A few of my observations while I'm here for the semester.
- •First off, beware the bikes. Recognize that the little ringing bell behind you on the sidewalk is emanating from a furious German biker who will knock you the fuck down with 0 remorse.
- •On the subject of pedestrians, Germans take their walk signals very seriously. Can't tell you the number of times I've seen a group of people standing by a deserted street waiting for the sign to say go. Coming from New York, this is especially irksome.
- •Given that German cuisine seems to consist of cheese, sausage, and carbs, I can't understand how they're all so damn slender. Might have something to do with all the furious biking.
- •For the same price as my apt in NYC that I share with 3 dudes, I'm renting a whole one bedroom place with spacious living room. Sayonara pants! This is luxury.
- •Church bells a ringing. I live close to a huge church. It's beautiful, but I was not prepared for the frequency of its bell ringing. Not only does it chime out the time on the hour, it also rings every 15 min. As mildly annoying as this is, I still find it pretty cool.
- •Always carry sunglasses and an umbrella. The weather here is fickle as fuck.
- •Good hamburgers are definitely the exception. Most are tiny, overcooked patties.
- •All the grocery stores are closed on Sundays. It you're planning on being hungover, make sure you plan your snack purchases accordingly.
- •Speaking of being hung over, no open container laws! The first few times I cracked one open on the street, I couldn't help but keep looking over my shoulder for police. Side note, there seem to be broken bottles everywhere.
- •Germans fucking love dairy. The cheese sandwiches at my school cafeteria have Gouda, cream cheese, AND mayonnaise. On a cheese roll.
- •Stolpersteine: I read about these a while ago (link below) and didn't recognize them at first. They're small paving stones installed in front of the homes of victims of the Holocaust. They're subtle memorials but poignant in their ubiquity around the city.