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Monday, December 22, 2014

Things You Won't find (very often) in Germany!

Here is a list of the conveniences that I took for granted while living in The United States:

AIR CONDITIONING - Although it doesn't get as hot here as it can in many parts of The United States, there are several days during the course of an average Summer when I really miss having an air conditioner.  It is possible to purchase one here, but the cost of electricity is high enough that having an air conditioned is not worth the trouble.

CLOTHES DRYERS - Also due to electrical costs, drying one's clothing is usually done on a drying rack rather than using a clothes dryer.  This is important to remember when your favorite shirt is dirty and you want to wear it on a particular day.  The complete clothes washing and drying process can as long as two or even three days depending on weather conditions, humidity and other factors.  Many Germans use both indoor and outdoor clothes drying racks to allow for the conditions.  But, I have witnessed people using drying racks outside on their balcony, even when it's below freezing outside. Good to note:  Germans are not so "hung up" about wearing the same outfit two, or even three days in a row.  As long as your clothing is clean and you don't smell, wearing something for a few days in a row is not a big deal like it is in The States.  A note to my German friends:  Don't worry, Americans aren't washing everything everyday, either.  They put clothing back on hangers a wear it a few more times before washing, items just aren't worn on consecutive days.

ELEVATORS - Many of the buildings that give Berlin and even Europe it's charm are much older than the buildings in America.  This is especially true of the apartment buildings.  While elevators are common in many of the newer office building here, the older buildings and apartment buildings often do not have one.  If you don not like climbing stairs, Germany is not for you...

PANDORA - the laws here (still trying to figure them out) are slightly different than U.S. laws regarding video, music and streaming over the internet.  Pandora is not permitted here, however iHeart Radio is available.  YouTube is available, some some of the videos (especially complete movies, music videos or professional production material produced outside of Germany) is limited depending on the copyright information. Netflix is a recent addition to Germany and even offers many of the same titles as it does in The United States (I only mention it so that Americans are aware that it now works). There are some video/music sharing programs that do not work, but there are many that do.  Also, the software to enable your computer to be able to view/listen to the programs that don't work, is readily available here.

CHEAP GAS PRICES - Every time an American complains about how expensive gas is, a German laughs hysterically!  While the price of gas did seem rather high to me while living in The States, I seriously took for granted how high gas prices are in Europe.  The current price of gas per gallon in U.S. Dollars is $5.57.  And this, after a sharp decline from $7.65 per gallon last Summer.  Gas prices here occasionally exceed $8.50 per gallon! Thus, the car is not a tool for making trips around the corner.

Tschüß!

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