Adjusting to life in Germany

From day one, we knew that life would be different here in Germany.

Adjusting to life in Germany was going to take some time, we knew that; The culture, the language, the expectations of us as representatives of our country. What we didn’t expect was the little things like appliances, food handling and behaviour in public.

Appliances

The fridges are small. This means that one must go shopping often to keep the house stocked. Milk, for example, does not come in 4L bags anymore. It is hard to find a large carton of milk as most stores only have the slender cartons. I end up buying 3 cartons at a time, and they last just over 4 days between the 4 of us. It’s a good thing milk is so cheap here.

Washers and dryers are also small. Don’t wait all week to do a load; every other day at the least. The laundromats also have small units, and only one large unit per location where one generally does their sheets, comforters and pillows. While we were in the hotel, we had a few days worth of laundry for the 3 of us, and we were shocked to find such small machines. Luckily the big one was free but an hour later when a comforter walked in the door, we got a few side glances until our load was finished.

Food Handling

Eggs are not washed at the farms. I noticed this when I checked for broken shells and noticed chicken poop still on the shells. It has something to do with compromising the shell and allowing salmonella to enter the eggs. Since North America washes the shells, we also refrigerate in order to keep the salmonella at bay. We are accustomed to refrigerating our eggs so they are still stored in the fridge, but the shells must be washed before handling and cracking to make sure no chicken ‘matter’ enters the egg and ruins your meal.

Booze is cheap. Enough said.

Chicken is expensive and pork is not. Exact opposite of Canada. You want boneless, skinless, you’re looking at 6 euro/kg.  I have yet to find a butcher that gives quantity discount, probably because no one has the fridge space for a whole cow.

Most burgers are made with ground pork, instead of ground beef. At the store, you have to specify which animal you are referring to. Restaurants also specify if their burgers are made with pork or beef. Personally, I don’t like ground pork outside of my Tortiere so I tend to avoid those places.

The public space

Beds don’t have traditional box springs. Ikea is a prime example of this. They sell bed frames, but instead of a box spring that needs to match the mattress, it is wooden slates like that of a toddler bed.  We only saw 6 houses while searching for our rental unit, but all 6 of them had narrow, closed in stair ways.

And finally, Street parking is not only a thing, it’s a must. There are way too many cars in Europe and they can’t possibly make enough car parks. When they say to go 50 km/h on the side streets, they aren’t kidding. Double lanes quickly turn into single lanes with two way traffic; have fun navigating that one on a corner at night. It’s mostly in the subdivisions but sometimes it can spill over into the main roads or school zones.

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By | 2017-03-21T22:40:43+00:00 December 7th, 2014|Moving to Germany|

One Comment

  1. Melissa January 12, 2015 at 1:02 am - Reply

    “Booze is cheap. Enough said.” This made me smile. I got pregnant right after we arrived in Germany (literally about a week after we landed), and I used to get frustrated that ordering water in restaurants was twice the price of my husband’s beer (which I’d have preferred had I not been expecting).

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