11 December 2006

cultural differences

In four months, I will be in London. I am so excited! I think I have always wanted to be English. My friends, the DWAFS, know what I mean by this.

I have never been to England. But I know I will love it. I have only been to Rome and to Stuttgart, Germany. Well, wait, we had a stop-over in Heathrow on the way home, which was all I saw of England. And then, something so traumatic happened to me at Heathrow. I can't believe I am actually going to tell this humiliating story here, but what the hell, why not, right? And let me apologize, in advance, if you happen to be German. All you German women out there, please don't be offended by this stupid story.

Okay, here goes:

Jonathan took me to Rome for our honeymoon in the fall of 2002. Like I said, I had never been anywhere before. Wow. Anyway, I knew I was in trouble before we had even gotten on the plane. We were getting our boarding passes, and there I am, in my usual jeans and black Converse. Jonathan was telling the woman at the desk that this was my first trip to Europe. She was sighing and saying how wonderful it is, how I would just love it there, blahblah and that you can always spot the Americans because they are the only people over there wearing sneakers. Ha ha, so funny, right?

I felt very conspicuous in Rome. Not only is Jonathan a giant compared to the men over there, not only am I as white as one of the marble statues, but I was wearing Converse. And jeans. And I hadn't packed a blowdryer, so my flat hair was in a ponytail the entire time.

If you've never been to Rome, this is what the women look like there:

Seriously. All of them. They are all dark and gorgeous with big bouncy hair and huge sunglasses and they wear little stiletto heels everywhere. On the cobblestone even. So I felt very out of place.

Any way. Then we go to Stuttgart for a few days to visit Jonathan's Onkle Herbert and Tante Inge. And it was crazy how different the women looked! In Germany, they all looked pretty much like this:

Anyway, very different from the Italian women, shall we say?

Soooo, on the way home, we had this stop-over in Heathrow and I was so excited. We get off the plane and it is freezing cold so I put on my big black coat and my scarf and I immediately head for the Starbucks kiosk to order some coffee. When my order was ready, (God, this is so awful) the barista leans over and hands me my Mocha and says, very loudly, like he thinks I am hard of hearing, "Guten tag!" I could have died! He thought I was German!

So I am determined, the next time I am in England I am going to look like one of those Roman women. I will be thinner and I will leave my sneakers at home. And I will bring my blow-dryer. Although, I will probably not use it, because I am lazy, but Jonathan told me Saturday that my ponytail suits me, so there.


Amy said...

LMAO! I remember reading about the fashion differences before we went to London--supposedly Europeans very rarely wear jeans or white sneakers. I spent the entire trip walking around the city in loafers--not very comfortable.

Anonymous said...

This shows how different we are. I wore my sneakers throughout Rome, Paris, Nice and Monaco and never realized until I read this that I was probably the only one wearing them!! I did not wear jeans, however. Oh well, at least no blisters!

Aunt D

Kerri said...

Hey Erin, I had to comment because this story is so funny! We were in Italy and Germany a couple years ago. While we were in Venice we actually sat at a table in an outdoor cafe and played "Spot the Americans" because we had discovered how frumpy we all looked! =)

So jealous you are going to England! Sounds like fun...I'm sure you will be beautiful no matter what--with or without the hair dryer--and will enjoy every minute!

Anonymous said...

That picture of the Italian woman is so true! They're all tiny and wear stiletto heels everywhere...