10 Things That Make Me Happy About Germany

October 27, 2009

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This is a guest post by Bing from Life in the Left Lane. We’re swapping guest posts via Twenty-Something Bloggers. So without further ado, here are 10 reasons to love Germany.

  1. Great Beer. Germany, specifically Bavaria, is home to some of the best beer I have ever tasted.  It goes down smooth, even if it is served room temperature.  Each type of beer has its own special glass to be served in, and pouring a beer with good head is practically an art.  Plus, I don’t feel like I get the hangovers I get when I drink American beer — maybe it has something to do with the lack of preservatives in it…
  2. The mixture of old and new. No matter what city you travel to, large or small, Germany has a beautiful mix of 100-year-old buildings and modern establishments.  I love how you can explore churches that were built in the 1400’s then head next door to a newer restaurant for lunch.  Since America has only been established for a few hundred years, I feel like we don’t have all the rich history and ancient structures like they do in Germany.
  3. Amazing bread. There is something about the bread in Germany that is to die for.  Whether you get rolls or baguettes, the outside is golden brown and crispy, and the inside is soft and fluffy.  I have not been able to find anything close to this in the States.  It’s good, but not nearly as tasty as German bread.
  4. Döner kebabs. Quite possibly the best late-night, drunk food ever!  Döners are Turkish sandwiches featuring thinly shaved meat (beef, lamb or turkey) that is piled into special bread pocket and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and a special sauce.  They are amazing!  In my college town they had a kebab restaurant, but it’s not quite the same as the ones you find in Germany.
  5. Awesome public transportation. I love how you can get around Germany without a car.  No matter the size of the town or city, there is some form of public transportation for you to take.  I am especially fond of the train system.  I have NEVER taken a train to travel extended distances in America.  I feel like it’s frowned upon to do so.  In Germany, everyone takes trains to travel within the country or throughout Europe, and they are very nice and comfortable.
  6. Proximity to other countries. I love how when you live in Germany, you have the opportunity to travel to a variety of other nations for not a lot of money.  There are a number of airlines that offer super cheap flights or you can buy a Euro-rail pass and just explore.  Sometimes it boggles my mind that a flight to LA from Atlanta can cost almost $500 but in Germany you can luck out and get a flight for much less than 100 euros.
  7. Interesting deli meat and cheese. My favorite deli meat in Germany is bologna-like and has mushroom slices inside.  It is so good, but unfortunately you can’t find it in the States – so sad.  You can also get this Gouda-like cheese with smoked ham pieces inside of it.  Paired with the mushroom meat and a fresh roll, it’s the best way to start the day.
  8. Laid back lifestyle. Most of the people that I met in Germany were much more open-minded and live a laid back life.  The legal drinking age for beer is 16 and for liquor 18, and the laws concerning it are not nearly as strict as they are here.  I have never been carded when in Germany, but I am nearly 27 and still get carded when I buy alcohol in most places in the US.  Drinking alcohol is considered a way of life over there.  In America, specifically the South, people look down on drinking and act like it’s the biggest sin in the world to drink a beer with dinner.
  9. Working to live and not living to work. Employees receive 5 weeks or more of vacation each year, and a lot more paid holidays.  People are expected to take lunch hours.  If you want to have a beer with lunch, no one thinks twice about it.  I feel like people are much more able to put their families first as opposed to here where companies expect you to give everything you have for your job, and don’t care if you have time left over to spend with the people you love.
  10. Being multilingual. Most people you meet in Germany can speak more than one language, and especially our generation, are fluent English speakers.  Some of them are able to even speak a third language, and people are proud of their skill.  Children begin learning languages at an early age and continue to do so throughout their schooling.  I wish America put more emphasis on children learning foreign languages in school.

So, those are some of my 10 favorite things that make me happy about Germany!  If you’ve been there before, is there anything that makes you smile when you think about Germany?

Germany is definitely on my list still (next time I’m leaving the airport)! Now go check out my potty humor guest post, Toilets of the World!