Vancouver 🇨🇦 vs Luxembourg 🇱🇺 - Part 2
While it's fresh, I would like to capture the differences between Vancouver and Luxembourg/Europe cultures. Chances are most of these are not news to you. Read Part 1.
ℹ️ Disclaimer: these are very subjective, just my own observations. Nothing personal 😉
Less small talk
Indifferent to kids
People are more individualistic
Outside seating in cafes/restaurants
TV ratings are different
Credit cards without rewards
Cover letter to open a bank account
Speedos and shorts
👎 Less smiling
In contrast to Vancouver, random people on the streets don't smile at you. A big difference in the feeling of friendliness. It doesn't necessarily mean people here are mean, but the lack of smiles affects the perception 😐
👎👍 Less small talk
In Canada/USA, little casual chit-chats are everywhere: on a bus stop, in a store, in an elevator, just passing by on a street. Here, hardly ever. Not always a bad thing, to be honest. As an introvert, sometimes, I wanted a bit more quiet time 🤫 However, such micro-conversations add up to the overall feeling of friendliness.
👎 Indifferent to kids
Big difference. In Vancouver, every other random person would stop by for a few words expressing their sympathy for our toddler. Same with other younger kids, not just ours. Felt like people liked children there. In Luxembourg (and Paris), I can recall only a couple of people saying something like this. Looks like kids are just other humans here, nothing special 😑
For example, when getting on/off a bus or tram, nobody gives way to a person with a stroller. Sometimes, even pushing through. 🤯 Unimaginable in Vancouver.
👎 Lines in supermarkets etiquette
Imagine having 1 open till and a line of 10 people. Another till gets opened and people from the back almost run to the second till to "beat" others. Vancouver lines were not always perfect, but in the vast majority of situations, the line would split more fairly and politely.
👎 People are more individualistic
To summarize the points above, this is my conclusion - most people seem to be more selfish and focused more on themselves, rather than the people around them. This one is an interesting observation for me. I wasn't expecting such a difference in mentality 🤔
👍👎 Outside seating in cafes/restaurants
I can't express how much I am loving this! It looks amazing and so cozy. I immediately want to sit down and pause to enjoy the current moment. Almost every place serving food/drinks has several tables outside.
There is a problem though. People sitting outside smoking. So, if you want to truly enjoy seating outside, you have to be OK with the cigarette smoke. There will be a lot.
👍👎 Kids playgrounds
They are so different here. They look and feel much older - mostly wooden structures damaged by elementals. They are smaller and seem like fewer of them. There are several that are more grand and very impressive.
They are also more varied, with lots of unusual and unique things (e.g. large spinning plate that can fit 10 kids and can send them flying to space if spun too much =)
Most of the playgrounds have sand or just ground instead of wood chips or rubber crumbles. This sucks to clean after 🤦♂️ but creates a feeling of being on a beach 😊
Also, almost none of them have washrooms. We have seen a few paid ones and a couple of free ones, but in most cases - you have to go somewhere else to find a washroom (most likely paid, 1 euro).
👍👎 TV ratings are different
Many movies that are rated for 16 years old in Canada/USA are rated for 12 y.o. Does the EU think kids can handle more without psychological damage 🤔? Very curious. Both North America and the EU must have access to the same psychological studies. Is North America over-protective? Or is the EU less caring?
👎👍 Credit cards without rewards
North America and the credit cards industry is almost synonymous =) The number of choices and the variety of credit card rewards is impossible to beat. EU, on the other hand, is very subtle on this front. Feels like the credit card industry here is still at the MVP stage 😎
Forget about generous cash-backs, travel points, and a gazillion of other perks. There are some options, but it's nothing compared to the state of the industry in Canada/USA.
Analyzing this further, this may be a good thing. Having such an abundance of credit cards and different systems stimulating more consumer credit creates more people with bad debt. So, European conservatism here might have some positive effects.
👎 Cover letter to open a bank account
Related to the maturity and customer-orientedness of the financial services here (and likely, the overall level of customer obsession).
I tried to apply for a credit card with travel rewards, and in addition to a long list of documents I had to provide, they also asked me to write a cover letter explaining why I wanted to open an account at that bank 🤯 WTF?? Make a guess if I became their customer.
🩲🩳 Speedos and shorts
Everyone knows about the different styles of men's "swimsuits" in Europe vs North America. The traditional swimming bottoms (aka speedos) are the most common thing here. If you where North-American style swimming shorts, you will stand out from the crowd =)
Also, just casual men's shorts seem to be shorter, on average =) America went the opposite direction with increasing shorts length 🩳
Read Part 3.
Kirill V Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.