Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The US vs. Europe: A comparison based on experience and, of course, blatant generalizations

By "the US," I primary mean the Northeastern US, and by "Europe," I primarily mean western, continental Europe:

US: Jews of lots of different types
Europe: unaffiliated Jews, charedim, kiruv-niks, Chabad

US: kosher food
Europe: not so much, although Chabad is happy to feed you

US: eruvs
Europe: yeah, right

US: sense of humor
Europe: varies greatly; Italy=yes, Germany=no

US: awkward Mulim/Christian dynamic caused by Republicans
Europe: VERY awkward Muslim/Christian dynamic caused by everyone

US: factory farming
Europe: grazing sheep, horses, goats, etc. visible from trains

US: Suburban sprawl
Europe: When you leave a city, there are actually green fields and the aforementioned animals

US: some interest in climate change
Europe: small cars--very small cars; very thin aluminum foil; those new futuristic windmills

US: speaky English
Europe: Dave Barry: "your average German speaks better English than your average US Congressperson"; Katrina: this is depressingly true, although it says more about Congress than Germans

US: decent toilet paper
Europe: yeah, right

US: public transportation outside NYC? Who ever heard of such a thing?
Europe: excellent public transportation

US: college professors who almost always know that women can walk through doors and put on their own coats-unassisted
Europe: this knowledge is surprisingly lacking

US: I often sleep
Europe: I am writing a blog post at 7:00 am when I have to be up at 8:30. Bon soir, folks.

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