A Little Bit Europe Vs. A Little Bit America These roads here are so different. Wide and even wider and without lights most of the time. Turning around an unlit median at night was always an adventure since I once ran over one, which I hadn't seen at all. My poor car was so badly shaken that I expected the axle to break. We are used to lights on every corner and reflectors everywhere. Stop lights however, are more practical here than in Germany. At home our stop lights are positioned right on top of you. I have to switch and turn and stretch my neck to see the light during a stop because it's overhead. Not in front across the street or in the middle of a median like it is here. To make up for it, we have 'green waves' as long as my driving memory goes back. What's a green wave? It gives you a green sign along long streets with many stop lights when you maintain a certain speed. As soon as you come close to the next intersection and drove in a civilized manner, the red light will turn green. It's programmed that way. We tourists always wondered, "Man, haven't they heard of 'green waves' here?" Okay, different countries - different customs. What else is different between Europe/Germany and the US? For example we have a different view of politeness entering a venue. The gentleman goes first into a restaurant. Why? To make sure that everything is okay for the lady, that no ‘enemies’ or hypothetical threats are around. He looks for a seat and leads his lady to the chosen table. I am still pushing a companion in front of me because I am just not used to enter first here. But then again, when I am at home in Germany now, I wait at the door in anticipation of somebody to show me to my table until I realize, nope, that’ll not happen. Sometimes I feel like I am committing breach of domestic peace. I like the custom here!  Another difference is that couples get their wedding bands for the engagement and wear them on the left hand. At wedding day the rings change to the right ring finger. I think Germany is the only country in the world where couples show that they are married with a band on their right hands. Nowadays, young and more modern kids apply the more worldly custom, like my son and his Katja, they are wearing their wedding band the international way, on the left. Did you know that we use special knives for eating fish? They look a little like butter-knives here. They are smaller than the regular dinner knife and have a tip at the end which serves as help to remove fish bones. Our fish knives have no sharp blade anywhere because fish is not allowed to be cut. It’s always pulled apart. (Just like potatoes. One does not cut a potato with a knife, but with the fork. I sometimes do it here and still look up, reassuring that Mother didn’t see me.) At first, when I visited here, I asked for a fish knife in a restaurant. But my request earned me only baffled raised eyebrows. “You want what? We don’t have … what?… fish knives here.” I searched for fish knives high and low in stores and couldn’t find any. So, this would be another (small) difference not worth talking about, but maybe a little interesting.
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Koziol, Germany, Ivory Carver, Buch, book, Koziol, Germany, Ivory Carver, Buch, book,