Reflections on Germany
So much has happened since we got back from Germany in July. Two family weddings, starting my second year of teaching, football season....I shouldn't be surprised that it's taken me this long to post all of my Germany pictures! I have a few last reflections on our trip before I try to catch up on what's happenend since I've been trying to catch up on our trip :)
- The Germans are as complex as us Americans. Why does this surprise me? But as someone who's always had a keen interest in sociology, it was interesting to me to see how the Holocaust has shaped the German identity. Yes, there is the occasional delusional individual who still espouses the Nazi belief system, but they are about as common in Germany as they are in America. Before I went to Germany, I read about the different "types" of Germans I would encounter. Young people who seem almost apologetic about being German, afraid of showing too much German pride. Older Saxons who speak almost wistfully of the Old Communist days. Middle-agers who are almost TOO aggressive with their open-ness and acceptance, trying to overcome a stereotype put on all Germans. I would say that yes, I saw all of those "types" of people, but more important than that, all Germans are still trying to deal with an event in their history that has affected every fiber of their being. They may deal with it in different ways, and that is because they are individuals - a unique and interesting people!
- I was really surprised by how different Germans eat. It gave me a taste of how Nils must have felt when he first came to live with us. Hardly any fried food, but there is....gelato!! It wreaked havoc on my stomach, which does NOT like change, but I tried to fix that with....gelato.
- Certain types of stores are very abundant in Germany. Namely, pharmacies, bakeries, flower shops and.....gelato!!! Cheap gelato on practically every street corner. Love it.
- Germans are way more active than Americans. We could really take a lesson from the German transportation system. The Hampes live in what could be called a suburb of Hamburg, and they can bike to the train station and take the "tube" to anywhere in Hamburg. Then they walk to their job, grocery store...or gelato stand.
- I like gelato.
And of course, the boy who started it all....