A Travellerspoint blog

Germans not affectionate??

sunny 22 °C

Whoever thinks this, that Germans are cold, need to come here for a few days to see this is wrong, wrong, wrong! I am not an affectionate person by nature and I am not inclined to just hug people or pat a shoulder. I just can't do it and most times I have to work up the nerve to show acts of affection. However, since my stint in Germany, I have been on the receiving end of a lot of affection.

My back has never received so much rubs or pats. I am constantly being embraced in some sort of hug or being braced. My arms are constantly locked in someone else's etc.. At first I was like, what the hell? Why is this person touching me but after a while, I kinda got used to and looked forward to it.

The only thing is that the Germans I encounter are blunt to a fault. :) I don't think it is a being rude thing more than an english-german speaking thing. The art of sublty has not really been embraced here but you know what? I actually like it! I know where I stand with people and for the most part, no one lies to me. Such a refreshing change from home in a way.

I wonder if I will miss all the caresses, pats and caring once I get home or can I carry it on once I get off the plane in Toronto? I doubt I can because even though I receive a lot of affection I still find it hard to give. I will see though after I get home if I end up carrying any of the German mentality home. I know that I will carry some of the language because when I talk to my family, a few German words are inevitably thrown in and I always get a "what?" from the other line. Oh, I also plan on taking German classes when I get home. Yes, I love it that much!

Posted by CanaGerm 04:24 Archived in Germany Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Köln and Düsseldorf, Germany Part 2

Okay, so we all know that I hated Köln. It was a horrible experience being in that clown of a city. Just...yuck. Now my weekend was saved, thank Heavens, by Düsseldorf! What a fun city. After getting off the train and out of the hbf, I looked around and knew I would like this city better. Since I am running out of time, (literally as I am leaving Germany in about a week and a half), I will keep my travel posts to the point and make them quick. They will be infused with little snippets of my experience in the city, observations and of course, pictures.
Now, onto Düsseldorf. After arriving and not being able to find my hostel, I checked into a hotel close the hbf. After this I made my way to tourist info to find out cheap yet fun things to do in the city. I booked a city tour which included a visit to the Rheinturm Düsseldorf (telecommunications tower) for panoramic city views.

The tour was okay but I hated how the guide took a longer time on the German explanations than on the english. We didn't get any of the jokes that the German speakers received also. This was the first time I experienced this sort of treatment since traveling here. Me and the other english speakers had a little discussion on how it seemed the German speakers got a lot more out of the tour than the english speakers.
sights from the old town

Anyway, the tour started with a bus ride to the alstadt (old town), a boat ride along the Rhine and then a visit to the Rheinturm.
Modern building that the city is famous for


It was fun and along the way I met a cute couple, Bernadette and her husband who lived in the Netherlands. They were in Düsseldorf on a one day vacation. It was nice to chat with people and laugh.

Views from way up high in the Rheinturm

After the tour, Bernadette and hubby left to their own devices so I continued on. On the tour I was intrigued with the old town so I walked back and soaked in the Friday night night life crowd. It was crazy busy.

The river Düssel, where Düsseldorf gets its name

I spent a couple hours in the old town and then I decided to move on.

Hungry, I decided it was time for dinner. I went down Immermann Straß which is infamous for the huge Japanese cultural and business world in Düsseldorf. I was in search of sushi! I found some at a small (there are a lot of sushi restaurants along this street-straß) restaurant where locals and tourists alike flood the small tables. To my left was a girl eating dinner alone. I decided to open up and started chatting with her. I learned that she was from Berlin, a flight attendant, who had lived in Japan for a year and spoke 3 languages. And, she is only 20 years old. (sigh) We spent a good two hours eating and chatting about life and our interests etc.. It was really fun. At the end of our meal, she noticed that she didn't bring her credit card to pay for her meal. It was at the hotel across the street. She was a flaming color of red while I paid for both of our meals. Afterward, we made it to her hotel where she paid me back, and then some (I kept refusing) and parted ways. It was a great day.

The next day I had one mission in mind and that was to see the Barbarossa's Castle ruins in Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf and some light sight seeing. After seeing the ruins (which was closed even though it was supposed to be open-argh!), I made my way to the Zoo gallery.

