We have only 4 weeks left so I wanted to jot down some random thoughts.
1. Our Hindu guide in India said Hindu’s believe that from birth to age 25, you should take care of yourself. From age 25 to 50, you should take care of your family. From 50 to 75, you should take care of your community. And, after 75 you should prepare for your next life. I thought this was food for thought.
2. Everywhere we have traveled, people have healthier eating habits than we do in the US. Little things are different. Plates are smaller. Portion sizes are smaller. There are always two or three vegetables with a dinner. Meat, pork or chicken is the smallest portion on your plate. They do not place any butter on your table for the bread. The bread is eaten without butter although you may get olive oil with it. Salt and pepper is not usually found on your table. When requested, the saltshaker has fewer holes than the peppershaker. American brand named foods have been altered for local tastes. For example, Heinz Ketchup is runnier and not as sweet as in America. Coca Cola is not as sweet as it is in America. In general, desserts are not as sweet as American desserts.
3. The average sized family home in Denmark is only 1100 square feet. It costs $436,000. The averaged size home in the US is 2438 square feet. The average price for a home in the US is $292,000. Wow! What do we do with all that extra room?
4. Modern design. We have seen more modern designed homes, kitchens and baths on this trip than we ever see during our trips in the US. I always wonder why do so many Americans look backwards in time to create their home, kitchen or bath? If everyone looked backwards in time for design and wants to build or buy a home that looks like their parents home, how will this generation create its own modern design? Doesn’t the present generation want to leave its own design legacy, and not repeat the legacy of their parents?
5. The people we have met in the various countries and we have observed interacting with their own fellow countrymen and women are very interested in discussing their current political issues and social issues in such casual social settings. They discuss issues, not parties. They apply a social consciousness to the discussion. Issues such as immigration are discussed in terms of: is it morally right? Not in terms of jobs, education or medical care. But, what is our moral obligation. It is refreshing to listen to them discuss such issues.
6. Thirty three percent of Europeans over the age of 15 smoke. You can’t smoke inside a restaurant, so smokers get the prime outdoor seats in the summer. When asked about the fairness of this, most people felt sorry for the smokers who could not smoke inside. We have never heard, even one time, the words “second hand smoke” or a discussion of the impact of smoking and second hand smoke on the socialized medicine scheme of Europeans.
7. Hot food. We don’t know how they do it, but when you are served food in a restaurant, no matter what you order, it is HOT. We have had our tongues and roofs of our mouths burned so many times by the temperature of our food. We love that our food is served hot and not lukewarm. We can only guess how the food is served so hot, but we think it is because each meal is prepared individually and does not sit under a warming light before being served.