24 Ways To Tell That You’re An American Living In Europe


  1. Did it just take you five minutes to figure out how to flush a toilet, via pressing/pulling on an obscurely placed button, flange, or weird gray rectangle of plastic? …Then congratulations! You might be an American living in Europe.
  2. Do the people around you find Americans to be either (1) Oddly fascinating, or (2) Fat, semi-literate morons that shoot at things wildly with guns that they hold sideways. …If so, then you’re in Europe.
  3. I’m realizing kind of quickly that this list is sort of similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s horrible “Yew Might Be a Redneck If...” routine. (“…If ‘Frogger’ ain’t the name of no video game, but the title of some guy what hunts little green animals for dinner, then yew mi-iiiight possibly an American in EU-rope somewhat mayHAPS be!“) Ugh. Kill me.
  4. …Anyway. Did you just take a quick refreshing drink of milk, only to do a spit-take, and spew out some form of thin salty goat-based yogurt… something or other. Then you’re in Europe.
  5. Does your girlfriend speak loudly and authoritatively in a sexy tone, and you only realize a half hour later that she was cursing you out in her native tongue.  …Europe.
  6. Do things have hilarious names but they’re only hilarious to you? (Example — I live in Romania; we have an indigenous salty cream-cheese-ish fish-based spread. I actually rather like it; because I’m Jewish, and therefore a lover of salty-fish-based things. But the spread is called “CRAP.” Why? Because it’s made from carp, and in Romania carp is spelled crap. …Hence, conversations like: “Honey, are we all out of crap? …Do I need to go to the store and pick up more crap?”)
  7. There’s also a candy bar here called “Big Nuts,” which — awesome.
  8. Do you find yourself sitting around at a party — feeling like a useless, fat, illiterate, gun-shooting American — trying to nod and appear attentive and alert, while at the same time understanding 0% of what is being said… up until the moment when a random English word is used (for example, “motherfucker“), and then you suddenly feel weirdly, irrationally happy?
  9. Have you learned about twenty useless foreign words that you can now combine in order to form one useless foreign sentence? …Example: I can say “There are foxes of the sea!” in Romanian, because I studied Latin in school, and most of the words in that sentence are basically Latin. “Sunt vulpii de mare.” But it’s a sentence that will never be useful, ever; never, ever, ever, ever. But it’s my foreign sentence that I know!
  10. Are there some things that will just never make sense no matter what? Here’s mine: how can stores sell unrefrigerated milk? Seriously, the milk just sits there on the shelves all day, not subject to any sort of refrigeration. …AREN’T WE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE FROM THIS? HOW CAN THIS BE? …Ahem.
  11. Speaking of stores, did you move here and find all the cute lil’ stores to be so highly charming? One store for meat, one store for vegetables, one store for cheese, one store for non-meatcheeseveggiefoodbaseditems… until one day, when you were tired, and running late, and were like, “Hey, couldn’t they combine all these tiny adorable stores into one large fucking store? Y’know; like a supermarket. So that I can make dinner without having to travel four miles, or kilos, or liters, or hectares, or however they define distance here?” …And then after thinking this, of course, you feel like a greedy American asshole.
  12. Have you almost been hit and killed by a tram? …Yep. You’re in Europe.
  13. Do you find yourself starting to like godawful Eurovision-Music-Contest terrible types of songs? For example, here’s my current favorite:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfXBNQMj2SE&w=584&h=390]
  14. Now, granted, I only like this song because the girl in it is very, very, very hot, but nonetheless — it’s a song I know now! I know the tune. I even know some of the lyrics!
  15. I translated some of the lyrics from the French, by the way — they go something like this: “It’s not my fault! Because! Because I am so very, very, very much attractive! Me! It’s not my fault! All the boys follow me around! Me! Due to my amazing très jolie intense attractiveness!” …Such a bad song.
  16. Anyway, enough about the song.
  17. Are people in your adopted nation racist towards a group that it never occurred to you to be racist to? (Not that you ever should be racist to anyone, of course.) Like, here in Romania, people are racist towards Gypsies. Gypsies? …I always thought of Gypsies as being a charming, carnival-esque, scarf-wearing people, but here in Romania they are hated and thought to be dirty and are looked down upon in all the standard racist ways.
  18. What this probably means is that everyone everywhere in every country is racist in some way. Depressing. …Like, probably Eskimos are racist against certain other types of Eskimos; the ones from further up north, with the flatter noses, who use the wrong word for “snow.” Or some such shit like that.
  19. Sigh. Anyway. I digress. Where was I?
  20. Europe; right?
  21. So, Europe! …Can your feeble brain not handle the simple monetary exchange rate? Again; you’re in Europe; that’s probably where you are. In some countries, this exchange problem keeps me from buying anything because it all sounds so expensive, which is what happens to me Romania. “900 Lei for a hamburger! No fucking way!” I say, forgetting that 900 Lei equals like forty-five cents.
  22. In other countries, on the other hand, I buy too much stuff, because it sounds so cheap. “Only two Zlofowitz for that antique jewel-encrusted egg! What a bargain! I’ll take it!” …Forgetting again, of course, how exchange rates work, and that two Zlofowitz equals $2,963.00, American.
  23. Sigh.
  24. And finally, I guess… if there’s a 10% chance of Vladimir Fucking Putin invading, fucking with, and/or overrunning your country, then most likely… in Europe you mayhaps probably are. Here in Romania — which is located at the end of Eastern Europe, right next to Ukraine — our odds of this happening are about 40%. …Fuck you, Mr. Putin! Stay the fuck out of my adopted country. And pray for my soul that we don’t get invaded, o Thought Catalog readers. In the meantime, while you’re praying for me, I’ll be eating fish-based-crap, and getting the exchange rate wrong. And that is all. Luv yew! TC Mark

image – Vaidotas Mišeikis

main image – Dale Winling

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