Rachel: Lessons so far

So now that I’ve been in Germany a little over a week I can let in you in on a few differences I’ve noticed between the two cultures. This list has been formed because of all those small awkward moments you experience while traveling, from ordering something you know at a restaurant and having it come out completely different to trying to work doors (yes, this happened to me). So without any further ado, here’s a list of few German things that are just a little bit different from American culture.

1. Most doors are the opposite of what they are in the US. So if you’re entering a room normally you might push open a door but instead here you would pull. A lot of doors are also odd in that they sit over the door frame, so when you do pull to close then they don’t close all the way because they don’t fit.

2. Military time is used instead of am & pm. For me this wasn’t too much of a challenge but it can be a bit exhausting to do the math all the time if you can’t remember what time 2200 is.

3. A “soda” is not a pop or cola. It’s carbonated water that’s pretty common here in Germany. You can also choose how much carbonation is in it, which I found kind of awesome. So if you want a Coke in Germany-lesson learned, always ask for a cola.

4. Public transport is the way to go; driving is really expensive right now. Gas is about 6$ a gallon (rough estimate, I had to translate from liters) and cars can get pretty expensive. The metro is actually kind of expensive as well if you’re buying day tickets as a traveler, I would recommend trying to find out if there’s a tourist or city pass you can get, I got one in Frankfurt & it also cut down my cost at museums in Frankfurt.

5. Cheese is relatively cheap compared to the US, and it’s the best cheese because it’s French! Also bread is relatively cheap and it’s dark bread- I highly recommend it, it’s less dry than American bread.

6. Stores will charge an extra 25 cents per plastic bottle because they want people to return them to the stores instead of having them end up on the streets. You’re charged the extra cents, and then you get them back when you return them to select stores. It seems pretty effective, I haven’t really noticed too many bottles around.

So far those are some of the main ones I’ve noticed, let me know if you also have some stories of awkward cultural moments that threw you for a loop!

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