Having lived for almost a year in Germany more specifically in Berlin this is what I learned from the German empire and its culture.
#1 Reclying is a priority
German cities are clean and you rarely find rubbish on the streets, although in this case Berlin may be the exception to the rest of german towns.
In their own homes and buildings they have different containers to separate and recycle waste. It is divided between plastic, paper and cardboard, organic and glass (these are also separated in containers by colours: white, green or brown glass, indistinctly).
In addition, if you bring the glass and plastic bottles to the supermarket you get back a percentage of the amount paid (up to € 0.15 for each glass bottle and € 0.25 for each plastic bottle) so it is usual to see people on the street rummaging through the rubbish bins or picking up bottles in the city.
#2 They take piracy seriously
The illegal downloading is not permited as in the rest of the countries, unlike that in Germany is persecuted. If you are caught downloading illegal material from your ip address you can get a letter send to your home with a fine that is around 800-900 €.
Probably the best city in Europe along with Amsterdam and Copenhagen where you can go by bike. Berlin is a flat city that comprises wide lanes almost equal to widths of those of the highway and only for exclusive use of bicycles. Each train station including supermarkets, shops and restaurants has a free parking for bicycles.
#4 You pay for (almost) everything
There is the religion tax if you are not an atheist you must contribute to the maintenance of the religious buildings, tax for having a dog and using the parks destined for them, bicycle taxs if you decide to curry it in the subway and a long etcetera of payments and taxes.
Maybe that’s why the salary average is a bit higher than in the rest of european countries.
#5 Fine when crossing with red light
As applied with cars if you are a pedestrian you have the obligation of respecting traffic signals. In case of crossing with the red light sometimes even amber the police can give you a fine and the same applies if you go by bike!
#6 There is no public health service
Although it might sound rare and unlike the rest of European countries, in Germany there is no free public health services.
The health system is entirety privatized and the health insurance and what you pay for it will depend on your salary conditions. Generally, you will pay around 8-8.4% from your incomes to get those medical services which usually goes up to 200-300 € less from your monthly salary and your employer will pay the other half (also about 8%).
The majority of german do not follow trends especially when dressing. They choose comfortable over the modernity even they do not necessarily combine the colours.
And if you are thinking of buying outdoor clothing, Germany has many of the best production brands and department stores where you can buy special equipment for mountain, hiking, snow and other activities in the nature.
#8 “Square Heads”
The fact of his reputation as “square heads” is just another not so open way of expressing feelings. It is necessary to scratch or rather to dig in their shells to get them open in the personal wise.
They tend to be direct and as much as if they like something or they don’t you will know it. Making sentences appear more polite is not their strenght.
#9 They choose “Bio”
Germany is the meca in relation to ecological and natural products. In every corner, you can find chains such as AlNatura or BIO Company dedicated only to these products but even in conventional supermarkets or drugstores also have a large amount of bio products mixed throw all sections. This is what in other countries we will only find in herbalists.
Another advantage is the german bread, backereis are everywhere and they baked on a daily basis. Malt, barley, rye, seeds … of a great quality and variety that will make you change your vision about bread.
#10 There is no flat numbers
This can be confusing when you come to live in Germany. There is no 1 ° C or 3 ° A, it basically works by the surname and there is only one building number. Therefore they will ring the bell according to the last name that appears.
The same thing happens with the mail so it is important that in your mailbox your last name is correctly writting and legible if not the postman will not know where to leave your letter.
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