Friday, July 28, 2006

things I'm going to miss about Germany when I finally pull

A repost of stuff listed back at the end of last year that I still, mostly, like better about Germany.


I'm tentatively scheduled to pull up stakes here by the end of December. Ofcourse, HR is futzing around like usual in this regard and I don't even know what all else I need to do to get out of my lease, etc. Despite the crazy hours and all the other stuff, I'm going to miss here, for the following reasons that we just don't have back in the USSA.

- Doener.
We don't have these, let alone other Turkish takeout, in the United States. I want to know why. Doener macht schoener, dammit, and they kick the ass of every other existing kind of fast food.
- Cheap beer that doesn't suck.
There is nowhere in the United States where the 'beer' portion costs less than the 'container' portion. And everywhere it drops toward that level, the beer sucks hardcore. The only cost-effective solution is Canadian beer in mini-kegs, and there's about three things wrong even just in that sentence.
- Eiskorn.
There is a woolly mammoth on the outside of the bottle, and booze on the inside. How can this go wrong?
- Bank transfers.
They're easier than checks and safer online than credit cards. You do need to actually go into a bank to do them -- god forbid we should ever have to get out of our vehicles. Maybe it's a leftover from the covered wagon days -- the inexplicable urge of Americans to see their cars as houses. explains it all.
- Cars being all relatively the same size.
Trucks are huge, but cars are all car-sized here. Nobody bitches about SUVs because nobody has SUVs.
- A real metal press.
Metal Hammer and Rock Hard both own. Metal Maniacs tries and fails; Metal Edge doesn't even try.
- Never getting carded for anything ever.
Since the drinking age is 16 and barely enforced, anyone who looks like they've gotten their full growth never has to show ID when buying anything. It's a smart system; alcohol at 16 so that kids can get over drinking by the time they're allowed to drive at 18.
- The coin progression.
1-2-5-10-20-50-1e-2e. The only combos that take more coins than in the US are (in theory) 25c and 75c, but since nobody actually uses 50c coins in the US, we're down to one instance where the US system is easier. And it even solves the pennybank problem, because 1c pieces are so small and easy to lose that nobody ever ends up stockpiling them.
- Ready-set-go traffic lights.
Is it for the convenience of those lined up behind people with manual transmissions? Is it because everyone in this country, including senior citizens, wants to drive in F1 when they grow up? Whatever the reason, I'm probably going to get pissed when I go back to the US and some stupid traffic light just goes from red to green without doing the "red-yellow, time to clutch" in between.
- Competent public transportation.
Dresden has about half a million people and 13 numbered S-Bahn lines, plus a ridiculous number of buses. Counting the five Green Line forks separately, Boston has about 10 subway lines and the half-assing Silver Line bus for a minimum of the 800,000 people in the city proper. Something is not adding up here -- or more accurately, something is adding up here, and that something is the particle count in the air.
If you can use primary colors for your lines, your transit system sucks.
If you have to use letters instead, you are doing a little better.
When you have to use numbers over a range of three digits, you should check your pockets and see if you have any non-German euros you can trade me for souvenirs.

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