"Nine German habits I lost when I moved to America."
I've been to Europe often during the past three decades, and yet I'm keenly aware that culturally, I'm inexorably American, and probably always will be so.
It was explained to me many years ago that even as the world grows smaller, and all the people walking past on a European sidewalk tend to be dressed alike, as multinational fashion ordains, the Americans still stand out -- by the way we walk. It was offered as a back-handed compliment only.
And so, if we're complete strangers and you don't acknowledge me as we pass on the sidewalk, that's okay.
Nine American habits I lost when I moved to Germany, by Vanessa Van Doren (Matador Network)
6. Frenetic pace / work above all
Moving to Germany meant an inexorable slowing of the pace of my life. Particularly in Saxony, there are strict rules about when stores can remain open. Most businesses are closed in the evenings and all day on Sunday. Additionally, Germans benefit from frequent holidays and typically at least a month of paid vacation.
This gave me some anxiety at first, particularly when I forgot to leave work early enough to get groceries or didn’t have time to go to the bank. Over time, however, I learned to both plan my days and to enjoy the break from chores rather than obsessing over lost time. After a few months, I was occasionally leaving work at 3pm to go watch the football game with friends instead of trying to cram in a few more hours of work. I still got as much done as usual, but I felt much happier and less burned out.