Saturday, November 17, 2012

Top 10 Things learned while living abroad

10)  We haven’t picked up any obnoxious accents.  Remember when Phoebe from friends went to England for a few days and came home with an obnoxious English accent.  “Well, that’s just lovely, I’ll call you on my mobile darling.”  Well, we haven’t picked up any European slang or accents yet.

9)  There are a lot of people who speak English.  English is an international language and there are many people who know multiple languages.  Albeit, some struggle with English many do very well and are very helpful.  When going up to stranger, just be sure you ingratiate yourself and be respectful.  Be sure to comment briefly that that you don’t speak their language.  Better yet, while speaking their language mention that you don’t’ speak their language and do they speak in English?

8)  There are English speaking and American television shows.  We were surprised to see that there are a lot of American shows on TV in English.  Most have subtitles of the local language. Yes, you can still get the Kardashians!   You can’t escape it!

7)  It’s hard to communicate with friends and family back home.  With the advent of the internet and tools such Skype, Facetime, blogs, and Facebook its easier than ever to keep up with friends back home, but the time difference is a killer.  Being 9 hours you need to make a special effort to communicate with friends and family.  Most of the time, we need to make an appointment.

6) Its freakin overwhelming!  Sometimes the amount of things that are needed to be done can seem like an eternity. Add the fact that you don’t speak the language adds another element of surprise as most forms, documents and bills are in the local language.

5) You become very close to your family.  Not because you are forced to hang out with each other J but you have to go through this major transition together. 
4) It can get expensive!  Not being familiar with the area you end spending a lot of extra money, because you haven’t found the bargains just yet.
3) Ground beef and burgers taste different.  We consider ourselves somewhat of a connoisseur of burgers.  Well, in Italy, you can drive anywhere and pull off on any roadside and get a great cup of coffee.  Well, the same is true in the states for burgers.  You can get a great burger in the States just about at any dive bar or road side restaurant.  Well, in Europe the beef is just different and the burgers are too.  Something’s are just not the same

2) Speeding tickets are mailed to you.  No “Bad Boyz, Bad Boyz whatcha you going to do when they come for you" routine…..The Dutch just mail you a bill when you speed.  We've have had 7 bills lately, because qwe've been looking out for the old black and whites.  That’s not how it works in Europe. They just send you a bill!

1)  People are just people.  We all want to be liked and accepted. Humans have this habit of   generalizing and stereotyping about other groups of people.  At end of the day, we are all the same albeit with very some unique qualities.  Everyone is just trying to get by and be happy no matter what part of the world you live in.


  1. what i've learned: how much i can miss a dear's A LOT!!! i'm sooooo looking forward to seeing you in 10 days!

  2. Very insightful - but I don't know if I could live without American burgers. We miss you Stones!


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