When you move abroad you go through phases. First you're in wonder. Everything is different and new and exciting and an adventure! Then the frustration. It's different and it's hard and I JUST DON'T LIKE IT. Then, you come to terms with it, make the best of it, and then you're fully integrated and you've passed the culture shock test, right?
Har har! ;)
I'm of the opinion that no matter how long you live in a place, there will always be things that drive you crazy about it (this can also be said of "back home" too, lest you think I'm picking unfairly on good ole Deutschland). I also think that as an expat blogger, I should be honest about what life is really like-ups, downs, and in betweens. I love Germany, but sometimes it irks me. And that's ok!
This past weekend I was feeling very frustrated with Germany...probably because it took 7 hours to finish 3 loads of laundry, i scrubbed 2 inch thick calcium deposits off the shower door, and finding that the store I needed to pop into was only open from 9-11:30 on Saturday (what?!). Thus, the list was inspired.
So, here goes. Things I WILL NOT miss about Germany!
1. The calcium buildup
Geez louise, this frickin' calcium in the water!! If we don't squeegee the shower doors right when we get out, you can forget it. The only thing that will make a dent in the calcium buildup is my landlord's potent homemade concoction that came with his warning-"Don't get it on clothes or skin! Makes holes!" Hmmm....
I mean, I grew up near the beach, so I know that tap water isn't always great, but geez. My poor hair, skin, and household appliances...
Dreaded condensation dryer...
2. The tiny washer and dryer that take 4 times longer to get the job done
When I first started doing laundry with Euro washers back in my student days, I thought, surely they can't all be like this. Then I lived in a WG in Berlin. Then in my own apartment in Bavaria. And yep, they're all like that.
Why does a machine need 2 hours to run a load on hot water?! How is that even remotely green? Don't even get me started on the dryer-it takes an additional 2 hours to get anything dry, and then I have to dump the water it collected in its fancy condensation system.
Sorry, but this is 2013. This 1800s style day long washing adventure is no bueno, yo. I JUST WANT CLEAN SOCKS.
3. The monthly recycling pick up
I like that Germans have such a great recycling system in place. I do not like bags of recyclables sitting in my kitchen or outside because you only pick them up once a month. Maybe twice a month? Work with me!
4. Complicated recycling in general
When I first started recycling in Germany, it was so confusing. And rest assured, your German neighbors will not hesitate to
It's stressful, y'all.
5. The Autobahn and its manic speed demon drivers
The Autobahn sounds cool. Drive as fast as you want! Yay! But then you drive on it and realize that the majority of the highways are only 2 lanes wide. Then you factor in that long haul trucks stay in the right lane going around 70k while speed demons in Porsches are blazing past in the left lane going 300k. Then poor you, in your mid range car trying to go 120k and you try to pass a truck? Prepare yourself for the rudest, most aggressive drivers ever to tailgate, flash their lights and bully you til you get out of the way. It stresses me out.
I mean, why wouldn't you make the Autobahns 3 lanes? This seems like simple logic. Or better yet, German speed demons, learn some patience! And switching lanes? Prepare to have a heart attack as some dude is inches from sideswiping your front bumper as he gets in your lane. SPACE. IT'S A THING. End rant.
6. Germans' assumptions about Americans
Germans are very well versed on the world and its goings-on. But it always annoys me when I meet someone and they want to launch into bashing Americans. Look, I know America has its problems, but newsflash: Just because you watch American TV shows and read the newspaper doesn't mean you're an expert on my country. America is huge. It's diverse. We've got conservative regions, liberal regions, and everything in between. Languages, cultures, traditions-there is no one size fits all. So please spare me your insight when you've never even been to my country and I'm quite possibly the first American you've ever met in real life. Get to know me before you start making assumptions.
This also goes for comments like, "Oh you're American? But you're smart/cultured/speak other languages/not obese." Rude, guys. (And yes, I've had all those comments made to me)
7. The random opening hours
I get it, it's a different culture. But I will never understand how it makes sense business wise to be open ONLY from 9:30 to 11 on Saturday. How are you making money?
8. The lack of good Mexican food
This isn't your fault really, cause you're super far away from Mexico. But please stop putting Turkish food in a burrito and calling it Mexican. It's not and it just disappoints me.
Tasty, but not Mexican.
9. Awful German radio
A German friend of mine was very upset when I told him this and insisted it's just because I live in Bavaria. Be that as it may, I've driven all over Germany and have been disappointed by the radio. Partly because Germany has apparently made it a national mission to support obscure one hit wonders and keep royalties flowing to them and also I guess Germans just have a thing for techno beats and cheesy lyrics awkwardly constructed in English. Who knows.
But y'all, I heard Old MacDonald Had a Farm being played on the radio one day as part of a normal lineup. Like...what?! NO.
10. Roads that are not big enough for two cars
This might be a Bavarian problem. Look, I know we're in the country, but why do you build tiny, winding roads that only fit one car. I noticed you added little tiles on the sides so I don't have to drive in the dirt when I pass another car. Nice idea, but that could've been avoided if you'd just built it for 2 cars to begin with...
11. The staring.
Germans stare. It's not weird to them. If you return their stare they keep on staring. It's odd and gives me the creeps.
12. Lack of screens
The weather is great, the sun is out, the house is stuffy-open the windows! Oh wait, now I have to spend all day killing the wasps and flies that came in too. Screens! They're a great invention!
So that's my list. But because I don't want to dwell on the negative and because there are plenty of things I LOVE about Germany, that list will be up tomorrow! Hooray!
So how about you? Anything you love/hate about your new home? Anything on here you agree with? Let me know! :)