This Week's Blog
is offered by Jennifer Rogers, who has been here since February, an exchange student from the University at South Dakota. Jennifer is taking courses in English.
Commentary and interaction will be welcome...
Blogs to Come
April 25, 2007, Oldenburg
Yesterday was another day of discovery, as is almost every day here, but since lately my days had become a little monotonous, it was nice to do something different. And by “different,” I mean something that would be completely normal for a German.
A friend of mine brought me along with him when he went shopping, but he didn’t shop in a normal store. We went to a wholesale store. There are wholesale stores in the States too, but not as many businesses use them. They’re mostly just for people who want to buy a lot of stuff. I was told that businesses here use these wholesale stores quite a bit. In the States, most businesses order what they need and then everything is shipped directly to them. But the wholesale store itself was interesting. I hadn’t seen a place yet where one needs to pay to use a shopping cart. And the check-out system was different also. There was a cashier who scans the items, but then we had to go to a completely different register to pay. It seems like it could be more efficient, but they’re also putting a lot of trust in the customer, which I haven’t seen very often in American stores. How do they know, once all of the customer’s items have been scanned and put back in the shopping cart, that the customer won’t run out the door with all of the groceries and without going to the second register to pay? You’d think the customer would try to be a little more subtle about stealing, but I’m sure people would still try the other way.
Continuing in my day of discovery, I also got to try absinth. In the States, absinth is illegal and I’ve heard stories of how it’s a hallucinogen and dangerous and only hard-core druggies ever drink it. I don’t understand why it’s illegal; it couldn’t be because of the strength of the alcohol, because we have drinks that are much stronger than that. Anyway, I tried it and it tastes like black licorice, so I don’t really like it. I didn’t start seeing weird things and I didn’t become a drug addict afterwards, so I’d have to say the experience wasn’t all that bad. It did make me think, though, of all the things I was told about Europe, Germany and Germans while I was in the States that turned out to be not true. I even made up a list, so here it is:
Things I Learned in the States About Germany and the Germans That I Now Know is a Bunch of Crap
1. Germans don’t chew gum. (I’m pretty sure that my German professor just made this up to try to get people to stop chewing gum in class)
2. Germans don’t rest their hands in their jeans pockets
3. Germans don’t drink milk.
4. There is no peanut butter in Germany
5. The tap water is bad for you in Germany.
6. Germans hold their alcohol better than Americans
7. Germans aren’t friendly. (They are a little more reserved, I have noticed that, but everyone so far has been pretty nice to me)
8. Germans will not understand you if you cannot speak perfect German.
9. Germany is so crowded that people are moving to the US to have more space.
I'm sure there's more, but that's all I could think of last night. Probably the absinth blocked my memory.
--Jennifer Rogers 13:50, 25 April 2007 (CEST)