Am 11. August hat für mich das bisher spannendste Jahr meines Lebens begonnen. Über 6000 km entfernt von meiner Heimat in „Good old Germany“, werde ich für 10 Monate in Virginia leben um dort Land und Leute kennen zulernen. Ich wohne dort auf einer Farm, etwas außerhalb von dem kleinen Örtchen Berryville, eine Stunde entfernt von Washington D.C.
1. Extreme air conditioning in summer! Even in summer you don’t have any problems to dress appropriately at school because you need a sweatshirt inside.
2. You just get $ 20 bills from the ATM.
3. American houses have much more bathrooms. Sometimes more than people, who live in it.
4. American beds are at least twice as high and much bigger as the German ones.
5. The students use big binder for each class.
6. German Birkenstocks are really common. Not only to wear at home.
7. Why are American brands like e.g. levis more expensive in Europe and H&M is still not expensive at all here (because of all the discounts it’s even less expensive here)?
8. They don’t have German bred. So I learn how to make one.
9. The school is responsible for the transportation to school and back home and that’s why we have so many snow days, which means either a delay or school gets canceled.
10. In winter the car get turned on earlier sometimes, so that it is warm when you get into it.
11. Most of the cars are much bigger than in Germany. (I have to “climb” into the truck of my host dad every morning since there is no extra step as in most of the higher cars.)
12. You can’t get anywhere without a car, even if it’s really close. There are no sidewalks outside the town and you’re not allowed to cross the high way.
13. There is a great competition in the commercials between the two major phone companies At&t and verizon.
14. Everyone is paying with a card or checks.
15. Chinese food is really common.
16. Students can choose their own classes from a broad range of courses. And most of the classes like Photography, Marketing, Environmental Science, Sociology, Psychology, Guitar, Nursing, Forensic Science, just to tell you a few examples, we don’t have in Germany.
17. The Christmas lights are extremely colorful and not just white.
18. The classes at school include students from several different grades.
19. The closets are more like walk-in closets since they are in the wall.
20. The main topics in the commercials are diets and prevent pregnancy or the fight between the two major phone companies At&t and verizon.
21. Americans greet more often or just ask “How are you?”, pay more compliments or hold the door for each other.
22. In every classroom there is a computer and a projector.
23. Here we never turn of the Computer or the TV.
24. Here it is not unusual to congratulate before the actual birthday.
25. Clarke County is extremely conservative.
26. In the morning crossing guards lead the traffic next to the school.
27. Here in Clarke County there is dear everywhere.
28. The decorations in the front yards for special holidays like Halloween or Christmas are more extreme than in Germany. It’s amazing how much effort some families put into it.
29. Dinner is the main meal of the day.
30. Birth control and weight loosing are big topics in commercials.
31. The idea about distances is way different. Everything is much farther away than in Germany.
32. Dogs as pets are much more common than in Germany.
33. We have a dress code at school. Shoulders have to be covered and shorts/skirts have to be longer than your fingertips. (Your Cross County shorts are not appropriate.)
34. I get used to see teenagers dressed up in suits, dresses or something similar because for some sport meets the participants have to dress up before.
35. The drinking age is 21.
36. There are drive throughs almost everywhere. (McDonalds, Starbucks, apothecary…)
37. We usually don’t eat together here.
38. In most of the classes you get extra credit really easy. In PE you just have to dress appropriately to get credit.
39. The greatest prejudice: Fast Food!
40. Here we have much more Field Trips than in Germany.
41. The American flag is almost everywhere – houses, classrooms, in front of the school…
42. Everyone is wearing Flip Flops some even in winter.
43. Football is the most popular sport.
44. Many Americans have German relatives or ancestors or any other relationship to Germany but nobody can speak the language. The only words a few American know are “Dankeschoen”, “Hallo” or “Guten Tag”.
45. Americans get up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier at night.
46. Americans overdo the gift giving part on Christmas.Church and God are much more important. We go to church almost every Sunday and pray before dinner when we all eat together. Every first Sunday of the month is Donut Sunday, where everyone gets donuts after church.
47. Grades go from A+ to F.
48. The graphic on American graphic paper is bigger.
49. In the grocery store you get a plastic bag for almost every single thing you buy.
50. In the grocery store you can buy every vegetable already chopped.
51. Students need a hallway passport to leave for the bathroom during class.
52. The handkerchiefs are usually in boxes and not in the small packets to take with you.
53. The Americans celebrate different Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas on the 25th.
54. Horses are usually kept at home so we don’t have an inside arena and have to ride outside all year.
55. Hot chocolate is made out of water instead of milk.
56. So far I recognized that ice cream is much more expensive than in Germany.
57. Everyone has an iPod and many people an iPhone.
58. Americans usually eat without a knife.
59. Americans can get their license with 16 years and 3 months. But in the first year they’re just allowed to take one person (except of family members) with them.
60. Most of the teenagers don’t lock their car or leave to keys at the car.
61. Many families don’t lock their doors.
62. To send a letter you just have to put it ready with a stamp in your mailbox at your house. Then you put the red flag on the side up and the postmen will get it.
63. The American measuring units are Fahrenheit for the temperature, inches, feet and miles for distance, oz and cups for volume and pounds for mass. But in math and science at school they use the European units like Celsius, meter, gram and liter.
Ordering dinner is more common than in Germany.
65. Many Americans know the percentages of the different nations they are originally from.
66. New Years Eve is kinda unimportant.
67. Americans don’t celebrate St. Nikolaus day.
68. Here we have non calculator tests in math.
69. If we need the oven for different things during the day, it doesn’t get turned of in between even if this would be a really long time.
