Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 5 Most Awesome Things About Germany

So, now that I've talked about some of the annoying things about Germany, I'll talk about some of the more awesome things about being here.

1. The Bakeries
When I think about Tuscaloosa, I can think of three bakeries (besides the ones in the supermarkets). In even the small town we started out in there are like, three bakeries per street, and they are sooo goood. In addition to bread, pastry, etc. they also sell sandwiches, which is fun. Seriously, in Aachen you can't walk a block without running into a bakery and for someone like me who looooves fancy baked goods this is a HUGE perk.

2. The Ice Cream
How often have you seen a pack of like 20-30 year old dudes walking down the street with ice cream cones? Or a 50-year old? The answer is most likely never. Seeing someone walking down the street with an ice cream cone here is like, totally normal. Everyone gets ice cream all the time, even if it's not that hot out (I mean, it's never going to be that hot out here). The Eis Cafe nearest us has a gigantic line almost every time I've walked by it, even at 9 or so at night. And of course, the ice cream is really really good. They tend to shy away from artificial colorings/flavorings here, so the melon ice cream really tastes like melon, the strawberry has little bits in it, etc. And it's sooo cheap. A giant scoop on a cone is 1 Euro at the one near us; some of the ones in Juelich had two smaller scoops for 1 Euro.

3. Recycling
This is slightly annoying, as the Germans are pretty strict about their recycling rules, but I consider it overall to be a good thing. I know different parts of the US have different policies on recycling. Tuscaloosa's was pretty much, "If you absolutely have to, here's a few places where you can recycle a very limited number of materials but we're going to make it hard just to discourage it." Pretty much everything here can be recycled; it just needs to be sorted out properly. I also read recently that if a store sells batteries, they have to take them back to dispose of properly. Someone told me when they called Tuscaloosa 3-1-1 to ask what to do with used batteries, they were told to just throw them away. Seriously. There is also pickup of larger things that can't be thrown away/recycled which just makes it very convenient.

4. Walking
I knew that when I came to Germany I would be walking a lot more. For one thing, we don't own a car here and for another, the cities/towns are just set up so that everything is more or less convenient to get to. The first few days I was here, my body was just not used to moving very much and even though I purposely brought only shoes that I found comfortable, my feet were hurting and blistering from all the walking I was doing. However, I'm really grateful for this because I think it's going to make it much easier to lose weight after I have the baby. Plus it's just nice to walk around and look around. My current "schedule" is such that I'm not in a hurry to be anywhere so it's nice to just stroll around.

5. Cheap Beer
I know I also put this in the "most annoying things" post, but I think that once I can actually drink beer this will be one of the best perks. As I said before, beer is just ridiculously cheap. I'm guessing part of that is that there aren't so many taxes on it, and I guess if it isn't imported that would bring the cost down as well. And even the cheaper/crappier beers here aren't anywhere near as crappy as like, PBR or Budweiser or something. There is also a really big selection of alcohol-free beers I've been looking into; almost every brewery seems to have an alcohol-free version. Of course it's not as good as the real thing, but it's an OK substitute until I can drink actual beer again.

1 comment:

  1. 3 out of those 5 are on my "awesome things about Italy" list. Walking, cheap gelato, bakeries everywhere, the fact that drinking wine at lunch is not only acceptable but encouraged, and the availability of cheap, fresh produce are on my list.

    On my "not-so-awesome" list are gypsies, pigeons, men who don't shower or wear deodorant, aggressive Japanese tourists, and the free shots of lemoncello that come with every meal that you feel guilty for not taking.