Travel Notes: An Asian’s take on Europe
Two years ago, a quick glance through the newspapers would reveal headlines lamenting about the Euro crisis, about how millions of Europeans, especially in Greece, Portugal and Spain are going to be out of job. I thanked my lucky stars that I was based in Singapore, and had found a job.
When I visited Europe in the summer of 2014, I had great fun as a tourist. And so did the people around me. Summer holidays had just started, and people loaded their cars to go away to the countryside, or got onto planes, to go to neighbouring cities such as Croatia for their sunny beach holidays. On the whole flight from Madrid to Croatia, Friend S and I were the only Asians.
Perhaps, what I saw was only a tiny glimpse of Europe and its economy. Of course, with tourists like me spending freely on shopping, food and hotels, (also paying a 20% VAT too), we definitely contributed a little, but I’m curious to know – is it by a lot?
All I can conclude is that Europe is a pretty amazing place. Yes, the weather can get uncomfortably hot during summer, but the sun sets at 9pm so you can have dinner very late and do lots of things during the daylight hours. For example, chilling in the park after work, in the presence of daylight. Europe is also seeped with century old historical monuments, museums, arts and culture. (So much so that it can be a little overwhelming in this writer’s opinion.)
But what I like is the European attitude to life. Ah yes, there may be a ‘crisis’ going on, but for now, let us take pride in the moment and enjoy God’s little gifts. Have a siesta, sip a glass of wine and look out into the Mediterranean. Get a tan in process. As long as it makes you happy. : )
P.S What I love about Europe is that you don’t have to travel too far to see nice things. In Barcelona, the Mediterranean Sea is a metro away. In Lisbon, Cristo Rei is always beckoning, and so is Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The Travelling Squid is of the opinion that the quality of her blogposts will improve, if she gets to visit the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia every other weekend.
Watch this space for more stories on what Europe has to offer. I’m promise you will not be disappointed : )
P.P.S I would like to clarify that while siesta is, and may be only limited to a small group of sleepy-headed Europeans, but it’s definitely a favourite pastime of mine.