Monday had already arrived. My husband had meetings at BMW and I went to the city center of Munich to wander around and then wandered around Olympic Park while he was away. We then hopped a train to the airport so we could spend the night there before our plane left for Detroit in the morning. It was bittersweet. By Sunday I was missing my daughter, but I wanted to stay in Germany and be a tourist.
While I was away, I noticed lots of things that were different than being in the United States.
There doesn't seem to be an abundance of hand sanitizer at every cash register in Germany. But maybe there should be because shortly after my departure a deadly strain of E Coli was found in Germany.
Whenever we ate out, we always had to ask for our bill. We'd sit and sit and sit at our table and no matter how long we waited, we had to wait for the check.
If you have ever seen the movie Inglourious Bastards by Quentin Tarintino you may recall the distinct way a German holds up his fingers to show the number 3. I witnessed this while getting ice cream and was immediately reminded of the movie.
This was one place my signature was readily checked whenever I swiped my credit/debit card. My card was also hand swiped a lot, rather than me swiping it at a machine at the register.
The portion sizes of everything seemed to be smaller - from ice cream to our steak dinner. It wasn't a bad thing, just not over-sized like in the United States.
Instead of getting a mint on your pillow, you get gummy treats/bears.
Sugar is Sweet
I noticed some of the sugar packets were not pouches, but sticks or straws similar to a pixie stick, but much shorter. I thought this was brilliant since you often spill sugar when you have to tear open a rectangle packet.
It seemed like when people waited for the train, they were not super connected to their electronics. Sure, there were people with cell phones and headphones texting and listening to music, but most people just sat and visited or sat and hung out on the train or platform. I kept thinking to myself that we (as in Americans) would probably be playing a game on our cell phones, or texting, or talking on the phone the entire time, or on facebook on our mobile device. I was surprised at the number of people NOT talking on their cell phones while on the train.
Being a new mom (and secretly scoping out how mothers travel with kids because I wanted to live in Germany) I noticed many of the strollers were "luxury" strollers - Stooke, Bugaboo and Peg Pergo were some of the strollers and "carriages" I saw.
It seems like everywhere you go in Germany there is so much history. It can easily be seen and the one thing that surprised me is how most places were destroyed in World War II. While the United States was booming during the war, Germany was hit hard and had to re-build.
What time is it?
There are no alarm clocks in the hotel room. I still find that CRAZY!
The Gideons are everywhere! There was a bible in our hotel room!
And I found my relatives in a phone book!