Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Differences Between the U.S. and Germany

  • To get satellite TV in Germany, you buy an antenna and receiver and then you can watch for free; in the US, you sign a contract, get antenna, receiver and decoder for free, and pay a monthly fee for the content (which is encoded).
  • To call a cell phone in Germany, you pay a high per-minute fee; in the US the callee pays.
  • In the US, you pay income taxes to the federal government and separately to your home state; in Germany only the federal government collects income taxes.
  • When you rent an apartment in the US, the stove and fridge is normally included; in Germany you typically have to bring your own.
  • In the US, credit cards have a real credit line: you can pay back the balance at your own pace; in Germany, credit cards suck the full balance out of your bank account at the end of every month. German bank accounts come with a standard credit line: you can simply overdraw them with no fees; this is comparatively rare in the US.
  • If a German is abducted in some foreign country, German diplomats will engage in negotiations and usually eventually pay some money to the kidnappers. The U.S. does not engage in such negotiations, clearly the correct strategy.
  • Copyright in the U.S., for the most part, consists simply in the right to copy and/or modify a work. This right can be given up or sold off. Germany's Urheberrecht in addition gives several "moral" rights to the creator which cannot be sold or given up, for instance the right to just compensation for every copy and the right to veto changes to the work.
  • Germans think that natural yellow egg yolk looks "unhealthy" and pale and prefer their egg yolk orange, which is why German farmers feed their chickens organge pigments.
  • What is called "erste Etage" (first floor) in Germany is called "second floor" in the US.
  • Graffiti is of higher quality and more colorful in Germany, where it is sometimes viewed as approaching an art form; in the US it mostly consists of simple taggings and is almost always seen as a law enforcement problem.
  • Soccer is seen as a men's sport in Germany and as a women's sport in the US.
  • In Germany, if they see police, people often think something is wrong; in the U.S., if they see police, people usually feel safe.

No comments: