Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Surviving Germany- Walking

When one is in Germany it is almost certain that one will be walking.... and walking a lot. Since that is the case, I thought that I would give a few tips for you all:

Tip #1: Know where to walk.
Obviously this is an important one, but the most obvious answer is the sidewalk...and that would of course be the correct answer as well. But German sidewalks aren't always as simple as American. most of them are for bicycles as well. The easiest way to tell is the color difference, both sides will be of different color stone/cement. The section closest to the road is for bicycles, the one furthest from the road is for walking.

Tip #2:  Be Aware.
Again, this one is a little obvious, but very important non the less. It is very common for bicycles passing one another to go into the walking area, and when bicycles and people duel.... bicycles win.
When crossing small streets without cross-walks, pedestrians actually have right of way over cars... but never assume they are going to stop, because I have hesitated just enough to watch a car fly by where I would have been walking.

Tip #3: Don't take it personally.
When walking down the road Germans have a bizarre thing that they do... they don't move while walking. Its not a desire to be rude, but just an intent to move. Like I said in a prior post, Germans do everything all in or not at all. So when they walk, its either walk with purpose of your own... or get out of the way. It can be a little disconcerting for some Americans at first, as we are used to sharing the road with another.

Step 1- seeing the other party

Step 2- approaching the other party
Step 3- Becoming as skinny as possible to squeeze by other party

And there you have it... three easy tips on how to survive walking around in Germany! But then again, you must still apply basic walking tips, like correct shoes and stretching and making you stay hydrated... and on and on... 

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