I have now been abroad for a little more than 3 months, and even though it only takes on average about 28 days to form a new habit or get used to something, there are still some things that I will (never) get used to. Yes, I am as confused as you are from the previous sentence.
Walking to School: As much as I love walking, and as much as I love how close the school is to the apartments, I will never get used to not driving to school. I know it sounds a lot like some first world problems, and it probably is, but once you’ve had to walk everywhere you’ll eventually get tired of it, believe me.
School: I will never get used to the fact that schools in Spain and Italy are almost always virtually hidden. For example, here in Spain the school is behind a restaurant, and is located on the first floor of an apartment complex, and extends to a floor that is below ground. This makes it the quickest school tour you’ll likely ever take, since the school has like 5 class rooms and barely 2 floors.
Motorcycle Parking: Everybody knows that you park cars on the street or in a parking garage, but what about motorcycles? Apparently the European thing to do is park it on the sidewalk. Not near, or next to the side walk, ON it! What troubles me more is that at any given point a biker will jump onto the sidewalk with his bike regardless if you are in the way or not.
Breakfast: To this day I have not been able to adjust to the European breakfast. It is always some sort of small pastry or sandwich and an even smaller drink which mostly tends to be coffee (side note: I don’t drink coffee). Just the sheer size of the breakfast is enough to throw my day off sync.
The Euro: What I’ll never get used to about the Euro is that it is not equally proportional to the U.S. dollar. So every time I see something and buy it I think in my head that it is a real steal, but then I get my credit card bill and it turns out that the 1 euro breakfast that I buy every day is actually $1.17. though it is not that huge of a difference it adds up, seriously!
Cops: Just as in the U.S. there are always patrol cars, well, patrolling (duh!) the streets of countries in Europe. The biggest difference is that sometimes at special events or specific locations there are armed police officers; and when I say armed, I mean armed for WWIII with assault rifle loaded in hand and a semi armored vehicle near by with at least 4 other police officers in the same attire. I’d love to show you all a picture of them, but apparently cops with really big guns don’t like it when you take pictures of them.
Keyboard: This may come as shock to some of you but the “standard” keyboard you are used to, the QWERTY, is not the standard keyboard everywhere you go. In Italy it seemed to be the same plus a letter or really faded space bar, but besides that it was pretty much the exact same thing as in the States. Meanwhile in Spain (and Latin American Countries) they have decided to opt in using their own version. It is very similar to the QWERTY standard version except it has 3 extra letters and about 30 more symbols throughout the keyboard. You know how the semi colon key is also the colon key, well in Spain some keys produce up to 4 different symbols.
Family: Well, more like NO family. Growing up in a very much Mexican culture I grew up with family (both internal and extended). Often times you don’t really differentiate between extended, close, or even if they’re real family or not. We have a very strong sense of family overall; the strongest I have ever seen by far. So being out here ‘alone’ is something that will most definitely take forever to get used to.
Netflix: Another one that might come as a shock to you – Netflix has different shows depending on the region you are in. While you might be enjoying your summer binge watching Season 4 of Orange is the New Black back in the states, season 3 is not even out in Spain yet. It’s okay though, we have ALL the Shrek movies.
Mexican Food: Enough Said.
I hope you enjoyed and continue to enjoy the things that I will never get used to as they do not occur back home in the States. Especially Mexican Food! As good as pasta, pizza, and ham are they will never beat my beloved Mexican food.
Stay tuned for more lists to come!