Food. There is nothing better on this planet, aside from lying in the bed chamber all day, than food. Food in Europe can be delicious, and it can be questionable. If you learn not a word of the language in the country you're staying, at least know the God foresaken words for food.
Europeans like to eat weird stuff...like horses and bunnies. Derrick actually ate a rabbit while we were there to try something new. I commend him on this, I mean not many people over here can say they've eaten it. Unfortunately, I have a weak stomach and meat chunks gross me out for the most part. That rabbit looked like Starkist tuna with random green things in it, and smelled equally as vile. He liked it though!
Anyway, I recommend knowing the names of nasty foods so you don't accidentally eat them and want to die. I ordered a seafood pasta in Marseille and there was a baby squid just chillin' there on the side of my lovely dish. Like seriously? Are we in Japan? I should have expected it though, we were practically on the French Riviera. Naturally, I gave the nasty little succubus to Derrick and he had a grand old time with it.
Let me just say it - I like American food better. Why you ask? It has FLAVOR. The food in Switzerland = bomb. The food in France = not so much. Don't get me wrong, they have some amazing stuff - like cheese, omelettes, macaroons, ice cream, kebabs, etc. All of their desserts are to die for. But, when it comes to real meals...well, nothing can satisfy me quite like Olive Garden and Taco Bueno/Bell.
Another thing against Europe, no one knew what queso was.
NO ONE KNEW. Seriously, how in the name of all that is holy can one live without QUESO? People were just like...queso? What? Like Spanish for cheese? NO, you morons...like melted cheesy goodness used as a dip for tortilla chips!!! I was dumb founded. America is the greatest country on earth if not only for the fact that we invented queso.
When you think of American food, most people think of McDonald's.
The vile, carb loading, fake meat using restaurant chain full of booger nosed children and pedophiles. Well, at least that's my impression of it here. It's nasty....except in Europe. McDonald's there is actually, good! I know, shocking right? It tastes like real food and they have real desserts. It was delicious. When you're studying abroad for awhile, you go through "America withdrawals." Out of nowhere, you'll crave a happy meal and Coke and start belting out "Party in the USA." This typically happens toward the last week of your stay. It can be remedied by a healthy dose of Micky D's. They also have Subway and KFC (so random) in bigger cities like Lyon and Paris. The America Withdrawals is a serious issue, friends. It will happen to you, even if you think it won't.
Oh, and the first thing you'll tell your mom when you land in Chicago and can call her?
"Have a mexi-dip and chips, no guac..extra queso and a taco with sour cream waiting for me at that airport."
Disclaimer: McDonald's in the US still sucks, unless you've had a bit too much bubbly. Then it's awesome.