Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering...and Even If You Weren't...

So...here's a little run down of some of the differences we've noticed while we've been here. The obvious difference is how much people LOVE soccer (futbol). Germany played the other night so we went out to dinner to fill our bellies and also witness how much they love the sport. All restaurants have places for public viewing. Without a TV, they definitely wouldn't sell any food that night. In addition, any public plaza or open space is turned into a public viewing area. In addition to their love for futbol, they obviously love their beer! People walk up and down the street with beer without any problem at all, but when we asked Mike he said that is not the norm. It must have been ok because of the futbol game. To help spread the love of beer, they have a portable beer back pack. We figured everyone in the US would appreciate this. I'm just wondering why this hasn't been implemented at tailgating parties yet....

Here's the beer man with his portable back pack making his rounds.

Here is one of the larger public viewing places. Notice the big TV...Germany had just scored a goal...the flags were flying high!
Other differences:
- Gas price is 1.5 euro per liter...which we were told to equate to 6-7/gallon. We weren't sure if that was euro or USD, but either way is super expensive! I'll quit complaining about our $2.5/gallon.
- Car taxes are up to 19% here!! Can you imagine!? So, even though Mercedes, VW, BMW are very popular here...they are more expensive to buy them here than in the US. Crazy!
- Sandwiches are made with only 1 bun...open sandwiches. That could be one reason people are thinner here. That...and all the walking they do. However, with all the bakeries and ice cream shops, it still doesn't add up for me.
- They are very 'green' here with recycling, small cars, energy conscience, water conservation, etc. The toilets here have two flushing options. 1 small button for less water and 1 bigger button for more water. It took us a few days to figure this out. We weren't going to ask since they seemed to do the same thing. But once I thought I might be selecting the wrong option and sending things the wrong place...I figured I should ask. It was good to know we weren't causing any problems with the plumbing. In addition, we couldn't figure out how to turn the lights on in the hotel. You must put your hotel key in a slot to turn on all the lights. Which is good because all the lights turn off when you leave your room. They do a lot of 'green' things...however, I think they do them just so they smoke more :)
Here's the local Hanesbrands office. It's very nice...and modern.

Last, but not least...a dorky picture of me calling home from my soft phone on the computer. It works pretty good! However, if I miss the morning phone call I can't talk to the boys until the next morning due to the time difference. I miss everyone, but we're having a great time!

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