When I think about Germany a few things come to mind; Oktoberfest, castles, Autobahn,and Volkswagen.
Oktoberfest is the worlds’ largest beer festival in the world. Held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany this festival hosts over six million people in an average of sixteen days where over seven million litres of beer is served. There are amusement rides, games, and many different traditional foods also available at this huge festival. Although Oktoberfest is celebrated in many different parts of the world nothing compares to the magnitude of Germany. Even the rally in Sturgis, South Dakota does not compare.
Whales has the most castles per square mile but Germany cannot be underestimated in this regard. Even in the United States we have used the likeness of a German Castle. The Sleeping Beauty castle is based on the late-19th century Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.
These are some fun and interesting facts about Germany that I wanted to share with you but I am writing about cultural differences between Germany and our own backyard. Although, these are examples of the culture and there festivals or the comparisons to German castles.
Some basic differences that most people know are that in Germany they drive on the left side of the road to where we drive on the right side. In Germany the gasoline costs twice the rate and has higher taxes. We thought we had it bad. In restaurants water with ice is usually automatic at our local eateries. This is not the same in Germany. If you want water there it comes in a bottle with no ice. There has been many explanations of why Europeans don’t add ice to there drinks. One is that they feel cheated that there is too much ice and not enough beverage. Some say that that is how it has always been. With free refills being the norm in the United States more ice meant more profits because less product was being used. In the United States Mexican restaurants are common and popular. German “Mexican” restaurants serve food that is not really Mexican. In Germany, sharing a table at a restaurant is not uncommon.
In the United States you are able to shop 24/7.In Germany it is much more limited and there is no shopping on Sundays. Good luck getting your chili-cheese nachos when you get the munchies at 2 in the morning.
In the United States, specialty shops are decreasing with Big discount stores growing all the time. Walmart stores are popping up everywhere. In Germany there are discount stores, but specialty stores are more common in fact Walmart, after setting up shop in 1997, was forced to withdraw from Germany in 2006. Someday I plan to go to Germany for Oktoberfest and possibly stay at one of there many beautiful castles.