EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Monday, July 13, 2009


VISA CardImage 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

    French wine and French gastronomy are often en...Image via Wikipedia

    and 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

    close up neck scarfImage by bekkats via Flickr

    d 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.

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Expat Traveler said...

I want to know why the kitchen thing is the way it is, and if you move, how does the same kitchen work in a new apartment???

How about the way people greet people? I found it necessary in switzerland...

Jul said...

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog. You might want to consider joining us for the German Expat Bloggers meet-up, which will happen in Munich in early September.

I'll disagree with one thing on your list - credit cards are pretty widely accepted these days in Germany. Grocery stores are a big exception to that, but otherwise we have no problem using plastic at most restaurants, larger stores, hotels, etc.

And the bring-your-own kitchen thing drives me nuts! How does that make sense?

Expats Again said...

Hi Jul,
I would LOVE to join you for the German Expat Bloggers meet-up, but sadly I won't return from my trip back to the U.S. until Sept. 15th. If it happens after that date, please let me know. Actually, please let me know about any further meet-ups. I will be there!
I think we both are somewhat correct about the credit cards. In Munich proper it seldom is a problem. But here in Pasing-Obermenzing, they want cash. I asked why and most of the vendors don't want to pay a percent to use credit. I can understand, but it's hard for my American visitors who are so used to pulling out their Visas. In the states everyone accepts them. I went and got a debit card at Commerzebank and I have no problem using it anywhere. Problem solved!
I would appreciate any feedback you have for my blog. I've only been here three months and have so much to learn. I may "pick" your mind for some helpful hints. I love your blog. Thanks,