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Monday, January 2, 2012

Europeans and Dignity

So I broke the cardinal rule of traveling overseas, and I slept all day yesterday.  I knew that I shouldn’t, but I am sick with a dadgum sinus infection, and there was no way that I could get out and about.  I was hoping to sleep away the sick.  Now, however, it’s 2:30AM, and I’ve been wide awake for an hour. 
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I was hoping to at least have enough energy to go out with Michael for dinner, so that’s what we did.  We went to this really cool restaurant in a 15th century building with stone walls, underground.  The food was ridiculously good, ambiance was perfect, and the waiter was kind. It was a good thing, too, because the place was empty, and I’ve seen Kitchen Nightmares one too many times to trust an empty restaurant.
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While we were there I was telling Michael how I was watching CNN or BBC (those are the only two English stations at the hotel) and there was this interview with a European CEO that caught my attention.  He was talking about dignity and how it’s the most important thing.  And I would think that it is probably accurate to say that dignity is a high value of most Europeans, way more so than Americans.  (That would be why the Czech guy in the hotel elevator flipped when he saw that Michael had gone to the lobby barefooted.) 
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I most definitely was getting all of the meat off of that lamb chop possible.  Classy.
So I guess that’s why many Europeans see Americans as brash or uncouth – because we have different values.  So right after we had that conversation at dinner, we were walking through a touristy section of Prague, and I hear a group of American guys talking rather loudly, louder than anyone else on the street.  They seemed like fun, so I turned around and asked them where they were from.  One was from Austin and the other two from Florida.  They were hilarious.  They were saying that they thought Michael was European because of the way he was dressed, but the way in which they were saying it was hilarious in contrast to the conversation about dignity that we just had.  “Look at those f-ing shoes!”  Then he says to me, “You better watch out; he’s gonna be wearing a f-ing thong to the f-ing beach.”  Yes, they were brash and uncouth, but gosh they were funny. All that to say, I don't think either is right or wrong, just a different set of values.

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Some random statue on a bench that I cuddled up next to.

So anyway, I hope to feel better tomorrow so I can get out of this apartment.  We’ll see!  By the way, the kids are doing great at their aunt and uncle’s house.  We did a video chat yesterday, and I think it scared Isaac at first, but then he was talking to us.  They just told us that he’s only sleeping if he’s touching someone.  Whoops!  That would be our fault.  Sorry! 

So if you think about it, could you say a quick prayer that I get over this sinus infection?  Thanks.  :)

9 comments :

  1. Have fun, be safe, and get well soon.

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  2. I gotta see these shoes... :)

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  3. You both look so cute and happy at your romantic dinner. Get well soon, Annie!

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  4. Great pic of you guys! Looks awesome! :) Michael does dress very chic, I could see him being European.

    Hope u have a better day.
    Kandice

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  5. praying for you! love the pictures...and I can't wait to see more! Oh, and about those lamb chops, I would have be cleaning that bone too..yum, yum!
    So happy for you lady!

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  6. Get well soon. The restaurant looks great. It was my experience too that no restaurant overseas ever seemed to busy and you wondered how the owners survived on so few customers, but he service and food were always the best. Aunt Susie

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  7. So...Let me get this straight...

    Michael is too uncouth for the bellhop lackey at the hotel because he was barefoot and too much of a euro-trash sissy for the rednecks from America.

    Michael can't win.

    He is screwed either way and both of the "ways" have to do with footwear.

    IMO, he is a man far too unique to belong to any country's norm. He makes his own rules...blazes his own trails. Screw conformity.

    ..and that's why I'm always proud to say...

    That's my brother!

    It's a Hedgpeth thing.

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  8. Different values, different cultures... different individuals, most certainly. Britain dissects their own people into dignified/undignified, just as we stereotype hillbillies and northerners. Its all relative :) I say suck the marrow outta life, enjoy it, and be who you are (even brash American!) I so hope you are enjoying yourself Annie!!

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  9. ps.... hillbilly does NOT equal Arlington South :) We have them in the north, actually two roads over to be exact.

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