Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top 10 Gripes of living in Germany!

Sorry for the delay folks, but I am here for the Top 10 Major Dislikes I've found so far in Germany. I'm hesitant to use the word hate but let's be real, there are some things that are just kinda off about being over here. So without further hesitation, here we go (get ready to live...I'm not too sure I'm going to hold back on some of these!)

10. Housing--there are ZERO closets here in German houses/apartments, whatever. It's crazy but the German's get taxed on their house per how many doors they have in the household. SO, they get rid of issue by not putting closets in. Some get smart and put the folding (accordion type) doors in as a replacement but otherwise, you do not see alot of closets. So you have to resort to using very large wardrobes, clothing racks or creating an entire "wardrobe room!" That's what we did. With not having any kids at the moment, we kind of have that luxury and the space to do that. Super glad I bought clothing racks to bring with us as well! They're really helped! And I can't lie, it's cool to just have a room for just clothes!

9. Every thing is closed on Sundays here, everything!! So not cool, especially if both of you work. So really on the weekend, you get one day to run your errands. It also sucks because you want to use your day to travel and see cool stuff so it's really a pain in the a$$. I also come from the land where Brunch happen on Sunday's! To not have that as an option was brutal. Not a fan. I have heard the reason being not being open on Sunday's is because it is viewed as a day of worship and rest. So...we just deal with it. If I had the $$, I'd open a sweet restaurant and promote the poo outta Sunday. I'm also American....so there ya go.

8. Since we're on the topic lame....the night life here (particularly in Ansbach) is super non-existent. During the week, nothing is really open past 9p with exception of our local pizzeria which IS pretty fantastic! But honestly, it's NOTHING like Milwaukee. So get your groceries and learn how to entertain yourself peeps, because there ain't nothing going in most villages. I think they all might be recovering from Oktoberfest still?? At least that's what I'm hoping for! For the weekends though, Nuremberg is a fun 25 minute train ride away and there are some fund spots there! We have yet to hit up the karaoke bar we've heard about (I mean, who wouldn't love to listen to drunk German's sing some David Hasselhoff songs?!) Frankfurt was a blast too--highly recommend hitting up the Sachsenhausen area. Lots to do there! #donthasselthehoff

7. DRINKS: There's no ice. ZERO ice involved in any drink that you purchase here in Germany! Imagine this....it's a Saturday afternoon and you're maybe a bit hungover and you can't wait to get your fountain Diet Coke from McDonald's = NO ICE! Not cool.

Also, there no refills. None at all. You have to pay for your water and you better ask for the right kind! You can order "water no gas" or "water WITH gas" so still water or carbonated water. If you don't specify which one, you'll automatically get carbonated water. With no ice. LOL

And good luck ordering a cocktail here. Well, some the bartenders know like a Jack and Coke (aka, Jacky Coke) it comes in a very small glass and honestly tastes terrible. If you try ordering my personal go-to, Vodka/Club Soda. Good luck! It took 3 trys to get mine and I have a separate contain for each aspect!Ice, water with gas and vodka. Super interesting. So rule of thumb, stick with the beer! You can't go wrong. I like to actively try to watch my calories so I've had to settle for vodka/rocks with lemon. Slows the drinking down but whew! Or, just have friends over at home, either way, I'm not super stoked about how it works over here.

6. Language barriers! So obvi-we are living in a different country. Totally aware of that. So learning the language is a large part of becoming more accustomed to the way of life here. I am trying to take a proactive approach because I DO want to learn it. The thing is, the Army offers FREE classes to learn German from a woman is 100% a German citizen. They even take you on trips into Ansbach to walk you through the downtown area to have a "day in the life" of a German.

How bad a$$ would it be if I could say I was fluent in two languages?! But there are people who totally refuse to learn and yet they get annoyed when communication gets hard? Hmmmm.... I also compare it to when I was living in the States and you had someone that didn't speak English, now I'm THAT girl. So I get it. The biggest thing is, try. And they'll love you for it! They'll totally laugh at you while you murder all the words, especially order a particular beer! But it's usually pretty entertaining and you get a good laugh and often times an education. We had an owner of a small bar in Frankfurt sit down with us and go over the entire menu and explain what EVERYTHING was! It was a blast and super cool of her to do that! We'll definitely be stopping by the Frau Rauscher pub next time we're in town!

