I still got as much done as usual, but I felt much happier and less burned out. The streets are so crazy and the lights so uncoordinated that you’ll die of old age waiting for the crosswalk.
When I moved to Germany, I took this attitude with me but quickly found that it was not a universally acceptable behavior.
Germans take a much more casual, reasonable approach to public safety.
Eventually sensing my discomfort, Roger paused and gave me a blank look.
“Well, you asked,” he muttered, rolling his eyes before continuing down the hall to his office.
Credit cards are also virtually nonexistent in Germany.
This presented a problem for me when my American bank account decided to shut down after my first “suspicious” attempt to withdraw money in Leipzig, but once I got that squared away, being required to plan my expenditures and live on a cash-only system helped me keep my finances under control.
He stood up, casually wiped the trickle of blood from his forehead, and resumed his position on the platform without so much as grimacing. Every year, a local artist would put on a crazy party called “Bimbotown” in one of the warehouses in the Spinnereistrasse neighborhood of Leipzig.
The party was crawling with machines that this artist made — giant metallic worms slithering across the ceiling, bar stools that would eject their occupants at the push of a button from across the warehouse, couches that caved in and dumped you into a secret room, beds that could be driven around the party and through the walls.
German flirting is particularly brutal; “Your big nose looks good on your face” is about the best compliment you can expect to get in Germany.
Especially in the former East, , or free body culture, is an important part of German identity.
It was an incredible event that would have never been allowed to happen in the US because of all the safety violations — someone could hit their head, fall off a bed, get whacked in the eye.
And it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.
Germans don’t like small talk, and they don’t like bullshit.