70. You don’t get a grade for participation in class.
71. For tests and quizzes at school you have to use a pencil instead of a pen.
72. I’ve never seen so many Planet Earth or Football movies before in my life. (at school!!)
73. The popcorn is salty.
74. There is no public transportation like busses or trains in Clarke County.
75. In my opinion students show a lack of respect during class. Reading, texting, internet, sleeping seems to be more important.
76. The teachers have their own rooms and the students have to change rooms.
77. In the stores there is always something on sale.
78. Most of the time scantron sheets are used for tests.
79. School is usually so much easier than in Germany.
80. The typical American school busses drive the children to school and the sport teams to their competitions.
81. There are so many wedding shows on TV. (wedding dresses, wedding cakes etc)
82. School is much more than just studying. There are school sports, school spirit and events like powder-puff and homecoming.
83. School sport is very important. I missed math tests twice because we went to a meet - and that was normal.
84. Also Shirts from Colleges, Sport competitions, and Clubs are popular.
85. Soda is the normal every day drink.
86. You can’t find normal German “Speisequark” here. The translation would be farmer’s cheese and that looks totally different (like hard cheese).
87. The school has T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Pants, and Shorts etc. as Spirit wear and the T-Shirts and Sweatshirts are extremely popular – everyone has one.
88. Here are stinkbugs almost everywhere. That is so disgusting.
89. Almost everything is super- or pocket-sized. I haven’t seen any 1l bottles yet, they’re either at least half or twice as big. But also most of the cars and fridges are bigger - and our house and property here!
90. Everything is much sweeter than in Germany.
91. Many houses have swimming pools.
92. We have much more tests and quizzes here but most of them are multiple choice, matching, or even open notes. (But in history we really have to write essays.)
93. The time is measured in a 12 hour rhythm – am and pm.
94. The men of the pedestrian traffic lights look different and sometimes there is also a countdown how much time is left to cross the road.
95. Big trucks.
96. Almost everyone has unlimited texting.
97. Water is free in restaurants and most of the time you have free refill for drinks.
98. The water you buy is without sparkling.
99. You can find water dispensers almost everywhere, in schools as well as in theatres and amusement parks.
100. Americans still wear shorts, flip flops, and dresses also in winter.
101. At school every morning begins with a minute of silence, the Pledge of Allegiance and daily announcements.
102. In my family almost everything is ‘sugar free’, ‘no sugar added’, ‘less fat’, ‘no fat’ etc. (I tell you ice cream tastes horrible then!)
103. The temperatures are higher in summer and lower in winter (except of this winter where I’m not in Germany).
104. Going out to eat is a common hobby for American youth.
105. The service in restaurants is much better. The waitresses are much nicer and bring you a new drink as soon as you finish the old one (free refill).
106. On your birthday the waitresses in the restaurants sing for you.
107. You need social service hours to graduate from high school.
108. My favorite food in American food is pancakes, brownies, cheesecake and Chinese food.
109. Most of the time you get free refill with your drinks.
110. A sight seeing tour in D.C. is less expensive than I’ve expected. We didn’t have to pay to get into the White House, the Bell Tower, or the Washington Monument.
111. Almost everyone is allowed to have a gun.
112. Baseball + Softball + Wrestling
113. Summer break is longer here in America but then they just have two one week breaks instead of two weeks in fall, winter, and spring.
114. Americans have dances like Prom and Homecoming, where girls usually buy the prettiest dresses from extra dress stores.
115. On April 25th we had a tornado warning in this area. That wouldn’t happen in Germany.
116. Even though we are supposed to have that in Germany. Here we actually have fire + tornado drills at school.
117. I do believe that Americans think more negative – at least more than I do.
118. In some stores the receipt doesn’t just tell you how much money you spend but also how much you saved because of the sale they had.
119. The licenses plates aren’t just all white with black letters and numbers on it.
120. The price you see in stores doesn’t include the 5% sales tax.
121. In restaurants you have to leave 15-20% tips.
122. We do have most of the American music in Germany but do we have county music?
123. Peanut butter
124. Here they get report cards every 9 weeks and not twice a year like our ‘Zeugnisse’.
125. Gentleman isn’t just a word here.
126. In neighborhoods families usually don’t have fences around their yard.
127. I think even as foreign I’m not bad in English grammar or spelling compared to the students even teachers here.
128. Our German school English ain’t nothing the way they speak here. Imma be back in Germany with my English being so different from yours. But don’t worry you gonna understand me. :D
129. There are way more sheets and pillows on the bed.
130. On the highway the street signs mainly tell you where the exit goes but not where your heading if your going straight.
131. There are way more channels on TV.
132. The wild life in Virginia is slightly different from what I know from Germany. Turkeys, foxes, groundhogs, and a ton of dear and squirrels are running around the farm. Coyotes are supposed to be there too. One time I ran there was a snake on the drive way which totally freaked me out. And when my dad was here we saw a brown bear mother with two babies in the mountains.
133. We’re not allowed to eat outside at school.
134. Going to college is not free in the US. It’s extremely expensive so that the students try to get as many scholarships at possible.
135. Apparently good posture is something German. I remember me working on this when I was riding in Germany but here my posture is considered perfect. On the last show someone asked Sarah if I was from Germany just by the way she saw me riding. Isn’t that kinda weird??
136. There are way to many car accidents with young drivers here which kinda freaks me out cause I wanna get my license when I’m back in Germany.
137. This year there were 5 pregnant girls at the high school. There was at least on in every grade with means the youngest was in 8th grade.