Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Travel + Life Abroad, Travel: Germany


Much to my chagrin, Germany has become somewhat cool. Oh sure, Berlin has long been the Coolest City in the World, beloved and inhabited by the truly Cool. And hipsters. That’s fine. It’s Berlin, every country needs its Cool Capital, and Berlin, in some ways, is as much Germany as London is the UK and New York, the USA.

But Germany, as a country, is enjoying a real renaissance in school-yard popularity with plenty of European countries looking on either enviously or lustfully – or with a combination of both. Particularly, it must be said, the UK, which is running editorial after editorial about what Germany does right; things like their economy, recycling, football (didn’t the Daily Mail just breathe a long sigh of relief when it saw it had more Nazi/Hitler fodder in reserve, to publish in the lead up to the match!). After a period of grumbling and finger pointing and unflattering shots of Merkel (and indeed unfavourable comparisons) the Brits seem to have done an about face on their long-time frenemy/rival/comedic punching bag and now can’t get enough of them. Just last week a BBC poll ranked Germany as the most ‘popular country (out of 16). Germany. Popular. Late last year, The Guardian UK ran a column series The Accidental Empire, where in among the more serious scribblings on what is happening in the land of BMW and wurst, it lavishes praise on compound words (been there, done that Guardian).

I am not, I must confess, entirely comfortable with Germany’s cool status. I feel irrationally protective  and indeed irritated that a large part of the rest of the world has now cottoned onto my Germs. Dare I say, I chose Germany (more specifically a medium-sized city within it) over, say, London, for  my Big Move, because it wasn’t cool and I was being cool, by virtue of shunning London et al. Good thing Weiden is a) practically the Czech Republic b) will never be noticed by cool-hunters. It remains odd/anonymous/in the middle of nowhere enough to keep me in my own cool cred.

In other news, Australia has been revealed as the happiest country for the third year running (bumping out Sweden!). I am torn between being cool and being happy.


This guy knows what it is to be happy.

Further reading:

How Germany Became Über Cool – CNN

Why the Brits Are Curious about Germany Again – Atlantic Times

What I Know About Germans (constantly updated)

Image credit: Sergio Bandeira



  1. Jo Hambrett

    30 May, 2013 at 9:48 am

    be cool AND happy – like the little roo!!

    1. Jo Hambrett

      30 May, 2013 at 9:50 am

      be cool AND happy like the kangaroo

      1. Liv

        2 June, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Perhaps dividing my time between Germany and Australia is the ULTIMATE SOLUTION!

  2. Bonnie Rose (@the_bonnierose)

    30 May, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    He does look quite happy indeed. I was quite happy living in Australia for a summer. Would love to go back.

    1. Liv

      2 June, 2013 at 11:14 am

      When I go back, I am going straight to the place my friend took this photo – the roos are extremely tame and affectionate here and you can feed them!

  3. Isa

    30 May, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Do you read the Daily Mail?! Shock. Horror. I haven’t read a page of that in 20 years…I guess it’s time to find out what all the fuss is about again, to reach a point of no return.

    As for The Guardian, well, some of their writers/researchers are somewhat ‘slow’.

    I really like the tone of this article. YOu sound slightly pissed off but happy at the same time -which made me giggle quite a lot.

    1. Liv

      2 June, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Hahaha I am a horrible mix of smug/happy/annoyed/dismissive. It is an uncomfortable place to be!

      As for the DM … it’s a horrible, horrible compulsion I have to read and be mortified by their daily shit.

  4. Isa

    30 May, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I went the DM’s site, this headline sums ’em quite well:
    “Mother rushed daughter to A&E… to have dog poo wiped off her shoe: Fury over hospitals bothered with trivial complaints”.

    1. Liv

      2 June, 2013 at 11:12 am

      I think that is an excellent summation, on many levels, of the DM.

  5. But Why Was it So Popular? | Liv Hambrett

    17 March, 2014 at 11:04 am

    […] has been a big interest in German culture for the past couple of years, and I can speak especially for English speaking countries. How does […]

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