Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Observations

Well, we've been in Germany for almost a week (hard to believe) so I thought I would share some observations I have made about how things are done here. 

Handicap accessibility is severely lacking...at least in the area I am in...Bavaria.  The one time I used my 'transporter' I had to get out and park it to get into many of the stores and don't get me started on curbs!  Thankfully, I have not needed to use it since then, but they are a bit behind when it comes to accessibility.

Public washrooms are interesting...you have to pay to use them!  Anywhere from 50¢ to 70¢.  If you are a patron at a restaurant or cafe you don't have to pay but many of the mountain 'gäst hofs' expect you to pay...I say buy a beer and be done with it.  The toilets themselves are interesting.  The last one I used (n Austria along the Autobahn) disinfected the toilet seat at the push of a button (this piece comes from the back and then the seat rotates around so that the piece thingy can clean it)...quite fascinating really.  Some will do it automatically by sensor...I made the mistake of shifting my weight and all of a sudden the seat started to move..."what the hell???". I thought.  That was on the first day in Germany...I now know better...park yourself and don't get up until you are totally finished your business.  OK enough about toilets! LOL

Smoking!...blech...in Germany its not too bad, but in Austria, where we went at least, they are still allowed to smoke in restaurants...disgusting.  I don't know how we ever coped with it in Canada?? Antways, I though I would have to leave the restaurant when the patron behind me lit up, but I turned around to see who was smoking, and I must have had a disgusted look on my face because shortly after that, he wasn't smoking...thank gawd!

Stoplights.....turn yellow to let you know they are going to be turning green...not red!  Maybe they do it for turning red too, although I never see them do it...hmm?  Reminds me of car racing...I think the lights turn yellow before they turn green.  With all the Porsches, Mercedes, and BMW's here, I can see why!

Bicycles...I have never seen so many people who ride their bikes.  Old, young, crippled, business men, farmers, ladies wearing dresses...you name it, they're out on their bikes.  For fun, to go to work, to the market...it doesn't matter...it seems everyone rides a bike.  Either that or they walk.  It's actually nice to see so many people using alternative modes of transportation.  Don't get me wrong...there are still lots of cars on the road, which is why there are probably just as many people NOT in their cars.  I couldn't imagine what the traffic would be like if they all drove cars?....utter chaos most likely!

I was going to talk about beer, but that could take a long time. LOL  I'll just say that its cheap, its good, and you have to like a country that delivers it to your doorstep!

I will continue to add any other observations I make as the weeks go on.  My apologies that this is not really MS related...but its an interesting side note.  (besides, its my blog and I can write what I want!)

FYI  This is a view from the Partnach Alm (a cafe in the mountains) which is owned and operated by my cousin, Wilfrid.  The picture does not do it justice.

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