Tuesday, June 24, 2008

German Cultural Lessons

Right now, we are in Ottersberg, Germany. We arrived here yesterday evening and unpacked. We are staying with Hermann and Judy, who are cousins to Chris' dad. Their daughters Anke and Inid live on the property, too, along with the huge greenhouses which are their family business. Inid has two boys, Joel (1 1/2) and Elias (4). The boys are in heaven here. They have a huge yard, a woods, and a pond. They also have boys to play with and thus all the required boy toys. We've only been here 24 hours, and have already learned some lessons:

Lesson Number One

You know those coo-coo clocks everyone has? The ones that say "coo-coo" every hour? This afternoon, we were sitting on Anke's porch, enjoying the gorgeous weather, when we heard her clock going off. The strange thing was, it just kept on going and going. Finally, we asked her where her clock was and she started to laugh. We were hearing the actual coo-coo bird!!! It lives in the woods, and is in this area for about four months every summer. She got out a bird book, and showed us a picture, and guess what? The bird looks NOTHING like the birds that pop out of our clocks at home!! We had no idea it was an actual bird. Inid and Anke enjoyed a long laugh at us!

Lesson Number Two

The German keyboard is set up differently from ours. The Z and Y keys are reversed, so I've done a lot of backspacing. The shift key is farther to the right and left, and all the special keys like "$()'@ are in totally different places. It makes quite a challenge when typing.

Lesson Number Three

We as Americans to way too much laundry. Here in Germany people tend to rewear their clothes until they are actually dirty, opposed to what we usually do, which is throw all of our clothes directly in the laundry, no matter what condition it is in. Their washing machines are smaller, too, so today we have had to run about 6 loads of laundry. We're trying to rewear as much as possible, and will try to contintue that when we return.

Lesson Number Four

It's really hard to fall asleep before it's dark. Last night it got dark at 11:00 PM. It's also extremely hard to sleep in when it gets light at 5:00 AM!! What a change from what we are used to!

We will be here at Inid's until July 4th, so we'll be able to check email, despite what our vacation message says. I'm also going to try to get my pictures on snapfish, since the first memory card is full. Don't worry, we brought along two more memory cards with us....

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