Monday, December 28, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

To live in Germany requires patience. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. But as a whole, they have some ‘quirks’ that as Americans, take patience and some getting used to.

The villages in Germany have extremely narrow streets. Kasel, our town, is no exception. You often find yourself driving on the curb to pass a car going the opposite direction. Our streets HAVE sidewalks, most streets around here do because the Germans are always on foot. But the Germans rarely use the sidewalk. Instead, they choose to walk ON the narrow road, blocking traffic. WHY?! Also, if a car in front of you comes across a car of someone they know (doesn’t matter if the car is in the same or opposite lane), they stop, in the middle of the road, to chat. They don’t pull over. They don’t just say hi. They block the entire street to carry on a conversation with someone who they most likely see 4+ times a day.

Waiting for a parking spot with your blinker on means nothing. Don’t wait, for some German is bound to whip right in front of you and steal the spot.

If you’ve read the blog before, you know about the German line cutting ways (another quirk that takes a LOT of getting used to). Well this habit follows into the streets. The Germans CANNOT merge. And this is because they all cut in line, they all have to be first. Instead of merging when they see that their lane is ending, they speed up and try to pass each other. If it didn’t cause such a traffic back-up, no big deal, but instead, it causes major traffic delays. Yes, this happens in the U.S. as well, but not to the extreme, trust me. You can always spot the Americans on the autobahn, for they are the only ones who actually merge.

Americans living in Germany must learn patience.

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