fly the seven seas

Observations of a Sydney girl rocking Germany


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Entertaining germanisms

Every Wednesday morning, I walk out of the apartment on my way to the station, to be greeted by the bright orange rubbish truck that slowly rumbles its way along the street. It’s fun to watch the routine of the brigade of orange-clad men as they hang off the back of the truck, hopping off in unison and dispersing to various houses.
Although I try to avoid walking past the truck (nothing like the waft of rubbish to kill any sense of a fresh morning) it is often the case that two of said trucks are making their rounds on both potential routes out of my street, making the pass-by unavoidable. Each time I walk past the orange brigade (with my breath held of course), I receive the most cheery ‘Guten Morgen!’ from all of them (such a greeting you would gladly welcome at the city’s local authorities office i.e. das Kreisverwaltungsreferat). I’m proud to say that I’ve put aside my cold Sydney ways and return the greeting with a smile and the pleasant reminder of unfamiliar friendliness. This is what I like about the Germans – they love to greet.

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Hearty cravings

Before moving to Germany, my knowledge of German food consisted of popular items found on the menu of Sydney’s Löwenbräukeller (pronounced Low-en-brow in Australia, and Looe-ven-broi in German) – schnitzel, sausages, pork knuckle and sauerkraut. As a self-professed ‘foodie’ (as they say) I would often watch Maeve O’Mara’s Food Safari and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and was interested enough to listen to my mum’s tips to know that in general Germans love a good apple cake, a potato could accompany most meals and German bread was an art form.

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As with most cultures, German cuisine offers a variety of specialties across the country – there are the North-Sea ‘prawns’ (Nord See Krabben) from the north, the filled donuts (Krapfen / Berliner Ball) from the east, the interesting combination of mash potato, apple puree and blood sausage that is ‘Himmel und Erde’ from the west and the white sausage (Weißwurst) of the south.

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Climbing mountains to beat the blues

A grey blanket hangs above.

Autumn’s leaves have fallen, exposing the bare trees.

Days are dark, dreary and cold.

Constant drizzle, rain and the first snow flakes fall.

Passengers wait for trains, their hands jammed into pockets.

Living in Germany, which I assume would be similar to living in other European countries, means experiencing the changes in season. Along with distinct patterns in weather throughout the year, one sees nature and natural life move through its annual life cycle. Growing up in Australia, and in Sydney in particular, this was a little different. Summers are harsh, winters are mild, rain can occur at any time and one always needs a backup plan because basically anything goes (from what I hear, this week hasn’t been too pleasant at all). Sydney sees its autumn beauty but changes are just a little less obvious overall, which makes me notice my surroundings here even more.

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