Before I arrived in Berlin to meet up with Chris, he informed me that German pillows sucked. I wasn’t sure how pillows differed around the world, but he assured me they were definitely different in Germany, and in a bad way – none of that “politically correct” crap about how things aren’t wrong, they’re just different… Nope, I was told these were wrong.
So, to clarify from my own perspective, they’re not so terrible – they just take some maneuvering. The pillow case is roughly the size of two American pillows lying next to each other (long sides touching), and the stuffing is roughly what would fill one American pillow. The logical thing would be to fold them in half, shoving all the stuffing to one side. The maids in Chris’ Berlin hotel didn’t do this, and he ended up piling up all the pillows he could lay his hands on atop one another to make the height close to what he’s used to. The maids in our Munich hotel, however, just folded the damned things in half. Problem solved.
One other thing we’ve noticed in Germany is what things are acceptable to do and what aren’t. For instance, Chris’ friend Lena (from the Berlin hotel) told him that Germans don’t jaywalk. It just isn’t done. She didn’t say (and he didn’t ask) if this is because the police are really strict about it, or because it’s dangerous, or what. We jaywalked a few times around Munich before noticing that no one else was – even punk kids who looked in every other conceivable stereotypical way that they would be prone to breaking laws were waiting at completely carless intersections for their light to be green before they stepped off the curb. So, we eventually followed suit and stayed put until we were told it was okay to go.
Contrast this behavior with the seeming disregard for a queue, however, and color me confused. I mean, I’m not British, but I wait patiently for my turn. On two separate occasions Germans would storm past an obvious line to grab the next available representative, completely ignoring the gaping stares behind them. And what can you do? It’s not like they’re breaking a law or something. It’s not like they’re jaywalking.