4 Little (Everyday) Differences between Life in the US & Germany


Happy Fri-yay lovely people!

Here we go again. Life in the U.S. is a peculiar thing and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. As I continue everyday life in the states, there's things that I find quite striking. A few of those are the following: 

1) Customized Licence Plates

I legit burst out into laughter a few days ago when Rickey and I were stopping at a light, behind a car with a licence plate that (I shit you not) said: SlapBeti. Now besides that fact that I had a lot of questions in my head immediately (Who is Beti? Why slap here? Are you, driver of this car, Beti, and like to be slapped?), the point is that over here, licence plates don’t just consist of numbers and letters, oh no. Want a real personalized one? Not a problem at all. After all, it’s the “Land of Opportunity”, or rather of endless opportunities. If you fancy a laugh, check out Pinterest for some hilarious licence plates (omg, people!)

2) Car Sizes

Okay, granted, I had this realization years ago, when I first visited the states but it became pretty evident again at some point this week: Cars are just bigger over here. Maybe not so very much down here in San Diego, as city life often times requires a more manageable sized card (downtown city parking is killer…) and thus, specifically the little Fiats become more popular. However, trucks are still a real American thing. And what can I say? I kind of have a thing for those, big time. Totally uneconomic and polluting monsters, realistically seen, I get it. So, am I driving a truck? Ha, absolutely not! (Rickey does, though, but not a completely beefy one.) Do I wish I would? Heck, no. I would hit everything and everyone and city driving would give me several panic attacks. My solution? The littlest or cars. I made it without a car in car nation for about 9 months or so. Since public transport is not cool (or rather almost non-existent), I needed to make my life a little more convenient. I love my little Nugget” and yes, I do take it on the freeway (for anyone who has this question in their heads right now; a lot of people ask me that and I believe it has something to do with size again here). It’s the funniest when people ask this so seriously and sometimes in total horror.

3) Every Day Is Like “Casual Friday”

Everything is more relaxed, more casual here in sunshine city. This also relates to the dress code. You should see me on weekends. If I don’t need to go anywhere, I run around in workout clothes. Well, and even if I go somewhere during the day, you will most likely see me in gym pants and a tank top. It took me a while to adapt to this, but it’s just so darn easy. And the best thing? Pretty much everyone does it. (Again, there are always exceptions to the rules and nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes, on the contrary.) Of course, if there is a special event, or we go out do dinner, for instance, I greatly enjoy dressing up. But it also depends on where we go, haha. And then I have weekends where I just want to look a little more decent - decent meaning jeans, a nice t-shirt and not a messy bun and some mascara on. And then Rickey all too often goes: “Why are you dressing up?” Makes me laugh every time. See the little German-US difference in style here? What’s casual clothes for us can most likely be considered “more dressed up” over here. Maybe it’s just San Diego in particular…

4) Prescriptions Made Easy

Let’s talk doctors here for a second. I am not getting into the whole (controversial) healthcare topic (as I might still know too little about it to have a critical opinion) but one thing is for sure: Some things are just so much more advanced. Like…I was almost mind-blown how advanced. Let me give you an overview (and to those Americans out there, this won’t be anything new and exciting, but trust me, Germany is far behind when it comes to how healthcare routines are managed).

Now, first of all, we do have an online account through which everything is managed: health and wellness news, appointments, emailing your doctor, prescriptions, and refills. One thing that is completely normal here is to send your doctor (GP) an email if you have general “health and wellness” questions. Say what? Since you saw him/her for a general physical before, they have all info about you on file and give you guidance. They usually respond within two days. Now, the other thing I experienced just recently and that really blew my mind away (I am not even kidding!) was the fact that I actually grasped at the opportunity to email my GP about something; she responded, and just said “…I prescribed you…let me know how it goes.” Umm, what? Where? What just happened?

So, bottom line is: She gave me a prescription for something that would usually take a whole long process to actually get in Germany: Go to the doctor, wait, have it prescribed by him/her, take the piece of paper to the pharmacy. Here, since she just recently saw me, just gave me the prescription right away. It was automatically listed in my account, I just had to go to the pharmacy with my insurance card and they had it ready to go for me - without any surcharge. I mean…just imagine emailing your doctor personally in Germany…let alone this super convenient prescription procedure. Thumbs up. That was easy.

Any similar experiences you have made, living abroad, things that are different, yet tend to be better in your opinion?

Be well.