Tuesday, August 21, 2007

3 Awful Things About Germany

I took off on a trip through parts of Europe and North America, so I haven't made an entry in my blog recently, but I kept some notes which I hope to use to reminisce about my trip.

The first point I want to make about my trip was how overwhelmed I was by a few things I just couldn't comprehend about Germany:

1. Lufthansa. This is a well known airline, but you would think they designed their economy seats for Hobbits. I'm not the tallest guy in the world (six feet), but my knees were pressed for 13 hours into the seat in front of me. After 8 hours, the pain turned to numbness and the trip became bearable after that.

Here the Hobbits line up for their specially designed airplanes

2. Smoking. It seems that when a child is born in Germany, they are given a free packet of cigarettes. It appeared to me that MOST people in Germany smoke, especially if there's food and drink around. I couldn't understand how a nation known for being aware of health and environmental issues could have such an addiction to cigarettes.

My first sight of Frankfurt from Hobbit airlines. I thought they were clouds but later discovered it was passive smoke

3. Shelf-toilets. A friend warned me before using his bathroom in Munich that the German 'shelf-toilet' is one of the most disgusting things he's ever seen. I was equally appalled at the proximity it makes to one's feces and the resultant pungent odor it leaves in the bathroom. I asked an Austrian aunt about this style of toilet and she said she preferred it in case her doctor ever requests a sample of her stool. If my doctor ever wants my stool, then I'll do a poo for him at his place, thanks all the same.

Scatalogical nirvana

Bonus awful thing about Germany:

4. Autobahns. One of the words I heard the most while in Germany was their word for traffic jam: Stau. Autobahns are famous for having no speed limit, but that's of little use when there are traffic jams everywhere. What the Germans really need are AUTOBAHNS.

National past-time: Germans stop to watch Hobbit airplanes fly overhead through clouds of cigarette smoke
Apart from these awful things, I still had a great time in Europe. Some of those good things will follow.

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