This month will be my 9th month since moving to Germany, so I thought it fitting to make a list of nine things I appreciate and really love about the land of Deutsch. Here goes:
1. DEUTSCHE BAHN
I have a love hate relationship with the Deutsche Bahn but the fact that I can get to and from any destination I want to without needing a car, car insurance or having to pay for gas is definitely a plus. In addition, DB offers fantastic group tickets that allow up to five people to travel on a single ticket, which makes travelling all the more accessible by letting you split the cost. So while delays are common and shut downs on the railways of the entire nation possible (ahem, Frankfurt), Deutsche Bahn still adds, rather than detracts in my book.
Perhaps you've seen an earlier post where I am stuffing my face with German bread and pasteries?? Hands down, Germans make the best damn bread there is... and its so freakin' cheap, you can't go wrong (except perhaps, on the waistline).
3. THEY CARE ABOUT MOTHER EARTH
Germans really care about reducing their carbon footprint and leaving a greener world for future generations. While it might be frustrating for the new comer to get used to initially, Germans sort their garbage into four different categories: bio waste, plastic, recyclable paper, and restmüll. There are even entire dorfs (or villages) that run on solar power. Way to go Germans.
4. THEIR INTENSE SWEET TOOTH
It is totally normal and acceptable for a household to have a large basket overflowing with Milka, Rittersport, KitKats, Haribo and the like to grab anytime you feel like it throughout the day. Not to mention that eating cake is totally acceptable for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Yea, how about that.
5. OLD WORLD CHARM
While I know that some cities in Germany are starting to take on an edgier, more modern feel ie: Berlin or Frankfurt... most everywhere else, however, still feels like you're walking through some medieval town.
6. TAKIN' IT EASY
Germans are pretty intense people. Or at least that's my impression of them at times, and when they do something, they do it all the way. And thats why when they want to take it easy, they do. Germans are not lazy by any means, but they refuse to "live to work" like the Americans do. They'd much rather "work to live" which is why they still close their shops early on Saturday and Sunday is definitely a no-go if you are planning on going out and doing something other than drinking a coffee in a cafe.
7. PRETZELS and SAUSAGES
Okay. I know food already took two other slots on this list, and technically pretzels are bread, but Germans really seem to place pretzels and sausages into a food group of their own. When you're sitting on the Deutsche Bahn on a weekday afternoon, half the passengers on board are snackin' on fresh pretzels they bought for like 50 cents at a Pretzel stand or Backery. And sausages? Well that's an easy one, at least in Nuremberg, there are sausage stands like every couple of feet in the city center. When I came here, I wasn't a big meat eater, but it slowly starts to wear you down and before you know it you're eating 3 Nürnberger Bratwürst in Brötchen--as a light snack.
Angela Merkel was voted the most powerful woman in the world, three years in a row by Forbes Magazine. Like all politicians, she gets her fair share of criticism, but there is something totally fantastically awesome about one of the strongest economies and world super-powers being run by a woman. Way to go Deutschland.
Germans love to travel. They rank top five when it comes to contributing to the tourism industry abroad. Like I mentioned earlier, they work to live and when they want to play--they play. Germans average 30 paid vacation days a year! And when they have their holidays, their off to some other part of the world to enjoy themselves.
While Germany is grand is oh so many ways, I wouldn't call it Paradise just yet, which is why, maybe sometime in the near future I will follow with a list of some of the more bothersome things I've noticed about the Germans, but for now... let them bask in their glory.
Lang Lebe Deutschland! :)