German Fun Facts
Here are some things that I learned in Germany that don’t quite fit into my travel diary. Fun facts interspersed with pictures that didn’t fit some where else.
– Germans say, “Prost,” when toasting. Allegedly, you must look into the eyes of the person with whom you are toasting or you will be plagued by 7 years of bad sex.
– You may not realize this, but Germany wasn’t even an official country until the late 1800s. Munich was part of Bavaria. Bavarians have considerable regional pride and many of them fly the Bavarian flag instead of the German flag. Kind of like Texas.
– The German trains run on an honor system. They only spot check for tickets, so you could go months riding for free before you get busted. Jenny told me the fine is actually less than the amount for a month-long pass, so that sounds like a great plan to me.
– Schnauzers are an iconic dog in the country. On all the “No Dogs Allowed” or “Keep Dogs on Leash” signs, the schnauzer silhouette is the one used instead of a Labrador. I didn’t actually see a single live schnauzer until I got home to the US.
– While shopping, I noticed several high end store selling “American Mashmallows.” These stores are equivalent to West Elm or Crate & Barrel. These were not the Jet-Puffed Kraft marshmallows that most of us use; they were actually bags labeled “American Marshmallows.” My German friend Anne explained that advertisers in Europe really push marshmallows as something Americans constantly eat. They get wine and cheese, we get marshmallows. This doesn’t seem fair.
– I talked to some Australian girls on a four month world tour who told me enthusiastically that they did the “American tour” a few years ago. This is evidently going to New York and then flying cross country to LA. Because this is the best representation of the average American.
– Germans eat with both hands: one hand holds the fork and the other the knife. You keep both utensils in your hands as you eat. They can spot Americans because we cut a piece of food, put down the knife, change fork hands, and then put our free hands in our laps. Pay attention next time you eat dinner and you’ll see what I mean.
– In one of the underground train stations after dark, Jenny pointed out the classical music playing through overhead speakers. Evidently, Munich had a problem a few years back with hoodlums hanging out in train stations at night and rabble rousing. They figured out that if they piped in classical music, shenanigans decreased and people behaved.
– They seem unaware of the 50 Shades of Grey controversy over there. I envy them.
– Next time: business as usual back in the US and candy experimentation.