One of the wonderful things about the world is that there is variety, and while Germany may not be that different from the USA, it’s still delightfully foreign. Here are some differences I’ve noticed during my time in Frankfurt:
- Bikes are EVERYWHERE. They do not warn when passing, so exist as a pedestrian at your own risk and always look over your shoulder before making abrupt turns.
- Everyone rides a bike, no matter how old, young, fat, skinny, it doesn’t matter. Old people and children also bike in herds (separately).
- There is a bike lane on the sidewalk where cyclists are entitled to mow you down and they will yell German words at you if you happen to be in it and not realize, which for me is all the time. Ain’t no bikes allowed on the sidewalk in ‘Murica, cut me some slack.
- Pedestrians always wait for the little man to turn green before crossing, even when there are no cars on the horizon. I am the sole jay-walker.
- The stoplights sometimes look like this and I think that’s the most German thing ever:
- You know how in the US/the rest of the world I have seen so far people usually drink coffee in the morning? Well, here it’s beer, accompanied by pretzels. I’m not saying that everyone breaks the fast like this, but I have seen it more than once.
- Beer mixed with soda, like beer and coke or beer and sprite, is a thing here, and they even sell it already mixed. Beer and sprite is not bad tbh.
- Basically it’s easier to find beer than water here. No water fountains.
- Meat, all day, all the time. The only vegetables are potatoes. I once asked for the vegetarian option and I was told it was fried eggs with fried potatoes.
- The population here in Frankfurt is about 40% turkish, so there are plenty of kebab places. Here’s a fish sandwich I got from a fish kebab boat:
- Sausage consumption here is way high. They even come in lots of different colors. The white ones freak me out a little.
- Smoked is the main way fish is consumed here, and there are these awesome huts set up during street festivals with slabs of fish smoking next to wood-burning fires:
- Everything closes on Sunday. Like, if you didn’t get your groceries by 6 pm on Saturday, no food for you.
I’m sure there are many more differences that I forgot to mention here, but these were the ones that came to mind. Despite the differences (or because of them), I’m really enjoying my stay here. Germany is pretty nice!