Since I arrived in Germany, nearly every German I've spoken to has asked me why - but why? - I would ever want to come here, of all places. What could possibly be appealing about Germany? The people are unfriendly* (as I have been amiably told on multiple occasions), the scenery for the most part is dull, and the food isn't even particularly remarkable, right? It's a mystery.
But then an old middle school friend of mine, in recounting to me how she once got stranded in Mainz, said to me, "I love Germany - good for people who are elderly at heart - and if not there's always Berlin!"
Which got me thinking, maybe that's why I've always been so fascinated by Germany. I am regularly told by everyone else I've ever met that I am an old soul, and it's true - after all, I would almost always rather stay in than go out and I listen to jazz and drink tea on the weekends - and yeah, Germans like beer maybe a little too much (I hear alcoholism is pretty prevalent here), but... who doesn't?
But anyways, as I may have mentioned, this past weekend my cousin C flew in from London and, after subjecting her to a full day of turkey and pie and dishes on Saturday I felt it was only fair if we took Sunday off to explore the city. Where, it being Sunday and Germany, everything was of course closed. But the decorations have started to go up! I foresee Glühwein hangovers in my future.
*since I've gotten a couple comments on it, I feel I should clarify: it's the Germans themselves that keep telling me they're unfriendly, although I wouldn't entirely disagree. However, it's important to make the distinction between friendly and nice - Germans are not very friendly, but if you strike up an interaction with them they're nearly always very nice. Unless they work in customer service, in which case they are usually inexplicably terribly grumpy.