"But Brawndo’s got what plants crave."

by Rebecca A. Watson on April 4, 2009

in change, habits, life

While traveling in Ireland and Spain my friend and I noticed a lot of things that weren’t like the United States. Some of them were just plain silliness–Booze 2 Go was on every corner in Dublin and Museo del Jamon (The Ham Museum) was quite possible Madrid’s most popular hang-out.

There were other things, however, that we noticed ourselves being perplexed about that seemed to have a similar theme. All the bars closed at different times. We would go to a pub in Ireland and they would close but we could grab a beer next door for another hour or two. In Spain we would leave one bar, go to another and be told to leave an hour later–this pattern continued until about 5am. Also, crosswalks were never on the corners and street rarely intersected at 90 degree angles. And there were never really any clear-cut rules about where one could or could not smoke.

Now my friend and I pride ourselves in the fact that we aren’t programmed. We have made it into our late twenties without kids, husbands, or houses. We aren’t chasing the “American Dream.” But after a few days of noticing these things that bothered or perplexed us about Europe, we realized that we are used to some uniformity and that, indeed, we are programmed.

Some may argue that uniformity is important, and I tend to agree. What I have a problem with is doing something simply because it is always done that way, or because it is “easiest.” My friend and I agreed that the different bar closings were a great idea because there isn’t a mad rush for cabs and a great exodus to deal with. But we doubted that it would be received very well here because well, things have always been done that way.

I’m not proposing a great change in the bar industry or anything like that. I am proposing that we think about the things that are a certain way just because they have always been that way in our lives. Is there a better way to do things? Do we even need to have some of these habits? Are they just the residue of our lives that we haven’t dealt with, kind of like the stove we’ve left uncleaned for months? I know routine can be important, but I think it can also make us lazy. I guess I’m saying to myself: Get out of the habit of habit.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: