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Celebrating Germany’s Reunification Holiday

“Greetings, Kathleen. We did not know about Germany’s reunification day on Oct. 3 until we read about it in your publication.

“Holidays here in Germany mean that services shut down or curtail, and, if you don’t plan, you end up inconvenienced (and missing all the celebration). t just so happened that my partner was flying into Basel, Switzerland, and I was going to meet her at the airport. I traveled by train from southern Germany to Basel by taking one of the hourly scheduled trains without looking at that day’s schedule. When this train turned around without making Basel SBB, I was stuck until the next stop, where I got off and walked a ways to get to the tram that heads into Basel from southern Germany.

“We met, we had a wonderful lunch on a sunny patio taking in what will probably be one of the last warm (20 C°) days before European winter, and then we went home to Germany, still unaware of the holiday. I wanted to replenish the coffee for Sunday morning (Sundays are when things are really shut down around here), so walked to our community market. Closed? No signs other than “Hours are 0800 to 2000 Monday through Saturday.” What’s going on here?

“It just so happens that it took your ‘Germany’s reunification’ article, written in Panama (I presume?) to tell this American living in Germany why Saturday was such an unusual day.

“So thank you.”

–Alan H., Germany

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