Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Conversion Fever

Ok, so we've been here almost eight weeks now and I believe I'm starting to think in my new measurement standards... but only sometimes.

Because we have a GPS unit (here, most folks refer to that as a navi - short for navigation) in the car, I've learned to gauge road distance in meters and kilometers, etc.  We recently switched to Sean Connery's voice on the navi, so he tells us to "exit in 800 meters then take the motorway."  Nonetheless, I'm making the switch from miles to kilometers... and that's good for where we are.

In other areas, it hasn't been such smooth sailing.  Take for example... yardage.  I consider myself a novice quilter; most of my work focuses on scrappy designs and improving my skills to tackle bigger projects.  In the states, a good quality cotton fabric could run as high as $12.00 per square yard (not that I ever spent that kinda money on fabrics!).  Typically, I'd buy fabrics that were in the $4-6 dollar range.  In a country with more wool than cotton, I found a fabric store that sells cotton only.  The cheapest fabric available was €12,90 per sq meter.  Double convert the euro to dollar and convert the sq meter to sq yard and it comes to approx $16.12 per sq yard... for the least quality in the store!  It took two people ten minutes with a calculator to figure that out. *sigh*

When it comes to cooking and baking.... Germans cook by weight and not by volume (cups, teaspoons, etc).  Only because I'm at the fresh market every week buying chicken breasts can I tell you that an average looking chicken breast is approx 100g.  After that, I don't know a thing.  Last week I armed my youngest with a bowl from the cupboard, stuffed a few euros in her pocket, sent her on foot to the vegetable stand, and told her "just fill the bowl with potatoes - I have no idea what the weight will be."  She filled the bowl, paid, brought them home and I cooked dinner.  Not exactly midwest living but it's precisely how we're doing things here (and we are not unique).

As a point of reference ...
  • Our new flat is 160,00 m² (referred to as quad meters)
  • The kids bike 4km one way to school
  • A 10 day Eurail Global Pass (with an 8 week timeline) is €603
I hope to think in metric soon, but I'm cool with where I'm at.

1 comment:

  1. Your posts from Heidelberg remind me so much of when I lived there ('01-'04). I miss it so much.