I’m really happy to be home, but I’ve also been pleased to notice some ways that my life in Germany is sticking with me.
For example: I went to the grocery store the other day and was surprised to remember they actually give you bags here. In Germany (and in Norway, and heck, maybe in most of Europe), if you want a bag, you have to pay for it. So of course I always carried reusable bags, and so far I’m doing that here, too. I have a giant collection. Might as well put them to use. Although I don’t know what I’m going to put my recycling in when I run out of paper bags from Trader Joe’s.
On Sunday I was reading up on parking near an event I was going to when I realized, geez, it’s only two miles away, I wouldn’t have thought twice about walking that distance in Berlin. Ok, I actually would have thought twice, because two miles is far. Also, unlike this neighborhood, Berlin is flat. But I walked the two miles over hill and dale and arrived feeling virtuous. I mean, that’s three good acts in one, right? Prevented pollution, got exercise, saved money by not using my car. Oh, and saved parking for others. Four! Four good things! So my new criteria: if it’s less than two miles, why not walk? Tonight I walked to the library (two miles, then took the metro home) and yesterday I walked to Safeway (less than a mile, and now I’m embarrassed that I usually drive it).
Now if only I could convince the water in my apartment to run hot instantly like the water in my Berlin apartment, I’d be in business.