In the past two weeks, I’ve written a few blog posts about our recent vacation to Europe to visit my husband’s family and our friends. One thing which has become abundantly clear is that it’s tough being an American in Europe. Sure I lived there for several years, but that was in the 1990’s and I’m clearly out of practice, not to mention old.
To help Americans figure out how well they’re integrating while on their European vacation, I’ve put together this helpful quiz. If you’re American, or just want to play along, then place a check mark next to any of the below things you’ve experienced or done. Once completed, total the number of check marks and read the result which corresponds with your score.
1. Every conversation ends up with a discussion of American politics. You’re slightly embarrassed when you realize most Europeans know more than you do about what’s happening in your own country. You quickly check Facebook for some talking points; if something has at least 1,000 likes then it must be true.
2. Since these European people seem to really know their stuff, you pull out your voters’ guide to the next elections to get their take on your local upcoming propositions. You feel like you’re doing your civic duty now, since you were just going to flip a coin. Let’s be honest people, it’s too hard to actually understand what you’re voting on!
3. Your Swiss friends complain that Americans think Switzerland is the same country as Sweden. Wait, there’s a difference? You probably shouldn’t have copied off your friend’s test in 7th grade geography.
4. You’re impressed by the different coins worth several dollars. In fact, you proudly tip the helpful bartender the biggest coin in your wallet. You later discover it was worth two cents.
5. You spend most of your vacation in London trying not to get run over. Why do they drive on the wrong side of the street anyway? Those wacky foreigners!
6. You get excited at the prospect of eating at a “real English pub.” Soggy peas are exotic, you know.
7. You have to go to the bathroom after eating all those peas, but you can’t fit in the stall.
8. You search your purse for your cell phone to find out what time it is; you forget you’re standing in front of Big Ben.
9. When crossing London Bridge you cleverly lead the family in a rendition of “London Bridge is Falling Down.” An elderly local man passing by gently points out to you that you’re actually on Tower Bridge. You try to convince yourself that you’re really right, since every bridge in London is a London bridge.
10. Even British people insulting you sounds sexy. Who cares what they’re saying, as long as they keep talking!
11. After you get back to America, you try to impress your friends by using British expressions. “Those pub peas were absolutely brilliant. It’s a shame I couldn’t fit in the toilet.”
1-3 Check Marks: You’re a little nutty, but so am I. Overall you’re doing a good job of representing your country. Continue keeping your mouth shut and your ears open.
4-8 Check Marks: You need some help here. Consult a few reputable news feeds and a map before going back to Europe. To really fit in on your next trip, buy a pair of red shorts and ankle socks. At least you’ll look like a native.
9 -11 Check Marks: Call the government and have your passport revoked. No one this crazy should be let out of the country.