Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today is recycling day in our neighborhood.
(Right now you must be thinking, "Wow, she has really run out of things to write about. This is going to be boring.")
Recycling in Germany is an organizational feat.  First, we have blue bags, which hold paper. Then we have yellow bags, which hold any kind of plastic or aluminum.  Then there is the compost for any kinds of food, eggshells, tea bags, etc. And the garbage for anything that's left.You can get the bags for free at the grocery store, when they have them.  My latest problem is that I ran out of yellow bags and can't seem to find them anywhere, but they have blue bags around every day. So my recyclables just pile up as I continue the search. On Wednesday night everyone puts their bags out on the sidewalk.

Glass can go in the yellow bags but most (not all) of the bottles that are plastic or glass require a deposit when you buy them. When you bring them back to the store there is a machine that sucks them in and scans them to find out the amount of the deposit. Then it prints out a receipt for the amount of credit that you get back, which you can then give to the cashier when you check out next time. Got that straight?

All of these rules had Brian a little baffled so that he would just leave his trash on the counter for me to deal with. That wasn't going to happen for very long, so we invested in this fancy recycling bin instead:
The brown bin on the left is for the compost stuff. We decided to keep that separately in the little storage space in the kitchen - the only thing we have that resembles a closet.  The compost attracts fruit flies so it seemed like a good idea to hide it.

So give the Germans credit for being environmentally conscious. And confusing.

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.