Friday, August 31, 2007

Between American and German lifestyles...

and what made me chuckle today.
Misunderstandings: Life in the Fast Lane at German Supermarkets
This article just nails it on the head, so if you plan to visit Germany and go shopping there, that's the way shopping happens in Germany (I know, I have lived there most of my life)
Here is another excerpt that made me smile, because I somehow felt the awkwardness of being new to the USA and not knowing how to deal with these little "differences".
I love both countries, and it's fun to read about those fine little touches when it comes to "what defines our lifestyles".

Here are some excerpts from Neddens' own personal "top ten reasons you know you're a (newly arrived) German in Washington, DC":

--When you have to defend your plate in a restaurant from being taken away while you're still eating.
--When filling out online applications (for an apartment, insurance, bank account) and being asked to insert your previous address you have to a) leave it blank (rarely possible when you want to proceed with the application) or b) decide you've lived in Delaware before (DE is the default ending of German websites), since there is no way to insert a foreign address.
--When a few raindrops or snowflakes are announced as being a "storm", which is followed by the advice to stock up on milk and toilet paper.
--When having a salami and cheese "butterbrot" sandwich, an apple and a cup of coffee for lunch is considered a healthy lifestyle by your colleagues.
--When trying to explain to friends and colleagues how car sharing works, you get three typical questions: a) (slightly scandalized) "Do we really have American companies doing this kind of business in our cities?", b) (honestly concerned) "Aren't you afraid of germs in these cars?", c) (completely unable to grasp the concept) "Why would you ever do that?" Also, while you're smoking a cigarette on a bike, friendly Americans constantly remind you that these two things really don't fit together, apparently unaware that a bike can be an ecological means of daily commuting instead of a gym workout or recreation.
--Americans are very nice and helpful people and we really enjoy living in Washington. However, don't necessarily expect anyone to call you back if they happen to work for a company that you thought would provide you with cable TV, phone, internet access ...

No comments: