It’s been 2 1/2 years since I moved back to Germany and landed in Bavaria. My experience here in Bavaria has changed me in so many ways, I hardly recognize the person I was when I first took my unsteady first steps towards my new life. I knew I wanted this life and there has never been any second doubts about where I am supposed to be. Parts of me have changed beyond recognition, but all for the better. It’s not just about fitting into this new culture but building strong roots here as I love everything about Germany and plan to stay for a long, long time.
Here are some ways I’ve realized I’ve become more German (or should I say Bavarian!) over the last couple of years!
First and foremost…
1. I have an endless, never ending case of beer on hand at all times!
You never know when you will have guests over, therefore, you should always be well prepared because more times than not, they will want to drink a good German beer! Even if no one comes over, its ok to have a Feierabend with a beer in your hand! 🙂 And sometimes, it is perfectly acceptable to have a beer before 5 o’clock somewhere! You just never know when the urge will hit you to have a cold one! Better to be prepared then not have any on hand, right?
2. Sometimes, I even have a beer with my my Weißwurst for breakfast!
One of the most common, most enjoyable (Bavarian) breakfasts to eat for breakfast is the Weißwurst, which is traditionally drunk with a beer! Preferably, this is the kind of breakfast I like after a night of beer drinking or preparing to go beer drinking at a festival where you need a hardy meal to set you right! Before I moved to Germany, I would never have imagined drinking a beer for breakfast. Americans seem to be so nitpicky when it comes to when its an acceptable time to drink beer without someone pointing the finger at you and calling you an alcoholic.
3. I bought an Audi!
In the States, my family and I have always predominately been a Ford family with the exception of my Jetta and my Corolla. So it would come as no surprise that my German boyfriend and I would end up buying a German car. There are all sorts of different brands of automobiles in Germany, just like anywhere else. But the most commonly seen are Audi, BMW and Mercedes. As these are all German made, they are more popular and we are very proud of our engineering. Did I say we? Oh yes, I loooove my Audi therefore, I am now one of them!
4. Brotzeit has become a lifeline during the week!
I never understood how anyone could just simple eat bread and sausage for lunch or dinner. Then one day, I discovered how satisfying it could be and how many variations you could have. Its a great way for discovering and testing different breads, sausages, cheeses and spreads. Again, it is best enjoyed with a beer on hand! Now, I look forward to having a simple, quick & easy Brotzeit 2+ times a week and it has become a lifeline for those nights when we get home too late from work and don’t want to eat/cook something big.
5. A Spaziergang will set me right any night of the week
Nothing like getting home from work, having a nice dinner and then going for a nice, casual walk in the evening to relax after sitting indoors all day. I have no set plan or direction, we just walk until we decide we have had enough for one night. Usually, I walk through the city center because I can never get enough of it! Regensburg is absolutely stunning!
6. If I’m not walking, I’m biking!
I’m not a hard core biker who is willing to ride my bike even in the dead of the winter or in the rain. I look forward to biking all year and come the first sunny day, I am on my bike going for 15+ mile bike rides. I’ve never considered it a form of exercise so much as a form of absolute freedom with the wind in my hair and nothing but me and the bike path ahead of me. I look forward to having students who are far enough to ride my bike to but close enough that I don’t need the car.
7. Kaffee und Kuchen is a weekly pleasure
A time for a sit down at a local café for Kaffee or Kuchen is one of the best and simplest pleasures of life. It doesn’t matter if you go out to a café for a cake or if its homemade, either way its an excuse for something delicious. It is a time where one can simply relax and enjoy the beauty of eating a delicious slice of cake which perfectly accents your delicious coffee.
8. I always have a bottle of Schnapps on hand!
Nothing helps to settle your full belly after eating a big, massive German meal like Schweinebraten (Roasted Pork) or Ente (Duck) than to have a shot or two, or three if you must, of (Bavarian) schnapps! It took me a while to get used to having a shot of this extremely potent after-dinner shot! In fact, I’m still not used to it and am working on finding the right schnapps that doesn’t make me quiver quite so much when it first hits!
9. There is an appropriate glass for every drink!
I’m not entirely sure why Americans aren’t more specific about their glasses, or perhaps my family just never cared, but apparently there are specific glasses for certain drinks in which to drink from. Mixing the wrong drink with the wrong glass could prove fatal, or at least a strange look. This is EXTREMELY important to learn especially for beer in Germany. I have had to learn the difference, for example, between a glass for a Weizen and a Helles.
10. I can pour a great head!
This is essential when living in Germany! If you pour a beer wrong, it might get you a ‘tut tut’ look from true beer drinkers! It took me a time or two to learn, but I got it down! I now know which beers don’t need a bit of shaking and which ones do. I know how to pour the perfect beer in a specific beer glass worthy of a medal! Now, when friends and family come for a visit, I am the teacher of German beer drinking!
How do YOU know you’re becoming more German?