You expect quirks when you go to Asia. As an Australian you are even ready for the strange nuances of the Americans what with tipping and accents and driving on the wrong side of the road.
But I wasn’t ready for these things in Europe.
These 3 strange things.
When we first encountered this phenomenon in a Novotel hotel in Pozan I was positively shocked. Then there was the house sit in London and Belgium. Our Airbnb place in Hungary and also the hotel in Vienna, Austria.
Where is the aircon?
As an Australian, aircon is almost like breathing in summer. We can go from our air-conditioned houses to our air-conditioned cars (and public transport) to our air-conditioned shopping malls.
To have a hotel, especially those on the 3rd and 4th floors without air-conditioning seems totally crazy. I mean, I know it doesn’t get particularly hot, but hotel rooms can get stuffy closed up all day on those upper floors.
So maybe the buildings are old and the work is costly, but please Europe at least provide a fan.
The majority of Europe loves dogs. Not like we love dogs. Not even like I love my dog. I mean, really love dogs.
They push them in prams.
Take them shopping.
Some dogs can’t walk they are so precious and are held in their owner’s arms.
Hotels welcome dogs gleefully and shops don’t seem to mind all that much either.
Perhaps it was a cheap hotel. I mean 2 stars could mean missing a few inches. But then we got to the next 4 star hotel and the one after that and soon we realised- Europe really does bedding weirdly.
In several places we have stayed throughout Europe we have been welcomed to our room with a double, sometimes king size bed, but always two single sized quilts. And not made on the bed like you would back in Australia or the US, but kind of sideways folded in this strange way, which makes it look even smaller. And when you unfold them, the actual quilt is perpendicular to the bed so you have to rotate it around. A lot of fussing around just to hop into bed.
Now I know blanket hogs are a serious problem and governments all over the world are trying to find a long-term solution, but for real? Adults have to share a bed, but not a blanket. I mean if I get my own blanket can’t I have my own bed too?
The 3 Best Things About Europe
But for every strange thing, Europe does other things extremely well.
Europe goes on holidays regularly and you can find housesitting positions in nearly every country.
We’ve housesat in the UK, Ireland and Belgium and the opportunities are endless.
Our favourite site is Trusted Housesitters, because they have an option to search homes that welcome families. But there are abundant alternatives: mindmyhouse, housecarers and housesitmatch (Use BENDER-10 for 10% off).
Cheap International Travel
Bargain low cost carriers have not only helped scores of citizens step outside of their own country, but encouraged other methods of transportation to reduce their prices in order to compete.
Fast Food Snacks
When we get fast food in Australia it's McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks (Burger King), Red Rooster or if you are healthy you might try sushi or Subway. Some nights it’s takeaway Chinese, a kebab or fish & chips.
If you are hitting the Royal Show (an annual fair) you’ll be looking at hot dogs, meat pies, fairy floss (cotton candy) and chips (french fries).
In Europe takeaway is so much more. In Poznan or Luxembourg you can walk down to the market square and get takeaway plates of sausages and potatoes. A snack can be a crepe or a croissant or a pretzel.
You will hardly find yourself ever eating at McDonald’s or a Burger King, because the other options are plentiful and fast. In Germany and Austria sausages are everywhere, and in Austria ready-to-go noodle boxes are widely available.
So it’s not all strange in Europe.
But those damn blankets will haunt my dreams. Arrrrrgh, the blankets!