I spend a lot of my time complaining about Germany, but really there are lots of things to love about it. Here are my top 10:
1) They’re really good at bread.
Bread rolls, in particular. Seriously, I know it sounds silly but the variation in bread rolls you get here is stupendous. When I go back to England, I really miss the variety of seeded roll one can enjoy in Germany. Can’t quite believe it this made it to my top 10 but it was the first thing that sprung to mind. Ditto: cake.
2) Rent is cheap
This one is a bit Berlin-specific as other cities can be a lot more expensive. I have recently moved into my own flat in central Berlin and I only pay 400 euros a month. Before this, I lived in a flat share and paid 215 euros (170 ish pounds) a month including bills. It is insanely cheap.
3) Public transport is great
If you’ve read my post on “The Great German Efficiency Myth” then you’ll be wondering if this is not a little bit contradictory. But public transport is one thing that they are actually pretty efficient at, and it’s also fairly cheap.
4) People speak good English (mostly)
I (the one with a degree in French and German) should not be advocating the omnipresence of English as the lingua franca, however sometimes it is just bloody handy for people to be able to speak to you in your mother tongue. It’s not like France where most people flat out refuse to speak English even if you’re clearly struggling to string a sentence together.
5) It’s easy to escape
Woops did I say escape? I mean travel. Germany is really handily located to get to lots of other places. You can actually get a train from Berlin and be in Poland in about 40 minutes. After a lifetime on the Island, being in central Europe is novel.
6) Bikes Rule
Now this one obviously depends where you are, because you don’t want to go pedalling off down your nearest Autobahn, but if you are in a city, there is no better way to get around than by bike, and amazingly you find yourself king of the road on your two-wheeled steed (sometimes). In German towns and cities, cyclists not only have their own lanes, but their own little set of traffic lights. For more info, see Why cycling is awesome.
7) The German Language
With words like Knoblauch, Mannschaft and Fahrt occurring in everyday speech – what’s not to love?
8) The Acceptability of the rucksack
So you know when you were in secondary school and the annual German exchange students piled off the coach and spent a week mooching around your school in the UK and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had an EASTPAK backpack? This is pretty much my life here. and do you know what I LOVE IT. I know that as fashion-conscious people we are meant to despise the trusty old rucksack, but it is so practical when you ride your bike everywhere and have to go food shopping without a car. You can look down on me and my uncool rucksack all you like, but that there rucksack is going to save the world one day!
9) They take Sunday Brunch really, really seriously
I suspect that point 9 is a knock-on effect of one of my most hated things about Germany (Sunday shopping, or lack of) but Germany takes going out for brunch really seriously. When we say brunch in England I am not really sure what we mean, I think just a general made-up meal consisting of any food between breakfast and lunch. Here in Germany, every single cafe and restaurant seems to offer a sunday brunch option, and they’re all pretty good. You get this huge selection of meats, cheeses, bread (there’s the bread rolls again), cream cheeses, fruit, cake, waffles, oh my god it just goes on and on. And the best thing, it costs like 10 euros to eat yourself silly. Brunch tends to last about 3 hours, lucky there’s nothing else you can do on a Sunday really isn’t it.
10) i’m still deciding