What I Love About Germany

wilab

Schnitzel.

Excellently priced wine in the supermarket (you know, 3€ for a bottle that would be about $16 in Sydney).

On that note, the very good Australian shiraz that Käfer imports and sells for 3.50€ – schnäppchen.

A good slab of Brie for 2€.

Hell, the entire, enormous dairy department of every supermarket.

9 borders for the crossing and …

Road trips to cross them.

Radio stations that aren’t afraid of adding 90s classics to their playlists – who, in fact, do it as a matter of cause.

The big cities.

The little towns.

The bakeries.

Kölsch (so fresh!)

Glühwein.

Hugo.

Being able to drink all of those delicious beverages in public, whenever and wherever I want. Because I’m an adult, something Germany kindly remembers.

The ubiquity of seriously good chocolate.

Dutch wine gum stalls at the markets.

How every weekend there is a festival of some sort to celebrate something.

And how at every festival there are ten pommes stalls, ten sweets stores and twenty wurst stands.

Spring, marvellous Spring, with its flowers and rapsfelds and Spargel and sweet, sweet promise of warmth.

Summer strawberries.

Daylight until 10.30pm in July.

Clean public toilets (I’ll pay 70 cents for hygiene).

The choice and consequent cheapness of grocery stores. No Coles and Woolworths duopoly here.

H&M delivery service.

Kitsch homeware stores, Nanu Nana and Butlers.

Busses that run on time.

25c pots of yoghurt.

Medieval towns.

History at every turn, under every rock, down every cobbled lane.

The fierce pride in and protection of sub-cultures, dialects and traditions as produced by the twists and turns of this aforementioned history. (This can, however, get mildly irritating when ten people who live within 20km of each other refuse to be identified as belonging to the same region. Franconian people, I am looking at you.)

Kiel. Actually, the North in general.

The Germans.

And when they lie to me and say ‘du sprichst sehr gut Deutsch!’

57 Comments

  1. What I Love About Germany « A Big Life

    17 May, 2012 at 8:44 am

    […] Write. Teach.ContactWhat I Know About Germans (Not Bavarians)What I Love About GermanyWork With Me//Reviews Life Abroad. Travel. Culture. Germany. Europe. […]

  2. ilhan89bln

    20 May, 2012 at 8:49 am

    You live in Bavaria and love Kölsch? Seriously???
    One of the most disgusting beers I have ever tried :S Did you ever have Augustiner?

    1. Liv

      20 May, 2012 at 9:45 am

      I know, but I am not a beer drinker! I love Kölsch BECAUSE it doesn’t taste too beery hahaha. The Bavarians would have my head …

      1. ilhan89bln

        20 May, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        They would! I am not a big beer fan myself (I hate Berliner and I like the American Budweiser), but Augustiner is alright, Schneider Weisse Weissbier is good and Aventinus is awesome (careful though, it’s a Starkbier ;))…but Kölsch!
        What about Weißwürste, any luck with those?

        1. King Lala

          28 November, 2013 at 9:37 am

          aventinus killed my youth…. 🙂

      2. Jess

        23 May, 2018 at 9:49 am

        Kölsch is amazing and I refused to be shamed for it. Although I’m marrying a Rheinländer so it’s not like I have much of a choice (Alt Bier? blehhhh).

    2. Julia

      24 November, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Well it pretty much just proves that you know what is good 😀

      Greetings from Cologne :D:D

      1. Liv

        25 November, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        Thank you for your tick of approval! Hallo Cologne!

    3. Phil

      16 January, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      I don‘t think you know what you‘re talking about. Ever tried a Malzmühle, a Päffgen or even a Reissdorf Kölsch? There are 23 Kölsch Brands (Microbreweries not included!). Some of them are weird, some delicious! Go ahead, try some more. BTW a Hacker Pschorr Weizen is a great Bavarian Beer, as well as Grüner, Edelstoff and some Nuremberg Red or Cellar Beers. Or a Flens from the North.

  3. Bubisch

    7 June, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Kölsch! Where i live, we call it “Ein Bierersatz, der nach Pisse schmeckt.”

    1. Liv

      7 June, 2012 at 7:55 am

      I know, I know! But it is perfect for my beer needs – light, crisp, refreshing and served in small glasses.

