P1020975.JPGAt Last – A Forthright Lotto!

We just had to go downtown yesterday (Friday) to see what Oktoberfest in Munich is all about. We and about a million other people. I can’t remember ever being in a crowd so large. Since we’re not much for beer drinking, the people were the main attraction for us.

Judging by the overwhelming number of lederhosen and dirndls I would say that Germans are proud of being Germans which I think is a good thing. They remind me of Texans in that regard. Unlike Washingtonians and Arizonans, for example, Texans seem to go out of their way to tell the world that they’re Texans. So it is with the Germans, at least here in Bavaria.

The rest of today’s post will be devoted to certain peculiarities we have noticed here. First off there’s the toilets: They have pee and poo buttons! I presume it is in the interest of water conservation that this distinction is made although I can’t imagine that Germany has a lack of water. Take a look:

P1020971.JPGPoo = big button, Pee = little button

The second peculiarity I would draw your attention to is the ubiquitous coin-operated shopping carts. For the first week we were here we could be seen staggering through the aisles with armloads of groceries. This was because one has to insert a Euro into the shopping cart to release it from all the others. Incensed at the idea of paying for a shopping cart, we chose to do it the hard way. I finally watched a few patrons closely as they returned their carts and observed that one’s Euro is returned automatically when the cart is returned and locked to the other carts. This is something American supermarkets might want to invest in, especially in the inner cities where shopping carts are often wheeled far from their home base and left on city streets. The other advantage of this system is that the store doesn’t have to retrieve the carts from the parking lot – the customers do it to get their Euro back!

P1020979.JPGCoin In – Cart Freed, Key In – Coin Returned

Finally, there is this photo of a German trailer hitch. This photo is dedicated to our grandson Rylan who has an inordinate fascination with trailer hitches, or, what he calls “tow hooks.” Mary calls these something altogether different – any guesses?

P1020970.JPGHey Rylan – Check Out This Tow Hook!