13 February 2005
So, what’s different?
As the snow falls outside (yay!), we start packing up our stuff to leave the Heidelberg area. Tomorrow, we plan on turning in our rental car, and hopping on a train. Not sure yet where all we’ll go tomorrow. Maybe a boat trip on the Rhine and a B&B in a little town, maybe just hightailing it to Bruges. We’ll see. Also, a few housekeeping things: I have no idea what access I’ll have to the internet once we leave our lovely free high-speed internet here at Mark and Kathy’s. So, if you dont hear from me for a week or two, that’s why. Also, this post comes on the tails of another one from our lovely guest author, Aaron. So make sure you see that one. Now, onto the actual post!
So, since we’re leaving Germany soon, ever since I got to Germany I’ve wanted to tell you some of my observations of things that are different between Germany and America.
- Well, they speak German here. Okay, that one doesn’t count (but they do).
- Doors. Yep, doors. Every door that I’ve seen on German soil has been distinctly different from doors I’ve seen in America. Their doors don’t completely nest in the door frames like American doors do. They nest about half way, and then they stop with a lip that overlaps the entire door frame. I like it. I think it provides better sound and heat insulation. It also gives one a slight tip on whether that door opens in or out. And we all know that I like things that are designed with visual cues for their use
- Toilets. Every toilet I’ve seen in Germany flushes different from American toilets. Most of them flush with a huge button that’s built into the wall about 2 or 3 feet up from the actual toilet. I like this too. I imagine this is more of a pain for the builders of the house to not have completely self-contained toilets, but it’s nice that it provides more room in the bathroom because the “business end” of the toilet is the only part that sticks out into the room.
- Light switches. I guess this one was to be expected, but every light switch is different too. They all use these big panels that you can just smack.
- Cars. Duh, Brian. You’re in a different country, the cars are going to look different. But it’s not just cars that look different. American cars all require a big noise when you start. Some sort of buzzing or bing-ing. It’s the law. In Germany, no noise. Just “varoom!”
I love that this stuff is different. And I love that it’s so consistently different, too. I’m not sure what it is, but I just love that there are things you can only find in certain areas of the world. If everything looked American over here, it would just drive me nuts. Its kind of like why it creeps me out that you can buy tomatoes and raspberries at the grocery store in January. I like seasons. I don’t want June to look like January. I don’t want America to look like Germany.
Any thoughts on this? How do you feel when you buy a tomato in January? Any wildly different experiences with toilets and cars in different countries?