Image by dahnielson via Flickr
Differences between the U. S. and Germany (as accumulated from my experiences and other expat blogs).
- Cannot use credit cards here because no one accepts them. Germans like living solvent. If they don't have the money, they don't buy it.
- Don't wash their cars out in the streets.
- Pay toilets mean "clean" bathrooms because there is an attendant who is maintaining the bathroom.
- Pay for plates and mugs at beer gardens and get your money back when you return them. No need to hire someone to clean up and less stolen plates and mugs.
- Pay for the grocery carts and then return them to the proper stall and get your money back.
- Honor system for using the trains--but beware of getting caught without a ticket. The fine is steep.
- No plastic grocery bags unless you pay for them--encourages people to shop with cloth bags. Better for the environment.
- No garbage disposals (don't know why).
- No air conditioning. (don't know why).
- Everyone rents homes/apartments. Very few want to go in debt
Image via Wikipediaand take out a loan for a house.
- All homes/apartments come without a kitchen. You buy your own and take it with you to your next residence when you move.
- Windows open two ways, out and down. Makes for better cleaning.
- No screens in the windows. (I don't know why).
- Plenty of bike paths.
- Always recycling paper, plastic, cans, green glass, brown glass, an
Image by bekkats via Flickrd white glass.
- Neck scarves the moment there is a breeze or the temperature drops below 55F.
- Bakeries on every corner. They even stay open on Sunday.
- Nothing is open on Sunday, except bakeries.
- People are not obsessed with material things for homes. Homes are too small to contain too many items.
- People are obsessed with expensive designer eyewear.
- People are obsessed with cars.
- Wine from France, Italy, and Germany is very cheap.
- Good chocolate is cheap.
- Fashion is tight fitting jeans, shirts that meet at the waist or tuck in, shoes that are stilletos for women and dark leather for men (no white tennis shoes), layers of clothes and jackets are very popular in any type of weather, no white socks, no logos of sports teams or Disney, etc. Abercrombie is fashionable, anything Tommy, no baseball hats or flip-flops, did I say no white socks?
- Pets can go in restaurants, stores, trains, anywhere actually.
- Badmitten is in vogue
- Alpine walking is in vogue
I'm researching other blogs so I know there will be more.