It’s been years since I was in Germany last, and I was curious to see what’s changed. Particularly:

  • Germany is a cash-heavy society. This might not be a problem except that no one has any change, no one wants to take card, no one wants to break €50 notes, and ATMs won’t dispense anything but €50 notes. Has anything changed?

  • The first couple times I went to Berlin, bars were like a time warp back to North America in the 80s and 90s, with an all-pervasive, ever-present cloud of smoke in every one of them. And even outside of bars, you’d find people smoking in every stoop and alley. Has the country stopped smoking yet?

I was optimistic on the first point at least, after having successfully spent two weeks in the UK without having withdrawn a single pound. Surely conventions between European countries can’t be too dissimilar.

But alas, they are. The answers are “no” and “no”. Maybe next time.

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