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TheFool

A Fool Goes to Germany (Newsletter)

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A Fool Goes to Germany

 

Guten tag! Yes, that's right, I am writing this newsletter from my bed here in Germany. I hope to drum up some business for us overseas and that means having to suffer through cake, candy, beer, and sausages. Poor me.

 

I've been here a couple days now and I think what strikes me most is parking. Not that I am driving, but rather seeing where and how people park cars in Hamburg is something else. Earlier today I was walking along this narrow hill street and the sidewalk is covered with parked cars. I leaned over to the person I was walking with and said, "This can't be legal." No sooner than at the next car we see a sign that says parking on the sidewalk is permitted (which I wish I took a picture of because it was a funny picture of a car half on the curb). Yesterday I saw cars parked under an overpass between the pillars that hold it up.

 

Beyond that it hasn't really felt very different to be living here. Well, I suppose it was a bit weird when a guy got onto the subway and started playing an accordion and collecting change. Very surreal.

 

Have you been to a foreign country and remember what struck you as different that you weren't expecting? Are there things you expect to be different if you went to one? Discuss it on the forum!

 

Words from The Fool:

 

Jet lag isn't my problem. I adapted instantly to the timezone change. The real problem is that as I am writing this it's 7:13 AM Pacific, but 4:13 PM here. This causes some issues when people want to call me, as they either have to be up rather early or I have to be working rather late. It should be interesting to see how I hold up to a schedule that has me working mornings and nights but not during the day. Sounds foolish?

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TheFool wrote:

Well, I suppose it was a bit weird when a guy got onto the subway and started playing an accordion and collecting change. Very surreal.

Happens all the time here. :P

 

Well, when I went to the UK, I saw warnings everywhere. The thing that was odd to me, was that it also said how much you would have to pay if you didn't heed them. :o

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You don't have buskers where you live, friend Fool? (Ha! I know your name at last, but I won't give it away! My ambition was merely to learn it). :) We have too many buskers, but there are a few who aren't bad.

 

Just communicate by email, it's easier and no-one has to be deprived of sleep.

 

You must have seen some eye-poppingly beautiful architecture already. Lucky you!

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Yes, I am currently still in another country. My husband and I are in Belgrade Serbia at the moment. What seemed strange to me besides the time change, which took me forever it seemed.. Was the toilets. They way they flush is weird to me.

Its been doing nothing but snowing, it is a winter wonderland over here! But I think its beautiful.

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We were in a small town in Austria. It was freezing cold and raining, and we were lugging these gigantic backpacks around, no umbrellas, trying to figure out up what cobblestone street/steep hill our hotel was located on. I think we'd been up and down and around the whole town, and were extremely miserable and irritated at our friends who swore they had the directions down (let's just say this wasn't the first time we trekked aimlessly in multiple directions looking for something :P).

 

We were back on the main street, and all of a sudden, we see this procession coming toward us down the middle of the street, led by a priest. They moved silently, carrying a casket through the horrible weather, all the mourners with black umbrellas walking behind--probably at least 100 people in total. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.

 

We didn't know the protocol--every funeral procession here in the states is in cars, and you move your car off the side of the road to show respect, letting all the mourners pass. So, we moved off to the sidewalk and just stood, heads bowed & rain pouring down on us until about 5 minutes into it, a man hurried past us--guess you don't have to do that :D But, it was really sort of hauntingly beautiful

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@Argoyle:

That's insane! Ordering that there! Next someone will say you can order a bottle of water from a trash can!

____________________

And I never been to another country. I have heard that the British are always making fun of Americans for years. If one asks you how to spell Ohio and you spell it wrong they will put it all over the world on the media!

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@theone: to be fair, everyone changes languages so much that there's no such thing as a 'pure' language. For English, you got: Canadian, Australian, Indian, British, Shakespearean, Old English, Middle English, etc. 'dialects' or whatever you call it versions of english. Brits have their version of it as do everyone else who speaks english. But even the Brits one isn't the 'original' English either lol.

 

Seriously, try to read and understand Old English without a translator. It sounds nothing like modern english.

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They hated us ever since we broke away from them. Now many Americans make fun of accesents 'and' what they call 'chips' is really french fries. :P *eats saltless baked ones homemade style* *Nom* *Nom*

 

edit: I barley understood a word while looking and hearing it. Good grief!

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Haven't been outside the US besides Mexico, but I was little during that time so I don't remember much.

 

However, an example a bit closer to home: Non-Asian Communities. I have grown up and lived in a predominantly Asian community so I'm very used to seeing Asians pretty much everywhere. So when my family and I visit non-asian communities, it's a bit uncomfortable being the only asians there. Funny thing for me was that Asians shops have the hanging meet and stuff in the their shops. I remember some tourists in Chinatown were gawking at it XD

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princessbinas wrote:

Now many Americans make fun of accesents 'and' what they call 'chips' is really french fries. :P *eats saltless baked ones homemade style* *Nom* *Nom*

About 'French fries'... makes my ears cringe every time. Fries aren't a French invention, but a Belgian one. T.T So hontesly, chips is a much better word than french fries.

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Bah, you think french fries were bad? Americans AND THE WORLD think fortune cookies were invented by us Chinese.

 

THEY ARE NOT! We just stole them from the Japanese lol.

 

And Confucius did not say any of those sayings :P

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slimmmeiske2 wrote:

princessbinas wrote:

Now many Americans make fun of accesents 'and' what they call 'chips' is really french fries. :P *eats saltless baked ones homemade style* *Nom* *Nom*

About 'French fries'... makes my ears cringe every time. Fries aren't a French invention, but a Belgian one. T.T So hontesly, chips is a much better word than french fries.

Well, chips is the original word. Even now in most countries, besides the US, it's called fries, not french fries.

Not that I care, I'm neither French nor Belgian xD

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@theone: But I am. Belgian I mean :P I know most people call it either fries or chips, still America = big part of the world (though not as big as China or India ^^; ).

 

Anyway, I feel we've gone slightly off topic?

Another thing I noticed when visiting UK is in local restaurants/pubs they don't come and take your order. :S We actually waited quite a while at the table, but then just decided to go and ask when they were coming to take our orders xD

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Being American and having been to the U.K., I can honestly state that I have never met a nicer group of people (okay, so I obviously didn't meet everyone, but those I did meet were all kind and polite, so whatever). Anyone who says the British hate Americans is just making things up.

 

On the other hand, every mean stereotype about the French is true. They're (once again, generalizing from a pretty generous sample size) rude, entitled, and hate children. And Paris is overrated, as compared to the other European cities I visited.

 

Germany struck me as slightly depressing. I visited eastern Germany, and the Soviet-era architecture and stories I heard were not at all pleasant. We visited a huge brick cathedral, and you could tell that it had only recently been looked after. Then again, the beach town was awesome (although seeing all the naked children, and some of the time their nude parents, was slightly uncomfortable). St. Petersburg was a lot like Germany, except far more depressing and with tons of buildings both rundown and under renovation. I could see how it could be a truly beautiful city, but it isn't right now. Visiting the Hermitage made me just plain sad, because they clearly do not have the funds to take good care of the artwork. The USSR did so much damage to Europe.

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Have you ever been to the UK? If you haven't, then you can't really say if they're rude or not. My parents been to London and they had a great time. They didn't the people were rude at all.

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