Willkommen in Hamburg

Arriving in Germany actually went incredibly smoothly, although I am exhausted and jet lagged. I tried my best to take in little cultural quirks as much as possible on both my flights and my time in the Munich and Hamburg airports. My observations may not be earth shattering, but they’re at least interesting enough for me to have picked up on them.

To start, I noticed that the Germans on my flight to Munich were all requesting beer to drink with their dinner. This may not seem strange, but none of them were paying extra for alcohol, as one typically does on airplanes. I therefore opened up the seatback menu to discover that a whole list of beers are complimentary on international flights! The funny thing was, despite the list of several options, “bier” to the flight attendants automatically meant Heineken – no other brands were drank nor requested.

When I landed in Munich, I was very nervous about making my connection, as I only had an hour between flights. I really should not have worried so much, given the German efficiency stereotypes. All connecting flights were listed in time order, rather than alphabetically by destination, with the number of minutes it would approximately take me to reach my gate. Once at my gate, there were two boarding stations where people could self-scan through. After that, we all boarded a small shuttle bus to our plane, where we were allowed to enter through either the front or back of the plane. And of course, throughout the whole process, no one was dilly-dallying. I think I finally have found my people.

Unfortunately, despite practicing German with the help of Duolingo, a language-learning app, since May, Ich spresche kein deutsch. I can read and write some German, but when it comes to speaking, I have been totally clamming up. Perhaps by the time I leave I’ll be brave enough to venture some words, but for now, I am terrified.

I am now waiting for my bus in the Hamburg airport, seated at a bakery where the pastries really do live up to their hype – I may be returning to the US several pounds heavier from the pastries alone. Never mind the beer.

Looking forward to what awaits me at our first hostel in Luneberg!

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