Culture Shock Part Two…

Updated On:

You knew I was going to remember a few things after my last post!


The first thing that comes to mind is restrooms.  Yup – that’s right.  If you want to pee over here and you’re not at home, be prepared to pay up!  You have to pay to use public restrooms.  There’s even restaurants that make you pay to use their facilities – even if you’re a customer!  Okay – not all restaurants make customers pay, but some actually do.  So you’re there buying and eating their food and beverages, and then you still have to pay to use the toilet.  Some places will give customers a code on their receipts that will let you into the restroom – so they can guarantee that only customers are using the bathroom.  (That’s what I encountered at the Starbucks in Frankfurt.)  I know back home, we use fast food places as free restrooms.  I mean, who hasn’t been on a long drive, had to pee, and pulled over at the nearest McDonald’s to use their bathroom?  (This girl’s done it a ton of times – haha!)


Bicycles are also really big here.  I mean HUGE.  You think there’s lots of bikes in Philly or NYC?  Bah!  SO many people ride bikes here.  And I found out that the city bike program costs only 1 Euro a year.  You get to ride a bike for an hour for free, then after that it costs just a little more.  (Or you can wait 15 minutes until you get on a bike again and do another hour for free.)  As a pedestrian, though, you’re not only watching out for cars, but you have to constantly be on the lookout for bikes.  There are special areas of the streets and sidewalks for bikes – so be careful not to drift into them!


Now, something minor, but still puzzled me.  Okay…. back home, our butter usually comes in sticks.  You buy sticks of butter.  (With handy dandy measurement markings along the paper wrappers.)  Here, you buy big ol’ square chunks of butter.  You’re on your own for measurements.  But it explains why I first didn’t know what to look for when looking for butter – such different packaging can really throw you off!


If I think of more, there’ll be a part three!  Haha!


Big ol' chunk of butter.
Big ol' chunk of butter.
Photo of author
Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

Leave a Comment

Want travel tips backed by 15 years of expat & travel industry experience?

Get my best tips and updates sent straight to you!

coming soon!