I have a theory that it’s easier to get good Italian food outside of Italy than in it. The pizza you get in UK, France and Portugal is always the ambrosial “wood-fired” style. Another successful Italian export into other cuisines is the burrata, menu item du jour.

Artisan sourdough bread has conquered Europe.

More good news is the beloved Australian flat white has made it to these shores. French coffee is not as sour as our visit 3 years ago, but I have an awful feeling it may be due to the Nespresso invasion.

Contactless payments prevail, most likely accelerated due to Covid. The waitperson will have a card machine with them when your bill arrives. What a windfall for banks.

While being an easy way to spot a pharmacy, the green LED signs they display outside can be retina-burning or, worst, epilepsy inducing in its super-bright strobing.

You never see salt and pepper in Portugal and they set the table with the plates upside down.

And lastly:

“Bonjour” in France is said like you would sing a happy song and I love it.