24 March 2006
Little Things I Love About Germany
Tile Floors. Tile is the preferred flooring in most houses here. We have carpet only in the family room and the master bedroom. All other rooms, including stairs and hallways, are tile. At first, it seemed cold and echo-y. It's still cold, but ease of clean-up has sold me. With various and sundry 3-year-olds in and out, accidents happen. One morning a few months ago confirmed my love of tile. Katrina woke up early and made her way upstairs without stopping at the bathroom (which is usual for her). At the top of the stairs, she started coughing (she's had 2 bouts of bronchitis). By the time I got to her, she was looking down and saying "What happened?" A positive river rippled down behind her, all the way down the spiral staircase and puddling at the bottom. Thank goodness for nice, hard, cold, cleanable tile. Carpet would have been a nightmare.
I can't even tell you the turnaround of my attitude on this. Jon wanted to put way more tile into our house in Virginia than we did. Now I'm ready to take up the hardwood and maybe even some of the carpet if we go back to that house.
Runny Yogurt. Much of the yogurt in the German grocery stores is a little more liquid than we're used to in the U.S. It's nearly pourable. But the plain "mild" yogurt is soooo good. It has less of the yogurt bite and is very creamy. Just a little honey or fruit in it...mmm.
Traffic Circles. Love, love, love traffic circles. The signage is always very good... a little diagram of the circle with each road labeled with whatever town it leads to. And it beats waiting for red lights to change!
Movable Shower Heads. You can move them up or down a pole or take them out of their holders completely. Great for cleaning shower doors and walls, and for rinsing squirming children's sudsy hair.
German Restaurants. OK, so I can't eat wienerschnitzel, gravy, croquettes, pizza, pasta, etc., because of my celiac disease. The nice thing about most German restaurants is that they are small and often family-run. There is actually a chef in the kitchen who makes dishes from scratch and knows what goes in them. Contrast this to some of the chain restaurants in the U.S., where pre-marinated frozen meat and pre-made, microwaved food are common. I've been in places where even the kitchen staff couldn't tell me if something had wheat or not. Not so here. You may wait longer for your meal, but that's because it's being cooked fresh in the kitchen.
Plus, every restaurant I've been in so far has rumpsteak with fried onions on the menu (even the Italian places). My back-up plan.