Thursday, October 31, 2013

Real Expat Life: Things I will miss about Germany

So yesterday I covered things I WON'T miss about living in Germany. The irony? We discovered our German electric company charges us by what they "guess" we use each month, leading to a nasty surprise when we got the bill for a YEAR'S worth of actual electricity usage all at once, due in a few weeks. So I'll be adding "insane energy billing policies" as number 13 on yesterday's list and we'll be eating ramen this month...

Moral of the story, my dear fellow expats? Check your energy bills. If it looks weird or like it might be too much/not enough, then ASK. I have heard so many horror stories from others since this happened to us. Don't learn that lesson the hard way like we did! 

But since I strive to stay positive, today I want to talk about the stuff I WILL miss about Germany. Despite the things that make me want to rip my hair out, there is plenty I love about my adopted home. It was hard to limit myself to only 12 things!

1. The awesome people I've met
Self explanatory. Some of the friends I've made here have been the best friends I've ever had. It breaks my heart to know they won't be a train ride away anymore :(

2. The grocery stores!
I am so spoiled by the grocery stores. Cheap food, fancy food, all the amazing dairy products and artisan breads I can desire, not to mention all the tasty Italian treats from just across the border. Be still my heart!

3. The travel opportunities
Ah, the TRAVEL! Being so close to everything! $100 roundtrip to some gorgeous island? Why not? I will seriously miss this!

4. The beautiful scenery
Bavaria is breathtaking. I doubt I'll live in a place this beautiful for a long time.

Plus you get to meet all these cute cows!

5. How organized and clean everything is
I love how organized the Germans are. If things break, they fix it. If it needs to be done, they do it. Things run smoothly, people keep things clean, and it's just so refreshing.

6. The amazing deals on antiques you can find
I'm constantly amazed by the antiques bargains you can find here. When I ask why the prices are so low, the dealers usually say that younger people aren't interested in old things anymore. That makes me sad, but I'll appreciate what they cast aside in the meantime!

7.  The fests, markets, and all the other charming parts of German culture and tradition
Beer fests, Christmas markets, village parades, maypoles-Germans have some amazing cultural traditions that I have loved being a part of!

8. The cities
There's something about strolling through a medeival city center, gazing up at beautiful cathedrals, and checking out a Saturday vegetable market or enjoying a coffee at a cafe. I will SO miss this.

9. Speaking German
I worked so hard to learn German, and I'll be very sad when I don't have the opportunity to use it every day anymore. I'm really worried I'll forget it!

10. Grabbing a doner to go
Mmmmmmm doner. I wish you would come with me to America!

11. The history around every corner
As an aspiring historian, the amount of history in Europe available at your fingertips is incredible. From climbing on castles to browsing museums to finding hidden gems tucked away in the countryside, all the history makes my nerdy heart sing.

12. Feeling safe
I feel very safe in Bavaria. I don't worry about a lot of things I used to worry about in the States (like, giant bugs for instance!). It's nice to feel like you live in the German Mayberry sometimes.

So, what do you think? What's your favorite part of where you live?


  1. Oh I love #5. It's so nice to just get things done and that people do what they are supposed to do! What a concept! I also love 7 and 10 for sure! And I feel safe also....was just walking home with my boy after dark last night and wasn't nervous or anything. It actually was so peaceful with a crisp breeze and the smell of of the things I love about German winters.

    1. I love that too. My hometown has a crime problem, so I always revel in the feeling of walking around without worries.

      Also, after living in France, I am so thankful for the German work ethic, especially when it comes to how fast they get the roads plowed! :)

  2. Yup, I can apply just about everything on your list to the Netherlands, too (I'm not so impressed by our grocery stores, though). I really love the Doner kebab. We can even get a doner kebab pizza, and it is as amazing as it sounds =)

  3. I think it's really interesting what you said about why the antiques are so cheap here. I always assumed it was because they are from here and don't have to be imported and I know that is another reason but I never thought to ask them why in person. It makes sense that the young Germans aren't interested. They are so used to it. I know that younger Germans are just so different from the older generation in almost every way.

    1. It's really too bad they just pass up so much history. I found a great antique store in Holpotstein the other day and thought of you btw....he's got an amazing selection!

  4. We hope that someday we end up stationed in Germany! Fortunately for us, we really enjoy our current duty location. I'm somewhat nervous that our next PCS location will be hard to live up to our current one!

    1. I feel the same! We PCS in a few months and I'm already wondering how the next place will compare. Germany has been so great!

  5. Ooh I agree! There is so much to love, it's all a bit surreal sometimes. I think I love the history most - like watching Pearl Harbour and spotting Koln Dom and being like "we were there!", and seeing Luther and thinking "he walked around here!" or the Brothers Grimm - History just seems more alive.

    1. And I'm SO glad the lady at the Stadtwerk explained that to me about the electricity - it's such a weird method!

  6. This post has inspired me to make my next adventure a trip to Bavaria, such beautiful scenery, and who doesn't love a good cow

    1. Oh yay! Bavaria is amazingly gorgeous. Go during the summer when you can find sunshine, beer/wine fests, and beautiful countryside. You'll fall in love :)