I’m constantly seeing these lists on Facebook “21 things that Germans do differently” or “7 German habits you’ll pick up when you move to Germany” and I thought I’d write about some of the ways Germany has changed my daily life.
– I ALWAYS wait for the man to turn green before crossing the road. If you don’t, you attract rude stares from people around you and sometimes even shouts from people on the street or honks from people in their cars…!
– I ride my bike everywhere. Well unless I’m going to another city, then I’ll be on a train, possibly with my bike so I can ride around once I arrive. It’s the most convenient and cheapest form of transport. You don’t have to worry about parking, the Germans (well in Hannover at least) know how to drive with cyclists on the road, so it’s (relatively) safe and it’s good exercise.
– I am a recycle queen. No one does recycling better than the Germans do. I have 5 bins in my house; a Bio-bin, plastic and packaging bin, paper bin, general waste bin and a bin for glass. EVERYTHING has to be separated and then put into the right bins!
– I always carry cash. Australia has become a massive advocate of cashless payments and you can pay by card in most places. It’s really different over here, not only do many places not accept card still (some have a 10€ min. payment rule), most will not accept credit card.
– I never throw out empty bottles. Empty bottles are not trash, they are cash. For every bottle you buy, you have to pay a deposit and you get this deposit back once you return the bottle!
– I’m now a beer drinker. Before I moved to Germany, I stayed clear of beer and always headed for cider, wine or gin because I found beer too bitter and it always made me bloated. German ‘Weizen’ is a fantastic way to slide into becoming a beer drinker. It’s full flavoured, smooth tasting and still makes me bloated 😉
– I am always on time – and by on time, I mean at least 5 mins early! In Australia I was almost always late, unless it was for music work. You can really see that there is no tolerance for lateness over here, even if you do end up having to wait 1 hour to see your doctor after getting there 5 mins early!
I think overall, I have adapted pretty well to my new-ish environment and I’m glad I’ve made these changes. There have definitely been some struggles though, but they’re for another post 😉