Life in Germany

A list has been quietly growing in my mind and experience as we taste the firsts of our new community.

Yes, we have arrived in Germany!

Amidst the large changes, arriving involves many small, almost silent changes that, if not caught, could cause a sense of non-belonging. Many are laughable when noticed… but detrimental to “arriving” when missed.

Thus begins a fun documentation of differences between our Fresno-culture and our new Kandern-culture… much of which we thoroughly enjoy and appreciate… and others with which we will learn to do so.

Enjoy a glimpse into our daily “arriving”! (Photos at the bottom)

  • Ten is the new dozen… eggs not sold in twelve.
  • Bring your own bags to the market! Or pay a small charge to buy one.
  • The woods are alive! With stinging nettle, interesting big red slugs, wild pigs, goats, and trees galore.
  • Sheep and cattle crossing- traffic jam.
  • High 70’s summer weather
  • The shopping cart takes a coin… to unlock from the batch. Return the cart, get your coin back.
  • Register as a town resident and get your rights to a trash bin (with your name on it!)
  • Homes built up… not out. Four flights of stairs from basement to attic… with my Liz and a family room in the attic.
  • Quiet hours from 12-3pm, Monday through Saturday. No children playing loudly in the yard. Businesses closed.
  • Wednesday… businesses do not re-open after quiet hours.
  • Friday… many businesses do not re-open after quiet hours.
  • Saturday (I discovered today) – businesses close after noon.
  • Sunday sabbath… quiet hours enforced all day. No mowing, laundry, or construction. Get your groceries Saturday or don’t eat!
  • Pay for it on-your-honor… places along the way that leave out their wares and a box for you to drop in your money.
  • Cigarette vending machines on the sides of walls
  • Church bells chiming the hour and half hour
  • No left turns…. round-a-bouts!
  • $9/gallon gas
  • As a house door closes behind you, it locks. Don’t forget your keys!
  • No screens on your windows or doors… unless you buy the kit and install it yourself…
  • When writing an address, write the street name before the house number.
  • Want to meet a local German neighbor? Work in your garden! They love gardening.
  • When you flush the toilet, don’t forget to hit the “stop” button to keep the tank from draining. (Water is VERY expensive here…)
  • Like pork? It’s in just about everything. How about horse? rabbit? duck? I mean for food. Oh wait… that was France.
  • Germany, I hear, has the greatest system of recycling in the world. I believe it. There is a bin for everything.
  • You don’t need to worry about policemen pulling you over to give you a speeding ticket. They’ll just take a picture and mail it to you!
  • You won’t find any yard sales or garage sales… just seasonal flea markets (I went to one of the twice-a-year markets today in Kandern… fun!)
  • Little to no Cilantro
  • A culture of walking! This might partly be because our funding is short the cost of a vehicle (we are still at 84% of our budget) but also, Kandern is very small and everything is very close! I happen to love the walks…
  • We cook in grams, weigh ourselves in kilos (which looks a lot better 🙂 ) and measure distance in meters.
  • Shower: Turn water on to get wet. Turn water off. Lather. Water on. Rinse. Water off. Save water in a bucket. Water plants.
  • Cross in the cross walks (or anywhere?) and cars stop for you!
  • Drain your dryer… instead of pipes leading out of your home for laundry… they lead into a bucket. Which we get to empty after every so many uses. 🙂
  • leg-less lizards

Here are some photos to get a taste… will add as we take more!

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11 thoughts on “Life in Germany

  1. Oh, wow! You guys are on such a neat adventure 🙂 The Black Forest woods looks like the woods in Monterey, CA where I adventured as an 11 year old. LOVE the gardening aspect & the honour system!! Post more pictures! ❤ Miss you, neighbors!

      • In a word: blissful ❤ We married on February 14th and we are now writing and publishing! Steve's got two books published! I'm working on my second. Your older kids would probably like my first, it's a Young Adult novel 🙂

  2. This was a great read for me today, as I’m unpacking & thinking about going from a big house to a smaller one. I’m choosing to see the challenges in a positive light! Though not quite the same as moving around the world & embracing a different culture & language, there are some similarities. Thanks for the reminder, my friend!

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