I’ve lived with my German almost one year now (half a year in the US, a few weeks in Latin America, and two months here in Europe so far), and I’ve picked up a few of my favorite qualities of Germans in that time period. Add that to my observation of life in Europe and his amazing family and friends, I made a list of my ‘favorite things’ a la Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music:
Top 15 Reasons I love Germany and Germans:
1. The beer and chocolate – cliché, but I don’t care. It’s delicious. Be aware, Germans have their favorite German brands, and stating what you like best can start quite the debate.
2. The blunt honesty. Sometimes it makes me laugh out loud. And throws me off only a little as a ‘Minnesota Nice’ gal.
3. The polite dinner parties and table manners. Young or old, to watch Germans eat is fascinating. The elegant way they navigate EVERYTHING (think pizza, french fries, etc.) with a knife and fork is borderline beautiful. My hypothesis is because they live at home longer than most Americans in their 20’s, they gain a knack for throwing adult dinner parties without even trying. Everyone brings a well thought out and prepared side, rather than the store bought chips and dip I usually bring to barbecues!
4. The majority of people on the streets are so nicely dressed. I especially love the guys in scarves. My favorite clothing to observe people wear is shorts – girls always add tights underneath, and guys wear capris (although the above the knee wide shorts are making a comeback with guys, which is very exciting).
5. The word katze. As a cat person, this is obvious. Cah-t-za.
6. The small cars and the autoban. Cars that whiz past in the left lane still surprise me.
7. The way the call their cell phone a ‘handy’.
8. The German accent in English. Think YouTube sensation Flula. Amazing. While my German speaks fluent English, there is a word every now and then that will make me smile in the pronunciation (think ‘beer’ for the word ‘bear’ and ‘peegion’ for ‘pigeon’), and of course the way he says my name “Azaahh (Germans don’t pronounce the hard ‘R’ which transforms my name). My favorite phrase: “Make a picture” instead of “Take a picture.” I can’t wait to find out the things I say in German as I begin to learn more!
9. The way in the north everyone greets one another with ‘Moin!’ while walking down the street.
10. The solar panels and windmills EVERYWHERE.
11. Gluhwein (mulled wine) is SO inexpensive and delicious!
12. How you have to ‘Prost’ (cheers) before taking a sip of anything, every time, AND look each other in the eye. EVERYONE you cheers.
13. How an American would say, “It was so exciting!” to something a German would say, “It was ok.”
14. The intensity Germans have for their bread, rolls and baked goods. For instance you will be laughed at if you try to put peanut butter on black bread, or try and toast it for that matter. The intensity makes for really a really delicious roll or baked good though!
15. The precise and well planned everything. Sometimes it stresses me out that most everyone is so punctual and hard working, versus a more laid back attitude. Then again, everything around you is humming along in perfect order.
What are some of your favorite German things?