I have been to Europe twice, once to England and once to Italy. Both were fantastic trips, beautiful countries with much to see, learn, and do. But Europe is certainly different from the US, in both good ways and bad. So I've set out to settle the score on the long-standing Northern-Hemisphere rivalry: which side of the Atlantic is better? I've broken up the contest into several categories, some serious, some comical, and others trivial, with each worth one point. Whichever side gets the more points wins.
History: Europe wins. In America, we think the freakin' Liberty Bell is old. In Rome, you can dine in a 2,000 year old bathhouse from the Roman Empire, then bike over to the colluseum or the Vatican. Of course, we'd probably have some pretty cool history too had the Native Americans discovered the written language and all, but since they didn't our schoolchildren are made to believe the world was created in 1492. Europe 1, USA 0
Sports: USA wins. Don't get me wrong, both are passionate. In America, sports fans are passionate in their support of their favorite teams. In Europe, sports fans are passionate in their support of their favorite team. Note the lack of an s. All they have is soccer! And don't give me cricket or rugby, those are and England-only thing. Besides, cricket is wannabee baseball, and rugby is wannabee football. In America we have a professional league for just about any sport you can fathom, and we're damn good at them. There's a reason the USA cleans up in the Olympics every year, and it's the same reason the best Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey players in the world come to the American Leagues to play: we run sports. Besides, soccer is closer to acting than a real sport. Come to think of it, I am forgetting one true sport that the USA just can't compete with Europe in: diving. Europe 1, USA 1
Chocolate: Europe wins by far. Hershey is kinda cute for a candy bar. Nestle requires Rice Krispies to keep it's Crunch bar on the market. Now compare that to Toblerone (swedish)...or Ghiraldelli (italian)...not to mention the creme-de-la-creme: Belgian chocolate. That, folks, is chocolate. What we have is chocolate flavored. Europe 2, USA 1
Driving: Europe wins. Smaller cars. Smaller roads. Smaller gas consumption. Smaller dent on the environment. Smaller amount of money spent on all of it. Smaller amount of accidents, and smaller numbers of people who die from them. Smaller likelihood their car companies will need to be bailed out by the government. Europe 3, USA 1
Humility: Tie. At first I meant this to go to Europe, because many americans are brazen, arrogant, and obnoxious. Then I remembered France was in Europe. Tie. Nobody gets any points, still Europe 3, USA 1
Freedom: USA wins. Europe is totally socialist, and they're beginning to run out of other people's money. See Greece. See France. The "universal everything!" philosophy limits their economies and leaves individuals with virtually no economic freedom whatsoever. It kills innovation, and forces them to mooch off of us for technology. We really are the land of the free. Europe 3, USA 2
Military: USA wins. This is the only explanation you need: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/france.html
Europe 3, USA 3
Frozen Treats: Europe wins. One word: Gelato. Creamier, tastier, more refreshing, less melty ice cream. It may be the 8th wonder of the world. Europe 4, USA 3
Bathroom Expenses: Get this--in Italy, they charge you 2 euro (like 3 bucks) to go use the restroom! Screw that! Im about to piss on your 2000 year old wall if you don't get the hell out my way and lemme use the freaking urinal! Europe 4, USA 4.
Measuring System: Europe wins. Metric system > english system by far. everything's in multiples of ten. They have the same prefixes for everything, irrespective of unit. We, on the other hand, pull numbers out of our ass, pulled words out of our ass, and randomly assembled them in a chain. 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, 1760 yards in a mile. 8 ounces in a cup, 2 cups in a pint, 2 pints in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon...AHHHH! Even the English know better than to use the Enlgish system. Europe 5, USA 4
Geography: Tie. Europe has the Alps, we have the Rockies. Europe has the Mediterranean and Atlantic, we have the Atlantic and the Pacific. They have nicer beaches, we have nicer waves. Their beaches are topless, but that includes old folks. Both are beautiful in different ways, simply a matter of preference. Still Europe 5, USA 4.
Portion Sizes: USA wins. Yes, we're obese. Yes, we eat too much. Yes, the portion sizes are out of control. But I don't care. I'm a 6 feet tall high school senior and I don't yet weigh 150 pounds. My metabolism is fast and I plan to use it. Italian food is delicious, but a "bowl of pasta" is served in a teacup. The French have outstanding chef's, but their dinner plates are as big as CD's. I want a big mac value meal with an Extra-Large DQ Blizzard and a 7-Up Big Gulp to wash it all down. Not because I'll finish it all, not because I need that much food, but because I'm a red-blooded american and because I can. Europe 5, USA 5.
Which means, unless I come up with more categories, it's a draw. Both nice places. But I personally value the "Freedom/Government" one as worthy of 10 points on its own, so I'm happy to live here in the states.