Thursday, November 15, 2012

GERMANY - 10 Things

My fourth and last week in Germany was nothing special. I went to the bakery of course and lamented the fact that my time there was getting shorter and shorter. I arrived back in Houston on Saturday, November 10th and I'm already planning my next adventure in Germany! 

In the meantime, here are 10 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT GERMANY:

1. They do not bag groceries. You either bring your own bag to the store, you can buy bags there for .10 Euros, or you just take your stuff to your car and toss it in.

2. Recycling is serious business. You separate your items into food products, plastics/aluminum, and cardboard/paper. Each type of item has its own bin. And don't put the wrong thing in the wrong bin!!

3. It costs .75 Euros to send a postcard to the US.

4. A lot of people speak English. They learn it in school early there. That doesn't mean everyone speaks English, but you will find English speakers in surprising places.

5. Star Trek is on TV a lot. It is dubbed in German.

6. Children go to school until about 12:30 or 1. It is not an all-day thing followed by sports/clubs as it is in the U.S.

7. Children are divided into groups in school based on academic performance. If they do well in school, they can go to "gymnasium," which is the college preparatory version of high school. Others go to vocational schools and are trained for jobs.

8. You must pay 53 euros every three months to have access to TV and radio.

9. You seat yourself in most restaurants. A hostess seating you is not the norm.

10. When you rent an apartment, you must furnish the place - literally. You buy your own refrigerator, oven, electrical fixtures, etc. Getting your first apartment is an expensive proposition.


Secret Agent Woman said...

I think Europe in general has a saner approach to time, with more time built in for enjoying life.

The furnished apartment thing is odd - often you are renting an apartment as a temporary measure - it's hard to imagine as a grad student, say, having to buy all the major appliances.

Jillian Leigh said...

I like this list!

Jillian Leigh said...

oh the renting thing. that's how we do it with our tenants. we don't supply appliances.

Karen Peterson said...

I know a lot of places here don't supply refrigerators, but stoves and lighting fixtures?? Crazy!

As for the school system, that surprises me. A lot of European schools have longer days than we do, not shorter.