By Abby Schrag
Today was mostly spent traveling from Bielefeld to Hamburg, which isn’t super exciting to read about on a blog, so I figured I would spend some time talking about some of our observations of Germany and German culture so far.
1. Sidewalks and bike lanes may look very similar, but are definitely not the same! Several choir members have had awkward encounters when they were accidentally walking in the bike lane and were yelled at by very angry German bikers.
2. Along the same lines as #1, there are many more people biking and riding the public transportation than driving here. My host families so far have attributed this to the high prices of owning a car and also concern for the environment.
3. Most people here are skinnier. I have yet to see many larger people in Europe – maybe attributed to more biking and walking?
4. German bread and chocolate is DIVINE. This is a pretty well known fact, but seriously, we have pretty much been living off those two commodities for 1.5 weeks and we’re not even tired of them yet!
5. Their showers are weird. There are often no shower curtains and our taller choir members have had to become contortionists to wash themselves under the short shower heads that most have. During our “Tales of the Tour” time there is always at least one story involving a shower mishap.
6. The German people are extremely generous. We have had 3 homestays so far on tour and everyone has returned to the group with stories about the hospitality of their hosts. We are always filled with amazing food and great conversation. It has been so incredible to meet so many fun, caring people who are willing to take in 45 college students for free!
When we arrived in Hamburg we took a 2 hr bus tour around the city and gave a concert at the Mennonite church in town. These last days of tour are back-to-back concerts everyday, so we are keeping very busy!