  4. As Close to ‘Viral’ as I am Ever Going to Get « A Big Life

    7 June, 2012 at 7:34 am

    […] the WriterContactOnline PortfolioWhat I Know About Germans (Not Bavarians)What I Love About GermanyWords on Moving & Living AbroadWork With Me//Reviews Life Abroad. Travel. Culture. […]

  5. André

    7 June, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Best Schnitzel you’ll find at Feinkost Vallo in Osnabrück! 😀 They serve it with a special spice on it! I’m lovin it!

    1. David

      27 May, 2014 at 6:55 am

      I ride my bike past here everyday! I’ll have to check it out! But the best schnitzel is at Gastof Schrage in Wellingholzhausen 🙂

  6. mi

    7 June, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    ooooh!!! maybe i’m the first to be glad you like kölsch, but i am!!! i’m from bonn living abroad and reading that you like kölsch just warmed my heart 🙂

  7. mirjamsord

    7 June, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    oh!! i love that you love kölsch!! i’m from bonn living abroad and reading this just warmed my heart. 🙂

  8. Lisa

    7 June, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Oh god, this makes me so happy 😀

  9. I’m looking forward to … « A Big Life

    14 June, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    […] the WriterContactOnline PortfolioWhat I Know About Germans (Not Bavarians)What I Love About GermanyWords on Moving & Living AbroadWork With Me//Reviews Life Abroad. Travel. Culture. […]

  10. Jannis

    7 September, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I love the fact that you love Kölsch! Seriously, it’s a great beer – a point that you should add to the list: Germans are very special when it comes to their beer – even if it’s practically the same, they still refuse to admit it 😀

    1. Liv

      7 September, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Ha! So true! Beer is a national sport, isn’t it! Are you able to tell me how you came across the list?

  11. passportsandpamplemousse

    26 November, 2013 at 9:41 am

    as a Kölsche mädl living in Bavaria — I agree with you and I love your blog!!

    1. Liv

      26 November, 2013 at 9:46 am

      You probably have culture shock too! From Köln to Bayern … quite the jump. I don’t think my Schleswig-Holsteiner boyfriend will ever recover from our time in Bayern. Thank you so much for reading, am just popping over to check out your blog!

      1. passportsandpamplemousse

        26 November, 2013 at 9:55 am

        I am just writing you an email! 🙂 check in a few minutes! and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. Vincenz

    27 November, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Finally, Someone who Loves Germany as Much as I Do!
    Gamutlichkeit!
    Your New Friend,
    Vincenz.

    1. Liv

      27 November, 2013 at 8:58 am

      It is true, Germany has won me over!

      1. Vincenz Schmidt

        1 December, 2013 at 11:35 am

        I want to do as you have done and have wanted it for so very long. My main concern is how to support myself.I know where I want to live and even the village I want to live in (only 30 min from Berlin) But how do I become an immigrant? Obtain employment? Can I just get off the plane and say, “Hi, I’m finally here, can I stay?”….(^>) I don’t want to give up my Property in Florida because I still want a winter retreat and a sometime income property, but I want to become a German citizen and live the rest of my live as a full fledged German. Any advise you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

        Gott Mit Du,
        Vincenz.

        1. Jeff Maltz

          31 December, 2013 at 6:08 pm

          As an American living in Germany, living and getting permission to work is almost impossible and long prospect in Germany. You have to establish residency. In order to do that ,you have to buy property. A tourist visa to Germany or the European Union is only valid for 90 days, then you must leave the EU for 90 days. You can not enter Germany from another European country or even Switzerland.
          I am a retired German/ English teacher from the USA. And on my residency card, it clearly states I am not permitted to work here. Although I own an apartment in Germany, there are also restrictions. For example, I am only allowed out of the EU for 120 days per year. If I stay longer, I could lose my residency card and have to start from square one again. In 6 more years, I can get German citizenship. To qualify for it, I must also take a test with 300 questions in German. as I also studied here in the 1970’s. In addition, my grandparents immigrated to USA in 1922. I am only the 2nd generation born in the USA and I speak German fluently.

