Thursday, December 27, 2012

More weird things about living in the US again

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Not long after posting the Top 5 weirdest things about living in the US again, I realized that I could easily have done a top 10 (or more!).  Here is my addendum to that post:

7. Single digit time.  Military time is the norm in Europe so I got used to seeing 13:00 and on during the day.  There are certain hours of the day in the morning that we never see so it had been a long time since I had seen times like 2:00 or 5:00 which look really weird to me now.

6. Spoons.  This isn't super weird or anything, but it's nice to have normal teaspoons back.  In Germany it's a big soup spoon size or a baby-food spoon size--nothing in between.

5. Not paying cash for everything.  The use of cards in Germany and much of Europe is just not as common.  They are used of course, but there are more stringent limits on the amount that is needed and many places do not take them.  When we returned, I kept trying to pay for everything in cash and my husband had to remind me to use my cards.

4. Stores being open Sundays.  In Germany, everything but restaurants is closed on Sunday.  Everything.  It's a kind of day we can't even imagine in the US anymore.  If you forgot to buy food for that day you have to go out to eat.  I found it a little bit weird though since very few people go to church.

3. Tax.  Yes, there was tax in Germany and all of Europe (not a small one either), but it was built into the price so the price you saw on the tag was what you paid.  The price you saw on the tag was also what you paid when we lived in Delaware because we didn't have sales tax.  So we've really been thrown off by the price they give at the register living in Connecticut.

2. Free water.  Boy, did we miss this!  Germans in general don't drink tap water for two reasons: they think it smells or tastes funny and/or they prefer it with gas.  So we hated paying for just water and I drank a lot more soda, beer, and wine than I ever do in the US (pretty much none here).

1. Laundry.  It's so fast!!  I threw my first load in the machine at our new apartment and it was clean and dry in less than two hours!  We didn't have a dryer in Germany and the washing machine took something like 2 hours to finish (it's not about being behind in technology, Germans just have a different idea of what it takes to get clothes clean).  Once the clothes were clean, I had to hang them on a rack (no outdoor clothesline) so I could only do one load a day because there wasn't room for both loads and I had to hope for a sunny and dry day or else the clothes sometimes took days or never dried at all because of too much moisture in the air.  Laundry seemed to be a never-ending process there that I got so used to that I didn't even realize how much of my time it took until I was back here.

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