With a new passport and a tightly packed suitcase, I boarded the plane to Munich with my stomach in knots. I didn’t know what to expect in a new country, but I was intrigued to learn how Munich and Paris compare to the United States. Culture is very fascinating to me and I am extremely interested in finding out how the culture in the U.S. meshes with that of Europe.
The excitement began when we got off our flight and boarded an s-bahn. This reminded me of the metro system in Washington, D.C. and was the first comparison that I noted. As we arrived in Munich, I drug my suitcase along the cobble sidewalks and couldn’t keep my eyes from wandering. I was burning with curiosity and was thankful we were about to briefly tour the city.
My second observation was made as we climbed to the top of St. Peters Church. In the U.S., we tend to appreciate personal space. However, as we were climbing the tight, quaint stair cases, many of the people walking past us did not mind how closeness. At first I felt slightly uncomfortable, but as it continued, it became less strange to me. The view from the top was breathtaking and so worth the stair climbing and discomfort.
Following the brief tour of Munich, we divided for lunch. This is where the language barrier became extremely challenging. I experienced difficulty not only finding a place to eat out of the many options, but ordering the lunch was also a challenge. Every time I hear someone speak in German, I long for the ability to learn the language and it has instilled a deeper passion in me to better accommodate to foreigners traveling in America. Thankfully, I found familiarity at a fish restaurant and was able to successfully order fried shrimp.
After lunch we ventured back to our hotel to finally receive the keys to our room and unpack. I was excited to see what I would call home for the next few days. To my surprise, the room was quite small. The U.S. typically provides more spacious hotel rooms, but I found it cozy. We quickly got ready for dinner at the Hofbrauhaus Hous. In comparison to the other local restaurants, this was restaurant was very large. I was delighted to see that their was entertainment along with our meal. Contrary to the demand for fast dinners in the U.S., we spent time enjoying our meal. The waiter wasn’t quick to bring the check and allowed us time to relax. It was the perfect ending to an exquisite day.
Although there are vast differences between Germany and the United States, there are also similarities. It is very interesting to see businesses from the U.S., such as McDonald’s, H&M, and my personal favorite, “TK Maxx.” I have enjoyed seeing how the two cultures blend together and cannot wait to continue to make observations throughout the trip. Bis bald! (Talk to you soon!)
Eastern Kentucky University
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