A well-known concept: As humans, there are many things that we take for granted in our day to day lives.
When you move to a foreign country its as though this concept whom we shall call “Ungrateful & Unaware”, grows legs walks to the nearest town, finds a nice lady friend whom we shall call “Even More” and decides to make a family. They decide to name their newborn child after themselves. “Even More Ungrateful & Unaware”. This child shall become your new mindmate, the roommate in your mind.
If that didn’t make sense to you, don’t feel alone for so few understand my illustrations. Including myself.
My only point being that other country’s are really weird in comparison to what you’re used to, here are a few of the differences I’ve experienced moving to Germany.
Paying for water
In California, it is normal to enter a local McDonalds or some other fast food chain and ask for a glass of water. The assumption that the water is free is almost always implied. Even in restaurants unless you’re eating a meal and asking for Voss or Evian, its implied that the water is free.
Not in Germany.
If you go into a restaurant and ask for a glass of water, you are more than likely going to be paying for this water. So dehydration has become my newest acquaintance. Or you simply must carry a bottle of water with you wherever you travel. Cause the Lord knows you are NOT getting any for free.
Carry cash at all times
Don’t be the presumptuous dillweed who only carries a credit or debit card with them. For you will be sorely disappointed as I have been.
I had the experience one day of being really hungry, I hadn’t had any breakfast. So my mother and I enter a nearby cafe. We chose our sandwiches and drinks. Quickly the food was prepared. The sandwiches were on the plate, coffee’s poised ready to be served and devoured. Right as I picked up my plate, my mouth was already filling with water, the cashier informed my mother that they don’t accept cards. To make matters worse, there was a line of people waiting behind us. Impatient and intolerant German people. We were met with a stare of disbelief by the cashier. As though we ought to have known to carry cash with us.
So I had to sit in the seat of shame as my mother went to a nearby ATM to pull out some cash for our meal. I sat there and my sandwich stared back at me as though I had somehow disappointed it with a delayed demise.
Stores are closed on Sundays, there is NO work on the weekends, and shops close early.
Even your local grocery store. CLOSED. I hope you bought that Nutella you wanted for that perfect Sunday breakfast because you sure aren’t getting it that same day.
They also close at 10 pm & some stores even sooner! So whatever you needed you must get it before the shops are all closed. To me this is a foreign concept, I mean Safeway is open 24/7, 7-11 is open 24/7 (these are all local stores in America for my international readers), I mean did you forget to buy the ice cream? Need a late night snack pickup? No problem, two minutes, you’re there and the store is open!
Oh, how I miss Hot Cheetos & normal Lays & Doritos!!
It’s the little things that drive you positively mad! Try imagining a life with no Hot Cheetos or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream!? Ghastly, I know! And yet this is how these poor German people have been living!
All we can do is pray for them.
I had other points I wanted to share with you all but after that last one, I’m afraid I can’t go on. I’m simply too upset. I hope you can understand. Perhaps, after I’ve recovered I will be able to muster up some courage to share with you some more of my adventures with this Culture Shock.
Love always from your downtrodden & Hot Cheeto free sister, Emma.