Barbarossa's Castle ruins

Dory and Nemo!
This is as close as I was getting the the snake pit-Yuck!
I really enjoyed Düsseldorf but I cut my time short by one day and went home that night. I had fun but I was ready to pack this weekend in.

Posted by CanaGerm 12:51 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

European perception of Germans

sunny 21 °C

I was discussing with my friend here yesterday my experience in Berlin this past weekend, which was interesting to say the least. After I told him about my time there, we inevitably touched on Hitler and that whole crazy era. Of course he got a bit defensive but I calmed him down right away and we were able to chat nicely.

He told me about his grandfathers history in the war and how the Germans who were not Jewish basically turned a blind eye or really didn't know or want to know about the holocaust going on. He then went on to tell me about how other Europeans view Germans.
He told me that they are always and we think always will be viewed at as first Nazi's and then Germans. My friend told me that a few years ago Germany won some sort of fütbol championship thing and of course everyone was celebrating on the street. Not everyone was happy though. Those that lost were not celebrating, of course, just like in any match situation. In any case, he said that the other Europeans in the city (and this goes for other places in Germany), sneared and screamed out 'Nazi's'. I gotta say, I was shocked at this comment.

Never once during all my study and learning of German history did I ever think or classify all Germans as Nazi's. I am not naive to think they do not exist because of course they do (all over the world unfortunately) but to call people that word out right is very daring.
When I asked him what they did, he replied, 'Nothing'. There is nothing they can do as no matter what, this will always be a negative spot on their historical records. He advised me that most times Germas just feel shamed and try to move on as they can't deny the past. I have been told this over and over by people I talk to. It is one of their biggest shames.
I personally think it is sad but The Third Reisch regime is an important part of world history that should not and cannot be forgotten but to keep placing blame is a bit much. So far, I have encountered no nazi's and have only been shown kindness and respect from my colleauges and society in general in Stuttgart and places I have visited in Germany. I am fascinated however at how much inter-European hostility there is. People (I'm talking North Americans here) have this assumption that Europeans are extremely laid back. On certain levels I would say yes, but they (the people I have encountered) have the same greivances like everyone else.

Posted by CanaGerm 02:26 Archived in Germany Tagged educational Comments (0)

Köln and Düsseldorf, Germany

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to do more travel. I decided to stay in Germany and visit Köln and Düsseldorf. If you read this blog regularly, you will know that I HATED Köln with a burning passion so I can't and won't spend too much time going into detail on my experience there.

Why did I hate it? I can't really tell you. I just didn't get a good vibe from the city as soon as I got off the train and it lasted the whole time there. My time there was spent like this:
-Arrived and found the place I reserved to stay for 2 nights
-Went to tourist information but it was too early so I took pictures of the Kölner Dom and waited
-Went on a boat ride along the River Rhine
-Walked around and took pictures in the Alstadt
-Went to the Museum Ludwig which I actually liked (shocking!)
-Took a hop on hop off bus and toured the city
-Had lunch at a chinese restaurant
-Went back on the tour bus
-Went to the infamous Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum (chocolate factory). Bought some lovely and the best chocolate cake I have had to date
-Walked around the city
-Went to the hostel
Day 2
-Was going to take the tour bus again but stopped by the DeutschBahn to see if I could leave earlier the following day. I found out that I could go to Düsseldorf (my next stop) any time I wanted on any train I wanted.
-Elated, I ran to the hostel, collected my stuff, checked out and took the next train out of the city
-Yes, I was that unhappy and bored with Köln.

Here are some highlight pictures of my experience in this so called party city.

Kölner Dom


Cruise along the River Rhine and the Hohenzollernbrücke bridge

Expensive flats along the water

Views from the river

Pics of the city

I love this photo as it was barely 10am and people were already downing beers. Gotta love Germany!


Shots from the chocolate factory, Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum
Koln_and_D..orf_076.jpg <- A simulated room of the Amazon forest. It was really hot in there just like the jungle. Cool experience.

Chocolate making process and antique Lindt and chocolate artifacts

Ritter Sport, the German chocolate treatKoln_and_D..orf_097.jpg

Old fashioned candy machine dispensers

Posted by CanaGerm 17:55 Archived in Germany Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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