A Travellerspoint blog

Interesting things about Germany

While here, I really wanted to not only learn as much of the German culture as I could but to also be a part of it. I didn't only want to a tourist or visitor. One of my missions was to emerse myself in the German culture as much as possible so that my time here would be more productive and interesting.

A few weeks ago, I posted a few things I had noticed about the peoples of Germany and today, I will update more. These are not merely observations but facts about the country that most or many people may not know about.

-wedding rings are worn on the third finger of the right hand
-saying hile hitler and doing the hand sign is illegal (when my friend was telling me this tidbit, she didn't even do to show me for effect. It is a big thing here)
-Citizens pay a tax of some sort to rebuild Berlin. This has been going on basically since the end of the war and some people are not impresed, to say the least
-Citizens who belong to a religious denomination have to pay a tay to keep their standing. This is especially necessary if one wants to get married one day in a church, for instance
-The official language is German but each region/state has its own dialect which is very different and distinctive
-The more north you go, the flatter the landscape
-Sex and anything related to sex is widely accepted and expected. Finding very sexy magazines at all and any store is the norm and no one blinks an eye at the very provocative photos. I find this is true for all of the European cities I have visited
-I was told that people in the army are not respected as they are seen as creating and perpetuating violence and unrest
-Germans have the lowest birth rate in the world (and from living here I can say this is a big truth)
-school are subdivided into Realschule, gymnasium, Hauptschule and comprehensive school
-The way the school system is structured is kinda old school. At least one parent must go home early or leave work early to take care of the child(ren) due to the structure of the educational system. Of course, most times it is the women.
-I can always tell all the mothers at work. They are the ones who either come in after lunch or leave at lunch or a bit after in order to see to the children. This is unfair as some women have worked hard on their career and it is almost like you have to give it up in order to be a mother. Not fair.
-Kids as young as 16 years old start off their "training time" at work places. The schedule is usually 3 days at work and 2 days at school to complete the practical and theoretical aspects of education (if university or further education is not a wanted option). training time lasts for 3 years.
-You can sleep when you are dead is a huge saying here and one I love and have embraced
-Sports are a huge and important part of German life and culture. Fütbol is of course the most popular making handball and volleyball second and thirds
-Germans work very hard but (at least to me) play harder.

Posted by CanaGerm 01:44 Archived in Germany Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

Paris days Day 1

Paris was an experience. I went a few weeks ago and I had a nice time. It was really cool to actually go there and see so many beautiful buildings and landmarks and experience one of the most romantic cities of the world.
A runner up design in the Metro station design contest
I have to say that I saw more lovers lovin' it up while I was in Barcelona and here in Germany. My gosh, for supposed cold people, they sure are darned affectionate with each other and their partners.
Place de la Concorde
My first day there I went on a free city tour with Sandemans New Paris Free tour. Yeah, free! I owe this tidbit of info to Brian at NoDebtWorldTour. Thanks Brian! Seeing all the highlights was really amazing and listening to the history of France and Paris was fascinating. Our tour guide, Desire, did a great job.
The river Seine
After the tour, I kept moving with thoughts of the Eiffel Tower in mind.
Parisians doing what they apparently like to do best, people watch
I wanted to see her today (Eiffel Tower) as it was later in the day and I thought for sure the lines would be packed with tourists the next day. I made the right decision to go that night as the next day the lines were ridiculously long.
On the way to the Eiffel Tower I stopped at some interesting marks and took it all in.

Nope, I didn't go into the Louvre. I'm sorry but museums are not my cup of tea so taking pictures of it outside was totally enough for me. Maybe I will go back one day and do a slight tour if I have the time and inclination.
At the tower, I waited in line for maybe 15 minutes and paid to climb to the 2nd storey. I didn't take the lift any higher as that was fine with me (plus my height fright was raring its head). The views were stunning from above.
I took many pictures along the way of the city and I will do a another post called, the real Paris another day. Just pictures of how the people who can afford to live in the city, live!

Paris was really pretty and fun. I had a great time and after a billion pictures, I took my train (the Metro is very easy to use) to my hotel and fell completely out.
Musée de l'Armée

Posted by CanaGerm 14:08 Archived in France Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

9 Days left

overcast 14 °C

Shit! I can't believe it but I have apprx only 9 days left until I have to leave beautiful Germany to board a plane home. I am filled with emotions that range from sadness to excitement to nervousness to weepiness. I am all over the bloody place right now. I don't want to leave as I am in love with Germany but I miss my family and home and friends. Maybe one day I will return.

Posted by CanaGerm 00:40 Archived in Germany Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

Germans not affectionate part 2

I forgot to add something else to my post yesterday on Germans and the high levels of affection I see and receive daily. I thought that when I was in Barcelona that the couples there were all over each other and I expected the same from Paris but Germans take the cake in loving their partners or at least showing great amounts of PDA.

From handholding, to blatant touching, to kissing, to gazing in eyes, it is all there. At first, I'm not gonna lie, I was shocked at some of this. See how bad it is to hold stereotypes against people? They are hardly ever true. It is actually pathetic. Anyway, I had to report, that while I wait for S-Bahns or U-Bahns or ICE trains, in elevators, in store lines etc., I notice that couples, young and old, are not afraid, embarrassed, ashamed, whatever to show the world how they feel about their partner. It is really nice to see. I wonder if it is a cultural thing or maybe a Swabian thing?

Posted by CanaGerm 22:46 Archived in Germany Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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