I've decided to wrap up my second Germany trip with another 10 Things About Germany post. Perhaps this will become a tradition when I return from European trips.
1. Windows in Germany open in two ways. You can either swing them open or you can open only the top portion. It depends on how you turn the handle. This very short video shows this: Windows in Germany.
2. The handle of the toilet is usually built into the top of the toilet and is flush (pardon the pun) with the toilet so it doesn't stick out at all.
3. In some public places such as the train station in Frankfurt, you have to pay to use the toilet. It costs .50 Euros, which is about 65 cents.
4. Cigarettes are sold from vending machines on the street. You can purchase them everywhere. It's odd to be walking down a quaint village street and see a cigarette vending machine on the sidewalk in front of someone's house. They do have an age requirement for smoking and to buy from these machines, you must scan your passport or driver's license to prove your age.
5. There are no bills for Euros until you reach 5 Euros. 1 - 4 Euros is given in change.
6. Aldi and Lidl are the big grocery stores there.
7. There is no Wal-Mart in Germany. They were in Germany for several years, but left when they realized American business practices and merchandise did not always translate well to the German culture. Being greeted at the door and having someone bag your groceries (among other things) is not the German way.
8. Electrical items have a higher voltage in Germany. Here, ours is usually 110-120. Theirs is 220-240 volts.
9. Everything is closed on Sunday. Bakeries are usually open for a few hours in the morning, but that is it. Sunday is considered a day of rest/family day.
10. American products are sold in grocery stores sometimes, but can be insanely expensive. For example, a pint of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream cost over $6 in one store. A can of A&W Cream Soda cost almost $2.