Germany vs. America

I was just thinking today of some of the interesting differences between Germany and America. 

1) Eating out:

  • In Germany tipping is not common. They often look forward to tourists who don’t know this and leave them really nice tips. Generally, if you want to tip in Germany you will just round up to the nearest whole dollar amount.
  •  Germans often eat together as a family at the table.
  • Eating is often a social event. In many local restaurants they will have a table set aside for “Stammtisch” (meaning regular table) which is a weekly event or sometimes monthly event. Many times school parents, older friends, groups, etc will meet at the same time every week(or month) and eat together.

    At a Stammtisch at a restaurant with Oma and her friends

2) Entertainment
  • In Germany you are supposed to register how many televisions you have in your house. There are actually people who come around and verify that you have reported it. There is a ‘television tax’ for every television. If you are in a roommate situation you are supposed to count them separately if you each have one. The tax is supposed to cover the cost of the commercials for the 3 main channels. The rest of the channels still have commercials. I never found that many great shows on those three channels. German television shows were definitely different. There are some of the same ‘style’ shows (as in reality shows, and star search style shows).  They also have some of the popular American shows in syndication that they have dubbed.
  • There is also a ‘radio tax’. You must report all of the radios in your house and even if you have one in your car.
  • In Germany, many movie theaters offer an English showing at a late hour, and in bigger cities there are English theaters. In German theaters you can buy popcorn and candy…and BEER. 🙂 (I know there are some theaters in the states that allow this)

    Muenster movie theater view out window from stairwell

3) Driving:
  • In Germany you can look forward to driving on the autobahn where you can drive as fast as you want unless in a designated speed zone. You are supposed to stay in the right lane unless you are passing. It is crazy to see the cars flying past you.
  • Many people do not get their licenses until they are 17 or 18. You have to go through an extensive driver training program and it costs a good amount of money.
  • In Germany, your passengers are allowed to drink in the car.
  • If you choose to smoke marijuana you choose to give up your driver’s license.
  • Not much different from the States…an Audi or a BMW are still expensive cars. Many young drivers are known to drive VW’s or the cheaper Opal.

    On the autobahn(converts to about 130mph)

4)Job Hunt
  • On your CV you are supposed to list your marital status, gender, and your age
  • Many CV’s are supposed to have a picture on them (that is subject to change)
  • They want to see what you’ve done with every second of your life. CV’s are very detailed, and any gaps in employment must be explained.

Those are just a few of the things I was thinking of this evening that are notably different. Is there any thing that you have heard or can think of?


About Sunshine Stanfield

I am a 30 year old single female. I was born and raised in Chico,Ca. All of my life I have loved to travel. I needed to do something fresh and I moved to Germany. I spent the last year traveling and exploring Europe and learning amazing things along the way. I can't wait to continue my journey again and continue to meet new and interesting people and cultures. I love to share my experiences with others and show others that when it comes to new and beautiful things in life... the discoveries are endless.
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3 Responses to Germany vs. America

  1. Nils says:

    I can see how some of those things might seem strange. Do you want explanation for some of them? Eg the “Television and Radio Tax”?
    In theory it is supposed to keep those channels independent from external influences. We therefore should be able to actually get mostly unbiased news and background informations as well as “cultural relevant” stuff. And indeed you will find most Germans turn to those channels to get their daily dose of tv news. Especially “Tagesschau” comes to mind as a prominent example.
    As with this you can actually look at most of your examples and make sense of them 😉

    Hope you are doing fine back in the US,
    lov Nils

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