Home / regulars / It's All Foreign to Me / USA vs. Deutschland: A Friendly Comparison

USA vs. Deutschland: A Friendly Comparison

Tonight is our last night in America for at least a year. During my research-filled trip, I’ve been reminded of some of the advantages/disadvantages of America and some of the advantages/disadvantages of Germany. Some of these are highly subjective (chocolate-peanut butter!), but others are just facts of live (gas). Either way, I’m gonna cover these things in a quick little post, and then get back to packing.

Gas

It’s more expensive in Germany, but Americans whine about it more. Case in Point: When we rented a car to drive from Giessen to Berlin, we paid €1.65 for a liter of gas. Multiply that by 3.78 to convert liters to gallons, which is €6.237 for a gallon of gas. Using Google Calculator, that turns out to be $9.12 per gallon that they pay in Germany. It’s always been that expensive, but no one complains.

Popcorn

It’s buttery and salty in America, and sweet in Germany. Surprisingly enough, I prefer the American style and Rob prefers the German style (and he therefore loves kettle corn!).

Heating and Cooling

Oh, how I missed air conditioning! Only a few places have air conditioning in Germany. There’s nothing better than getting into a hot car and blasting the cool air. Or sleeping in a cool, dark room, snuggling deep under the covers.

Portable Storage

When we get our Sunday ads, the one thing I look for is the price of flash drives. When we left in Germany, you could get a Sony 4gb flash drive for €12.99 including tax (that’s $18.99). We saw an ad for a PNY Technologies 4gb for $19.99 plus tax. Not much of a difference in price, but Sony is a name brand and PNY isn’t as prestigious.

Sweet Flavor Combos

My favorite American flavor combo is peanut butter and chocolate. In Germany, where they have not yet discovered the mouth-joy of pb and chocolate, it’s hazelnut and chocolate.

Friendliness

It’s a pretty stereotypical idea that people aren’t friendly on the streets in Germany. When we arrived in Washington D.C., we were pleasantly surprised at all of the friendly people greeting us in our friend Jill’s neighborhood and out on the streets downtown. It was great. But it didn’t stop there. Almost everyone we have come into contact with in Richmond, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Virginia Beach has been great.

EDIT: In response to Lorraine‘s questions and comments, I have to add to this post.

I am sure that if you convert what we pay in euros to what we would pay for the exact same thing in dollars, it’d be more expensive here. But that really doesn’t matter, because we can’t buy the exact same thing in dollars right now. Maybe military people could (on base?), but one thing we have to buy in euros is food (unlike plane tickets, which we buy in dollars whenever we can).

Yes, the widespread public transportation here must certainly affect the attitude toward gas prices. Good point…


4 thoughts on “USA vs. Deutschland: A Friendly Comparison

  1. Linden

    03 Oct on 2008 at 18:37

    @lorraine: Well, we haven’t actually compared directly, but I think groceries are the same if you look at buying in the same currency you are paid in. I answer your comments in more detail at the end of the blog in an edit.

    @ww: An amazing combination, thanks to you! I’ve been enjoying it quite frequently. Mmmmmm!!!

    @beth: I tried to! Maybe a little too much…

  2. Beth

    23 Sep on 2008 at 14:45

    What great comparisons! Enjoy your last time in America for awhile… :)

  3. ww

    23 Sep on 2008 at 1:22

    Peanut butter and Nutella on toast. That’s all I have to say. :)

  4. Lorraine

    23 Sep on 2008 at 0:23

    I always Felt like I was paying less, but was sure that somewhere along the way I really wasn’t. Case in point: Euro Menu at McDonald’s. It Felt cheap… How would you say regular groceries compare? I never did add it up.

    On the gas, would you say that part of the equation is that the whole country (Germany) is interconnected with public transportation? I think America could withstand higher gas prices if there were an alternative, but you pretty much Have to drive a car most places…

    Hope you had a safe trip and were able to stock up on some goodies. ;)