Share your Cultural Shock for a Chance to Win Big! (Gros, grande, you get the point.)
Where will you visit with a 3-country Eurail Select Pass?
After a few days of traveling aboard, we get that “Dorothy” sense: We’re not in Kansas, anymore. (Or wherever you’re from.) But that’s part of why we travel. To experience letting go – of our routines and our comforts. To be confronted with the unexpected.
To bring home stories that you’ll remember forever. And now, to post here on Facebook for all to read, laugh and learn.
Europe is certainly westernized, but there are still…differences. Need an example?
Let’s talk siesta. In many countries, especially Spain, you’ll find stores close for a few hours after a long, leisurely lunch. Locals go home to take a nap, or enjoy quality time with family. This is certainly a difference we’d probably all like to embrace in America.
Now we want you to share with Rail Europe and all our Facebook fans your most interesting, disgusting, revealing or inspiring European experience in our Cultural Tip Exchange contest.
Fans will vote for their favorites, and all winners will receive a 3-country Eurail Select Pass!
Rail Europe employees have experienced plenty of confusion and culture shock while overseas. Let them be your storytelling inspiration.
“Check the times that the restaurants serve food in the European country in which you are traveling. I learned the hard way–I attempted to eat lunch in Avignon, France at 3pm and the kitchen was closed, forcing me eat at a tourist trap restaurant with a limited selection of mediocre dishes. Also, eat at the same time as the locals. For example, in Spain and Rome, the locals eat later. Do the same–it’s much more fun!”
“If you want to grab a quick bite and don’t have the time to sit at a restaurant, nor want to eat fast food, make sure to pay a visit to one of the many Franprix grocery stores you’ll encounter all across Paris. It’s kind of like Walgreens or Duane Reade, only with better food, and a myriad of fascinating French edible products you wouldn’t find in America. They have shelves of fresh food you can buy for take-out, including delicious, plastic-wrapped steak tartare, accompanied with its ready to mix seasoning. Purchase it as you make your way to the train station, hop on the TGV and savor your steak tartare in the comfort of your seat, with a fresh piece of baguette. An authentic French experience.”
“Unlike in America where fast food and fast eating is de rigueur, Europeans take time to eat. When going out with friends for a meal, be prepared to sit and enjoy the experience. Restaurants will not be in a hurry to rush you out in order to accommodate other guests. In many cases, you will need to chase your server to bring you the bill. Also keep in mind that tipping is not how a server is compensated in Europe. Rounding up your final bill by a few Euros is sufficient.”
Rachel M. B.
“The United Kingdom and Europe use paper notes as well as coins like us, however their lowest paper note is the 5 dollar equivalent. Unlike the 1 dollar paper bill of the United States, the 1 Pound or 1 Euro denomination in the United Kingdom and Europe is in coin form. There is even a 2 Pound and 2 Euro coin. Make sure to bring a coin pouch or a great belt…those coins can get quite heavy.”
Now it’s your turn. Be sure to Like Us on Facebook to see everyone’s entries and post your own.
The contest entry should be the account of an experience that you had in Europe which exemplifies cultural differences between the European and American lifestyle or civilization. For example, you ordered steak tartare in France and you thought that you were going to receive regular steak; instead you received a plate of raw meat.
Winners of the “Culture Shock Us” contest on Facebook must redeem their Eurail Select Pass within six months of winning the contest. Eurail Select Pass must be validated within six months of issuance. All passes are subject to the rules and conditions set forth by the European Railroads as indicated on the pass cover. Contest Official Rules.
Crave culture? Then shake your head back and forth, as if in Bulgaria, where this means “yes” and a nod means “no.” See, there’s plenty to learn.