Jul 29 2005

Doing like the Romans do…

I did not hear the clock radio go off this morning and consequently didn’t get out of bed until 20 minutes after I normally would have done. But thanks to ever-improving pedalling prowess (sorry, couldn’t resist the alliteration) and my willingness to forego the usual AM personal hygiene routine, I STILL managed to make my train with a couple of minutes to spare.

Boy was THAT ever a stupid thing to do.  Because even though I’m wearing clean clothes and a fresh layer of deodorant/anti-perspirant, I feel like I’ve just finished a double shift manning the deep-fat fryers at McDonald’s…and you know it’s only going to get worse as the day wears on!

So I get to spend the day feeling slimey because I didn’t want to be late to work…where 85% of the people in my division are on vacation (this is NOT and exaggeration), and those who are here could care less what time I arrive. Clearly I’ve got to figure out a way to lose this Protestant Work Ethic I’ve still got going on after living in Europe for over three years. (Though it obviously has been relaxed enough to allow me to crank out the occasional blog entry from the office!*) (*Okay…not that much really since this one was actually written on the train on my Palm Zire, but don’t tell anyone because I’m trying to cultivate a reputation as a lazy foreigner.)

Now, if I were still living in the U.S. there’s NO WAY I would have skipped my morning shower just because I got up 20 minutes late…because everybody knows we Americans are obsessed with being clean and shiny as compared to our European counterparts.

But then again, if I were in the U.S., chances are pretty good I would not be relying on public transportation to get to work either, so getting up 20 minutes late would mean getting to work 20 minutes late. Over here on this side of the pond, getting up 20 minutes late means getting to work 45 minutes late due to the train schedule.

This is an aspect of the “American vs. European Personal Hygiene Disparity” I had not considered before, and I’m going to try to keep it top of mind the next time I’m trapped in close quarters with someone who’s a little on the ripe side.  Rather than just assuming they’re European, I’m going to assume they overslept!


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Feed my ego!

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