I remember when I went to other countries they warned us of culture shock. I don't remember the details about the timing or the symptoms but I think I've definitely hit it. While on the surface, it first seemed like Germany was very similar to Texas, I'm finding lots of differences in daily life. Here's some food related differences I've noticed...
1. No drinking the tap water ever. The Germans just don't do it. Only bottled. It's not unsanitary as far as I know and perfectly fine if I wanted to drink it, but its just not done. And we don't have an ice machine so I'd probably have to drink it luke warm :/. This means multiple purchases a week of bottled water large and small. We also use bottled water for tea and coffee. This took some getting used to. I'm used to filling up my water jug with cold filtered water from the fridge (and ICE from the freezer). This also means you pay for bottled water at restaurants. No umlimited ice water.
2. That brings me to the issue of Ice. I haven't had one single cold icy cube since we got here! I know I could freeze some but it would probably be from my bottled water supply and that just seems tedius to do on a daily basis. Not something I miss really anyways but definitely different.
3. Bakeries everywhere! There are multiple bakeries on every street and several in each train station. They have lots of rolls, croissants, donuts, twists etc. Yummy and cheap. This is a good difference :).
4. Coldcuts for breakfast. I see them at the breakfast buffets and I just can't do it yet. #imisscrispybacon
5. No gallons of milk. We buy our milk in small 1 liter glass bottled every couple days. Its very fresh and doesn't last as long so its sold in smaller quantities. This necessitates a grocery trip every couple days. Getting used to that too...
6. Sparkling mineral water. Its the thing here!! Medium gas, regular gas, or without gas. At first I didn't really like it but now I love it! It's so refreshing - like having an ice cold coke without the sugar and stickiness. Caleb doesn't like it at all - he makes sure his water is "normal water" not the water with bubbles.
7. The grocery store...a few differences here! No baggers and no bags - makes the checking out process a little frantic with two kids. How fast can I get all this into my fabric bags while keeping the boys safe and then also paying before the next person starts checking out. Second, the water section is humongous, and the milk section tiny. And eggs don't go in the fridge and are very very fresh - often the ones I buy still have chicken feathers on them lol.
That's the main ones! I've loved almost all the restaurant food we've come to. Salads are great, schnitzels are yummy, and always paired with a refreshing mineral water!
Its been a pretty normal week so far. I finally got all the boxes unpacked and now have 2 boxes of stuff that we just didn't need to bring or didn't mean to bring. I brought just a handful of decorative items and I'm starting to put those out. Now just down to some reorganization of some of the cabinets and we'll be set for a while until they move us again!
This weekend, we're going to Belgium! Brussels and Bruges each for a day. We're riding the train because its preferable to not have a car there. Look for pictures!