25 March 2015

Culture Choque

Most the time living in Europe is a great. It's not being on vacation every day but you have random moments that are delightful or have a wow-factor because it's just not the place you grew up.

But there are moments where you lose your sanity -- because this is not a vacation. It is life and things have to happen and get done.

Recent moments of culture shock:

Frankfurt airport being so intense about following the rules, they couldn't help me make my flight even though my name was being called on the speakers. (Yes, I missed my flight)

A hotel toilet mounted so high on the wall in Holland, I could not touch the floor. You laugh, but it's not funny in the middle of the night. Okay, maybe it is funny.

Only coins can be used to do the on street parking in the center of my city here in Spain. There's a credit card area on the machine but no slot actually set up. No coins, no parking, no one cares if you are in a hurry. Thus, everyone double parks with their flashers. Being a good Midwesterner,  I have avoided it, but it is in serious consideration now.

It's okay to tell a customer that it will be ready Tuesday afternoon. Customer fights aforementioned parking situation, gives up goes to parking garage much further away, walks to shop only to discover the items aren't ready after all. This is okay and should not be cause for complaint.

Health analysis includes urinalysis. The urine must be collected first thing in the morning, not later in the day. You must go to a farmacia (not the place that takes the blood or the urine) and buy a special cup yourself. Should you arrive past 10 am, the cup cannot be delivered and you must go to the pharmacy and purchase another and try to arrive by 10 am again (despite the parking situation in the area). Please note, I did not pour the rejected urine on the front step though I was very frustrated. I go to this clinic to avoid the one where they took blood from my neck, but that's another story.

This is just the last few weeks. Most the time you take it in stride and shrug but every once in awhile it all stacks up just right and you lose your mind. I suppose it's like arriving at Disneyland and seeing the lines and price of the food after saving all year. It may be fun at times, but there's some major obstacles that you will not be able to avoid dealing with. You are going to pay.