It's the little things...

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sat, 2010-05-08 22:00

So I'm in Münich for the Drupal Dev Days since the beginning of the afternoon, (and no concert suggestion for this weekend, tsk, tsk !), and as always when visiting a neighbour country, I find the little differences more revealing of deeper cultural ravines than the obvious language difference

  • color codes: red, pale brown, pale yellow and pale blue on everything from cars to houses are prevalent here, while they are much rarer in France
  • take-away restaurants, are much more present, and with a much proportion of kebab shops, which can at least be explained by the historical high presence of Turkish people in Germany, when compared with France, where they are less present than people originating from Maghreb countries, probably due to colonial history
  • computer/electronics shops: while these were popular in France until the mi-90s, they mostly disappeared with the onslaught of e-Commerce, while they are highly visible here
  • betting places: most striking because gaming is forbidden by law in France except in a few casinos located in water towns, main street gambling joints intermixed with strip shows, hotels and take-away restaurants near Hauptbahnhof
  • currency practice is probably the most strking difference. Although both countries lie in Euroland, notes are being used less and less each year in France, where you can typically pay your baguette with a Visa, MC, or the national Moneo cash card. On the contrary, here restaurants do not have a problem saying they don't take cards, and even subway (U- undS- Bahn) automats take banknotes, and ATM use has a cost, whereas it is free for Euro accounts in France and some other countries like Ireland.

An interesting day, as often...