          I don’t know how old you are, but if you really want to live and work here, it’s much easier to get a job with an American company that does business in Germany or US military. I could teach English or German in an American military high school,if I wanted, but I live in Thüringen and there are no Americans stationed here and there never were, because it was in former East Germany.
          Another easier way for you is to marry a German. You get automatic citizenship and your prospects for finding employment are much easier. You are also permitted to live here.
          These are some the obstacles you would face here. On the other hand, I enjoy living in Germany and I enjoy the people, the culture and the German way of life.
          The transition was also easier for me,because I speak German and I understand how the Germans think. I’ve been living here for 13 years.
          If I can answer anymore questions, please ask.
          Sincerely, Jeff M

          1. Situ Hatzapatzaku

            9 February, 2014 at 5:44 pm

            You don´t get the citizenship just by marrying a German. I was born in Germany, always lived there and am married to a German, but I don´t have the citizenship and am still French. I have to apply and pay about 500-600 euros for that.
            And you don´t have to buy property to live here, you have to find a job at a company that´s supportive enough to help you with immigration issues etc.

          2. Vincenz Schmidt

            3 March, 2014 at 7:22 pm

            Jeff, this Comes late, but I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my Heart for your help.

            Mostly, from the way I see it, my greatest hurdle will be employment or if it is possibler, to have a small business that can support me. After I liquidate my assets here in America, I will have enough to buy a house and start a small business. But I think getting a job would be wiser at first, do you agree with this?

            I dont have a Bride…..I was hoping to meet a girl in Germany in a natural way and developing a relationship. I dont want to marry just to be a German Citizen, but I do want to Marry a German Girl for manifold reasons….that just adds icing to an already nice cake.

            I plan to stay in Sacsen-Anhalt, about 30 min from Berlin (By Train). A Small Village with a house and garage that I have already picked out. Neighbors that I have already become friends with.

            Its the Job. That is the hurdle. And none of my German Friends can help with that being that they are all civil servants or retired beyond that type of influence.

            I just feel and identify with Germany and want my Dream of a strong Family in Germany. In that way I will do more for my Family than in any other way and return to my Fatherland to give back something of what Germany has given me.

            Gott Mit Uns,
            Vincenz

  13. Wolfgang Gesenhues

    27 November, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Schöne Seite, lustig und gut gemacht und etwas für die “beschämte” Seele, wir haben ja bekanntlich ein Defizit, Gruss aus dem Münsterland

  14. Jeff Maltz

    27 November, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I find most of the items about “Germany” are based on western Germany. I have lived in Thüringen for over 12 years and there are still many differences between the Germans. I have found the “eastern Germans” to much more friendly,in general, and in the stores and businesses than in the West. I chat with women at the Fleischtheke( butcher shop) and when the meat isn’t good they won’t sell it to me. I am also usually greeted by the manager,if they see me) They know my name.) and I talk to the cashiers and they are always polite and friendly.
    Thsi not only in Rudolstadt where I live, but also in Dresden, Rostock,Leipzig and Erfurt. On the other hand. Berlin, although it’s in the eastern part, is simply Berlin.
    I had one German woman ins Worms insult me and my friend, because she thought both of us were the dreded “Ossis” and her taxes were being used to build the autobahns and the like in the east. I listened and then I replied and cleverly told her in perfect German, I was an American and how ridiculous she sounded and bought nothing from her.
    When the Wessis come east, they want everyone to know they’re Wessis. They talk loud,drive like idiots, are often rude, pushy and impolite and look down on us,as though we’re worse off than they are. We may not have as many material things as they do, but who cares or gives a rat’s butt.
    I’m proud to live in eastern Germany and to be considered an “Ossi” and enjoy life in Ossiland and the people. BTW- My grandparents are originally from Mainhardt and Stuttgart in Württemberg. I also studied in Stuttgart and like Schwabenland. 🙂

    1. Liv

      29 November, 2013 at 9:23 am

      You are so right about the whole divide. Having only ever lived in the west, and having a partner from the west, I am heavily west Germany influenced. There is still obviously such a divide between the two cultures and peoples, something I’d like to learn more about in time.

      1. Situ Hatzapatzaku

        9 February, 2014 at 6:08 pm

        “When the Wessis come east, they want everyone to know they’re Wessis. They talk loud,drive like idiots, are often rude, pushy and impolite and look down on us,as though we’re worse off than they are. We may not have as many material things as they do, but who cares or gives a rat’s butt.”

        Funnily, you could say the same about East Germans. Or Pfälzer will say that about Schwaben, Westfalen about Bazis etc. I think it´s not a big deal anymore.

