Howdy and happy Friday!
The weekend is finally here. Oh and if you guys don't know what to do: come on over and help me getting this house in order, so I won't have to be ashamed tomorrow while showing the people who want to move in around! The Realtor called in sick, so I will have to do it.... Ugh.
Today I want to share a few things about living in Germany I WILL DEFINITELY NOT MISS! Don't get me wrong, Germany is an awesome country to live in. But a few things in daily life just drive you crazy:
1. The "Einwegpfand"
If you want to buy soda in Germany, no matter if it is a bottle or a can, you have to pay 25 cent extra. Deposit. Yes, on every single item there is a 25 cent bottle deposit. Or container deposit.
You might think I'm cheap, but it is way too much money to just throw the bottles and cans away. If you want your money back, you will have to go to the grocery store, wait in a line of about 15 other people with huge trash bags full of empty bottles and cans, put every single bottle into a nasty, sticky, stinky machine, grab the receipt (which my sister ALWAYS forgets), and cash it in at the checkout.
2. The "GEZ"
The "GEZ" is a fee collection service, some bright human came up with in 1976. Every household in Germany using a Radio/TV/Computer/tbc. HAS TO pay €17,98 Euro (about $25) every month. On top of your cable TV or whatever service you are using. You pay them just because you can or could watch TV, even if you don't watch any TV at all. You HAVE to pay them. Seriously. If you don't, they will show up, just like the Mafia. They send you letters, ring your doorbell. They threaten you. They do everything in their power to make you pay. As far as I know you now have to pay for smartphones as well. Because you COULD use them to watch TV shows or listen to radio. Crazy shit right there. If you want to know more about this "criminal" German institution, check out this article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEZ
3. The Very Grumpy People
When entering a store in Germany, some (or even most!) of the people working there give you the feeling you are not welcome at all. Like "Naw, go away, we don't want to sell anything. Oh and it's the time of the month so please just leave me alone. Me and my colleague want to talk about our weekend plans."
Did you watch "Pretty Woman"? Check out this video (at 0:30) minus the "Can I help you":
Those grumpy people can be found in many places though. Like Christmas markets. Or at grocery stores. Oh, and in cars, of course! I don't know what's wrong with them, but being nice and polite is definitely nothing most Germans are used to, especially the ones who never ever left Germany.