Thursday, June 30, 2016

Differences between the US & Germany: bathrooms

Travel to the United States prompted some thought on how the US and Germany are different. I've been living in Germany for three and a half years now and have settled into the German and European styles of life. Trips back to the US result in the feeling of reverse culture shock, a situation not uncommon for expats who've lived abroad long enough.

For example, when returning to the US and visiting the ladies' public restroom, I'm shocked at just how much space there is between the stall door and the frame. Holy smokes, I feel as if I'm putting on a show with some of the gaps! In Germany, I appreciate the privacy of the stalls with toilet stall dividers that are flush, if not completely to the ground.

However, it's not that (most) people really would ever look through the cracks of American stalls. If we try to figure out if it the stall is available, we usually look down for feet; we don't try to look into the stall itself.

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