In no particular order.....
- They have infomercials.
- They have made for tv products and commercials.
- They have religious nuts preaching in subway stations, who will switch to English if they sense the crowd is mostly tourists.
In no particular order.....
Below is an assorted list of some of the unexpected differences we found living in Munich. Photos throughout are of bizarre-to-us potato chip flavors.
In things that probably only amuse me, I am now humming Gagnam Style in my head after writing German Style above. Hehe. Anyways, in Munich (and from what we have seen much of Europe), Christmas tree lots like in the US don't really exist here. Hardware stores sell Christmas trees, but otherwise, very small squares here get filled with maybe 100 total trees ranging from one foot to eight feet high. They only have one type of tree (looks similar to Douglas Fir) so it makes going to pick your tree a pretty quick process since there literally isn't much to choose from.
One of the funny parts (in a you have to have a junior high school level sense of humor) about being in Europe has been seeing various places where something has to be lost in translation. Technically, most of this has nothing to do with translation, just that to a US pre-teen or someone having a rough Monday morning, these are often funny words.
Also, if you are easing this blog for the first time (or first in a long time) after reading my parents' Christmas card, I promise, most blog entries are much more mature than this one!
Two nights ago, they finally detonated the 550-pound bomb that had been uncovered after lying dormant since WW2. A video is available here. The buildings in the video are generally three or four stories tall, so this gives you a sense of the size of the explosion. The actual detonation kept getting delayed for a few hours, apparently because folks hadn't fully evacuated the one kilometer evacuation zone around it. I contend whomever didn't evacuate is stupid because we heard the blast two miles away and supposedly folks as far as six miles away heard it.
While my last post was titled based on the song by Phantom Planet about California, I sadly don't know of any songs written about San Diego. Hmmm.... Quick google search pulls up some of the following, but either they are a bit of a stretch or I've never heard of them: Top Gun theme song, Bruce Springsteen's "Balboa Park", Eric Clapton's "The Road to Escondido", and Dean Martin's "Thirty More Miles to San Diego."
I recently went back to the US for a whirlwind ten day visit. It was already planned to be a tight schedule with me flying home to San Francisco on a Monday (which ended up being an even longer flight due to stopping in Iceland for a medical emergency), trying to quickly beat jet lag so I could fly to San Diego on Thursday with my mom for a long weekend of wedding planning with my sister and her fiancé, fly back to Oakland the next Monday, and fly back to Munich on Thursday. Turns out my dad was in the hospital for essentially the first half of my trip home, so that made scheduling even tighter and meant I didn't really have any extra time to see many friends; I hope you all forgive me!
When I got back from the cruise, one thing Greg said he wanted to do was have folks over for a 4th of July barbecue, so we did just that. We gathered up nine US folks we know who are here in Munich for varying reasons and lengths of time, and we did the best to celebrate American-style. The highlight of the evening was probably in all honesty that Greg and I finally found a farmer's market vendor that has spicy habanero peppers so we were able to make an authentic guacamole, which for many of us was the first spicy food we had consumed in months. There was a variety of grilled food (bratwurst, vegetable skewers, pineapple), a variety of beer, and most importantly, good company.
It was definitely not the same celebrating 4th of July in a foreign country where most US folks had to work or take a vacation day, and where we couldn't see fireworks, but we did our best listening to stereotypical American music, and enjoying the only American decorations I could find: stars and stripes hand towels. All in all, like most of everything else in Germany, it wasn't the same as being back home, but we made the best of the situation and had a good time. I hope you did as well!