It all started with cheap bananas. As I stood in the supermarket, marvelling at a big bunch of bananas that would set me back a whole euro (as opposed to my left arm in Sydney) I started thinking of things I would miss, should I leave this fair land. And I will leave it, obviously, at various points, and return to it. I suspect I shall live in another country for a period of time, perhaps a couple of other countries. There will be points, down the track, where I will miss Germany as I miss Australia. Because, when it comes down to it, I love Germany. And, on top of that reason that sometimes cannot be put into words beyond one, ‘home’, here’s why …
Excellently priced wine in the supermarket (you know, 3€ for a bottle that would be about $16 in Sydney).
A good slab of Brie for 2€.
9 borders for the crossing and …
Road trips to cross them.
Radio stations that aren’t afraid of adding 90s classics to their playlists – who, in fact, do it as a matter of cause.
10€ every three months for unlimited visits to the doctor.
The big cities.
The little towns.
The ubiquity of seriously good chocolate.
Dutch wine gum stalls at the markets.
Spring, marvellous Spring, with its flowers and rapsfelds andSpargel and sweet, sweet promise of warmth.
Clean public toilets (I’ll pay 70 cents for hygiene).
The choice and consequent cheapness of grocery stores. No Coles and Woolworths duopoly here.
H&M delivery service.
Kitsch homeware stores, Nanu Nana and Butlers.
Busses that run on time.
25cent pots of yoghurt.
History at every turn, under every rock, down every cobbled lane.
The fierce pride in and protection of sub-cultures, dialects and traditions as produced by the twists and turns of this aforementioned history. This can, however, get mildly irritating when ten people who live within 20km of each other refuse to be identified as belonging to the same region. Franconian people, I am looking at you.