On the opposing end of last week’s post about why I was always destined to live in Austria, there are also plenty of reasons why I should not be here at all! Here are the top 10 reasons why I can never be a true European.
I’ve seen too much of Europe
When people ask me what countries I’ve been to in Europe, it’s easier to tell them where I haven’t been, than where I have. Europeans are the same as every other race, some of them will just never travel their own country(ies). They would much rather head off to exotic places like New York or Morocco or Australia, than take a two hour plane ride to boring Amsterdam. Therefore, I’ve seen more of Europe than many Europeans ever will! Note: obviously this is a huge generalization
I can’t speak multiple languages
Brought up by English speaking ancestors and in a country the size of Europe where everyone speaks the same language, I never had any desire, or need to learn another. In Europe, along with your mother-tongue, English is pretty much mandatory from a young age in schools, and most people (by the time they hit the workforce) also have a basic grasp of the languages of countries around them.
I’m not religious
I was brought up in a non-religious home, and although I was definitely exposed to various religions while growing up, I guess I just didn’t take it on. It’s more that I just don’t really think about it. But living in a predominantly Catholic country where pretty much everyone is baptised, no one really understands if you say you’re not religious. While I would say that many people I know do not actively practice religion, they at least identify with it, which I don’t. I’ve learnt to just move the conversation on – nobody’s offended, but it’s easier that way.
Bread and cheese will never be breakfast
It’s rampant in Europe. Bread, cheese and cold deli meats is breakfast. Some people toss in yogurt. Everyone thinks I’m a little bit strange for wanting cereal, and the cost of a weet bix equivalent is astronomical. To me, bread, cheese and meat is a snack, not a meal.
I don’t care for soccer
I have only ever been to one match… and I fell asleep. There is a fairly big soccer stadium in my home town in Austria, yet I’ve never been to it. I couldn’t care less why dudes would kick a ball round. But obviously everyone in Europe is crazy about soccer.
I like swimming too much
Europe is not a swimming nation. Australia is. I cannot stress it enough. They are happy to go roller blading, Nordic walking, play hockey or soccer, but they are not swimming. The indoor swimming pools are crowded, few and far between and expensive.
I have no clue when it comes to history
Europeans seem to be very knowledgeable about history. Even though their (documented) history goes back a long time before Australia’s, they seem to be armed with all kinds of facts about why wars began, who was ruling the empire in the 1600s and so on. I’m not sure if it’s my lack of interest or just because Australia is secluded from the rest of the world, but it seems I know very little about my own country’s history, and even less about Europe’s!
I limit my salt intake
They sure do love their salt over here! I grew up in a family that rarely added extra salt to cooking, and therefore my tastebuds have pretty much adapted to the taste. Almost everything I eat over here it seems, from sauces, to soups, to casseroles, is for me, too salty.
Schoolies wasn’t in another country
I can never get this one back. While I enjoyed five days of newfound freedom with my BFFs in the lovely, beachside town of Lorne for my post-high school celebrations, it’s pretty standard for Europeans to choose an overseas locations – such as Greece, Croatia or Egypt! Jealous?
I will never have a red passport
This is possibly the most tragic one of all. Even if I do fulfill the requirements to qualify for an Austrian passport (I believe it’s only 5 years living here since I’m married to one), unless they change the laws in that time, I will never be able to get one. Austria is one of the few countries that doesn’t allow dual citizenship (unless you’re Arnie, of course), so having an Austrian one would mean giving up my Australian… and that folks… is something I never plan on doing!