Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reflections on Munich

So, if I were Sarah Palin, I would talk about my vast experience in Germany based on the 4 hour layover I am spending here in Munich. Instead of claiming that level of foreign policy experience, I will share the following observations about Deutschland. From them I will likely make sweeping generalizations about Germans and Germany:

1. The airport is oddly quiet. Despite having marble/hardwood floors, everyone is hushed and civil. Germans are quiet (but seemingly talk fast). One notable exception is the young couple sitting behind me who recently broke into song. It was peppy, pop-music, no Uber Alles, in case you were curious.
2. The Internet speaks German. Germans speak German. QED.
3. Various cigarette makers sponsor "Smoking Zones" - which are like stationary revolving doors in which people stand around and puff away. So far, Camel seems to be the most popular sponsor of these cubicles.
4. Instead of the paper public toilet seat covers so prevalent in California (and oddly not found in the Midwest), German toilets have sanitizer that you're supposed to spray on toilet paper and use to wipe down the seat. I find this strangely intrusive - perhaps "too" clean. Also, the toilet paper comes in sheets, not in rolls, and each toilet has a brush sitting to the right side of the bowl. This overacheiving cleanliness somehow also strikes me as foul. I shudder to think at all the germs crawling on those brushes. Germany is, perhaps, not as clean as you would think.
5. There is not a drinking fountain to be found in this place. Has Germany no public water fountains?? I should write to Angela Merkel about this outrage.
6. Janitors ride Segways!!!

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