5.German people are rude. SO rude. HOW rude!!!! For real, I guess I should specify but I've experience this mostly when traveling. They do not ever line up, or form a "Que" when getting on or off something. An elevator, a train, a tram, to get food even!! It's battle royale when dealing with Germans! It's funny when you're with American soldiers, because everything they've learned is about getting in formation, waiting and waiting some more. I think the saying goes...."The Army: Hurry up and wait!" LOL

But yea, pretty much almost got trampled by some dude when switching trains on the way back from Frankfurt and the most brutal example was when we were coming back down the mountain from our skiing trip in Austria. We had to take the large gondola and our friend had her 4month old in his stroller and people were CRUSHING them out of the way. It was absolutely ridiculous. They could care less that an baby was involved. So unreal. So what did the 10 of us Americans do?? We went into basketball mode and boxed their asses out!! We literally formed a unpentrateable force field to get our girl and the stroller on and it almost lead to a fight!! Ugh. But yea, be prepared to fight for yourself when traveling, because they're brutal!!

4. The winter weather. Is no joke. I thought I had gotten used to the overcast, cloudy days while living in Wisconsin but apparently I have not! This gloomy weather is the pits! Today--we're lucky, not a cloud in the sky but usually, it's gloom and doom. It wears on a girl.

3. Paying to pee...So this is legit and true. You really do have to pay to pee!
I know I've mentioned this in the past, but it's weird that you would have to pay and it's worse when you really have to go and you don't have any euro cent on you! Almost happened to me, but I got lucky when one of my buddies bailed me out with a Euro he has! LOL I will give them this though, they are extremely clean, which is the point! So what happens is you walk up to an area that looks just like this....

You put in your euro and you walk through the turnstile. It will print out a ticket usually worth .50 euro which you can use within the store/restaurant once you're done doing your business! It's an interesting concept. Not sure that would fly in the States. Oh! You do not have to pay to use the restrooms while at a restaurant....for the record! #freepeeforeveryone #betterhaveeuros

2. The mail system. Receiving packages from family and friends as well as ordering from online is a challenge. For example, we still have yet to receive our Christmas cards from Shutterfly! LOL So they'll technically be New Years cards?! Whatever, it is what it is but it's for sure annoying. I still have packages yet to arrive that are Christmas gifts for my husband! Who doesn't love opening gifts at any time of year but it's the principal of it all. So....noted Germany! It takes a decade to get things sent to family and friends from us as well as it takes forever to get anything from them.

1. Biggest gripe of a rookie coming to German via the military... The job situation. I'm going to specifically be talking to those of us that left a career behind when we packed up our lives and moved over seas. We knew that was the case (I'm assuming for most of us, not all of us though!) And I gotta be honest. It's not cool. I had ALOT of people, that told me not to work while I was living over here. "Go travel, experience all the countries, etc." which in theory is a wonderful thought, however, have you met me?! I couldn't imagine not working, I've always worked! I like making my own money and I was excited about working over in Germany as well-all the different experiences I would encounter. Realistically, not working is not normal. However, finding one would be the challenge. Actually for me, at this point, I am working a temporary Contract job (the woman I am subbing for went on bed rest/maternity leave 2 months ago.) What I get paid at a USAG (United States Army Garrison) job is what my real problem is. Is it worth the time to get paid that little of an amount WITH a Bachelor's Degree! Yikes. I'll be honest with you, with what I am doing as a receptionist in a department on post, it requires a Bachelor's Degree (can't do the job without it) and I not only get paid but once a month, it has taken over a month to get physically get to me, but it's also only $1700/mo. Per MONTH. It's a whole other world over here. I just think it's unfair with the requirements and the low pay, and the lack of jobs it doesn't give a spouse many options! Either take it or don't make any money! And it's typically never in a field where you use your degree.

There are a bunch of families that NEED the spouse to find work and right now in the current status of where I am, work is SCARCE! There are barely any jobs available to the spouses. That's problem. I mean....it's a slap in the face. I gotta be honest. There are those of us that have kids and those that don't. I fall in the category of the "without kinder." (Kinder = child) So it's a struggle.

On a side note,as I'm writing this section, I just received an email with a new position opening that would fit my credentials, weird!

So there ya go, my Top 10 Major Dislikes for Germany. Hopefully it was entertaining for you! I'm super interested to see what 2015 will bring! Thanks for reading and stay tuned...I've got a pretty controversial topic up next....hopefully I don't get in trouble for it later. Ciao!  #givemeaninchilltakeamile

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