How Europe Beats SoCal

[Trendzilla] From toilets to McDonald's, we've got nothing on the European Union

Descending through the smog to our sprawling pad of concrete after a vacation is a bit depressing—especially when returning from a backpacking stint in Europe. The American-studies major in me says to refrain from being ethnocentric when traveling, but damn, European culture is just plain better than Southern California's in many ways.

Of course, most people romanticize places they're unfamiliar with, but any time someone from the EU dreamily sighed at the mention of California, I had to shake my head. Breathtaking cathedrals and ancient ruins aside, they have hundreds of years on us in the social realm.

First of all, let's look at how they deal with the basics, such as toilets, loos and water closets. The EU doesn't have pointless toilet-seat covers; instead, you'll often find a dispenser from which you can spray antibacterial cleanser on a piece of toilet paper, then wipe the seat. Then there are the magic robotic toilets found in community areas of Switzerland's metropolitan cities. Pay a mere half a franken (equivalent to about 50 cents), and you'll have the best public bathroom experience of your life! Pass through the sliding doors of the square, metal boxes, and paper is dispensed for you; light-up buttons control the water, soap and hand dryer. But the best part is after you leave: The inside is power-washed and dried for the next user.

Second, newspapers are still alive! Turns out the hysteria about print journalism dying is mostly a U.S. thing. Get on the Tube during rush hour in London, and almost every person, young and old, is reading the daily newspaper. Imagine if people picked up The Orange County Register in those numbers—then Aaron Kushner wouldn't have to lay off all those people.

Third, there's greater accessibility to antibiotic-, hormone- and GMO-free food. England actually outlawed GMOs altogether. You'll still find shitty foods in supermarkets across the EU, but you won't have to go to a specialty store to find clean products. The evidence is even in the fast food: McDonald's is never good, but it tastes a hell of a lot better over there.


Follow me on Instagram: @lp_hastings.

My Voice Nation Help
whateveryousay topcommenter

Those miracle toilets in Switzerland are also overrun by hookers with their Johns and junkies.

True story.

Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

For every one Southern Californian who moved to Europe, there are 69 Europeans who moved here. You want cold? Rain? Bugs? Crowds? Also, racial and ethnic tensions over there make our tensions look like a game of bridge. The worst place in Southern California is better than 69% of the places in Europe. Europe may seem like quaint little outdoor cafes, famous buildings, art, scooters, sexy accents, berets, romantic gondoliers, etc but in reality 99% of it is just another "place" with Starbucks, buses, trashcans, people watching TV after work, power lines, and homeless.


I've just moved from the EU to SoCal. I was all excited about it until reading this article. 

Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@Brainwashed_in_church For every one Southern Californian who moved to Europe, there are 69 Europeans who moved here.

Almost all of the European immigrants I know are older, and came years (decades) ago when the US had a future (and when white people were actually allowed to immigrate, now 'family reunification' of Latin Americans and Asians crowds out even poor Eastern Europeans). Three of my college buddies - two from SoCal and one from NoCal, left for Europe and never came back. The only reason I did after 'serving my country' was family ties.

There are places that suck in Europe, like London (the city is great for old stuff and culture but ridiculously expensive and run down). The places that suck the most suck precisely because of the white man's disease, which is inability to stop mass, third world, immigration.


@djwilde Haha! It blows my mind when I talk to people who've moved here from the EU. What are you doing here?! 

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mitchell_Young ... if the Profiteering Colonialist would stop FUCKING UP the third world, the civilians that suffer under first world exploitation wouldn't be forced to flee their homelands.


@LPHastings @djwilde I'm a software engineer. By the way - you have much nicer public bathrooms than we do in the UK and much more of them. I'm especially impressed at the beach locations - free showers and the like. Anything like that would have been vandalised back home. 

The print media you talk about is very much only the free paper called 'The Metro'. And don't get it wrong - we're not reading it because we're somehow intellectual - there's no wifi or 3G underground and we need something to avoid making eye contact with another human being (it is an unwritten rule - google it!)

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay "Well, I'd be the passerby. "

So you're a peeping Tom pervert -- i.e. a sex offender

fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay

Speaking of sex offender stinky, you are #1.

Bestiality (how you contracted AIDS), necrophilia, pedophilia and let us not forget...

selling drugs to children.  

Anaheim Concert Tickets