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America vs Europe

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by emerry, May 16, 2018 at 4:27 AM.

  1. emerry

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    I wonder what is America like compared to Europe. Does anyone know what the differences are? Is is roughly the same? Or...?
     
    #1 emerry, May 16, 2018 at 4:27 AM
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  2. Love4Ever

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    Well, America is a big country. :slight_smile: So for someone like me who has basically only ever lived in two states in the American south, and a brief stint in an Asian country, I really don't have any experience with Europe outside of history books, novels, and tv. But from what I have gathered, from hearing and watching people from Europe speak, I think the major difference between America and Europe is probably that America has a much shorter collective history as a country. Compared to countries thousands of years old we are a really new country, and that effects the way people act and make choices and do things I think. Also, there is such a huge variety of people from other countries who live here and all have such different religions and ways of life. I guess America is less homogenous compared to some countries in Europe though I do know that is quickly changing due to immigration increases like what's happening in Great Britian. Americans also have what feels like a different way of viewing life, more as a road to success rather than a journey to be luxuriated in and enjoyed. I feel like Europe knows how to live the good life by slowing down and I wish America could learn this. And finally, the other major difference is how divided our political climate is and how for many people there religious beliefs really do seem to influence their political beliefs. There is church and state and all that but I think America is still run foundationally in a way that assumes adherence to a denomination of Christianity, more specifically some form of Protestantism. Whereas Europe from what I've seen is becoming increasingly more secular. Whew! I felt like I just wrote an essay! I hope all that rambling was helpful at all.
     
    #2 Love4Ever, May 16, 2018 at 4:49 AM
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  3. emerry

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    So it's very culturally mixed? Yeah, I can't say it about where I live... although I never participated in the local culture in the first place, like many young people, probably.

    That's an interesting observation, I've seen that mentioned in some magazine. Of course, I have no comparison personally, I have never been on any other continent than Europe. Americans do seem to be very ambitious... and feel pressured to feel happy all the time, it seems.

    What do you mean for example? Is it assumed that everyone follows certain cultural norms and there are laws that reflect this or maybe make it illegal to not adhere to those cultural norms?

    I don't know about other countries, but in mine there is one oarty that supports the Church and people vote for it for this reason. This party uses many irrational arguments in general and there is a segment of society that goes for it...
     
  4. Love4Ever

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    Well, I think it's that people here who are of a religious persuasion tend to vote republican and people who are less so vote democrat. It's very factional that way with a rigid two party system. Obviously, there are exceptions but that has been my general experience. A lot of laws too, state laws more often than federal, are motivated by religion. We still have states where gay marriage isn't recognized even though it is federal law as of 2015 and there are still many laws on the books that aid in discrimination. There are news stories all the time about people who were denied hospital visitation rights based on them being a same sex couple, there are places where gay couples are unable to adopt because the agency only wants opposite sex couples. So many of these laws are still on the books, to say nothing of the casual discriminations some people still face like holding hands in a conservative area. Basically, legally these things are not allowed but they happen still all the time because they aren't always enforced.
     
    #4 Love4Ever, May 16, 2018 at 5:34 AM
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  5. Love4Ever

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    The south in particular still I think has very puritanical roots, so yes there are a lot of cultural norms. Gender norms are a problem too.
     
  6. emerry

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    Thanks for replying. Two parties seem like not the best solution to me. As for the gay thing... here it's the same, unfortunately. Not like something very bad happens, like violence or jail, but same sex couples are not recognised and there are some plain old homophobes. Funny, I wonder what political views I'd have if I was gender-conforming.
     
  7. emerry

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    I see. It's true then, people try not to enforce religion/culture by law here.
    When I think about religion, I think it has some obvious sides that promote good social co-existance and individual well-being, like don't steal, don't kill, don't cheat, don't lie against someone else, don't envy... the seven deadly sins also make sense to me. However, the more relative, cultural side does not.

    It's a shame gender roles are still such a problem in so many places.
     
  8. BadassFrost

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    One of my relatives lived in the US for some time so he gave me some comparison. These are the things I learned:

    - In the US, in general, religion plays a more important role than here. Here in Europe the importance of religion declined a lot during the last century. I would say that it's not only that there are less religious people around, but that the religion is just not that important part of our daily lives. There are some countries where number of religious people is very low and the country could be considered atheistic/agnostic, like the Czech Republic (I must say that the absolute majority of people I know are irreligious) or Estonia. There are still some pretty religious places though, like Poland, but even there, the religion is not as important as before, from what I've heard. I would say, based on what I learned, that the number of people going to church and praying daily must be much higher in the US than in Europe in general.

