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June 16, 2011 - 285 views

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The Differences between Germany and USA

For this blog post, I thought I’d branch out in another direction. I know that before I came to Germany the main thing I was doing was preparing for all the change. I was trying to make sure that my transition would be smooth … and it has been.

However, there were a lot more minor differences that I’ve noticed that I didn’t expect. Being cultured means that I can accept the difference and then form an unbiased opinion. It hasn’t been hard to accept the changes, because front my point of view, most of them have been for the better; improvements if you will.

So.. what you’ve been waiting for, my list. I’ll go into detail when I find it fitting. I’ve gone ahead and ordered the list by most expected to least expected, so some of the ones at the top will be quite obvious.

  • Language
  • Money
  • Outlets for devices
  • Drinking age
  • Metric System
  • Shops closed on Sunday

The aforementioned list I expected .. it’s the following that I did not :

  • Shopping carts

You insert a Euro coin every time that you use one, once you put the cart away it gives you your Euro back. Smart!

  • Hole punches in paper

Not sure why but there are only two holes instead of three… and they are located towards the middle of the page. Then again, I’m really not sure why we have 3 in America.

  • Direction doors open

For some reason I’m an idiot when it comes to opening doors in Germany. Apparently the direction they open depends on whether the area is part of an escape route. I didn’t realize how nice those bars are that we push when exiting.

  • Flushing toilets

There are two buttons, I have no clue what the difference is between them.. I pick at random each time.

  • Traffic light locations

Instead of being across the street from where you stop, they are right in front of you.

  • Recycling

Germans are quite particular when it comes to recycling, everything has to be in a certain color bag and so forth..

  • The way windows open

Windows might be like this in the US too, but here when you twist the handle so it is up and down, the window comes towards you like it is falling. Not going to lie.. was pretty scared today when I thought a huge window was going to crush me, my colleagues laughed.

  • Keyboards – Y and Z are switched

I have no clue why they are switched, it’s a curveball every day. Never realized how much I use those two letters. Just used them 5 times in this past sentence…

  • Bathrooms at Fast Food places

You need to have a pass code that is located on your receipt… SMART!

  • Entrance/Exit in stores

I feel like some of the stores are like Ikea, I have to walk through the whole thing and then the cash register area.

  • Breakfast

They do it big in Germany, apparently they actually structure there meals like your suppose to eat them. The emphasis is on breakfast instead of dinner.

  • Drinking in public

It’s fair game… shocking.

 

This concludes my blog for today, hope that you learned a thing or two about Germany. If there is anything else you’d like to know, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I appreciate all of you that are reading and hope that you enjoy doing so. Tell me what you think!

 

 

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  • Alina

    I really enjoyed reading your list with your comments :-D ! I think it was easier for me because I already knew almost all the differences before I came so I wasn’t so surprised as you apparently were. Your list is really funny for me to read because you mentioned all the differences with (not always right) reasons ;-) which must have been quite weird for you at the beginning and for me it’s so obvious.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Best regards,

    Alina

    P.S. I think you are right saying most (but not all) changes are better in Germany ;-) .