USAG Wiesbaden Public AffairsDeutsche PostWhen having packages delivered to a German address, if you’re not home the delivery service may leave a slip in your mailbox indicating a place nearby where you can pick up your package within a certain timeframe. In some cases it is possible to indicate where you would like the package to be left, such as with a neighbor or at a packstation.Speed camerasSpeed cameras are set up all over Germany -- on the Autobahn as well as on city streets. If caught speeding, the person who the car is registered to will receive a letter in the mail with the picture of the driver and details such as how fast the car was going and the fine. You can usually pay the ticket directly using the IBAN number provided. Be sure to include the reference number, so the money transfer will be credited to the appropriate account.RecyclingAll types of paper, plastics and packaging, cans, foil, food waste, glass and more are recycled in Germany. This requires residents to separate waste into bins for paper and cardboard, plastics and cans, and biodegradable. Glass must be taken to glass recycling bins and deposited in the corresponding color bin, but not between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. Visit home.army.mil/wiesbaden and search “recycle” to learn more about recycling.Dining outBe sure to bring cash when dining out in Germany. Many places accept credit cards, but not all. If you are using a credit card, be sure to tell the server how much you’d like to tip before you hand over your card, as the amount needs to be entered before running your card. If leaving a tip in cash, let your server know the new total you’d like to pay, so they’ll only give you the change back you want, or give them the tip directly rather than leaving it on the table.Also of note at restaurants in Europe, there are no free refills unless specified, even at many fast food restaurants. Ice does not come standard in soft drinks, and when ordering water, you’ll be buying a glass bottle and should indicate whether you would like sparkling or still.Get to know the areaWiesbaden Army Community Service invites newcomers to get an in-depth look at their home away from home in Germany during virtual Host Nation Orientation on Tuesdays and Thursdays on MS Teams. Call (0611) 143-548-9201 to sign up.Deposits on bottlesMost plastic and glass bottles and drink cans require a deposit, or Pfand, which is charged to the customer automatically when purchasing a beverage. When they are empty, the bottles or cans go back to the store where they were purchased or to a supermarket that has an electronic kiosk that accepts bottles and dispenses store credit. Cans that will be taken back for the deposit should not be crushed. Most bottles and cans bought on post do not have a Pfand.Grocery shoppingBe sure to bring a reusable bag when grocery shopping on the economy. Merchants sell plastic, fabric and paper bags for a small fee. Keep in mind, tax is already included in the listed price on all taxed items in Germany. Keep a one-euro coin handy -- you’ll need it to get a shopping cart, and you’ll get it back when you return the cart. The customer is expected to bag their own groceries and to do so quickly. People in line behind you will appreciate it if you begin bagging your items as soon as the cashier passes them over the scanner.Finding a restroomPublic restrooms in Germany are labeled “WC” or “Toiletten,” and you’ll often have to pay about 50 euro cents to use them. At some locations a restroom attendant will be present with a tip plate available. It’s customary to leave approximately 50 cents on the plate. At some roadside gas stations, after paying 70 cents to use the restroom you’ll receive a coupon for 50 cents off to be used in the store. Restrooms in restaurants are usually free for paying customers and may be upstairs or downstairs from the main dining area.DatesWhen filling out forms or checking expiration dates on food, keep in mind that dates in German are written with the day first, followed by the month, with periods in between. So for example, Sept. 7, 2020, which may be printed on a U.S. food package as an expiration date of 9/7/20, would be written as 07.09.20 in Germany.Building floorsThe numbering of floors in a building is different in Germany. What Americans call the first floor is called Erdgeschoss, or ground floor in Germany. What Americans call the second floor is called the 1. Stock, or first floor, and so on. In an elevator, Erdgeschoss is sometimes abbreviated as EG.ParkingA Parkscheibe is a plastic device that lets the driver indicate the time of arrival, and has to be placed on the dashboard. This device is necessary in some residency zones where parking is limited to a certain time frame – usually two hours -- in certain streets and on some supermarket parking lots. The need to use the parkscheibe will always be indicated. It can get expensive if the Parkscheibe is required and the driver forgets to put it on the dashboard.When parking in a parking garage, drivers will receive a ticket upon entry. To exit, the driver will need to pay before going back to their car at an automatic kiosk, usually called a “Kasse,” and then leave promptly. Paying at the garage exit from your car is not possible.