Some Stereotypes Are Still Pretty True

Germans have a reputation for being quite orderly. As we were told our first day here, “In Germany, we have many rules.” It’s true, and there is also a reputation that German people will be quick to correct you on your breaking of the rules, whether they know you or not!

We went for a bike ride to a birthday party today: 10 km (6.2 miles) each way!

While it was a great workout, I went with Cade in the “Fahrradanhänger” (bike trailer), while Clara was in the “Kindersitz” (child seat) on the back of Mallorie’s bike.

With such precious cargo, we were sticking to the sidewalks as often as possible. Most the time there is a bike lane that looks something like this:



Or this:


But be warned, sometimes bikes are supposed to share the street with the cars.


That was the case when we passed an angry man who yelled at us to correct our behavior. That’s right, he gave us a talking to as our caravan of two bikes and a trailer blew past him, saying something to the effect of,

“This is a pedestrian sidewalk! Not for bikes! You need to be in the street! I have my dogs here!”

All of this was, naturally, in a very agitated German.

So I suppose the good news in all this is we are getting better at understanding the language when spoken!

The bad news is we can no longer feign ignorance when strangers correct us for crossing the street when the crossing light is red.


These signs are on the light posts at pretty much every intersection in town. The message says, “Think of the children: Only [cross] on green.” You ain’t seen a stink-eye ’till you’ve received a german crossing-on-red stink-eye.



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