Perfection is sitting on my soft tan couch, Belgian chocolate, Spanish coffee, Enrique Iglesias, and a sleeping, purring cat. I want to pause this moment. I take a sip of my steaming Cafe con Leche, nibble on my Speculoos chocolate Ruben brought and stop to stroke kitty. I want to put this moment into a secret envelope and save it so when I'm feeling stressed or sad, I can pull it out and savor it. This is beautiful. I discovered Enrique Iglesias' new song and have it on repeat. Oh Enrique, why must you be so talented and handsome? Can I put you in a secret envelope too?
Ruben, Sara and I talked yesterday on how exactly to identify the difference between Europeans and Americans. It's a funny phenomenon; waiting in the San Francisco airport or in downtown Sacramento, a person will walk by and immediately you know they're European. And Ruben says it's the same in Belgium; someone will pass by that's obviously American. How is that?
First of all, we decided it's the shoes. Americans wear running shoes or converse and white socks. Dead give-away. White socks are a huge no-no in Europe (or at least Belgium) as we found out the hard way. So, running shoes and white socks = American. Conversely, Europeans wear Pumas or Adidas, skinny little shoes with straps on top. And they wear black socks. Skinny shoes and black socks = European.
Secondly, pants are a key determinant as well. Americans are a bit famous for wearing baggy pants or skinny jeans. Now we have the marbled kind or the ones with fake holes, but generally denim reigns. Baggy, skinny, ragged pants = American. We chuckled about European pants; the half-calf kapris so common in Belgium and other European countries. Ruben wore them two summers ago when he was here, and when we visited his family in Belgium, they sent us home with pairs of our own. He winced now at the memory and swears he no longer owns any more of them, but it's true, kapris (along with colored or patterned pants) = European.
Now, these are generalizations of course. Many Americans wear colored pants and I know Europeans who wear converse. But it was fun to compare our fashions and note the differences. I find it interesting that, just by apparel, you can peg someone's nationality. Ruben laughed, "You just know who's American. It's the whole package." And it's the same when I'm at an international airport; you see a person and they're a European "package". I love it.
I love how different we are. How different and how similar we are. I love travel and people and cultures and fashion and music and....everything. I love comparing and having fun with our differences. Isn't that the essence of life and loving?