24 Aug

Something I Like Better in Europe

We live in suburbia. And it is hot during the day. It’s muggy too if the breezes aren’t strong enough. BUT, Hawaii cools off every night and the evenings are really pleasant. Perfect for a stroll to the neighborhood ice cream shop or biergarten. Oh wait — we live in suburban America where the houses are in one area and the shops are in another. If we lived in a two bedroom apartment we’d have a better chance of being within walking distance of something, but not in a single family house. Drat. I miss the way everything was mixed together in Europe.
Taxes confound me as well. In Europe the taxes are included in the price. If the sign says a single scoop of ice cream is 1.10, then I can hand the cashier 3.30 and get three cones of ice cream. This is great if you have limited cash in your wallet and need to know exactly how much you are spending. Yesterday’s post boogie boarding at the beach shave ice was 2.00 per cup plus .50 each for ice cream at the bottom. I got 7.50 ready — but wait — there’s tax and it really cost 8.92. Drat. Now I’m fumbling for more change.

On the other hand, it’s Sunday and after we go to the farmer’s market, we’re going across the street to the supermarket — because it’s actually going to be open.

X and a gecko

There’s a few of these little geckos in our yard, but they don’t seem to be any help with the very persistent ants that keep coming inside. 

11 thoughts on “Something I Like Better in Europe

  1. When I lived at Ft Shafter, we had the little bitty ants. I put bay leaves behind outlet covers and near the windows and doors, and it kept the ants out. The geckos would hang out on the wall and watch TV with us. They left us alone, so we left them alone. They’re big fans of Friends and Seinfeld, btw.

  2. Also, even though there’s a supermarket across the street, try to shop at the commissary when you can. You really notice the difference in milk, but I noticed it other places, too. And the NEX is your friend! 🙂 Hey, kama’aina!

  3. The tax thing was a pleasant surprise when we moved to Oregon from California. The marked price is what you pay – we have no sales tax.

  4. I think I would be fuming about the tax thing as well. Here in Australia it is included in the price so you don’t need to carry a calculator with you. Cherrie

  5. I agree about living where you can walk to some things. That was on our list when we moved here. It could be better, but it could be a lot worse. And, as your real mom says – no tax here!! Come to Portland.

  6. I have to say I understand about the tax thing I found it very confusing my first visit to the usa, also in one country, I can’t remember where, there were 2 sales taxes added on, after that I started to ask for the full price before committing to buying,
    Kristin with so many people slamming Europe it is really nice to hear someone see some positives, thanks Frances

  7. Here’s an ant tip – especially around kids and animals. Since they like to follow the already blazed trail, you can obliterate it with windex. The ammonia kills the ants and their trail.

  8. I can sympathize with your thoughts – one of the things that irritates me tremendously when I visit my family in the States is the way cities are built so that you have no other possibility to navigate than by car. It’s often too difficult to get anywhere by walking, biking, or public transportation.

    Yes, sales tax is just plain confusing – I bet the stores don’t want it automatically added to the prices because that would make them look higher. Who’s actually fooled by the system?!

    One more thing that annoys me in the US compared to Europe is the illogical, uneconomical and unecological choice of indoor temperatures. I catch a cold in the summer because the A/C is set so low, so I bring along a sweater, and in the winter I take off my warm wool pullovers.

    I can live without shopping one day of the week – at least the poor salespeople get a day off!

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