Life in Germany 001
Welcome to my first series of "Life in Germany", this will be a monthly update of any and all things Germany. It's an idea I have had for a while and is long overdue, better late than never?
When I first started this blog back in 2016, I thought it was solely going to be a platform to share my experiences and photos from living in Germany.
Well, if you're still following along with me, then you might have noticed that my blog very rarely talks about living in Germany. Which is crazy, because I truly had the intentions of sharing more personal German stories. Plus, I wanted to tell you all about the delicious German bread I eat way too much of! I know, invigorating topics.
So, I have vowed to myself to start a monthly post on "Life in Germany". I am laughing while typing this, because now after 1 year of living here, I am just now creating this post.
Life in Germany 001
So, we've lived in a small, tiny town of northwest Germany for 1 year now.
Some days it feels totally normal and I don't even think about it. I am just happily riding my bike to the grocery with a baguette under one arm, flowers under the other, and waiving to strangers saying, "Moin! Guten Morgen!". Those days I feel like such a cool, little European. Then there are other days when no one seems to understand my poorly spoken German, my wifi doesn't work, I purchased the wrong train ticket for the 10th time, and I just want to go to Target.
However, our past year here truly has been amazing. Don't get me wrong, I have those days where I am on the verge of tears. But overall, I find myself truly thankful for this experience and I have learned so much about myself and Germans (although, I am still trying to figure them out...).
So, what have we been up to for the past year? What's it like living in Germany? Why do I eat so much bread? Do Germans really drink more beer than water and live off of pretzels and schnitzel? Is the Autobahn as cool as it sounds?
Since I have likely already overwhelmed you with more information than you wanted, I will just share with you one topic a month. My future post will be a lot shorter, so no worries. Today's topic is.... die Autobahn (aka the best way to drive).
Driving on die Autobahn
One of my favorite things about living in Germany is by far the Autobahn. (Mom, just don't read the rest of this post). Before I moved to Germany, I thought the Autobahn was just one road somewhere in the middle of Germany. Kind of like a touristy spot where people rented BMWs and drove fast. Hahah, I was so wrong.
"die Autobahn" literally translates to "the highway" in English. Oh, silly me. So, whenever you leave a town to drive to another larger city, you're likely getting on the Autobahn. And yes, you can really go as fast as you want! Well, there are rules and certain places where you have to slowdown, but otherwise, you can go as fast as you want.
As I said before, we live in a small town, so the Autobahn that is connected to us is quite empty and open. It rarely has road work, or really crowded, and it is very flat. Which means we can go fast for a long distance without someone pulling in front of us or hitting road work (for the most part).
Typically, when we go on road trips are drive to Holland we drive around 180 kph (115 mph). Sometimes, if Michael is driving and I am not paying attention, we will hit 210 kph (130 mph). Thankfully, our car will not go any faster than that, because I think 150 mph would be pushing it!
German drivers are very attentive (none of this texting and driving nonsense) and quite polite. For the most part, they always use their signal when switching lanes, don't honk their horns, give a lot of space in between cars, and aren't eating a Big Mac and feeding their child in the backseat all while driving. For this reason, I actually feel safer going 130 mph on the autobahn then I would feel going 60 mph in the USA.
The Autobahn took a while for me to get comfortable with. I will never forget the day we were picked up from the train station in Holland on our way to our small town in Germany. The driver was in a BMW and realized we had never been on the Autobahn, so he gave us the full experience. I think my eyes were closed the whole time and I was just praying that I wasn't going to get sick (or die).
Nowadays, it's the norm for me! I think when we move back to the USA one day I will have to learn to drive a lot slower again. It's funny how time makes you more comfortable.
Would love to know you all's thoughts on the Autobahn. Did you know much about it before? Michael and I laughed at ourselves, because before we moved to Germany "Autobahn" and "nein" were there only words we knew. Thankfully, we've advanced our vocabulary just a bit since then!