Living in a new country in a different language, the differences are omni present. After a while you start to get immune to them, but some obvious ones never stop striking me. Grocery stores that play classical music, or chirping bird sounds, instead of pop music? Or how about the champagne aisle at the superstore!
Then there’s lineups: should be basic, but no. Entering a room with a lineup (bank, doctor’s office, tax department), first off everyone says hello. Now, picture going somewhere to renew your drivers license or pay a tax bill, or medical procedure. There’s no Take A Number system. So everyone has to keep track of the order they arrived! Luckily they’ve all said hello politely and can add: Who was the last one here? It’s mind boggling.
The cars and trucks are tiny because the streets are tiny. Not all of them, but they stick out.
The laissez-faire, it can’t be changed, attitude. Also boggling. Teachers strike randomly, telling you the day before. Or have a meeting, telling you the day before. All this with no school on Wednesdays! Shouldn’t we insist they have their meetings on Wednesdays, instead of taking all day one of the other days?? No, people shrug, it’s just like that. There’s no substitutes. Oh, I see. (Not at all). Never mind the train and airplane strikes. Kate’s gymnastics teacher hasn’t been there in weeks, so the 15 or so kids are just supposed to ‘practice’ for 3 hours on their own. She’s refusing to go now. A friend’s son is in high school studying for the all important Bac, and has only seen his philosophy teacher 3 days out of the whole year, so has to do ‘independent study’ during that class. Don’t you parents complain, I ask? Well, it’s like that. Shrug. Can’t do anything. Can’t fire teachers, of course. Pardon all the italics but!!!
We’re racing along towards another 2 week school holiday. The kids are busy with lots of memorization at school, poetry, multiplication, the curriculum is different.
Late meals and slow food, which all sounds good but I can’t quite adapt to. I love the school lunch program though, and it lets me off the hook at dinner time!
Dogs: Tris’s pet peeve, they don’t pick up after them enough in town, and they roam free too much in the countryside.
There we go, a little rant, there’s lots of other differences. But it’s not my country, I wouldn’t want to have all countries the same, and am certainly enjoying one difference, the spring weather.