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The Hidden Tax

I can’t get used to “the hidden tax” in the United States. Personally, I like my prices right out there where I can see them.

Expat Gone Foreign, culture comics, humor, United States, USA, sales tax, VAT, prices

So, where’s the trick? In the US there’s no such thing as the VAT 1 and the prices you see in stores aren’t the final prices. Instead, the sales tax is added at the check-out, so the final amount is slightly higher than what you had anticipated. Your foreign self might wonder whether you are mathematically challenged or the victim of a grocery scam. Quite the financial clusterf**k.

Cross-cultural Spontaneity

Every Mediterranean person knows those Friday afternoons in which you spontaneously decide to grab a beer at the bar around the corner, and somehow you end up in a massive party of a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend, and it turns into one of those legendary evenings to remember. Well, that scenario could hardly happen among Northerners. Take Germans, for instance. They make good coworkers, but when it comes to social life… they are as spontaneous as a Swiss train timetable.

Expat Gone Foreign, language and culture comics, cross-cultural, spontaneity, Germany, Europe, life abroad

Land of painfully slow Internet

It is said that if you want to know how people really are, you should give them a computer with a glacially slow internet connection. When it comes to patience, Germans must be second to none. The economic powerhouse of Europe and home of the warp-speed Autobahn also happens to be the land of painfully slow internet.

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As of February 2020, Germany ranks 39th on broadband speed in a global scale, and is painfully below the European average. The situation is even more staggering for mobile data. According to the BNetzA report from 2017, only 1.6% of users were getting the speed promised by their providers, and only 18% reached half the speed contractually agreed upon.

While the world frantically switches to 5G technology, here I am, staring at the screen while this post is finally uploaded. I guess I could brew some tea in the meantime, maybe pay a visit to my family… even pick a new career, get a degree, found a business, retire and move to Singapore. You know, whatever happens first.

Mediterranean Hospitality

Warmth, friendliness and exquisite cuisine. If this is what comes to mind whenever you think of Mediterranean countries, you are not wrong. Southern folks certainly have their amicable ways going for them, and they also pride themselves on their local produce and delicious homemade meals. Whether you are visiting your relatives or meeting some friends in the warm South, you’ll realize soon enough that Mediterranean hospitality is no joke.Expat Gone Foreign, tXc, culture comics, Mediterranean, hospitality, living abroad comics

I have always wondered what would happen if you were to respond: “Yes, please!”. Would they then shovel a double portion onto your plate? Would they be pleased or taken aback by such a gluttonous response?

In addition, if you happen to be in a small city where everyone knows everyone, neighbors and acquaintances will promptly invite you in for a chat if they see you wandering around. Offering a bite to your visitors is not a choice, it’s a a well-rooted lifestyle. And by bite I mean an enticing feast with enough food to sink Noah’s Ark.

But hey, Mediterraneans certainly enjoy providing their guests with delicious meals as much as I enjoy devouring them. So, who am I to turn down their hearty generosity?

*Burps*

 

If you liked this strip, check out Home Sweet Yummy Home.

Are you a foodie who holds Mediterranean cuisine in high esteem? Read the article Exotic Kackendorf Food and other Culinary Violations.