How to Spot an American
I used to travel - I travelled a lot. But times change; jobs, marriage, children come along and the frivolity of youth gets pushed aside for more serious endeavors like paying the bills and buying school clothes. Still, I can't complain. I had my day in the sun, and I hope after the kids are grown up and moved away to travel yet again. It's a big world and there are so many places to see and so little time to see them in.
When I did travel, Europe was my place. I caught the bug early, and I never took the cure. Well the "cure" was more travel and so I treated myself to the full extent my pocket book would allow. And I tried my best to blend in with the locals no matter where I went. And as an American, I could fake it most of the time. Not having those classic cinema-like looks that Europeans associate with Americans, I had half a fighting chance. But still, someone, someone always figured me out - and this was before I ever opened my mouth. So I asked a couple of good friends of mine what was the tip-off was to my Americanism. And the following are their responses...
SHOES: American shoes are built for comfort - look at the classic penny loafer. Penny loafers are uniquely American. You won't see these in Europe. Tennis shoes or gym shoes are very ornate here in the States. Surprisingly enough, tennis shoes are worn by Europeans but the standard Adidas plain white tennis shoe is much more prevalent in Europe than it is here in America. Thongs, unfortunately, seem to be a universal trend - particularly with teenagers.
WATCHES: This is a dead give away. Europeans, for one reason or another, never fell out of love with the digital watch. Digital had its day here in the States during the late 1970's and 80's, but Americans prefer the more classic look of watch hands.
BODY SIZE: Well, let's face it - Americans are fat. The average American male wears a size 36 waist pant. The average European male is at a 32 to 34 inch waist. I read some time back that the average American woman wears a size 14. The average European women wears a size 8-10. But there is variance in sizes throughout Europe. The French and Spanish tend to be the leanest while Scandinavians tend to be a bit more substantial.
DEMEANOR: I can't say with any certainty that Americans are happier than Europeans, but we sure smile a lot more. And that smile always gives up away. Sometimes that is not such a bad thing, other times it paints a target on our forehead that says please take advantage of me.
In summary, our differences are what make us. But when traveling in Europe, keep this in mind - they see us coming.
SEE THE LATEST ARTICLE ON PACKING FOR EUROPEAN TRIP. http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Pack-for-a-10-Day-Trip-to-Europe
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