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Trivia and Other Fun Bits

26/06/2007

There is nothing exciting to report, I’m afraid. Our car arrived today (yippee!), so now we can pay outrageous gas prices like everyone else. In our little car we are required by German law to carry an orange vest (for when we break down), a first aid kit (for when we have to render aid to someone if we are first on the scene in an accident), and a triangle. So, due to the size of our car, we have enough room for either me, or a loaf of bread. Ha ha.

We move into the flat on Sunday. Mind you we have nothing really to put in it since our couch and stuff hasn’t arrived yet. We’ll go to a camping store to get some camping mattresses to hold us over for the next couple of weeks.

Kidney Stones. We now know why you don’t want to drink the tap water here. A friend who has lived here for a few years told us to ‘not be surprised when we have to carve away the calcium buildup off our tap.’ Lovely. I have had some bad water in my life (hmm…remembering the very rural areas of Africa where there was no tap), but this is bad. We even make our ice cubes out of bottled water. If you ask for a lot of ice at a restaurant, you get two ice cubes. Usually you get none at all. I think this is the only thing the French and Germans have always agreed on?? Getting dysentery from the ice was always something I was prepared for (or even willing to risk for a friggin cold soda). But kidney stones?

Porno. The place I sometimes have breakfast at has an assortment of magazines and newspaper for your enjoyment. Afterall, it is very rude to eat and run–you must sit and relax and LINGER. This is your duty (harder than you think). Well, yesterday morning I was so surprised to find among the German Good Housekeeping magazines a copy of Playboy. Nothing like some morning porno with your croissant and kaffee to start your day right. Mr. Left would like to point out their very good articles.

Chicken. It comes on everything just about whether you want it or not and whether it is listed on the menu or not as an ingredient in your food. Example: I ordered shrimp pad thai and it came with chicken. I ordered food at another restaurant–a vegetarian version, in fact–and it came with chicken. And yet, I have never seen a chicken here. There is so much meat here yet I have never seen the animals. Where are they? No one can tell me this, and this is a tour no bureau can offer me. Maybe it is being shipped in from Denmark. But I just want the noodles!

Recycling: If you are obsessive-compulsive and want to move on from the hand-washing to a new, more exciting obsession, then German trash handling laws have it for you. You can’t just throw something away here. Oh no. If you do, the authorities will come and take your trash cans away from you and you will have to go to city hall and bail them out. Equal packet? Into the paper bin. Plastic bottle? Into the plastics. Used coffee filter. Ah…tricky. You must put the grounds into the compost bin and then put the filter into a piece of newspaper and then put it into the paper bin. All in all it certainly makes us use less, if only because we can’t figure out how to sort the friggin stuff once we’re done with it.

Ciao!

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