  15. (mt)

    29 November, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Moved away from Germany to Ireland a few years back – Your post is definitely my list of things I Miss about Germany. Was just in Cologne yesterday for a short trip. They did an amazing job with their Christmas Markets this year. So as you like your Kölsch… I recommend a short trip to Cologne this weekend 😉

    1. Liv

      30 November, 2013 at 8:18 am

      I have to make it to those markets. Our markets will all be Bavarian this year, maybe next!

  16. Donata

    3 December, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    hey Liv, great blog you have here. I am german but I just spent the last two years in Oz. I am missing it but my Australian boyfriend is gonna visit me and probably stay for quite a while. I am wondering if you got any advise for him? is it a big culturual shock to come over here and is it hard to learn german and how bad did you need to learn it? Would be awesome to hear that from an Australian who has done that already…:D

  17. Florian

    4 December, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Weiden in der Oberpfalz is NOT Franconia. Luckily 😛 It’s a love-hate relationship.

    Greetings from Thalmässing, Landkreis Roth, Franken, Bayern, Deutschland 😀

  18. fotoeins

    9 December, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    In Cologne, mein Kölner Kiez is deffo Ehrenfeld or Zulpi when I meet up with me friends for Döner and Kölsch. In Berlin, I like slipping effortlessly into the quiet of Schöneberg. In München, I hang out a lot in Schwabing. But it’s Heidelberg in particular, da ich mein Herz verloren habe, is where I also gravitate, the first place in Germany where I lived for 2 years. Thanks, Liv, for your post about loving the D-land, and for your post about the things you know (and published!) about Germany : they were both completely “sweet as.” 🙂

  19. Dave.

    31 December, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Read several of your lists. Having lived (non-military) in Deutschland for 15+ years lots of good points. I crossed a street against the light once and was admonished for setting a bad example for children. But please! I know things are changing, but All German Nouns Start With A Capital Letter!!!! Please! Please!

  20. Tina Coleman

    9 February, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Here’s to the North! Am from Schleswig originally now living in Southern California and will “horrify” my American husband every so often when I eat my pickled herring and black licorice. Your blog made me laugh out loud, made me realize I AM German no matter how long I’ve been gone and certainly made me miss it!

  21. Hildegard Hise

    13 February, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Just got page and love it. Not only are most points so so true, they made me laugh..Also it was nice to see the Promenade I’m Sonnenschein und im Regen. Das Haeuserbild muss wohl in der Naehe von der Innenstadt sein. Erraten!!!! Ich komme gebuertig aus Muenster, wohne aber schon seit 37 Jahren hier in Senoia (walking with the Dead City). Have die Liste an keine deutschen Freunde weitergegeben.

  22. Hildegard Hise

    13 February, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Sorry for the wrong comment. To y’all I DID forwarde
    d the list t ALL my German Friends

  23. Jeff Maltz

    14 February, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I’m not sure about your status as a Frenchman in Germany. Have you ever applied for German citzenship? I know many American families who were stationed in Germany during the 1960’s and 70’s who had children born here. At that time, the law was such: Any child born on German soil was constzerland or I could marry a German citizen and would get automatic citizenship or if I had a job offer at hand with a firm in Germany.
    In the USA it is also the same. If you marry an American you automatically get American citizenship. I was told I had to buy property which I did. The legal ramifications alone for my Aufenhaltserlaubnis alone idered German or granted German citizenship. Most Americans didn’t want to have German citizenship at that time.
    If you look online at the requirements for German citizenship and permission to stay here indefintely you will find the same answer as I did. I went to the Ausländeramt and was told I had to own property here in order to stay within the European (Schengenraum)territory which, by the way, also includes Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. The legal ramifications alone cost over € 3.000.
    Am I complaining? No. It’s Germany and you must follow the rules. I like Germany, the German way of life and people, the German language and culture and more importantly, I feel at home here and have good friends.
    I enjoy Liv’s comments too. It’s amazing how many Americans from German immigrant families maintained their” German” ways and are proud to have German heritage.

  24. Jeff Maltz

    14 February, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Correction. For some reason this was deleted when I checked post comment.

