10 Interesting Things About Life in Germany

So, I live in Germany. It's a really great place to be, and a lot of life here is quite similar to life in the US. However, there are some interesting differences. I will be expounding ten of them because clearly I love lists.

1. Mineral Water is Super Common
If you order water at a restaurant in the US, you'll get, well, water. Here, you'll get water with minerals but most noticeably, bubbles.
It's like soda without any sugar. If you're wondering, that doesn't taste good... unless you're used to it. It only took me four years to like it!
I believe this is because Europe didn't have reliable, clean water sources for a long time, but I'm not sure on that.

2. Fountain Pens = School Supplies
People still use fountain pens here! I love this. 
To clarify: it's usually not fountain pens like 
Image result for old fashioned fountain pen ink
It's more like
See the source image

Which is still awesome.

3. Playgrounds are Better
German playgrounds are sooo much more fun than American ones. This is generally because it's actually possible for kids to get hurt on them. Maybe not getting hurt is more important, but you have to understand just how awesome German playgrounds are. They also tend to be more colorful and use more wood.

4. More Names!
Every little alley and way ("weg") has a name. It doesn't matter how short or small it is, it's named, and there's a sign! Well, at least in my area. This probably isn't true in downtown areas.

5. Pools are Different
In my experience, pool areas in Germany tend to be larger and more spread out. The ones near me have two or three pools (e.g., a lap pool, a kids' pool, and a hanging out pool). They have a lot of green space, maybe a small playground for the little kids. Also, there's no adult swim!

6. Recycling
Image result for german recycling
One thing I really like is that we don't just have trash and recycling. We have trash, plastics, paper, glass, and compost. Glass isn't picked up, though-- you dump it by yourself. I like the feeling of saving as many resources as possible (although I've thrown away my fair share of recyclables...)

7. Birthday Bad Luck
The Deutsch (The German, although you probably figured that out) don't wish early birthdays. It's considered bad luck. You have to celebrate on or after your birthday, which is called a Geburtstag. (My Geburtstag is tomorrow, so any Germans wouldn't wish me a happy birthday yet!)

8. Nouns
This is more of a language thing. Wondering why I capitalized Geburtstag? It's because all nouns are capitalized in German, which I've heard is hard when you're seriously studying the language because you start to do it in English, which, FYI, teachers don't love.

9. Coins
In the US, we have the penny (which should be retired but that's not what this post is talking about), nickel, dime, quarter, and occasional half dollar. There are many more coins here. You have the one cent, the two cent, the five cent, the ten cent, the twenty cent, the fifty cent, the one euro, and the two euro.
Image result for euro coinsYou'll need these coins to get  a shopping cart!

10. Transportation
There are no iconic yellow school buses in Deutschland. Instead, you'll probably have a big van with 4-10 other kids from your area on it, or take public transportation. Speaking of which, public transportation is used a lot. It's not surprising to see kindergarteners taking the bus alone!

So there you have it. Ten interesting things about life in Germany! Any questions? Any interesting things about the place you live? Tell me in the comments!


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