I know I’ve written a similar post two other times about these little differences between Germany and U.S. But, I keep finding more! Here’s a new list.
1. Pesto sauce: So far, every single Italian restaurant here that I’ve tried serves a creamy pesto sauce. I know, some of you foodies may be experiencing shock and horror here. It’s very surprising to order what you believe to be a nice light herby sauce and instead be served with a greenish tinted alfredo type sauce. But, surprise aside, it’s tasty!
2. Beds: (This is really a two-parter) 1. their bed sizes are just different and 2. the way they dress a bed is also different. I don’t know what they call their sizes here, but they are not the same, so the fact that we brought our bed from the U.S. means we cannot buy new sheets/comforters here. In a hotel (and therefore I’m assuming within their homes) the large beds that would be similar to a queen size are covered with two small comforters side by side. This is actually a pretty great idea for anyone to consider who has to share a bed with a blanket hog….
3. Men’s bathing suits: I know back in Kansas it’s considered shocking to see a man at a public pool wearing a speedo to swim, but here, it is the norm. Trust me on this, we went swimming recently and the lake was packed with people! Mauricio was the odd duck wearing his long swim trunks at the lake. Speedo’s on every man save him, and 5 other guys…yes, we were counting.
4. Wedding rings: (Another two parter) 1. in the U.S. and Bolivia traditionally wedding/engagement rings are worn on the left hand. However here in Germany it is common practice for the rings to be worn on the right hand. 2. in Germany the man and woman’s wedding rings match each other except for size (obviously). Mauricio and I opted for the German tradition in this circumstance, so we’ve got matching bands, and I wear my engagement ring on the other hand.
5. Stabchens: these are tiny plastic or wooden forks that do exactly as their name suggests. They are for ‘stabbing’ little finger foods. Think of toothpicks, the same size except fork shaped. They are included in packages of cut-up fruit, and often served with french fries. It makes for a way less messy way of eating fruit although I haven’t committed to the use of stabchens when eating my french fries. For me french fries are eaten with fingers, even when smothered deliciously in chilli and cheese…hmmm I know what I’m doing for lunch today…
6. Guns & Gun shops: I am from a small town, population of under 15,000 and on a main street is a gun shop. It has a big ol’ sign that shouts “GUNS” at you when you drive by. Haha, I giggled when I noticed it this last time I went home because it made me think, in some ways even though its 2014, Kansas is still very much the “Wild Wild West”. I’m not hip to the laws of guns here in Germany, but there are definitely not Gun shops for civilians on the main streets in Frankfurt. And I believe it is rare for German civilians to have guns at all.
7. Street stoplights: Stop lights here have the same basic red light=stop, green light=go, and yellow light=caution. However, unlike in the states where you go from red directly to green, here when a light is switching from red to green, it turns yellow first. To give everyone a warning that the green light is coming, ie “Rev your engines people and get ready”.