So here are the top 5 things that give me a "why-god-why" moment on almost a daily basis:
1. Street lights
If you've ever driven in Germany, you will notice that rather than hanging over the street across the intersection in direct view, street lights here are free-standing on the left and/or right of the road. And they are positioned so that if you are the first car in line at the light, you have to crane your head at an awkward and uncomfortable angle to try to view the light out to the side of your car. And if you don't promptly spring into action when the light turns green, of course a whole chorus of honking commences. German roads are otherwise quite good, so you would think some city planner could have thought about this rather annoying design aspect, but I guess it probably dates back to an older infrastructure. Or something.
2. TAN numbers
In Germany it's pretty convenient that you can do almost all of your financial transactions via online bank transfers. It makes sense. But what is pretty inconvenient is that little list of personal identification numbers that need to be inputted any time you do a banking transaction. Supposedly, it's more secure. I don't buy it. Having to remember to bring that paper list of numbers with you every time you travel and potentially have to make an online transaction while you are away, or setting up some method of receiving your pin numbers on your mobile phone, is just annoying. And then, recently, I ran into the whole problem of running out of TAN numbers and needing to order a new list, but alas, I couldn't make the order online without having a TAN number to input- how is that supposed to work? So I ended up having to make a special trip to the bank to order new TAN numbers, and then waited 10 days to receive them in the mail. In the meantime, my ability to do any banking/pay bills was basically at a standstill.
This one makes no sense whatsoever to me. When Germans move, they take their kitchens with them. Seriously. Most rental apartments just have a gaping hole where the kitchen should be, and it is up to the new renter to go out to IKEA or wherever and buy an entire kitchen to be installed. Sometimes the previous renter might leave the existing kitchen, but then the new tenant is expected to buy the kitchen off the previous tenant- usually for several thousand Euros. I know that when someone invests in a nice kitchen it really is a pity to move and leave that kitchen behind, and that is presumably the reason Germans take their kitchens with them, but kitchens are not couches, people! They are designed and built to fit a specific space. Why doesn't the owner just install a kitchen and leave it at that??
Most German beds have two mattresses. You heard me right, two side-by-side twin mattresses in one frame so that each person gets their own mattress and neither invades the other's space. This is the German antithesis to the rather good idea of having personal duvets. But one step too far. I appreciate that we all like to have our space when we sleep, but you can achieve that with just a big bed, and then you don't have to deal with the grand canyon running down the middle of your bed forcing each to remain on it's own lonely side. So unromantic.
Or lack thereof. I get it in the old, historic buildings. But in newer apartments? Do people really prefer to have a bulky wardrobe in their room?