    - US is supposedly much more car obsessed than Europe, and thus less pedestrian and public transport friendly.

    - Culturally the US is very mixed, compared to Europe, and thus there are smaller cultural differences between various places, because these places are already a mix of various cultures. In Europe it's more centralized. The difference between Finland and Italy would be much more distinct than the difference between Texas and Washington for example.

    - Given the history, there would be a different perspective of what is considered 'old'. Here we have monuments and buildings even over 1000 years old, standing in our cities. The US don't have that.

    - Food, houses, distances are smaller here in Europe.
     
  9. emerry

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    Thanks for your reply BadassFrost.
    That's interesting about the cars.
     
  10. BadassFrost

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    Yeah I've heard that actually many times. Not just from that relative who lived there, but from almost anyone who has been there. I guess the reason is that our cities were not designed with cars in mind. In many historical centers, many buildings stand close next to each other, and building roads can be sometimes really tricky. Also in the past, a large part of Europe relied a lot on trains, and that remained to this day, as the density of railway lines is pretty high.
    In the US, cities are build in a different way, and from what I've heard, using a car is almost a necessity in many places. Their cities are more spread out, distances are greater, and using a car may be more comfortable there. Also, and that was a personal note from my relative, it may have something to do with the American independent spirit. And a car represents this independence more than a bus or a train. Would be nice to get some comment from an American, what they think about it.

    They just have a lot more space and try to use it as much as they can. This is a pretty accurate picture when it comes to cars:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Love4Ever

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    Yeah I actually hate this about America. Unless you live in a city you basically have to have a car or you can't go anywhere, and for someone who has anxiety about driving and really has no desire to learn this really sucks because I have to rely on other people and I can never go places and do things by myself.
     
    #11 Love4Ever, May 16, 2018 at 3:54 PM
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  12. Destin

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    It's not just almost a necessity - it's required in the vast majority of the country. If you don't live downtown in a city you need a car in America. Especially in the south and midwest it's really common for people to live 30+ miles away from where they work with no way to get there other than a car. Medium sized cities do have buses but they aren't very good usually, and it's mainly only people who can't afford a car who use them, almost no one uses them by choice.

    The city I live in has both city buses and university buses only for students available, but most people drive anyway. The university is only two miles from where I live, so I could just sit on a bus for 5 minutes or walk there in 20 minutes but I drive instead (and spend 15 minutes looking for a parking spot since it's always crowded). It doesn't really make sense, but we're just used to using our cars in all circumstances.
     
  13. Tim Reece

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    If anyone from Europe decides to come to the southern United states, get a serving of biscuits and white gravy. Honest to god, it's one of the best things you can get here is biscuits and gravy in an old Mom N' Pop restaurant. That and we have a lot of leather works shops here, non of it being faux leather, so if you don't like real leather then skip them. We also have a lot of car shows and what not. In the spring/summer seasons we have a bunch of them, most of the cars being either really old 1930s - 1950s model hot-rods, customs, or rat rods. So if you're into American cars, come down here. Though the southern states are pretty conservative, most folks won't do anything to harm you (cause a lot of people are baptist/Methodist here).

    Also, Bikers. Bikers everywhere. Mostly older dudes on Harley-Davidson bikes.

    But enough about that stuff, anything interesting or worth checking out if an American comes to your country?
     
  14. Shorthaul

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    The mid west isn't even that bad. I have worked in towns where super popular places like McDonalds, Starbucks or Wal-mart are an hour or more away and that is fling down the highway at 75mph or a hair over 120kph. I have been places where not only do you not have Cell phone coverage, but even AM radio doesn't reach you. And that is in the main 48 states.

    The north east, or New England area is a bit like Europe; lots of people not much space, public transportation (though it is utter rubbish compared to the rest of the world).
    The south is pretty religious, and generally slow to accept anything that isn't in the bible. Lots of; guns, bugs and humidity so bad you never feel dry.
    The mid west is generally; flat, boring, lots of farming and the weather tries to kill you. Lots of BBQ and church and guns.
    The mountain west has super large cities and uninhabited places where you could easily get attacked or eaten by; wolves, bears, mountain lions. Guns, skiing, camping, Coors and Budweiser
    The southwest is f ing hot, with lots of Mexican food places and also has lots of wide open nothing where most of the wildlife would like to take a bite out of you or poison you, if you don't die of dehydration first. Guns, Native American casinos.
    The Pacific north west is either bible thumpers or pot smokers who dress like slobs and drink expensive seasonal beer. Also, bears, wolves and mountain lions.
    Which leaves California... Which is a bit of all the others with lots of rich white people who think they are better than everyone else and have sky rocketing costs of living.

