Thursday, May 15, 2014

13 Random Observations in Germany

As my time in Germany comes to a close, I would like to share with you all a few of the differerent things I have seen in Germany that are not common back home. And, as the title suggests, they are indeed random, so be ready.

1. To begin, the pop fountains (Is that their official title...?). Notice anything missing? Ice! While I only saw these fountains a few times (this one in particular was at Subway), many of the drinks we were served did not have ice. It just isn´t common here.

2. Along those same lines, here is what we in America would refer to as "Diet Coke." All of the drinks here are like this. Same pops, just different names. Also, they taste slightly different. I am not exactly sure why, but we as a group are mixed on which we like better!

3. I promise this is my last drink one! Here is a common bottle of water here in Germany. It´s glass, and the water is carbonated. You can get water without bubbles here (which I would recommend!!), but its more common to see it with gas. Also, at restuarants you generally have to pay for water, and you only get more as you ask for it. So it really is sometimes true that beer here is cheaper than water...

5. The exit signs. Personally, I like them! While our exit signs are sufficient, I think these here are very descriptive. If there is an emergency and I need an exit, I will probably look just like the little running man on the picture. I think they are quite smart! However, I am not sure why they are green rather than red.

6. Here is a rather exciting photo...a toilet flusher (again not sure of the proper title)! So far all of the ones I´ve seen have been buttons, and ones like these have different size buttons depending how much water you need when you flush. I think you can guess the reason for needing varying amounts.

7. These things scare me. I ran into them at the market/department store/Walmart-type store. When you want to leave the store, these stop you. If you go through an open checkout, then you can avoid them. But today I just wanted to leave the store and couldn't! I didn't have anything to buy at the time, but was still trapped. I had to ask someone to open one for me...

8. Something you won`t avoid using! As you can see, instead of bills, there is a 1 euro coin and a 2 euro coin! This is both convenient and inconvenient. It is inconvenient because you often forget you have them, and end up using bills when you don`t need to. Also, they are hard to grab sometimes! However, they are nice because they are a pleasant surprise when you think you are low on always pays (literally) to check the change pouch!

9. The keyboard. I learned all about this while working for a German broadcaster in DC last summer. As you can see, there are letters we don`t even have in our alphabet. Then, trickiest of all, the Y and Z keys are switched! Why? I don´t know. I have been struggling to type this whole blog...

10. Liquid soap at hotels! This may not be everywhere here...and there very well may be hotels with this at home...but I have never seen one in the US! All we normally get are those bars that are "face soap" or something like that. It is very frustrating. Clearly the Germans get it.

11. What meal does this look like? I think it is fair to say we Americans wouldn´t guess breakfast...Surprise! It is. Meats, cheeses, and breads have been on all the hotel breakfast spreads here. However, I have just stuck to my cereal!

12. The hotel beds. I could go on and on about these. First, they are twin beds only. If you want a queen size bed, you push the twin ones together. Next, the comforters are HUGE. They are hot. And there is no sheet. So for me personally, I gone to bed every night debating if I want to be cold or wake up sweating. Unfortunately, the latter usually happens. Also, I should mention this is the only photo I "borrowed" from they aren´t our exact beds. The comforters were way heavier...

13. This is a license plate. I don´t have much else to say about it. They are nice though!

While there are MANY differences between Germany and the US, these are just a few of the random ones I found. I hope you enjoyed and appreciated them as much as I have :)

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