Milan, Italy

As we return to favorite cities, we are starting to build friendships. Last night Stefano (whose name I stole for a character in FAKE) invited us to a get-together at a local bar. I put on my heels (hey, this is Milano) and off we dashed.

In all, about fifteen to twenty people were there, sipping prosecco, nibbling on bar snacks, and talking. Guests hailed from Argentina, China, Costa Rica, and Belgium as well as Italy. We arrived at 7:30 or so and were among the first to leave at just past midnight. (I had to get up to write in the morning!)

I like my American friends, of course. But after spending some time in Europe, I am starting to better appreciate the differences between the two cultures. Compared to Americans, last night’s gathering seemed better-traveled, better versed in languages (everyone spoke one, two, or even three languages in addition to their native tongues), and more comfortable in the art of conversation (longer attention spans, more in-depth discussions) while less engaged with their phones.

What differences have you discerned between Americans and Europeans?