    I'm a bit cynical, so the above is both sarcasm and broad generalizations. However the only wild animals I have ever really been worried about are rattle snakes or moose. Moose are kind of like hippos, just foul tempered assholes.
     
  15. emerry

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    Moose? :O Those are endangered, aren't they? At least here. Yeah, it seems like you have more wildlife there...

    I'd say where I live is pretty boring cuising-wise, but if you happen to be in France, Italy, Spain or Greece, feel free to try pretty much everything, it's so good! I don't know about the Balkans, tho, it's more difficult to travel there, because they are not in the EU and there are wars and whatnot. It must be interesting for an american to sightsee the historical buildings. In small towns, it's common to have e.g. a church that dates back to the 16th century. Of course, larger medieval old towns are more interesting and are mostly really pretty. You get palaces and castles too. Other than that it depends where you go, the tourist attractions will be specific to that place/country.
     
  16. DRobs

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    We like our guns and pickup trucks in America.

    I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. My hometown went from middle class to upper class. Property taxes and home values skyrocketed. The public schools are some of the best in the nation with most teachers having the minimum of a Masters Degree. The high property taxes pay for the Schools and top teachers. When it came time for me to live on my own, I moved a couple cities away to find cheaper rents / apartments in another suburb.

    As mentioned a car is almost required to get around. However Chicago and near suburbs has one of the best mass transit systems in America comprised of buses, trains, and elevated trains. Chicago planned mass transportation quite well. If you ever get a chance to visit America check out Chicago. It's lots of fun. There is a Boystown Neighborhood full of Gay Bars, Gay Owned Businesses, and restaurants. The Chicago Cubs baseball team also has their stadium right in the area. There are lots of straight bars and clubs just a couple roads away. The whole area near Wrigley Field and Boystown has a bit of a party feel to it. There's also Lake Michigan which is a fresh water lake with public beaches plus tons of things to do / see in the larger city of Chicago.

    The downside of the City of Chicago is housing is super expensive. Parking is limited. Like any major city there is crime there. Chicago has been setting records with murders for past couple of years.

    When it came time to buy a house, I was done with Illinois and it's high taxes. I wanted to enjoy some country. So I moved out in the sticks of rural Missouri. The house I bought has 10 acres which is more land than I could ever imagine owning in the Chicago area. My piece of land is small compared to the neighboring cattle ranches that have 80 acres to 600 acres.
    I like my little piece of land it feels like I own my own city park and there are places on my land where no one has stepped foot for the past 100 years. I can pee off my front step and walk around naked if I want to.

    The area of Missouri I moved to is called the Ozarks. This is the Bible Belt where teenage pregnancy is still a thing. Folks carry guns and drive around with guns in their pickup trucks. Moving here I've made more good true friends than I ever had in Chicago. The funny thing is the Liberal Democrats own and carry just as many guns as the hardcore Republicans. Land in this area is cheap so we have Hippy Communes, Gay Campgrounds, and Hardcore Survivalist Retreats in the area.

    Hippy Commune
    http://www.eastwindblog.co/

    Gay Campground
    http://www.cactuscanyoncampground.com/

    The Survivalists don't advertise.

    I really enjoy the area. I like to shoot, hunt, fish, boat, and be alone in the wild and can do all that here. I can walk out my backdoor and target shoot without the cops being called. While we have that Bible Belt mentality most people leave each other alone as privacy is a big thing.
     
  17. Biguy45

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    That sounds great
     
  18. Markness

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    Physically I am American but mentally I feel European.
     
  19. Tim Reece

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    So what I'm hearing is, you love your tea, queen and countrymen?
     
  20. BadassFrost

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    Well it comes down to personal taste. I agree that Mediterranean food is really good, but for example I prefer Finnish cuisine over that. It's really delicious, at least for me.
    Also I wonder which country you're from, so I can argue that your cuisine is not boring :grin:

    I don't think it's hard to get there, I've been to Montenegro some years ago without any problem. I bet there's some kind of agreement betweeen them and EU so people may move around easier. Anyway, some Balkan states are in the EU (Slovenia, Croatia), so that's even easier for them. Also, there were no wars for quite some time...