Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Enjoying life. A foreign concept.

An American friend recently returned from a six-day trip to Belgium and France (because only an American would fly a total of 10,000 miles for less than a week’s vacation) and came back amazed.

“Now I get it,” she said.

“Get what?”
An American with a newspaper, a coffee, and a
relaxed outlook, oh my!

“How hard it must be for you to be back.”

When asked to clarify she said, “I mean, people over there, they actually take time to relax and enjoy life!”

What a concept. Too bad most Americans find this concept foreign.

Nothing demonstrates this concept more than Starbucks. In the U.S., Starbucks has a drive-through. What does this say about our culture?

The Frau refuses to go to a Starbucks drive-through even though she loves Starbucks coffeehouses because they are pretty much the only place she can go to eat or drink in her American town that doesn’t try to rush her out the door the minute she puts her fork down.

Needless to say, The Frau is dreaming of her old Swiss haunts, like her vacation rental in Locarno. (Pictured above)


Unknown said...

This is so true. I've been living in Europe for 2.5 years and still find it hard to unwind. I usually take my laptop with me everywhere, but I aspire to do as Europeans do on the weekends: read a book or newspaper at a cafe and leave the work at home.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to hold onto the lifestyle after returning to the States! Import some enjoyment? -American expat in Switzerland, 1 year and counting

Anonymous said...

It's a bad thing that we Americans work so hard, but it's not ONLY a bad thing. Sometimes it's good! My job involves negotiating international deals. After dealing with Europeans who are finished at 4:55 pm local time come hell or high water, it can be refreshing to work with people from cultures who take it upon themselves to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. After living in Switzerland for a little more than two years, I still can't decide whether the national obsession with quality of life is (a) a healthy, principled stand against a tide of dehumanization or (b) self-righteous and self-indulgent. (JK, it's obviously both.)

Anonymous said...

Somehow so many Americans see Europe as the promised land, while much of Europe has issues. It's a choice, to find an employer compatible with one's desired way of life, and additionally, to be able to take the occasional day off and relax/unwind/do whatever he wishes right at home in the States! No need to go to Europe!

Some American expats try too hard, trying to seem up-American as though being American is uncool, saying everything as though "Everything is better in Europe."

Hattie said...

Well, I guess that's what I like about Hawaii. People work hard here and are mostly pretty task oriented, but they know how to enjoy life, too.

From Europe said...

I must admit that I find it so incredibly refreshing to learn about the existence of US-Americans who do not match the arrogant, ignorant, chauvinist, world-destroying, ugly stereotype.

And you are not alone:

Chantal said...

The Frau would comment further, but she is trying to work on relaxing, mitenand. Thanks for all your comments and opinions.

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