1. People recycle EVERYthing here. There are different garbage containers down at the front of our building for recycling different things: plastic, paper, organic matter (like orange peels and coffee grids), cans, and one for general garbage. Glass is collected in big bins on the street corner that look like giant gumdrops: one for brown glass, one for green glass, and one for clear glass.
2. Food is REAL food. You get a sandwich and even if it cost you 1 Euro it is the best sandwich you ever had. Everything is so FRESH. Last night I had linguini that had been made from scratch earlier in the day at a restaurant and it was only 6 Euros. Amazing!
3. Public transportation is reliable and runs on time. This is axiomatic here.
4. People *shovel* the snow early in the morning, they do not wake you up at 6am with snow-blowers (at least, that is my experience here in Berlin – I don't know how it is in other parts of Germany).
5. I can see great live bands here. For instance, I'm going to see Laibach on the 29th. The last time they toured in the states was 2004.
6. Sunday is a Day of Rest. Nothing is open. You can not run that errand, do that thing, go to that place. Or you can, but it will be closed. Cafes and restaurants are open and little else is. It forces you to de-stress and I love it.
1. Nothing is open on Sunday. I just accidentally opened my roommate's container of whipped cream thinking it was my yogurt because the package is exactly the same size/shape/color/brand etc. And now I can't replace it until tomorrow. I hope she doesn't notice...
2. Apartments don't always come equipped with a kitchen sink, refrigerator, or oven, you have to buy and install them yourself. In face, MOST places don't have a refrigerator, and you're really LUCKY if they have a kitchen sink and stove/oven.
3. Things take a lot more time here. For instance, with my apartment search, even if I find a place, the application process will take a long time. At the last place I looked at, the woman told me that even if I were to fax her my application and all of my paperwork, I wouldn't be able to move in until January 15th.
4. People need signed documents and letters of recommendation for just about everything. It's nuts. I'm going to have to start being organized with all my paperwork, *groan*
5. Not being able to read/speak perfect German is a real bummer. I'm learning more and more every day, but still. My classes start at the Goethe Institute here on January 4th, and I'm hoping that will help me pick it up faster, and having German all around me 24/7 helps, too.