Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Love. Hate. Befuddled.

Living in Germany is a completely different experience from living in the States.  Not in a bad way; just different.  Here are a few things that I either love, hate, or am completely confused by...

Source: via Debbie on Pinterest

Love. It is illegal to pass on the right hand side.
Hate.  You're technically not allowed to wear toeless or backless shoes while driving.  Can result in a ticket.
Befuddled.  Why do roads exist that are only wide enough for one car?  Isn't that dangerous?
Love.  No speed limit on the Autobahn.
**Before I moved here, I thought the Autobahn was one special road somewhere in Deutschland.  The Autobahn is actually their name for the freeway, and runs all across the country.  Whodda thunk?
Hate.  Speed limits on the Autobahn.
Befuddled.  Why are there sometimes speed limits and sometimes no speed limits on the Autobahn?!

Source: via Satoru on Pinterest

Love.  Unless there's a fence or some kind of border up, fields are open to the public [which means tons of awesome dog walking opportunities while singing "The Sound of Music"]
Hate.  The fact that personal space does not exist in Europe.
Befuddled.  Trash days.  I seriously just can't figure out their system.
Love.  How dog friendly the entire country is.
Hate.  Noise restrictions.  It is nice that you don't hear any outrageous sounds during the night or on Sundays, but having my neighbors threaten to call the cops because of dogs barking in the middle of the day?  Ridiculous.
Befuddled.  How is my village so freaking quiet all the time?  I got stared at for sanding down some furniture.  Weird.
Love.  How clean the streets are.  You won't see litter or overgrown yards anywhere.
Hate.  How clean the streets are, because it makes my house stand out like a sore thumb.
Befuddled.  How do they keep the walls around their property from growing moss?  And how do they keep weeds from growing in the sidewalks, along the gutters, etc.?  They have to be magicians.
Love.  How friendly my neighbors are [besides the threatening to call the cops episode].
Hate.  The fact that Europeans don't grasp the concept of a line for the register or to order food, etc.
Befuddled.  Who has the right of way at a four way stop?  Why is it so complicated?!?!

Source: via Tara on Pinterest

And a few other fun facts you may have not known about Germany:
1. The zipper effect [letting one care merge at a time from another lane, either during construction, or entering/exiting the autobahn, etc.] is a law here.
2.  Dogs must be contained somehow while in the car.  Are not allowed to roam freely due to safety reasons.
3.  While eating in a restaurant, the waiter/waitress won't approach you unless summoned.
4.  The drinking age is drastically reduced here, and even children can drink as long as their parents give them the alcohol.  It's kind of strange to see sometimes.
5.  Honking the horn is a form of noise pollution, so unless it's to warn someone of danger, everyone here uses headlights.
6.  If someone is going faster than you on the Autobahn, you have to get over.  Sometimes, in the speed limit free zones, you'll see lights flashing in the rear view mirror a mile or so back.  That means they are flying and you need to move ASAP.
7.  If you're the last person in a lane during traffic on the Autobahn, you're supposed to put your hazards on. This lets cars approaching from the rear know that you're either stopped or moving really slow.  Keeps them from slamming into you.
8.  Most people don't have drive ways or garages; they park on the street in front of their home.  That means a lot of weaving back and forth across the road to by pass said cars.
9.  There is no AC in Germany.  There is no ventilation.  It's kind of confusing.
10.  German houses don't come with kitchens.  There's a kitchen, but no cabinets or anything...they move with that stuff.  Thankfully, most houses in the American base vicinity provide kitchens for renters.
11.  The European refrigerator is probably 1/2 the size of an American refrigerator.  Tiny.
The drive to base on a gorgeous afternoon


  1. Hehe! I loved this! hearing all the facts about germany. My parents and I were in Germany a couple of years back and my dad loved the autobahn, you could get to places so quickly! We also went to europa park! which was awesome :D Great post!!

    Jen xxx

  2. Oh my goodness how I loved learning all these things! Life in other countries has always fascinated me. I'm hoping that maybe one day we can get some awesome orders like this. I think it would be so much fun and a great way to teach kids about different cultures.

  3. Alot of what you have said makes sense. I have yet to read the book, "Why French Women Don't Get Fat," and I have heard it is partly due to the tiny kitchen, tiny fridge, having to walk to the market everyday thing. How interesting that it is common in more places than France!

    I think it makes sense not to have the AC and things in Germany. For one, they have been through a heck of a lot more than us Americans have and most likely have learned to do without all of the excess which I find fascinating. Which most likely accounts for "no personal space," love of dogs everywhere, etc. They know what is important after living through hell as a nation together.

    Now I want to go to Europe just to people watch. I bet many of the older people there have amazing stories to share!

  4. Loved reading this! So fun! I want to visit Germany :)
    xo, Dawn

  5. So funny! Even as a German I sometimes wonder about some of the things, e.g. the sidewalk cleaning habit. It's called Kehrwoche, and in some small German towns they do it every Saturday morning. There's no magic involved, just good ol' German housewives (and men, too!) kneeling on the sidewalk and scraping the sidewalk cracks. Gives ample opportunity to gossip, too ;-) The smaller the town, the more common the habit!
    BTW, great minds think alike - I just had a post about the German autobahn and other car-related stuff this week, if you like to check it out:
    xo Anja

  6. I loved reading this. It totally made me miss Germany even more!
    I definitely love the road laws there - people are so much better at driving because of them.

  7. Awesome post...sounds like some serious culture shock :-) My parents were stationed in Germany when my dad was active duty military. I so want to visit!!

  8. Oh man I think I would hate driving in Germany! It sounds a bit scary!! :O


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