Everyday Occurrences in Germany

by Brea

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Here is a totally random list of things I encounter on a
normal day in Germany.

  • People sweeping the streets and sidewalks in front of their
    home (yes, even the street). This includes people well into their 70’s and 80’s
    handling the task with an old straw broom as well.
  • People biking to the grocery store with their basket
    attached on the bike. I’ve even seen people carrying large objects in hand for the
    ride. It’s quite impressive.
  • Hearing church bells every hour no matter what town I’m in
    (because every town has a church).
  • Seeing elderly people biking, which is also impressive…and something
    you never seem to see in the states. In fact, I see elderly people out together
    at bars and restaurants, meeting for coffee, shopping, etc. Sometimes it seems
    like the U.S. shuns our elderly out of society as if they don’t exist.
  • Trash in a brown, black, or yellow bin being hauled out
    depending on what’s being picked up that week (for us trash rotates on a two
    week cycle….so there’s a two week wait to have your normal, super smelly trash
    picked up! Oh did I mention how small the trash bins are in Germany?).
  • People tending to their garden in their yard, terrace or in
    the fields at a sectioned off area of land they purchased. Or if people don’t
    have this they are tending to their herb garden in their window, because
    everyone needs an herb garden in the summer!
  • If it’s cold everyone is dressed up head to toe and don’t
    let anything show, especially their legs!
  • If it’s spring everyone is dressed up head to toe and don’t
    let anything show.
  • Getting stuck behind a tractor. Believe it or not this
    happens to me ALL the time. In Germany there aren’t really suburbs. There are
    towns and then there are fields and farmlands so in many cases if you’re in a
    small town you will end up stuck behind a tractor heading off to plow the land.
  • Getting stuck behind the Farhschule (aka driving school).
    Kids here have a lot of hours to log on the road before they can get their
    driver’s license (something like 1000
    hours!).
    Compared to the states it’s like getting a Bachelor’s in driving.
    You would think there would be better drivers here as a result, but I guess
    there are bad drivers everywhere. The cars these kids practice in have a ‘Fahrschule’
    sign on the top, and they tend to drive at least 10km slower than the speed
    limit. It is so annoying!
  • Someone chasing after their dog. I’ve heard mixed reviews on
    this, but we walk our dog multiple times a day and she would never, ever, ever
    run away from us. Other people’s dogs, however, could care less that their
    owner is calling their name and running after them. Notice I didn’t say yell or
    scream….Germans are much quieter than Americans. Much, much quieter. Maybe that’s
    why their dogs don’t listen!
  • Getting stuck in a Stau, also known in English as a traffic
    jam. Sure it’s annoying, but it is a way of life in Germany.

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