1. Europeans are kind of racist. Maybe they just don't have the same PC discourse we have over here or maybe it's just that they never had a Civil Rights Movement but many (white) Europeans have some serious issues with black people and middle-eastern people. The anti-immigrant phenomenon is by no means an American oddity.
2. Europeans aren't religious enough. I understand this, really I do. Europeans have a long history of killing each other over religious differences and the current sex-abuse scandal with the Catholic Church isn't helping matters at all. I think, however, that the response of relegating religion to a national set-piece is not the answer. Europeans desperately need some sort of spiritual awareness. As thing stand, they simply don't understand strong religious convictions as anything but psychologically toxic. This, combined with point 1, explains the current overwhelming European angst over Islam. I'm not proposing exporting American-style evangelicalism or reviving insecure churchstates, but there needs to be some sort of answer.
3. Europeans don't get finger food. I got weird looks in Ireland for eating spare ribs with my fingers. Italians carve up perfectly good pizza with a fork and knife. I shudder to think how they would do in India, where you eat everything with your hands.
4. No dryers.
5. No Mexican food.
6. Unnecessary feuds with neighboring countries that have everything to do with history and nothing to do with the present.
7. The Euro: it's not working.
I really could go on for a while, but I'll spare you.
Now, a little bit on what I'm doing now that I'm back in America and confronted with reality once again.
I recently procured a 9-month contract job working for a company called MedImmune out in Gaithersburg. The pay and benefits are pretty nice and it will be a good foot in the door for me into the world of bio-tech. Plus, it gives me time to save up for my next potential trip. I have a few possibilities brewing.
1. Peru. Amy's idea. So far a pretty attractive option since it allows me to continue practicing my Spanish and promises to be pretty cheap.
2. Nova Scotia. Hugh's parents have a summer home up there. Hugh and I are considering a road trip up there maybe early next year.
3. California. Just to go. I've never been. Maybe I'll apply to UCSB just to get an interview.
4. Japan. Undoubtedly the most ambitious so far. Holly keeps getting on my case about visiting her and I'd love to go. I would need to save up a bit for it though. Ideally, I'd like to go either in March or October. I hear Japan is lovely then.