I've said this before, and I know I'll say it again. One of the most striking differences between traveling through European airports is the silence.
The distinct lack of noise. No TVs blaring CNN (or worse) at you. No PA call running into each other. No concourse-wide calls for late travelers. No reminders that we board by zones, boys and girls, and that you should only board by your zone, which you can find listed on your boarding pass under your seat assignment.
No faux-scary "Security Alert" calls. No messages from mayors. Damn near nothing.
And everyone seems so much more calm for it, especially here at El Prat in Barcelona. CDG in Paris is busier, for sure, and the layout of the airport definitely makes it more noisy. Amsterdam's Schiphol is busier and louder than BCN, too, but still in a version orderly way. Same for London-Heathrow. Or Berlin Tegel.
But they're still nothing like American airports, where it seems like we just can't help ourselves. We have to be in a hurry, bombarded by a million messages and amped-up TV commentators. If I were (still) an anxious flyer, I'd be freaked the hell out. That's no way to travel, and certainly no way to live.