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Viva la Differences in Deutschland!I

Cream-colored taxis seen from hotel's breakfast room

Cream-colored taxis seen from hotel’s breakfast room

Aloha Friends —

I write again to share observations on being in this historic and important country, which is fresh from re-electing Angela Merkle as its  government’s leader.

Again, differences with the U.S.A. abound. When did we last elect a woman as our  government leader? Never. .  (Surely that will change, perhaps in our next election. Hilary Clinton maybe?)    Resuming a look at differences:

• At our sumptuous breakfast buffet today, real fresh table cream was provided for coffee drinkers. I doubt there is a single item among the offerings that was previously frozen.

• Smoking seems the norm, with women well represented Thankfully, smoking apparently isn’t allowed in public dining facilities. .

• Horn honking seems less common than we experience in the U.S.A.

• Helmets are worn by most bicycle riders, both men and women.

• Everyone seems to speak English in addition to German.  At dinner this evening in a Turkish restaurant, our waiter — presumably fluent in German as well as Turkish  — seemed perfectly comfortable speaking English.

• All or at least practically all of the taxis, which line up in many locales in  long queues, are cream colored —  a shade I very much like. Back home, on my favorite running route, I regularly see a late model Volkswagen Beetle, parked in a driveway, painted this color. I  look forward to admiring it, coming and going on my run. Guess what color my next new car will be?!

• Whle jeans are surely popular in the U.S.A., here seemingly 90 percent of the populace wears them, men and women. With women particularly, a tight fit is preferred, with the blue darker than typical denim and a sheen somehow added.

• Emergency vehicles proceed with the siren tone quickly rising and falling. At home the tone has a wavelike quality.

On Friday we do a city tour with fellow marathoners, here from America with Marathon Tours & Travel of Boston handling arrangements. In fact, this being its 40th anniversary, the Berlin Marathon was a quick sellout. Absent Marathon Tours’ ability to acquire a block of entries, we wouldn’t be here.

Stay tuned. Marathon Day is only three days away!                                                        Blessings and aloha,  Kit

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