Yan Chen and Zachary Iwuc
January 20th, 2016
Upon arriving in Germany, a few things became immediately obvious. Today, it finally confirmed: the German’s love Green energy. At Dow Chemicals, it was clear that everyprecaution was being taken to prevent chemical pollution. At BMW in Leipzig, it wasdistinctly apparent that everything in BMW’s I series was made with the intention of being healthy for the environment. The materials used in the cars and their recyclable nature, as well as their renewable energy sources being used to produce and propel the vehicles, prove that Germany is addicted to the strive for clean energy. Germany is also petrified of nuclear power, and believes that the risk of a meltdown or the handling of the waste is too risky for the power it provides. With laws in place to ensure that 40% of the country’s energy should be provided by wind turbines in the coming years, Germany is on the path for a successful and green power grid. Wir glauben, dass sehr toll Deutsche Power ist, und dass die Autotechnologie in Deutschland wunderbar ist.
We have noticed that duvets have infected Germany, and sleeping here is incredibly uncomfortable. We arrived in Frankfurt and it’s now official: every hostel in Germany used duvets for blankets. We both agree that duvets are far inferior to blankets. Whereas sheets and blankets allow for flexible sleeping temperatures, with duvets, you are either way too hot or freezing and not wearing sheet. Some members of our group believe that duvets are better, so long as you leave your feet outside of the duvet to cool you down. Wir glauben, dass unsere Füße sollten unter die Decke sein.
Housing in Europe is all together much less luxurious than back home. Here, towels, soap, and other toiletries aren’t provided by our hostels. Die Zimmer sind kleiner und die Abdeckungen sind schlechter in Deutschland.
Germans love to smoke. In fact, in the BMW factory there was a smoking lobby for employees who needed a smoke break. Cigarette butts are on the ground in a lot of public places, especially train stations. However, cigarette butts are no less visible here than in the USA, a remarkable feat considering the amount of smokers here. Using the public ash trays and trashes is a courtesy that most Germans adhere to. It is simply more popular here. At most bus or train stations, one must try to avoid second hand smoke. Coming from America, where smoking has been declining steadily in popularity due to its various health risks, it is a bit of culture shock to see smoking everywhere and to see facilities and public buildings supporting the habit with dedicated smoking zones and ash trays. Vielleicht rauchen die deutschen Personen gern, aber wir haben Spaß auf dieser Reise.