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Tidbits Only the Locals Know

Feb 28, 20161 comment

Karin Stumph

image Life in Germany, or Europe, for that matter, can be adventurous.  Unchartered territories and surprises will come into your life.  It’s important to know the differences between a native and a foreigner.  Regional culture or customs are an unspoken way of life, and can be surprising to someone just moving to Europe.  We’ve come up with several unknown  tidbits about German culture.


Car Washes Can Get You a Ticketimage

Did you know you are not al­lowed to wash your car at home, in Germany? You must take it to the car wash. Also, check for any oil spots you may have left behind. lt is bad for the environment and being conscious of this can save you from the fees involved, if you’re caught by authorities.

Clean Up Your Act

What are the biggest pet peeves Europeans have towards American neighbors? “lmproper disposal of trash and unattended pets,”said Ellen Sutterfield, chief of housing referral for the Kaiserslautern military community. lt is up to the tenant to dispose of trash properly and recycle. When it comes to caring for pets, the rules are rigid. Unattended dogs are a big no-no in Germany. So is leaving them in a kennel or cage. It is also mandatory to walk the dog every few hours.


Sunday is a day of rest and quiet hours are enforced in many countries.This can be a big adjustment for many, especially if you come from a place where things are usually open 24/7. If you encounter quiet hours in your community, this means no loud noises or disturbing other residents. No mowing your lawn or cranking up the stereo. lf violated in Germany, fines up to 500 euro can be issued for violating the German Noise protection Regulation.

Properly Plan your Living Space

It’s imperative to measure your furniture first before moving in. In ltaly and Germany, don’t expect the walls to be constructed of drywall. The walls are made of concrete and hanging pictures can be a tricky task. German houses have become Americanized over the past 20 years.  They are more modern, larger and come with two to three bathrooms on average. In the newer homes you can find solar heat, spacious open floor plans and radiant (floor) heating. Often European homes are miss­ing screens, closets and bathroom cabinets. Some even lack kitchen cabinets and kitchen appliances.

Protect Yourself and Property

Protect your property and tenant rights with various types of Insurance: personal property, liability, pet insurance and legal rep­resentation. lf you have continuous problems with your landlord think about joining the Tenant Protection Agency. For less than 100 Euro a year, you will receive legal assistance and representation in court. However, you must be a member for at least three months. Pet owners may want to seriously consider investing in dog liability insurance. All Ger­mans keep their dogs insured, especially for scenarios like this: lf a dog runs into the street causing the driver of a car to crash instead of hitting the dog, the owner of the dog will be legally responsible.