Why Are European Showers so Tiny?

showerby Nancy Bestor

Can readers of our newsletter who were born in Europe kindly answer a few burning questions? In no particular order, here are a few things I spend my post European vacations pondering:

Why are your showers so small? I certainly don’t need a shower that I can sit in, or a shower with a ceiling mounted rain showerhead (although let’s admit, that would be nice wouldn’t it?). I don’t even need a shower that can fit more than one human. But if I could be completely honest, I would like to shower in a stall where I don’t bump into the sides when I bend over to pick up my shampoo. I appreciate the idea of conserving space, but another six inches on either side wouldn’t hurt too much would it?

Where do you exercise? Generally speaking, Europeans are skinnier than Americans, yet I rarely see Italian, French or Swiss men or women running on the streets or power walking. I have NEVER seen a 24-hour Fitness Center, or a Gold’s Gym. Do you all know some secret that I don’t? How much would it cost me to learn this secret?

Why is the house wine in any European restaurant better than ANY house wine in the US? (Disclaimer—I haven’t tried the house wine at every restaurant in the US, but I’m working on it.) I dare say, the house wine in European restaurants is better than the $10-15 table wine I buy at my local grocery store. How does this happen?

coffeeHow is it that you seem to take life so much slower than we do in America? You rarely, if ever, see Europeans walking out of a coffee shop with a to-go cup. They walk into a coffee bar or shop and drink their espresso while sitting or standing at the counter. Dinners aren’t rushed. Lunch breaks are longer, and siestas are encouraged. If you don’t believe me, try shopping in Italy in the afternoon.

How do women wear high heeled, pointy-toed shoes all day long? Additionally, why are European women (and men!) so much more fashionable than me? It’s not just the pointy shoes either. From head to toe, your outfits are always perfectly put together, and there I stand next to you on the train, in my Dansko clogs and jeans feeling, well, dowdy.

Lastly, where DOES the sewage on a train REALLY go? And do I really want to know the answer?

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