Europeans certainly have their fair share of observations and criticisms of the United States.
The lack of gun control and the lack of affordable health care are probably the top two domestic issues that boggle the mind, but its the little things, too. It's interesting how so many places in the U.S. are open 24/7 for example.
Americans, by contrast, find it odd that so many things in Europe close so early. And what's the deal with paying to use public restrooms? (No, that's not the case everywhere; I've been to Europe quite a few times and have never had to pay to use a restroom.)
Things got interesting once the online community was asked, "Americans of Reddit, what about Europe makes you go 'Thank goodness we don't have that here?'"Americans of Reddit, what about Europe makes you go 'Thank goodness we don't have that here?'"
"I was at a coffee shop..."
Things closing really early.
I was at a coffee shop doing homework when studying abroad. By around 3 they came up to me and kicked me out since they were about to close.
In the US, coffee shops are often open pretty late for people to study, so that was weird to me.
Other than that, I think living in Europe would be wonderful.
"It's been years..."Giphy
It's been years since I've been to Europe. Hell, it's been before places here started banning smoking. But I do remember a ton of smoking.
"I love Europe..."
Canadian here. I love Europe but the population density and crowds there is enough to drive me crazy.
Don't get me wrong, there are places that are less populous but there is nothing like going out into Canadian country and not seeing another soul.
"The lack of accessibility..."
The lack of accessibility for people with physical disabilities. I lived in the UK (specifically London) for a few months and I'd always think "HOW is a person with a wheel chair supposed to get through this city?"
How hard it is to get meals outside of mealtime.
In America, regardless of what hour of the day it is, you can be reasonably sure of finding some kind of restaurant open. Even at 2 am you can find a Denny's or something. Most restaurants (outside of really fancy places) don't close down between mealtimes, so you can go in at any time during operating hours to get food.
Compare that to places where all the restaurants are only open during mealtime hours, and you're out of luck if you get hungry at 10 in the morning.
Paying for public restrooms. Honestly I wonder how the elderly manage being out and about. My grandparents and stepmother pee about every 30 minutes, sometimes more, and it would cost a small fortune while traveling as most restrooms I saw were at least 2 euros, sometimes 5 euros to use.
I am European (well, I was until a few weeks ago, but that's a different story), but I hate how in some countries such as Spain, Turkey and Greece, the sewage systems can't handle toilet paper so you're expected to put it in a bin beside the toilet. I remember being at a waterpark in Corfu and the bin was overflowing with used toilet paper, nasty stuff.
France is an amazing place that is in a shocking state of disrepair. The stop light under the Louvre is loomed with brown duct tape. Every building needs to be power washed and the highways have weeds growing on them. The entire place could use new curb and gutter.
"I can deal..."
I've only been to Europe once, specifically Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. There's a lot that they do better but the one thing I didn't like was that sparkling water is somewhat standard there and also that they don't ice their drinks. I can deal with no free refills and the fact that water isn't free (and I was prepared for that), but I HATE sparkling water. I didn't know I had to ask for "no gas" at first and that was an unpleasant surprise.
The lack of public lands and wilderness areas. The general lack of wildlife.
The public holds ownership of 640 million acres of incredible landscapes, and all wildlife is publicly owned, managed in trust by different agencies. I can plant my feet anywhere on that ground and feel completely free, it is as much mine as anyone elses.
I've spent a lot of time in Europe, including two 18 month stints in Budapest and Rotterdam. I love a lot of the culture, the architecture, and history. I fully plan to return to visit. I am unable to live somewhere long term where I can't take to the wilderness and roam free whenever I want. It might be the most beautiful thing about the United States.