Germany has a wide variety of quirks I find intriguing.
No bicycle helmets required. I like being able to take my life into my own hands. Who wants to wear those ugly helmets anyway? It makes total sense if you’re on a motorcycle but regardless, I like having the choice.
Dogs don’t have to be on a leash. People bike, run and walk with their dog trotting just a few feet in front or behind or right next to them. At the park the dogs roam freely, play with new friends and swim in the lake to cool down. It’s far more rare to see a dog on a leash, than one on its own. I’d give anything to have my dog, Honey, here with me now!
Food & flea markets. There’s a different one everyday! My favorite are of course, the organic food markets, Öko-Wochenmarkt & Regionales. The one closest to me is down the street in St. Georg. If possible, I’m there every Friday. They know me by name and seem very happy to answer my never ending questions about all the foreign fruit and veggies.
There are no water fountains at the gyms. I discovered this when I first arrived and went to various gyms to try them out and inquire about their rates. In fact, some gyms even have a water subscription service you can sign up for included in your membership price! At the gym I ended up signing up with, Fitness First, they simply have bottled water for sale. (I always bring my own with a filter anyway.)
“Street shoes” are not to be worn in the gym. This means that you can’t go for a run outside and go straight into to the gym afterwards. I’ve tried this a couple times at two completely different gyms and each time, was turned away. At my current gym when I asked the staff, “why?” He gave me a funny look and said, “they could get the floors dirty.” Well yeah, it’s a gym! So now I wear my “street shoes” into the gym and carry a bag. They have no way of knowing that It’s actually my “gym shoes” that are already on my feet.
Mandatory co-ed naked saunas. Say what? You read it right. Not only are they co-ed, but it’s mandatory that you don’t wear any clothing! I was told that this is for “sanitary reasons” when a woman kindly pointed out that I had too many clothes on. (I don’t get told that too often!) I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure that it’s far more sanitary to at least be wearing some panties. Thankfully everyone sits on a towel but still.
You blow-dry your own hair at the salon. It’s true! But for twice as much (literally), they’ll do it for you.