Why I will miss Germany…

Hi everyone
I had planned to write this post closer to the time when I leave Germany (and I might write another one) but I just feel like writing one now.
I had a lot of doubts about Germany before I moved here.  Imagines of huge, stern people bossing me around, diets of sauerkraut (sour cabbage), potatoes and beer, rules and regulations meaning I couldn’t blow dry my hair between certain hours, etc.
What I found however, was something completely different…  I found people who were honest and genuine, food that consisted of much more than cabbage, beer that I can actually drink and rules to make this country live up to its reputation of efficiency and productivity.
When a german person says, for example, “You are always welcome to stay with me when you are in Germany.”, they REALLY mean it, it is not something they say lightly and when they have offered, you can be assured, you have a place to stay in Germany. They don’t offer things in passing, they mean it genuinely and seriously….always.  They are unbelievably helpful and very hospitable.  The stereo-typical German is now more often found in the older generation but even then, it is nothing as scary as I was expecting.  I have made so many more connections here with people than I was expecting to.  I have also made a very good friend who I know I won’t ever lose touch with after I leave, my friend Anja.
The food…..ah, the food.  Well I arrived in Germany in 2008 and by the end of 2010, I had high cholesterol and that didn’t come from cabbage and potatoes…  Nope, it came from the unbelievable number of cheeses, salamis, hams, sausages and patés that are available, the unbelievable selection of cakes with cream, cakes with fruit, cheesecake, pastries with nuts, pastries with custard, pastries with Nutella (!!!) and then the biggest selection of bread I have seen anywhere. Unlike in UK, I think Germany would have a bakery before a post office in a small village 😉  It’s just incredible food.
Then the beer…  I don’t know if it is the beautiful glasses beer gets served in or if I just get caught up in the whole atmosphere of the beer drinking culture here, but the beer is, well, delicious!  I drink if often when out (although I do stay away from the yucky tasting wheat beer).
So all these memories came flooding back last night when we had dinner with our US colleagues in a nice German beer garden.  I realised that there is a lot that I will miss about Germany, the people, their delicious food, their hospitality and their efficiency.  I became part of it for over 2.5 years and I will take a part of it with me when I leave.
Ironically, the picture today is what I ate for dinner last night and after reminiscing about the incredible food that is available here, what did I have for dinner?  Yup, pork, cabbage and potatoes….  I guess they’ve affected me more than I realised.
Chat with you soon.
Colleen
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