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Dates And Numbers
cwo3ward @ 03/ 07/ 2010

In the U.S., we are used to seeing dates in mm-dd-yy or mm-dd-yyyy format. When traveling (Europe, for example), the date is written in dd-mm-yy format. So, if you're not careful, it is easy to mis-read tickets and reservation dates. Or, when booking something, you can book the wrong date by mistake (especially online). Be aware of the difference and you should be fine.

In addition, money is written differently (and numbers in general):

We in the U.S. would write $1,200.00

In Europe, you would see 1.200,00 Euros.

It can throw you at first. My daughter went to the ATM the first time in Germany without knowing this. She put in her card and tried to withdraw 800 Euros. The display showed


Since she was looking for a decimal point, she added more zeros:


Then she tried to withdraw (800,000 Euros) and the bank put a stop on her ATM card because they thought fraudulent activity was going on. It took them a few hours to get in touch with the bank and get the card turned back on. In the meantime, they didn't have any local currency. It's best to arrive with at least a few hundred Euros (or whatever the local currency is).  This is definitely a lesson in being prepared to travel.

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