshit. Shops close early? No household appliances? Maybe in an isolated village of Romania… but that’s obviously not the standard of Europe. In those fields, we’re on a much higher level than US.

  • The truthsayer

    I agree with the other posters: What a load of rubbish this article is.
    By the way, you do realise that the UK is part of Europe, don’t you?
    If you don’t maybe you should actually do some travelling instead of just talking claptrap about it…?

  • Neville Cassar

    What a load of Cr$p.

  • sreglov

    Where have you been? Hardly in Europe, I guess 😉

  • Muawiyah

    Mayonnaise ~ great on pomes frites ~ or whatever ~ learned to like it in the service in West Germany ~ still good.

    Actually, you read through Larousse Gastronomique they’ll refer to the 5 (I think) fundamental sauces that undergird ALL classical Milanese or Parisian cooking styles ~ THIS STUFF IS NOT DESIGNED FOR WARM CLIMATES

  • TheDutchCanuck

    Have you BEEN to Europe before publishing this trash? Just some examples:

    1. at any supermarket, even more so than in America where you go to a drugstore for the ibu;
    3. bullshit
    4. maybe try a starbucks, coffee united or many other coffeeshops (you may find something more even in a Dutch coffeeshop, haha);
    5. have it
    6. WTF? Are you trying to say there are no cars in Europe and everybody uses public transport? You sir are a moron. Wonder how all the trafficjams occur then. Most families have 2 cars;
    9. We have too many outlet shops for the cheapskates that like their clothes made in Bangladesh by small children. And for your American sizes we have shops escpecially for fat people;
    10. See 9. Most fastfood ‘restaurants close here at 11-12pm. Maybe that wouldn’t be a bad idea in America as well;
    11. have wifi & 4G, Have choice between cable or glassfibre. What else would I want?;
    13. Maybe try buying a bread, PB & J (anywhere you want)?;
    17. Have you tried smoking indoors at a restaurant here or even in a bar for that matter? Good luck with that;
    18. Don’t even understand what you’re trying to say. Can’t imagine you mean there is no way to get sushi or asian food here. And they almost all deliver btw! (see 31);
    21. No indeed, in Europe we do not have state to state coverage. Duh! Probably no country to country coverage? So you agree then you don’t have an idea what you’re talking about;
    22. There are countries in Europe where the speedo is still ‘popular’ (not that everybody walks around in speedos) but thankfully not in Holland;
    23. You got one right!
    24. Duh!! Maybe European holidays which are much more cultural/historical;
    26. What the hell have I been using in my kitchen for decades then? (not my wife, haha, they must just magically wash themselves);
    27. Just ask. No problem. Ever heard of the saying ‘go dutch’?;
    28. Another one correct (at least to my opinion, I also prefer american pancakes). You can get them here and also maple syrup but indeed not on every streetcorner;
    29. There is AC, mostly in offices and some restaurants. But in Europe people like to eat outdoors when it’s nice weather. It’s funny to see how Americans all run inside here (or in other vacation resorts). You can pick the Americans out, inside under the AC.
    31. There are dozens if not hundreds of pizzerias in each town/city and I think probably 90% of them deliver. I myself have pizza at home from a pizzeria every week. Must magically appear at my doorstep. For that matter, name a kitchen from different countries and they have it here and also all of them deliver;
    32. Buy it at any European-like Home Depot and install it I’d say;
    33. Supermarkets are (mostly) not open 24hrs here but close at 9pm and more and more are open on Sundays. The same for other stores;

    Nice try though. Don’t quit your dayjob.

  • Kristian Meller

    A lot of silly stuff here. Getting (‘murrcan) Netflix and Hulu isn’t that hard either 🙂

  • Southern Belle

    I agree with this post. I never saw a high end designer outlet store after five years all over Europe. Most restaurants in Germany close at 10. I worked night shift, nothing was open on my meal breaks. Pancakes don’t happen in France, Poland, Germany, Italy. Germans do not deliver pizza or Chinese…not even down the block. Garbage disposals are not standard in most German houses. And it takes all weekend to wash and dry clothes with these European, energy efficient appliances. And the typical German fridge is the dormitory size (extra small). Sounds like a bunch of Brits complaining. Most Brits I met used the phrase “When I go to Europe” as if they didn’t consider themselves part of Europe. Question is, have those complaining ever been out of their country?

    • southlondon

      americans know nothing about high end designer clothing, all you wear is tracksuits

  • Mo Patel

    Seems spot on. The US dollar and American holidays is stretching it. I remember in London they had two separate faucets, one for hot and one for cold. Talk about stupid. Wifi is not free at heathrow…

  • southlondon

    i dont know what part of europe you went to but its not any part of europe ive ever been in and ive driven through all of it, believe me if i lived in the states (and yes I have been there many times) there would be plenty of things i would miss. most towns you go to all you can get is fast food, all you lot eat is junk, no wonder you are all so fat