So having lived in Europe, the US, (and Canada–america’s hat) for a while, I’m starting to get some insights into how the US and the northern part of the European continent measure up, quality-of-life-wise. So, without further ado, here’s the Platonist’s list of why america is better than europe (and vice versa).
Part I. Reasons why the US is a better place to live.
1. Target. Wal-Mart serves as a filter for the true dregs of american society, and so if you pay a small target tax of 10% (Target’s mark-up from walmart prices), you can avoid the often horrific peopleofwalmart.com and bask in the glory of incredible amounts of stuff for sale, for cheap, under one roof. This is simply not to be had in Europe. Americans really, really miss target over here. Especially Holland, which doesn’t even have any large-scale grocery or superstores at all (unlike germany and france, which have them, only there, everything is basically at department-store prices–nowhere do you walk into a big box store in Europe and say, ”wow, that’s a good deal!” –except at Ikea. (Thank god for ikea, or Europe would literally be sitting on the ground. Ikea is the one reason why Europeans have advanced beyond the middle ages).
1.5 Breakfast. I almost forgot this, until breakfast this morning. Simply put, the europeans are ridiculous for insisting that breakfasts of coffee and pastries are satisfying every day of your life. Coffee and pastries can be a wonderful change of pace for breakfast, but, nothing in the world comes close to touching the Anglophone breakfast of pancakes/waffles (with real syrup-i.e., maple, baby), eggs, toast, bacon, and/or sausage, with oj–and coffee. How could the continentals be so absurd, as not to adopt this clearly delicious and satisfying custom? This is one thing about them that I really don’t get. Not to mention, without this kind of breakfast, diner culture is all but impossible. A major downside of being in europe is the lack of diners with 24-hour breakfasts. What do you eat after the disco? (more…)