Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The European Way of Life:

An older post, from my former digital publication. They are quite interesting to read at times. It's definitely an adventure, reading through old posts that is. Just to see how I've changed over the years. This post was from May 2008, just before I moved to AMS, and I think it sums things up perfectly:

What a beautiful city this really is, slightly flawed, but still beautiful as ever; in addition–it will always be my hometown. I just went on a run downtown... my new favorite place to run these days. Running in Cincinnati is exciting because there's so much pedestrian life compared to the rest of the city, but after four years there's only so many places you can run before you get sick of running the same routes over and over.

What fun. I love just taking off in any direction and running in which ever way the wind blows me. I usually plan out every aspect of everything I do way ahead of time... it's much nice to just live in the moment and worry about the next hour, minute, day, of you life when it comes. Very relaxing. The 'Taste of Cincinnati' was going on downtown. Fun. Last time I ran around downtown with a friend, we ran through Newport on the Levee (sort of like an outdoor mall that's been a catalyst since it's opened) and she turned to me and said, '...check out all the fatties'. So true. I'm all for everyone being themselves and stuff, but I just don't see how some people neglect their bodies. It's just odd to me. No need to pump iron, just eat right. And here's the worst part; it's not their fault, it's America's 
Land of excess I call the USA. It really is.

People are just so used to being able to have whatever they want here. We live off credit, there's land and space to build large houses, condos, parks, ect, portions are out of control, and people don't take time to enjoy the aspects of life that make it worth living. The midwest American way of life is so strange compared to the rest of the world, and even the rest of the US. We just operate at a different pace. One that I'm not sure I care for. I love the European mentality on life. When you have a lack of space, you only have the essentials, and therefore have no need to be surrounded by excess; instead everything you own you have for a reason. Very Scandinavian. With less abundance and the opportunity to have whatever you want... you're content... and it's this aspect that I can't wait to have again in Amsterdam. But at the same time there's something to be said for America. It's such a great country in so many aspects, and completely unique. I love it.

I can't wait to ride my bike to work, have my small apartment next to the canal, ditch my car and take the tram and train everywhere as I hate driving (though it's the one time you're truly alone in the world, yet still surrounded by people), learn Dutch (language is so interesting), cook most meals myself from scratch again, and frolic in the park on weekends with a good book. Oh Europe, I miss you–see you in a month. (Update, March 2009: Geez. What an optimistic chipper man I was last spring. I think it was the sun–after being in Germany for three months of darkness. Well, hopefully this summer plays to the same tune.)