Dray Dreaming

The Completely Random Things I Think (4/18 Edition)


“Gonna change my way of thinking,
Make myself a different set of rules.
Gonna change my way of thinking,
Make myself a different set of rules.
Gonna put my good foot forward,
And stop being influenced by fools.”
Bob Dylan

It’s that time of the month again, where I share with you some of the completely random things I think about during my travels. During the last month since my last “things I think” post, I spent a couple of weeks in Spain, a week in Vienna, and just started a month-long stay in Budapest. Anyway, here’s what’s been on my mind:

#1: Slow traffic stay right

I often complain about drivers in America, most notably about their refusal to stay right to let others pass. In Europe, drivers are much more considerate about letting others go by who may be in more of a hurry. The consideration even extends to escalators where there’s an unwritten rule to stay to the right if you aren’t going to actively walk while you’re on the escalator.

Ignore the epic ponytail and notice how courteous everyone is!

#2: Trains that actually run on time!?!

Why can’t America figure out trains? It’s so slow and inefficient in the States. You’d think with all the money and technology, that we could figure this out. In Europe, the trains are clean, fast, and almost always on time, which is all I really want from a train. This can’t be that hard… trains have been around for 200+ years!
Ok, I’m done complaining about the United States for now.

#3: It’s the simple things

I feel a tremendous amount of satisfaction when a finish a Chapstick (or other lip balm) without losing it first. I just finished one and then I found another one in my backpack that was almost done (I figured it was lost). So now I get this satisfaction twice in the span of a few weeks. Awesome!

#4: Paying for pictures

Whenever you’re at a festival or some touristy location and someone gets dressed up as some famous cartoon or celebrity figure so that people pay to take a picture with them, I’m always afraid to even look at them, let alone actually take a picture of her/him. I feel like they’re going to come after me for the spare change I owe them. I shouldn’t have to pay if my only reason for looking is to admire how crappy their Mickey Mouse costume is.

Mickey Mouse
I took this fake selfie because I was too afraid to look Mickey in his eyes and take a picture.

#5: Taking pictures of pictures

I like museums that let you take pictures. I think it helps people feel more connected to art which is great considering that most of us don’t really know anything about art beyond whether we like the way it looks. In sports, the connection people feel to the teams and the players is so critically important to the fan experience. So, while most “famous” artists are dead, allowing people to take a picture is a nice way to create a “fan experience” for museum attendees.
Side note: Remember like 5-10 years ago when museum security told you that taking pictures would damage the art!?! Oh the lies that we’re told.

#6: Do celebrities really need more free stuff?

Two of the big museums in Madrid offer free admission to teachers, which is something that you don’t see very often. Every once in a while you see people post to social media that teachers are so underpaid. This obviously isn’t going to change anytime soon so it would sure be nice if we could reward teachers with more free things. Instead, celebrities are the ones getting the free stuff. After the Eagles won the Super Bowl, I heard at least 3 different announcers say about Coach Pederson, “he’ll never have to buy a meal in this town again.” He makes millions of dollars a year! Let him pay for his penne arrabiata! Maybe give his middle school teachers each a 20% discount instead.

#7: I’ll have a sandwich

Everything is basically a sandwich (pizza, hot dogs, bocadillos, hamburgers, pita, egg rolls, naan/Indian food, etc…). Some variation of bread with some variation of a filling inside. Anyway, I’ve had a lot of “sandwiches” lately.

#8: Shop local

Spain and most of the rest of Europe is not as dominated by large conglomerates. For example, UberEats has at least 4-5 different competitors that seem to have fairly equal market share. It’s nice to see so many more local shops and restaurants thriving as well instead of streets only lined with the same big department stores.

#9: Stupid liquor laws

Every state and every country has stupid liquor laws. Every state I’ve ever lived in has some artificial restriction on when you can drink or buy alcohol. But even in Spain, where you can get a drink for less than 3 Euros at almost any bar in the country until late into the evening, they restrict alcohol sales at stores at 10pm. Someone please explain the purpose of this restriction…

#10: Social media

For the first time in my life, I’m posting regularly on social media but I really have no idea what’s going to resonate with people. Am I that out of touch? I’m now wondering if people react the same way I do when when I read other people’s posts. It must be so interesting to look at that data and see how unique we all are… but then again people now hate social media for its ability to know that exact thing.

… and these are the things I think.

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