As most readers of my blog know, my wife and I recently returned from a month’s vacation in Europe visiting the countries of Turkey, Greece, Italy and France. Most of our time was spent in the big cities of Istanbul, Rome and Paris but we had opportunity to travel to many smaller hamlets as well. As an American from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul I was intrigued by a number of distinct differences, and in some cases even stark contrasts, between everyday life as we know it here in the heartland and life there. But surprisingly, it was a few startling similarities that most garnered my attention and gave me pause. If Samuel Morse were alive today he would be texting rather than telegraphing but his question would be essentially the same: “what hath America wrought?”
For simplicities sake, here are my observations and impressions of life across the pond, listed in no particular order, except that I am saving the answer to the Morse question until the end.