15 February 2018

The Germany I Don't Know

A few months ago, we were in the Düsseldorf area for the Christmas holidays, hanging out with friends. We didn't really do much, just hang out, chill, relax, go grocery shopping, and so forth. But one thing that amazed me was that I saw for the first time people that I didn't know existed in Germany. People that reminded me of the stereotypical American suburbia.

See, we were in the suburbs. Our friend had a car, two in fact. And so we were not in the middle of the city, unlike in Berlin, where we live. This means that we need a car wherever we wanted to go somewhere. Sure, there is public transportation, but it definitely isn't the most convenient option, given that where we were living was a significant walk away from the nearest bus station, and the bus doesn't come as often as it does in Berlin.

And in these suburbs, life is slightly different. This means that there are also mega-supermarkets. Supermarkets where you can run grocery carts in parallel, unlike in Berlin, where the supermarkets are small and tight. And in these mega-supermarkets, there are obese people! People who need a cane in order to support their weight. People who can hoard soft drinks in their car. People who buy tons and tons of junk food, just because they can.

I am not claiming that Berlin doesn't have these people. I just haven't encountered them a lot. But for some reason, it feels like I was in Walmart, when I was in the supermarket in the Düsseldorf suburbs.

Anyway, I was amazed that there are still angles of Germany that I do not know. Berlin can be a bubble sometimes, and so when one goes out of it and explores a different part of the country, then you see other types of people, and other ways of living.

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