You Know You’ve Been Away from Germany for Too Long When…

  1. You are alarmed when your car turns itself off at every red light.
  2. You wonder what to do with the gigantic hotel room key. It’s an actual key! With a huge weight on it!
  3. You can’t manage to squeeze your car into the tiny parking space.
  4. You are annoyed when it takes your waiter 15 minutes to acknowledge that you’re there even though he can perfectly well see you sitting there craning your neck.
  5. You find yourself stopping at every bakery display and salivating over the bread rolls.
  6. You have to hunt for change before you can load up your grocery cart because you don’t have a Euro coin for unlocking the cart.
  7. You are startled by the demarcation line, sometimes an outright chasm, down the middle of German hotel beds and wonder if Germany’s low birth rate might have something to do with that.
  8. Even though you are for energy conservation, you feel like personally taking up Sarah Palin’s battle cry  (or was it Michele Bachmann?) and replacing every light bulb in the bathroom with something that actually brightens up the room immediately after you flip the switch, not five minutes later.
  9. You’ve gotten spoiled by softer tissue fibers (aka toilet paper) on your bare cheeks than what the Germans are prepared to offer you.
  10. You watch a movie and are appalled when Brad Pitt talks to you in a strange and not nearly sexy enough voice.
  11. It’s a warm summer day and you are happy for those poor folks to finally have some nice weather but then you are startled when everyone around you complains about the heat wave and “the terrible humidity.”
  12. You politely stand in line waiting at the breakfast buffet but eventually realize that you’ll have to whack somebody over the head  and muscle your way to the food if you want to eat.
  13. You get post-traumatic stress disorder after grocery shopping and running the gauntlet of the checkout line where you have to bag your own groceries at lightning speed or be ostracized by the community of German grocery shoppers and checkout clerks.
  14. You have no clue whether it’s called Der, Die, or Das iPad.
  15. You see a picture of Boris Becker and wonder how you could ever have had a crush on him.
The Divide of Infertility
Ginormous room key
Mouth watering bakery display

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