Friday, November 25, 2005


We celebrated a day early with a chicken, potatos, peas, and cranberries (picked out from the frozen fruit mix). Of course Beth had to do the chicken dance too. : )
It was quite special. We have much to be thankful for this year: a completed degree, an internship, a relatively smooth move to Germany, a place to live, clothes to wear in the cold weather, bicycles to ride (when it's not icy), a wonderful church, special friends around the world, and of course dear families. Our hearts are full of Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2005

First snowfall

We woke up this morning to a beautiful snowfall outside our window! It's now early afternoon, and most of the snow has melted into a drippy, rainy day, but we sure enjoyed this morning.
So did Steve stay home from work? Did all the German schoolchildren stay home from school? Absolutely not. This kind of snow is apparently quite normal for Munich, though even the Germans still seem to enjoy the fresh beauty of the "first snowfall of the year."
What about all the bike-riding? Is it over for the year? Amazingly, bike riding is still possible in this kind of snow. It's all so wet that nothing really slips. Plus, the roads are well-cleared in most places. We'll have to see what the rest of the winter brings, but we're hoping we can ride on!
Yeah, so Steve wanted one more picture on the blog, but it was impossible to take with only one camera. The picture would have been of Beth standing on the back porch in shorts and a T-shirt taking pictures of the snow...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Honor System

Germany seems to be a very trusting place. Newspapers, for example, are just kept in a box. Take a paper and you are expected to drop the coins into the little coin container one side of the box.

The same concept often applies to road-side vegetable stands or flower fields. Pick your own, drop the money in the box. Nobody is around to watch.
In my office, nobody locks the doors, and people just leave their laptops out on the desk--often unlocked. It's a bit different there though, since the whole building is secured, so only people with valid badges can enter.

Public transportation is also generally on the honor system too. You are expected to have a valid ticket, and checks usually only happen at the beginning or end of the month. (I've only been checked once in the 3 months I've been here). Just recently they finally started checking tickets on buses, but only after 9 pm.
If you're caught without a valid ticket, however, the fine is 40 Euros--nearly US $50. Beth has been checked three times.

Ironically, however, Germans seem to be paranoid about locking the doors of their homes, and most doors lock automatically behind you. It's important to always have your keys with you, even if you're just running downstairs to check on the laundry. And my tire pump was stolen off my bike.