I have never been to Europe but I read a lot and I have well-traveled friends and eyes to see pictures and there are a lot of things about big city life that remind me of how I imagine Europe.
Grocery shopping, for example. We do ours multiple times a week, buying enough food for the next few days mostly so we’re eating fresh and partly because we don’t have room for more than a few days’ worth of food. I believe there’s a reason Ikea is from Sweden and Costco is from Kirkland, Washington. Think about that. This brings me to my next example.
Counter space. To say ours is limited is to point out that the Pope is Catholic. Not only is our working counter space the size of a mitten, it multitasks as ingredient storage and the place to drain the dishes, which are, of course, washed by hand. Peep this.
Next up, ingredients. A few days ago I was imagining how great it would be if the proverbial they made small bags of flour and sugar. Like, mini bags. Baby bags. Smaller than the standard 5 lb. bags, so that people in European-sized digs can still bake, though they be in the U States of A. Lo and behold, “they” do! Now I’m imagining how great it would be to find a bag of gold…
Is the per-unit price higher? Sure it is. Is per-unit price the be-all and end-all of shopping? Nope, sure isn’t. See, the thing is that it’s not a good deal if you don’t need it. And that goes for more than just groceries. Mmmhmm. Now think about that while we move on to my next example.
Parking. My whole life I have taken for granted the ability to park quickly, easily, where I want, and often for free. Nothing says “we have room to spare!” like parking lots in the Midwest. Or driving through Indiana. Real estate in DC and the surrounding areas is so precious that it’s no wonder they don’t waste it on parking lots. They build up, not out, here. And you’ll be paying for the privilege of wedging your small car into a space the size of a Kleenex.
These are some consumer-based observations I have made about the difference between the old days and the new days and how I think the new days resemble Europe. The Europe in my imagination. Friends and family who have been there are welcome to comment, but try not to burst my bubble or I won’t pick you up at the airport when you come visit.