Oh Europe, how much I love you. There are so many countries with such different cultures, stereotypes and personalities. This is what makes traveling in Europe so much fun! Here are some of my favorite moments both good and bad in Europe.
“You probably don’t want to see me naked.”
“You guys are welcome to stay at my place, see you tonight at 10 pm.” The host said.
“Do you have a garden? Do you do yard work naked because that’s how I like it.” “I” replied.
“I do have a garden and enjoy planting. But you probably don’t want to see me naked.”
Apparently my Airbnb account got hacked when I was in Croatia. I could only imagine the host’s face when he saw the message. I was mortified. Plus we really needed a place to stay that night as we requested it last-minute.
I immediately called the host and yet he was super chill about it. He figured that it was a bug considered that my message would send immediately as soon as he replied. Later the host greeted us with his home-made wine. What an awesome host with a sense of humor!
“You lazy Americans!”
When grocery shopping with my friends in Helsinki, everything was just like the States. Until check out. After the cashier had scanned everything, and I had paid, we just stood there. The stuff we bought were kind of just sitting there loosely.
I was staring at the cashier, and both my friends and the cashier were staring back at me. We kind of had this weird moment of silence.
“Are they going to put my grocery in the bag for me?” I asked confusedly.
“What?! No! You are supposed to do it yourself. Do you wait for the cashiers to do it for you in the US?” My friends replied, shocked.
They started laughing and was in awe for the next 10 minutes.
“You lazy Americans! I can’t believe it!”
When in Vatican
I rented a scooter in Rome because I thought it was cool and it was the thing to do. It was a lot of fun but definitely not without a learning curve. I had ridden motorbikes a few times before, but definitely not the best at it. The roads in Rome were also definitely not the easiest to navigate. Plus it was typically those slippery black stone ish pavements.
When I was starting the scooter out of the parking spot in Vatican, I accidentally slipped and tipped over the bike. The mirror broke and fell which I got charged $30 Euro later.
I wasn’t hurt or anything, but there were a few passersby that walk up and made sure if I was alright, which made me felt better and less stupid.
When in Rome
The same scooter for some reason wouldn’t start after I had dinner at the beautiful Trastevere area in Rome. I kept on hitting the ignition but it just wouldn’t work.
I was thinking to myself, crap, what do I do? Who do I call? It’s not like any bike shops were open that late at night.
I kept hitting the ignition harder and harder, but the scooter just wouldn’t budge. Seeing my frustration, some people came by and helped me. They were tuning the brakes, throttle, ignition…etc. But it just did not work. All of a sudden, a large crowd gathered as we were 10 minutes in our effortless trial.
Everyone was giving inputs and tried different ways to start the scooter. Finally, with the combined engineering knowledge of many Romans, the scooter started at last. As I drove away, the crowds cheered as if I had just won a battle for the Roman Empire. The friendliness and enthusiasm of the Romans totally warmed my heart and it was something I would never forget.
Just when everything was finally sunshine and rainbows, couple minutes later, I got pulled over right in front of the Pantheon. Oh crap, what now?
The police simply pulled me over because the Pantheon area was for pedestrians only. Thankfully she let me go after a simple warning knowing that I was simply an ignorant American.
“Hey! What’s the best way to get down to Nuremberg from Berlin?”
As part of my month-long Europe trip, I was going to meetup with one of my best friends Michael in Nuremberg. At the time, I was spending three days in Berlin, and I didn’t really want to fly to Nuremberg as it was quite expense. So I hit Michael up.
“Hey! What’s the best way to get down to Nuremberg from Berlin? I had been traveling for a while now and wanted to save some money.” I asked Michael.
“Got it, let me check.”
Couple hours later.
“So I have arranged a ride for you. In two days (I don’t remember the exact date) at 2 pm, you will go to this address. There will be a grey Opel sedan waiting for you under the bridge. You will give them 30 euros and they will drop you off in Nuremberg.” Michael said enthusiastically.
“Ok…is this safe?” I replied nervously.
“Oh yeah, this is a ride share app that’s very popular in Germany!”
This is all before Uber was popular and ride shares weren’t as common. Since I trust Michael, I thought why not and gave it a try.
Everything went just as planned. There was a Opel sedan waiting for me under the bridge. I didn’t talk much with the driver as he didn’t speak much English, but it certainly got the job done.
I still have never told my parents this story as they would probably freak out that I jumped into a stranger’s car in a foreign country.
There are and always will be countless of stories whenever I go to Europe. Even thought the cultures are so different in different countries, for the most part, I have been blessed and came across many cool folks and friends that always made my trips to Europe memorable.
Thank you all again (you know who you are) for making my Europe trips amazing as always.
What are you best moments in Europe? Comment below!