Monday, August 15, 2016

10 Things About Living in Germany

Surprise - hubby and I were in Germany for the month of July. He's got a fellowship at a consortium near Bremen, in northern Germany, and my job was kind enough to let me tag along for the month and work "from home".

Other than being horribly, HORRIBLY allergic to something (seriously, I got an eye infection it was so bad), our time in Germany was amazing. We had a beautiful apartment in a small-ish town, got to do some traveling and sight-seeing, and even managed to squeeze some pretty incredible riding in. But here were a few of the highlight about living in Germany:

1. The weather there is AWESOME. Highs in the low 70s every day, with low humidity. It's usually near 100 back home in Austin, so was paradise. I only wish we could have brought the horses!

2. We brought too much luggage. Because when you bring jousting armor (yes, seriously), it's always too much luggage.

I swear we left most of our house back in Austin.

3. Beer and wine more important than water. Note the contents of our cabinet in our apartment. Red wine glasses, white wine glasses, champagne/sparkling wine glasses, beer glasses... and two water glasses.

Priorities are clear.

4. The trains are super fast. And ALWAYS on time.

That's 125 mph for the rest of us.

5. Public restrooms are a serious business. You often have to pay for them, or get a key. Or in the case of Starbucks in Bremen (I was desperate for a chai, no shame), you needed the key code that was on your receipt:

Door to the ladies'.

6. There Are Slugs Everywhere. Like, huge, giant, slime-trail slugs. I don't even know why I'm telling you this, but there are slugs.

This dude was like 6 inches long and an inch thick. Gah.

7. You must ONLY cross in a crosswalk, and ONLY when the light says you can. They are very serious about this and you can apparently be arrested if you do not follow the crossing laws. You must also walk on the red brick sidewalk, and never on the grey brick sidewalk, because the grey brick sidewalk is for bikes and you will be run over if you walk there.

Don't mess it up or you will get yelled at or squashed.

8. Everyone buys their bread fresh daily. Which means I needed to walk down the hill to the bakery to get rolls for lunch sammies. And possibly something delicious for dessert.

I really tried to save some for my husband, I swear I did.

9. Buying boots is an Experience. When we went to the boot seller, the guy measured my husband 9 ways to Sunday. He then ordered the style of Cavallos hubby prefers, but because we have his measurements, the boots will be custom made to those specifications. Once they arrive, the cobbler will make additional adjustments as needed. 

Hubby is basically getting custom boots. And while I LOVE my Cavallos, I am jealous.

10. Audis and Mercedes pulling horse trailers. I find it kind of hilarious considering the size of the rigs we have here in the US, but when you factor in the cost of gas and the fact that one generally doesn't haul more than an hour or two, it makes sense to have a more efficient setup.

Maybe I should trade in my F-350?

We're back now, and although it was a great experience (more on that soon), I'm glad to be home. We both missed all our critters, although we definitely did not miss the Texas summer!

30 comments:

  1. Ah yes pay toilets, I think those pretty much happen in every country but here (tho most of my experience is with Latin america)

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    1. They don't seem to be as common as they once were, but they definitely exist!

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  2. Sounds AWESOME. And as someone who pulls a very small 2-horse straight load with a 4Runner, I'm happy to see others hauling with small trailers/small vehicles! I always feel so singled out here! Haha.

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    1. I know! We have a 2 horse straight but we pull it with an f350 mostly because we tend to do a lot of long distance hauling. And I'm pretty sure that Bregos do not fit in Brenderups - or if they do, it would be one Brego per Brenderup, with no room for anyone else!

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  3. My German friend was always SUPER confused about why Americans thought you needed a truck to pull a horse trailer. He was always trying to tell Tim that Tim's audi could pull my horse trailer just fine.

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    1. The thing is, almost all of the vehicles that they used to tow trailers over there are diesels, so you have additional pulling power and torque. And they are almost all station wagons, so that there's a little extra vehicle weight to counteract the trailer.

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  4. Pay toilets? OMG I can never go abroad.

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    1. Don't let pay toilets stop you!!!

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  5. #s 4,5 and 7 - YES!

    Do not even think you have one extra millisecond to catch a train in Germany.

    I had to jump a stile to get to the pee-hole once in the Frankfurt train station after a surly kiosk dude refused to give me the right change because he wanted to argue about me calling it the "restroom"...

    OMG. We got loudly tsk-tsked by a group of elderly women after we failed to wait for the green walky-man symbol to cross the street
    even though there were no moving vehicles in sight from any direction. I don't know much German but those ladies were definitely telling the children with them not to be like the Americans. There are many rules and many signs about rules.

    (And I adore my Brenderup :D)

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    1. Oh man, those bathroom attendants are SCARY! And for heaven's sakes if you're going to cross when the little red man symbol is showing, make sure NO ONE is watching!

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  6. Oh man, what an adventure!!!
    So near yet still so far! Maybe one day I'll get my act in gear and our paths can cross on one of your euro-ventures

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    1. It was a bit crazy despite being there for a month... We had every moment booked! I will probably go back though so I'll let you know!

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  7. omg what a cool trip. i love the trains in europe, i managed to score a 1st class ticket that was for some reason the same price as coach and got free wine and snackies.

    the bathroom thing was very annoying. especially when i was just passing through and i was liek SLdkfasldfkj guys i dont have any euros AND I JUST NEED TO PEE

    the slug is disgusting. why does it exist.

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    1. Oh man, first class trains will ruin your for air travel. So nice. So comfy. Great scenery.

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  8. How awesome. I keep trying to convince my husband to get a job in Europe. I do love the small car and horse trailer setups they have over there. I would totally do that here if such things could be done.

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    1. Europe is REALLY nice, especially in the summer if you're used to Texas weather. We both missed our critters a lot, though!

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  9. I definitely want to take a trip over there! I guess my pee-holding abilities would come in handy hahaha

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  10. Now THAT is one awesome slug! I probably couldn't get on board with the bathrooms though.

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    1. The slugs were... epic. And difficult to avoid.

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  11. what an awesome summary :D so sorry that we did not manage to fly over this time ;(

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    1. You should be proud to know that I ate schnitzel at every opportunity!

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  12. A childhood friend of mine recently moved to Germany, and she said some of the same things you did! So cool, and I hope to one day visit her there :)

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    1. You should definitely go if you have the chance!

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  13. Cool trip. Can't wait to hear about the riding part.

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    1. I'm trying to get the media together, but it's slow going! :)

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  14. So much fun. Though I have to admit that some of the hauling set ups make me uncomfortable. But as you said most are atleast diesel. I just personally much prefer my GN and truck :)

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    1. Eh, people drive slowly and safely, and usually not for very long distances as far as I can tell. I think it all depends on what you're used to!

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  15. I love Europe - I love Europeans. I haven't been to Germany, but I know I wold love it. It is such a different experience than what we live here in the US (love it here too, but the change is always so much fun). Can't wait to hear more. :0)

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    1. Me too, I love the differences so much! Except for the slugs. Those I don't love.

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