Cars, cooking, cash – differences between Germany and the US

First things first: Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US! I hope you’ll have a wonderful day with family, friends or whoever you choose to spend it with.

It’s been a hot minute since I previously joined Amanda on her venture of leisurely letting thoughts wander aka Thinking out loud. I’m not entirely sure how much of the blog world will really be around today so I opted for a non-heavy topic fitting whichever day you read it: Differences between the US and Germany. While I’ve yet to visit the US myself being part of the blog world for a long time – far longer than I’ve been blogging for myself – I did notice things here and there all the time.

Ready, set,: thoughts out loud!

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

 

Going places

Say hi to Deutsche Bahn!
A lot of Germans travel via train evidence of which can be found multiple times on my blog. It’s convenient, cheaper and more accessible than flying. And if you like surprises  [beware of upcoming sarcasm] Deutsche Bahn – the main trailway company – regularly has you in for those with delays, broken air conditioning in the summer heat and else. We make it sound more awful than it is, obviously. Well, unless we remember that time your connecting train on a long distance journey was cancelled, you spent an hour standing on a crowded platform in cold wind and seriously questioning if we were going to make it home that day still, all while being sick. Thanks for nothing, Deutsche Bahn.
But hey, we accept that for long distance travels because …

Berlin

Gas is way more expensive than in the US
Last time I checked the gas my dad’s car needs was 1,35 € [around $1,42] – and that’s per litre, not gallon. That’s why won’t see any trucks or similarly big cars on the streets often here. Big hooray for public transport.

Restaurants, supermarkets and home

Running to the store on Sunday? No way.
You guessed that right: stores are closed on Sundays. Exception to this rules can be found in some bigger cities, usually stores located in central stations. And if you run out of snacks at night you might be out of luck, too. Most supermarkets close at 8 PM. Again, cities can be the exception with certain ones not closing until 10 or at the very latest – and I’ve only seen this twice before – midnight.

Just like your car you’d better not be super thirsty.

Because there are no free refills in Germany. In fact, some restaurant owners make the majority of their profit through beverages,  not food. The only exception being IKEA – thank you for introducing me to this novelty as a child, Sweden – where you can drink to your heart’s content.

Got cash?

If you plan on visiting Germany: a) let me know [duh!] and b) bring some cash. Well, you might have to do that in anyway because of the different currency but really: we like to pay in cash. Sure, I keep my bank card in my wallet at all times but only really use it to pay if I’m making big purchases. Some stores even have a minimum amount of spendings you need to reach before they let you use your debit card. And once you’ve paid …

Hurry up!

Because cashiers want you out as soon as possible. This is one thing that seriously annoys me. At best, you’d have your purchases stashed away and be on your way out right after you finished paying. I’m not entirely sure of the situation in the US but a friend from the UK told me you could take a lot more time to pack over there. There’s also no employee to help you bag up your stuff because hey, that could make you feel entirely too welcome at the checkout.

Take your shoes off, please
… and grab a pair of slippers. We do not wear shoes other than the latter in the house. I was surprised to hear people apparently walk around in their outdoor shoes at home in the US. Is that true? Sexier than the Birkenstock-like sandals I’m wearing as I type this for sure ;).

Cooking and baking

Let’s do the math!
… or just break out the kitchen scales. You might have already known that we do not measure in cups over here. Honestly, cup measurements used to seriously confuse me when I started reading blogs and trying US recipes. How many potatoes are you supposed to buy when a dish calls for two cups, diced? By now, I’m way better at this yet still prefer using scales. So much more accurate. [Completely subjective opinon of course]

kabocha!

You’re putting what into your dessert pie?!

Seasonal fact:pumpkin is not eaten the sweet way in Germany. We go savoury. Actually, you won’t find canned pumpkin on the shelves of any store, either. It’s only through social media and also very very slowly that some people – usually inspired by Instagram – start making their own pumpkin puree to use in sweet dishes.

Wrapping it up here even though I could come up with way more examples. But over to you and your experiences in other countries  – let me know about them in the comments!

Happiness-inducing today: More of that glorious autumn sunshine I mentioned in my previous post.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Did you know about any of these differences between Germany and the US?

What are some differences between other countries you visited and your homecountry?

… and whichever random thoughts come to your mind here.

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

Merken

The Two Thumbs Up Edition [Thinking out loud]

If you didn’t notice with my many past Thursday posts – or posts on this blog in general, really – I like me a good theme to align even the most random of thoughts or meals. Today’s Thinking out loud with Amanda is no different which makes me happy – easily pleased?! Even happier when the above-mentioned theme are happenings from the past week that deserved two thumbs up.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. If you read yesterday’s post on how I’m channeling Beyoncé when it comes to others’ recipes you’ll probably know what I used these for:

Cini Minis_Cookie Crisp_cereal

Two thumbs up for single household-friendly boxes of cereal. I usually get bored by cereal easily so buying a family-sized box of any kind is not an option. Needless to say I didn’t hesitate a second when there was a special offer of these smaller boxes of first Cookie Crisp and then Cinnamon Toast Crunch [isn’t Cini Minis adorable, too, though??]. Enough to both include it in yesterday’s recipe and for quick childhood-reminiscent snacks now.

2. The possible downside to the small boxes is the lack of any toys – and you know which specific one I’ve been pining for. Two thumbs up for hilarious riddles on the back of the packages. Can you spot the culprit [translated hints below]?

Cereal_back of the package

Hints: 1. The mouth is wide open. – 2. He’s not cross-eyed. – 3. He’s showing his teeth. – 4. The tongue isn’t visible. – 5. He doesn’t have braces.

3. I’ll be on the road – or rather: in trains – all day tomorrow again. From what I gathered in intense studies of blogs 😉 traveling by train isn’t actually all that usual overseas. Why exactly? Ever since moving out from my parents’ trains have become an even more important means of traveling than before. While I’m not keen on boarding a train already again tomorrow there were some perks on my last endeavour.

4. Two thumbs up for local trains with phone-charging opportunities. In a spur of the moment decidion I’d thrown my charger into my bag though I knew I’d only be traveling by regional trains that aren’t known for their luxurious “Ausstattung”. Is it sad that it made me happy to see this? Further proof of how dependent on my phone I am.

5. Unfortunately, this was not available on my commute back because…  two thumbs down for the scare I got when finding the [at least intended] last train I changed to on my way back unscheduledly was ended way before my final destination. A delay in the afternoon is annoying already but one at 7.30 PM meaning you won’t get home before 10 PM is … yes. Especially if you ate almost all of your snacks already. More bars the next time.

6. It’s been a while since I went all out posting flower pictures like in the early days of my blog. Two thumbs up for flowers in my favourite colour. However, I have no green thumb at all so keep your fingers crossed for these beauties.

Flowers_by Barbara

 

What better way to end a post then on the topic of flowers?! Just agree with me here.

Happy Thursday!

 

Happiness inducing today: A positive reminder that first impressions of others can be deceiving.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Tell me whatever comes to your mind!

Who solved the cereal riddle?