Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Last weekend we went to Germany!

Last weekend (a week and a half ago, actually - time flies when there's so little sunlight in the day) we visited Germany for the first time since moving to the UK!  Our purpose was more to visit friends than to visit the country, but it's so full with fun stuff to eat and see that we ended up with a nice dose of Germany on the side anyway.

It hasn't been that long and only a few things about Germany really stuck out to me while we were there:

1. Actually there's some really good food.  It always frustrated me that I lived in Heidelberg for six and a half years and by the end there was still no really consistently amazing restaurant that I could call a favorite.  My favorite restaurant ended up being an Eiscafe.  (Where I did indeed get a big freaking sundae while visiting!)  There's a lot of really mediocre food all around and even the famous bakeries were full of duds as I remembered it.
One bakery I particularly remember never being all that fond of was Wiener Feinbaecker.  We made a stop there while in Heidelberg anyway, to stock up on goodies for a train ride, just due to the lack of other options.  As it turns out, if you've been starved of German flavors for a while, Wiener Feinbaecker's stuff is pretty delicious.  Especially this salty Dampfnudel....

 I miss you, salty Dampfnudel.

A hazelnut horn-shaped thing, which I never cared for one way or another in the past, was amazing. Even the Berliner-Brezel, previously dismissed by me as forever disappointing due to its inability to taste like an American sugar donut, was delicious.

2. So many trees!  So, so many trees.  And vineyards!!  How could I leave a country with so many beautiful vineyards!?!

3. The light to open the train door comes on a lot faster in Germany than in the UK.

4. The UK's false "sorry" is, for me, so far preferable to the German habit of just unapologetically running into you and then looking at you like it's your fault and not saying anything.  Got this one straight away at the airport train station, and then it just kept happening the whole time.  So frustrating!

5. I find it much easier to speak German when there as a tourist than I did when living there.  Even though no one is going to know whether I'm a tourist or a foreigner living there, as a tourist I put less pressure on myself to be perfect because hey!  I'm just a tourist, you can't judge me for not being fluent, why should I be?  Without the pressure, it's much easier to just blurt out a bunch of possibly wrong German and not care.

6. That tower in Duesseldorf has a bunch of lights on it that are a clock.  This was my third visit to Duesseldorf, but the first time I noticed that.  Cool.

Taken at 16:29.


  1. Funny how a little distance can give you a fresh perspective on things! I had this both when I went to the States this summer, and when I returned to Germany. There were some things about it that were really rough this time around, though, coming back.

  2. On #4: I have been telling my friends that I will have to re-program myself for American manners when I return to the US for a visit after living in Germany. Since moving to DE, I've gotten so sick of people slamming into me and not apologizing or acting as if it's somehow MY fault. I've gotten lax on saying "excuse me" now; I was getting tired of apologizing to people who ran into me, not the other way around. If I need to get past someone and I won't actually touch that person when going around (but it's a tight squeeze), I have to admit that I don't say excuse me then, either. I'm still trying to get used to people practically throwing me aside when they decide they want to be served at the store (even though I'm in line). I'll have to readjust to US manners for a trip home!

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