Monday, September 7, 2009

How is it in your country?

This is the first question BF's 10 year-old niece ever asked me. I have to say, it took me a little by surprise. It's the first time ever, a child asked me that. The question, that I learned to expect over the years is "How do you like it here?" and normally it's adults asking me that and by now, I have a standard reply to it...

As I already mentioned, I was surprised and didn't know what to answer and especially I wasn't sure, what would be interesting and understandable for a 10 year-old. There are tons of things I like and dislike about Germany and there are tons of things were I make comparisons in my head all the time, but are those things really anything she would care about?

Basically, life for children in Germany and in the USA is not that much different. They go to school, do sports, watch Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers and their favorite food is McDonald's. Okay, that maybe describes a little bit of a stereotype, but that stereotype exists on both sides of the big pond.

For an adult, there are many differences... Some small and some major. For example, compared to the US, the college education in Germany is dirt cheap, same can be said for medical care/ health insurance, but on the flip side is, that the taxes in Germany are much higher compared to the US... Talk about major differences hmmmm? The smaller stuff has a lot to do with convenience and the Americans are the complete pros for that.... Drive through ATM, dry cleaners etc... You gotta love it. The Germans are the pros when it comes to food and drinks and socialize around it. We can spend hours and hours after dinner is done in the same restaurant, just sitting and talking. But all of those things, pretty minor to a ten year-old.

So I told her: "It's very similar to here, just the language is different!" And I was ready to elaborate from that point some, but this information was all her attention span could take and when I was still trying to get some smart sentences together, she already move on and played with the puppy...

PS: For the record, there are many more examples and as this blog goes on, I'm sure I will discuss some more! :)

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