The Speed of Europe

On a less weird but certainly different vein than Dresden’s history is the way we have embraced the German speed at living. There are two speeds here: the autobahn and everything else.

Upon arrival in Berlin we rented a car in the middle of Berlin in order to avoid the taxes we’d have to pay at the airport. Once rented, we were escorted to our car, which was parked in the right lane of traffic on Kurfuersten Strasse. No time to even look at the car, just jump in and drive off (we later looked at the car at a rest area so we’d be able to recognize it in a parking lot).

Then on the autobahn everyone is driving 10-20 kilometers per hour (6-12 MPH) faster than the posted speed (same as home so I felt comfortable) with Mom constantly reminding me that I couldn’t afford a speeding ticket. I ended up asking her if it was alright to pass the motorhome like everyone else. Eventually I just drove fast to stay awake since the jet lag was starting to take hold.

The other speed is totally relaxed. In the U.S., the restaurant business is predicated on how many tables they can turn around in one night. Here, in Germany, that’s not the case. We would go to an ice cream parlor, for example, and just sit and talk long after the ice cream is gone. The ice cream dishes are so good here that the time spent eating is miniscule anyway. Here, service is slow, the food arrives when it is good and ready. And no one seems to care! here, the locals know how to relax. It’s enough to make an American restauranteur just want to shit.

I could get used to this. So can Kim. And when we get back to the U.S., we plan to frustrate the hell out of the food service industry in the name of enjoying ourselves and all out relaxation. The fast-food mentality of America just needs to stop… NOW! It’s indicative of all that is wrong with America. It only leads to stress-related ailments. So I plan to save Americans one meal at a time by taking my sweet-ass time eating out.

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