Thursday, May 15, 2014

When in Germany, do as the Germans Do

Amanda and Ryan play tourists. 

After spending a bit of time in Germany, I have made a list of things that I wished I had known before flying to a foreign country. I would encourage students traveling abroad to take note of these differences simply to make your life easier.

1. Be prepared to spend a lot (not a little). At this current time, the Euro is worth more than the United States dollar, so get in the right state of mind to confront the exchange rate. Tears will be shed, but it can't be helped.

2. When in doubt, the bathroom (which also commonly known as the toilet in Germany) is downstairs. I don't know why this is. Out of sight, out of mind perhaps? Also, if it is a public bathroom, expect to pay a fee of up to one Euro.

3. The language barrier is indeed a barrier. For the future of positive German and American relations, please learn some common German phrases and use them.

4. You can and are encouraged to pay in exact change. As an American, I was used to tossing my 20 dollars on the counter to pay for my single pack of gum. That is not the style in Germany. But have no fear; there is no tax in Germany so one can avoid that added mental math stress.

5. Despite your desperate need to, don't smash the German computer keyboards into tiny little pieces because the Y and Z are switched and the shift key is much smaller than normal. Just look at typing as an added brain exercise.

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