Friday, May 2, 2008

Things I Learned on the Other Side: Easy Living Segment

Busy-ness-itis is a disease that is plaguing the American workforce. I have recently succumbed to it and am in the middle of a four-week bout. Painkillers are of the Happy Hour variety, which, combined with sleeping through my alarm clock every morning, have conspired to plunge me ever deeper into the disease’s evil clutches.

As such, I have not had much time to dedicate to this little blog, and for that I apologize. During my healthy moments I have a never-ending supply of ideas for great, witty posts, but then an episode of Busynessitis will set in and all thoughts begin to tumble in my head like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. This creates a sort of writer’s block that leaves me frustrated and annoyed.

Thus I bring to you my first post in a new series called “International Flava.” For those of you who do not know, I spent a bit of time in Eastern Europe teaching English. While there I took note of the many cultural and lifestyle distinctions that make the peoples Across the Pond so different from us Americans. This series is my commentary on these distinctions, and will serve us well until I can return to present-day social commentary once Busynessitis recedes.

We commence with “Things I Learned on the Other Side: Easy Living Segment,” a relevant topic, don’t you think?

And no, I don’t mean “Other Side” in that I died for five minutes and “crossed over.” When I say Other Side, I mean “across the pond,” and by across the pond I mean the other side of the Atlantic.

Yes, I spent some time living overseas. Yes, it was a life-changing experience and blah, blah, blah. But what’s really important to share are all of the insider tips. These range from cheap travel deals, to beauty tips, to easy living guidelines, and to, in general, different ways of doing things.

So let us commence with this first list of Tips for Easy Living from Across the Pond, Eastern Europe Style.

1. No Business May Be Done on Sundays Except Restaurant Business
Plan your grocery shopping well, visitors from the Land of 24/7 Supermarkets, because you will be in for a shock if you run out of food on Saturday night and think you will just head over to the market for some reinforcements. While you may find a few brave restaurants open for limited hours on Sunday, in many countries this day is truly a day of rest. So shut up and rest already.

2. All Shops Must Close at 5pm Every Night
In the vein of #1, most shopkeepers close their doors at 5pm. They have families, after all, and dinner is not going to make itself. We could all learn a thing or two from a successful business owner with a healthy work-life balance.

3. I Wish I Could Add ‘Take a Siesta’ but I Can’t Because This is Eastern Europe We’re Discussing
Indeed, Eastern European countries, while practicing a laid-back and easy lifestyle, do not utilize the Siesta. However, if you are a teacher, school ends at 2:00pm whereupon you are served lunch (no break for lunch during school hours, suck it up wussy). After school you are free to conduct private lessons or head home at your discretion.

That's all for this episode. Tune in another time when we will either continue with this list or begin another from the series "Things I Learned on the Other Side."

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