An analysis of the differences between German and American life.
What are some things Germany has that the US doesn't?
- Nine border countries; it's really weird coming from the US where it would take me 6 hours to get to Canada and 18 to Mexico while here it would take me 3 hours to Amsterdam, 7 to Prague, and 5 hours to Paris.
- Incredible public transportation; yes trimet is okay but I visit cities all over Nordrhein Westfalen (my state) and it takes me at most three hours. I could go all the way across Germany to Berlin in 5 hours by train. The same can not be said about American buses and trains.
- Football culture; Portland is one of the more progressive cities when it comes to soccer culture but the rest of the US is still more interested in other sports (such as our version of football perhaps). When it's game day in Germany you know. Pubs are full, scarves and jerseys are on, and the police are everywhere. Fans often take trains together to the station nearest the stadium. When the groups of opposing fans meet brawls do occur which is why there are always lots of police in big public areas waiting for the first punch to be thrown. Once in the stadium everyone is loud, standing, singing, sloshing beer, and having fun. It's an experience not to be missed.
- Bread; I've said it before and I'll say it again, Germans do know how to make some good bread but man do you really want to eat it that much?
- Frische Luft; Germans really like their fresh air. Is it below freezing outside? That's okay we'll crack a window anyway! Yes I am making fun of this but I have learned to appreciate it. America prepare to have your windows opened, Kaeleigh is coming home!
- People who like to stare; yes I know I'm speaking English and being loud and annoying with my friends but do you need to keep watching?! I've gotten over this one by now because at this point it's a daily part of my life.
- Döner; need I say more?
- Karneval; I think my last post adequately showed what the US is missing out on.
- Grocery stores in the mall; you never realized it was smart until you had it
- DM; you need it? They've got it. I guess we could call it Target of Germany.
- More history; Germany is much older than the US therefore Germans have a lot more to talk about and show
- (Almost) free college
- Abitur; American teens, your senior year is a cake walk compared to the German's.
- Traffic lights that go green, yellow, red, yellow, green; wait what? Think about it Americans, rather than coming to a complete stop at a red you decelerate and hope it turns yellow before you've completely stopped. Yeah my mind was blown too.
- Driving age of 18/drinking age of 16 (hard alcohol 18)
What are some things the US has that Germany doesn't?
Note: this list is mainly going to be things I miss from home so for that I apologize.
- Mexican food; they don't understand what they're missing out on
- Stores like Nordstrom, Macy's, Urban Outfitter, Target, Fred Meyer, Safeway, 7/11, VS, Baskin Robins, DQ, etc.
- Two oceans
- Mac & Cheese
- Free condiments at fast food restaurants; do you want to pay extra for your ketchup? Yeah neither do I.
- Cheap gas and car insurance; compared to Germany yes the US is cheaper but we also use up more resources and are quickly destroying the planet that we live on so who's really losing here?
- Trump; the winner is pretty obvious in this one. Angie I love you.
- Hollywood; as an American this doesn't seem that cool because you've grown up with it but as a non-American all things America/Hollywood related are fantastical
- Silicon Valley; a lottt of tech/media comes from the US
- High School prom; basically the high school experience in general is missing. There is too much intense studying, Netflix, and sports happening here in the land of the Deutsche. Where are the school sports, spirit days, and dances???
- SAT/ACT; yes Germany doesn't have these but they have just about the equivalent (Abitur, mentioned above)
- More personal space; this one was odd to me. Germans are often more distant and formal than Americans but when they're trying to get somewhere they will not hesitate from pushing you and throwing a dirty look behind to make sure you got the message you were in the way.
- Speed limits; yes it's true Germans like to drive without limits and they can on some autobahns but not all
- (Big) automatic cars; sad truth is even if I was allowed to drive here in Germany I couldn't because all the different gears just don't make sense
There are lots of similarities and differences between Germany and the US but at the end of the day they're just life. My life.