Everyday Occurrences in Germany

Here is a totally random list of things I encounter on a normal day in Germany.

  • People sweeping the streets and sidewalks in front of their home (yes, even the street). This includes people well into their 70’s and 80’s handling the task with an old straw broom as well.
  • People biking to the grocery store with their basket attached on the bike. I’ve even seen people carrying large objects in hand for the ride. It’s quite impressive.
  • Hearing church bells every hour no matter what town I’m in (because every town has a church).
  • Seeing elderly people biking, which is also impressive…and something you never seem to see in the states. In fact, I see elderly people out together at bars and restaurants, meeting for coffee, shopping, etc. Sometimes it seems like the U.S. shuns our elderly out of society as if they don’t exist.
  • Trash in a brown, black, or yellow bin being hauled out depending on what’s being picked up that week (for us trash rotates on a two week cycle….so there’s a two week wait to have your normal, super smelly trash picked up! Oh did I mention how small the trash bins are in Germany?).
  • People tending to their garden in their yard, terrace or in the fields at a sectioned off area of land they purchased. Or if people don’t have this they are tending to their herb garden in their window, because everyone needs an herb garden in the summer!
  • If it’s cold everyone is dressed up head to toe and don’t let anything show, especially their legs!
  • If it’s spring everyone is dressed up head to toe and don’t let anything show.
  • Getting stuck behind a tractor. Believe it or not this happens to me ALL the time. In Germany there aren’t really suburbs. There are towns and then there are fields and farmlands so in many cases if you’re in a small town you will end up stuck behind a tractor heading off to plow the land.
  • Getting stuck behind the Farhschule (aka driving school). Kids here have a lot of hours to log on the road before they can get their driver’s license (something like 1000 hours!). Compared to the states it’s like getting a Bachelor’s in driving. You would think there would be better drivers here as a result, but I guess there are bad drivers everywhere. The cars these kids practice in have a ‘Fahrschule’ sign on the top, and they tend to drive at least 10km slower than the speed limit. It is so annoying!
  • Someone chasing after their dog. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this, but we walk our dog multiple times a day and she would never, ever, ever run away from us. Other people’s dogs, however, could care less that their owner is calling their name and running after them. Notice I didn’t say yell or scream….Germans are much quieter than Americans. Much, much quieter. Maybe that’s why their dogs don’t listen!
  • Getting stuck in a Stau, also known in English as a traffic jam. Sure it’s annoying, but it is a way of life in Germany.