A List of Things I Miss About Germany

The other day, we met up with some friends. Lisa asked me what was it that I was missing now that I was no longer in Germany. As I was writing to my husband to come home sooner, in a car-less existence, my list was easy. After two exact weeks away here are the things I miss about Germany:

A List of Things I Miss About Germany Upasna Kakroo Someplace Else

  1. Being able to walk to a grocery story. And not have to message my husband for a SOS service.
  2. Being able to go to the next city in a train or bus
  3. Water without ice and mit kohlensäure – normal mild sparkling water
  4. U-Bahns
  5. Castles and forests behind our house
  6. The ability to plan a vacation to Italy or Austria and reach there in 2-4 hours
  7. Walking to a dinner place or a coffee shop with real cutlery, non-paper cups and plates not made of plastic.
  8. People being able to call me Oopasna and not Youpasna
  9. Hobbyfotos. I am unable to find a shop nearby that can print my postcards.
  10. Normal non-chemical infested cheap food. The bread has sustained itself for over a week here and I can’t understand how. Organic non-GMO food is rather expensive. Just grocery is expensive in general. I can’t find bakery close-by. A normal croissant or a brezel is missing as well.
  11. A husband with an evening.

Oh well. There are good things too, like being able to talk in English. But it’s been two quick weeks today and I wonder what’s going to give first…

4 comments
  1. Sorry I came to your comment so late Brian. But I read it so many times. And I agree Ann Arbor is intellectual, that I like. There are book shops here which speak and live. Although, I can even talk to customer care without problems, because I understand what they’re saying AND I can fight back if needed. My German was never good enough for that, and not that the customer care there would care 😉

    AND the quality of life is so relative too. Anything worth having is expensive in the US in my opinion. I mean, starting from good food, furniture to housing. People have to live in Germany to really understand the massive difference in quality. I find it unbelievable that Germany has such good standards for regular life!

  2. Hi Upasna. Germany misses you!

    Everything is relative, dontcha know? Einstein told me that. Nadine and I lived in a closet-sized spare room for a year that we rented inside a fraternity house in downtown Detroit. I’ll never forget the night that I saw out of our window the muzzle flash of some yahoo having some fun by shooting his 9mm pistol into the air out his car window. So when we moved to Ann Arbor, it felt like we moved to Paradise. You are coming from the opposite direction— you moved from a place that has a higher quality of life (European definition of quality of life, not the American version which is a synonym of cheap), Ludwigsburg, to Ann Arbor.

    One thing that Ann Arbor has in abundance that you can’t find in Ludwigsburg is (drum roll, please) intellectuals. Here in Ludwigsburg, I miss chatting with people about something other than the weather. Sometimes I just want to scream, “Say something meaningful damn it!” I know that you are more introverted than me, but you show really go to Dominick’s (812 Monroe Street) on a nice fall day for a few hours. Get a nice mug of Sangria, order a pizza, pull up a bench at a picnic table in the back, and start chatting up some of your neighbors. They are most like PhD’s studying brain surgery, ancient Chinese, the Napoleonic code, genetic anomalies, or anything else that you can dream and some things that you can’t. I’ve met some of the most interesting people in Ann Arbor there, and there are many intellectuals sipping a beer who are just visiting for the day and don’t want to wander off of campus. This paragraph does not apply to weekends in which the Michigan Wolverines are playing at Michigan Stadium. : )

  3. Thanks for so many tips Lisa. I am going to follow up on Kinkos and also get going with the supermarkets! 🙂 I’m sure it’s harder because these are early days!

  4. I like your list and will comment on each item. I, too, miss being able to walk to the grocery, drink shop, bakery and bank – all being about a block away from our apartment. Unfortunately, you will not find many cities in the U.S. with a good public transport system. You can buy “fizzy” water at the grocery store but would need to be careful to make sure it’s not flavored. I loved riding the U-bahn and S-bahn to get anywhere I wanted to go. And, castles were definitely not something I would normally see here in the States. The kids did get to the point where they would tell us “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”, but I know they thought it was pretty cool too. I loved going to Italy and Austria on vacation. The U.S. is so vast that it’s not as easy to get from place to place, but I know that Dushyant will make sure you see many interesting sights while you’re living here. Sorry about the paper products – you will find many more restaurants that serve their food on real plates with real utensils. I think I might be guilty of not always getting the O-pas-na vs. You-pas-na right every time. Correct us. Everyone has the right to have their name pronounced correctly. I have a German friend who experiences the same problem, and your name should be pleasant to your ear. Have you tried Kinkos in Ann Arbor for the printing of your postcards? Many supermarkets will provide organic foods, but it is expensive. Check the bakery department for crossaints. Some places are finally getting pretzels almost right. And, that last thing on your list….I’ll have to talk to Dushyant about that. From experience I can tell you that they just don’t understand how important it is – especially in the beginning of your new experience. A few things I miss that you didn’t mention are the large pedestrian areas, window boxes full of flowers, Christmas markets, and fields of sunflowers and/or grapevines. I’m enjoying your experiences. Keep sharing.

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