12 Sep

Culture Change

Germany Countryside Compared to the South American countries we have visited, Germany is small. There are no 8, 10 or 15 hour bus rides…trains whisk us where ever we want to go within just a few short hours and with the beautiful countryside whipping by, well, there is just no time to write. And so it has been 10 days since I have put any thoughts down.

I am loving Germany just like I knew I  would. It’s easy here. We come from a European culture so I understand how and why everything works. Although I speak almost no German it is easy to get around as most people speak English (I confess I am terribly embarrassed that I must rely on their English skills to help me…in the future I must become fluent in another language). The food is fabulous and familiar and I see people drinking beer everywhere.

It’s not fair to compare South America to Germany as they are not trying to be like each other, but I’ll do it anyway:

  • I can flush the toilet paper in Germany – no more stinky bin beside the toilet.
  • There are a bazillion different beers in Germany and, from what I can tell, they are all fabulous.
  • Wine is cheaper,  and better, in Argentina.
  • In S.America I can cross the street where ever and whenever I want (although I may take my life in my hands). In Germany everyone waits for the ‘ampelmann’ – no jaywalking here…must obey the rules.
  • Germany is clean…no litter, no side-of-the-road garbage dumps, no dog sh*t everywhere.
  • We have family in Germany. There is nothing like staying with family and feeling their warm, welcoming embrace especially after being on the road for three months.
  • S.America is definitely cheaper.
  • Germans do not eat near the amount of beef that Argentineans do. Pork and wurst are king here.
  • S.American buses pick up snack vendors from the side of the road. They get on the bus with their basket of cakes, cookies, ice cream, corn-on-the-cob, empanadas, gelatin, meat-and-beans-in-a-bag…whatever they made in their kitchen this morning…and sell to the bus patrons. The driver pulls over a few miles down the road to let them off. This, I’m sure, is inconceivable to the Germans although I had some tasty snacks from the bus ladies.

South America and Germany are very different from each other in many, many ways…sometimes the German aspects are better and sometimes the S.American aspects are.