    Any child born on German soil was considered to a German citizen. Most American military personnel did not want their children to be German citizens at that time and denied the German citizenship, but the children had the right to decide until the age of 18 to renounce it or maintain it. Turkish children who were born here were also considered German citizens which was why during the” Gastarbeiter” period in West Germany the Turkish workers were not permitted to bring their wives or families here. The workers were later permitted in the mid 1970’s to bring their wives and families to West Germany. I was a university student in the early 1970’s and the railway station in Stuttgart was full of Turkish men every Sunday. The station served as a meeting place for them to socialize. I thought on my first arrival tin Stuttgart, I was amazed and thought it could have been Istanbul.
    I was told in order to stay in Germany, I had to own property or I could marry a…

  25. Randolf Jorberg

    15 February, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    As a German, born in the Ruhrpott, but grew up in Eckernförde (even further north of Kiel for those wo dare to go), who is now living in South Africa: Thanks for spotting all these details.

    I disagree on the Kölsch, though. And I kind of know what I’m talking about: http://www.beerhouse.co.za/

  26. lynnemarlen

    16 February, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    As a german Girl, born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, living in Southern California since the last year: It’s so wonderful to read over your list, with all those things, that I love about Germany!
    Germans will NEVER stop discussing which is supposed to be the best beer haha… but I agree, I love Kölsch and especially Schöfferhofer Grapefruit (hope no one is going to obtruncate me for the last sentence)
    And yes… oh my wonderful german Chocolate, I miss it so so badly..
    I love your Blog!
    Kisses, Lynne

    P.S.: There is always in the end of September a gigantic Wine festival in my Area, in Bad Dürkheim, it’s called “Wurstmarkt”. I think it’s the biggest Wine festival in the world, if I’m not mistaken.. You can drink a loooooot of “Pfälzer Weinschorle” , eat some yummy crepes, candys or waffles, Kartoffelpuffer, Bratwurst with Sauerkraut….and go on some fun rides.. there are many drunk people (late afternoon until 2-4pm) – but it’s kind of an experience 😉

    1. SoCalFranke

      5 April, 2014 at 3:11 am

      Liking kölsch really only means that you have never been to Bamberg. The little city in Franconia with the highest density of breweries in the world. But to each their own:) yes, franconians will never take it well to be called anything else especially a Bavarian (thank you Napoleon!!!) being a waschechter franke living in SoCal I really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m really wanting to move back home and take my American husband with me, going for our first trip together this year and I’m just hoping he will love all the things just as much as we do about tschörmanie. Danke (Ich bin Franke!;)

  27. Jason Murrill

    4 April, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I agree with all that! I would add
    -people for the (most part), yield and get out of the passing lane when done passing, so others can pass.
    – the numerous amount of bike paths.
    -good bread (the exact opposite of what we have in America)

    I wouldn’t mind going to live back there again, but you do know the…

    10€ every three months for unlimited visits to the doctor.

    actually translates to half your paycheck in taxes every payday, I’m not saying what they have going on is bad exactly, it’s just not as “free or low cost,” as people let on..

  28. Dorit

    16 April, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Love your blog! And the list made me realize all the things I do miss. A lot. I am from Münster, NRW, but live in Florida since 13 years now. However, I am curing my homesickness with going back every 2 years or so and returning with a suitcase full of chocolate and other goodies 😉

    1. Liv

      16 April, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Sometimes the only thing that cures homesickness is a trip back and a suitcase full of home treats!

  29. RundW

    23 May, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Since 2013 we don’t pay 10 € charges any more. If you have an health insurance, the visiting to the doctor is free.

  30. EddieHall

    26 May, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Eisdiele
    Sauerbraten
    Kirmes
    KD Schiffe
    Düsseldorfer Senf
    Käsekuchen

  31. Joachim Kühn (@jknostra)

    15 November, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Reading your blog made me feel a little bit pride. Thanks for lettign the bad things aside 😊. IMO best beer is cruzcampo from Spain. I am cheering with a Kölsch from Frankfurt.

  32. Rolf H.

    15 May, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I know your list “What i know about germans” a few years but now it’s the first time i took the time to read more on your blog and it’s awesome! I’m planning to leave germany in direction of Ireland…maybe for a few years, maybe forever and i found it interesting to read about someone who has gone abroad.
    I’m curious about what points will be on my list in Ireland 🙂

    Say Hi when you’re in Hamburg and have time for coffee and chit chat

What do you think?