Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Things to love about Germany

Sometimes my husband says he thinks I don't like Germany or Germans.  Say what?  Ok maybe I complain a lot bit but that doesn't mean anything.  I married a German, remember?  My child is German!  Well anyway, I thought I'd dedicate some writing to the many, many great things about Germany and Germans. 

1. Castles, palaces, fortresses and other historical buildings.   When most people think of German castles they think of Neuschwanstein.  Neuschwanstein is amazing and it was built by a crazy person!  Fabulous, right?  But there are gads of other things worth checking out.  I admit I am pretty nonplussed by the smaller castles around here but that doesn't mean they aren't wonderful.  It just means that after six years I'm getting used to seeing them.  Before Hamburg we used to live in Saxony so the first castles I saw were all breathtakingly memorable. 

Tiny little castle where my husband's friend got married.  Good memories :)

2. Art- art is everywhere.  The other day I was admiring some interesting original art in my dentist's office.  Way, way better than those motivational posters that Americans tend to hang up in schools and offices.

3. Our health care is awesome.

4. Everything is orderly.  Well most of the time.  The trains run on schedule, the trash is picked up and recycled, all the children go to school and get their check ups.  Cars and trucks are kept serviced and everyone pays their taxes and takes care of their registered pets.  The streets are clean and every yard has a gnome.

5. Germany takes care of it's own.  No German has to be homeless or without their basic necessities.  That's pretty great.

6. Less crime, fewer guns, and generally safer overall.

7.  Groceries are better.  We can get cheap locally grown organic produce whenever we want it.  We can go pick our own if we have time.  Even processed foods here have less chemicals and hormones.

8. Most people speak a second language sometimes a third and fourth.

9. A lot of Germans like to travel.  Traveling generally makes people a bit more open minded and aware of the world around them.

10. People are on time.

11. Good wine is inexpensive.  I feel like wine sort of deserves it's own post.  I knew nothing about it before I moved here.  Now I know quite a bit.  The last few years H and I buy a lot of our wine directly from a German vineyard.  I pick up various bottles of sect and rosé usually for less than €5.  Champagne is more but still cheaper than in the US.  I love a glass of wine at the end of the day.  It's just so lovely.

12. The clubs don't close until it gets light outside.  I don't do any clubbing anymore because I'm too old but back in the day it was fun, fun, fun.

13. There are no open container laws in Germany so you can enjoy your wine or beer wherever you want.  They passed some laws about drinking on public transportation since I've been here but it's nice to take a bottle of wine along with your picnic to the beach or the park.

14. Germans are helpful.

15. Children are accepted in public places.

16. Most working people get at least a month of paid vacation plus lots of paid public holidays.  Add this to a little bit of overtime and most Germans only work about 10 months out of the year.

17. Disability and sick leave are much, much better than in the US.

18. The nature is natural.  There is little urban sprawl, lots of forests and fields and beautiful unfarmed and undeveloped land.  Germany is a very beautiful country.

19. Expat friends are more diverse than friends a person makes in their own country.  I've met so many interesting and amazing people.  I never stop being thankful for the wonderful people I've gotten to know! (No shade on my Chicago people, they are extra awesome for staying friends with me all this long time I've lived in Europe.)

I'm sure there is more but my toddler has fallen asleep.  Instead of trying to think of what I missed I'm going to go enjoy some delicious wine and hang out with my German husband. ;)  What do you love about your country?


  1. Hi Sara,

    I'm a South African who lived in Germany for a few months short of 5 years ... I love this list of yours as you list many of the things I miss and admired so much about Germany - the one thing I didn't find easy was that living in the South, the Bavarians treat northern Germans like 'auslanders' and so you can imagine some of them were downright rude to me ;-) as a true 'auslander'. But once they got used to seeing me in the village, they became more accepting.

    Being in a country that has many challenges, I desperately miss the quality of medical care and how things simply work - but of course, that's due to the commitment of the people.

    I especially miss that my children were relatively safe in walking and travelling alone and that they could ride their bicycles and you knew that they'd be safe as people are so careful with cyclists.

    So many more memories have now been stirred up.

    Thanks for sharing this list ... Greetings

    1. Glad that you enjoyed it! It is a little hard for people who have lived in more than one country because we are always missing something :)

  2. i am glad to see this things in GERMAN.actually GERMAN is one of best and great place for us also for students because there are a lots of things that we can get from this and meet new people and can adapt a lots things.i personally like GERMAN.and i have intend to go there for my study.
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