JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Culture Shock Part Two…

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You knew I was going to remember a few things after my last post!

 

The first thing that comes to mind is restrooms.  Yup – that’s right.  If you want to pee over here and you’re not at home, be prepared to pay up!  You have to pay to use public restrooms.  There’s even restaurants that make you pay to use their facilities – even if you’re a customer!  Okay – not all restaurants make customers pay, but some actually do.  So you’re there buying and eating their food and beverages, and then you still have to pay to use the toilet.  Some places will give customers a code on their receipts that will let you into the restroom – so they can guarantee that only customers are using the bathroom.  (That’s what I encountered at the Starbucks in Frankfurt.)  I know back home, we use fast food places as free restrooms.  I mean, who hasn’t been on a long drive, had to pee, and pulled over at the nearest McDonald’s to use their bathroom?  (This girl’s done it a ton of times – haha!)

 

Bicycles are also really big here.  I mean HUGE.  You think there’s lots of bikes in Philly or NYC?  Bah!  SO many people ride bikes here.  And I found out that the city bike program costs only 1 Euro a year.  You get to ride a bike for an hour for free, then after that it costs just a little more.  (Or you can wait 15 minutes until you get on a bike again and do another hour for free.)  As a pedestrian, though, you’re not only watching out for cars, but you have to constantly be on the lookout for bikes.  There are special areas of the streets and sidewalks for bikes – so be careful not to drift into them!

 

Now, something minor, but still puzzled me.  Okay…. back home, our butter usually comes in sticks.  You buy sticks of butter.  (With handy dandy measurement markings along the paper wrappers.)  Here, you buy big ol’ square chunks of butter.  You’re on your own for measurements.  But it explains why I first didn’t know what to look for when looking for butter – such different packaging can really throw you off!

 

If I think of more, there’ll be a part three!  Haha!

 

Big ol' chunk of butter.

Big ol' chunk of butter.

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Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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