Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Size Fits All

You may be surprised the by the similarities between Eastern Europe and America. Like the fact that both cultures work on a  "one size fits all" system .  The only difference is that in America we can adjust the size of the product to our liking.  In Eastern Europe the individual must adapt to the size of the item. 

Take sinks for example.  In America, you have all kinds of different sink sizes to choose from.  The one in Petra's parent's house in the States was big enough to bathe Enoh in when he was 4 months old last Christmas.  (The American ingenuity that produced a bathtub for the sink is a topic for another post.)

Whereas the one in our house in Croatia is not big enough to bathe 1 week old Ian.  (The Croatian disbelief that you would even think about bathing your child in a sink is a topic for another post.)  So Ian took his first bath on the kitchen table instead.

Milk is another example.  The choice of skim, 2% or whole exists in both cultures, but the size of the typical containter is significantly smaller - 1 gallon to 1 liter. 

And then there are cars.  When we visited Munich, Germany a couple years ago we encountered this scene: 
The Smart Car was made in France while of course the Hummer is an American invention. Naturally, many American roads can accomodate the Hummer. Most Balkan byways cannot.

Here are a few additional things that are generally smaller in Eastern Europe:
- men's jeans
- bathrooms
- ambitions
- drinks
- swimwear

Finally, as noted earlier, I am smaller in Croatia than in America.  A couple years ago I lost 20 pounds after moving to Croatia.  In America you eat according to your appetite and find clothes that fit your waistline.  In Croatia, you adjust to the size of the typical meal, and normal clothing.  One size fits all. 

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