1. Beer! Rather, bier. The Bavarian Purity Law is a beautiful thing.
2. Notable places beer is served. These places include, but are not limited to, ice cream parlors, coffee shops and little kids' soccer games.
3. Windows/doors. This is simply brilliant. You can open the window fully or turn them the opposite way to open slightly from the top. (see photo). Many doors also function this way.
4. Refrigerators. Also brilliant. They are usually built into the kitchen to look like cabinets. When someone enters your kitchen for the first time, it's a scavenger hunt opening random doors to find a cold beer.
5. Walking/biking paths. They are everywhere and part of German law. No longer do I fear for my life on a bicycle like I did in Hawaii. The paths go from town to town, so you can easily get anywhere in Germany on a bike. You could even walk to the Czech Republic, time allowing of course.
6. Big ass bunnies. Okay, so technically they are hares, but what’s the difference, really. These big ass bunnies are alive and well in the German countryside and are freakishly large. They overpower Sky dog in size and look like joeys when they hop hop hop along. The best part - with big ass bunnies come big ass cottontails. Adorable. Big ass adorable.
7. Old people. The old people here ride bikes everywhere and drink massive amounts of beer. I believe they have found the secret to longevity.
8. Preservatives, or lack thereof. All restaurants must annotate any preservative added to any food item for each dish. Red dye number 4? It’s on the menu. Although most items served in our area are completely fresh and local, at the very least you are warned if it isn’t.
9. Recycling. They recycle EVERYTHING! Old pizza boxes, the plastic off a toothbrush wrapper, the label off a juice bottle, bottles and cans and glass, oh my. I dare you to throw away an empty bag of chips. Make it a double-dog dare! I should also mention they are far superior to their American counterparts when it comes to compost piles.
10. Traditional Bavarian clothing. There is nothing sexier than a woman in a dirndl and I have a thing for guys in handmade leather suspenders and tight lederhosen. I also enjoy the fact that you cannot enter certain beer tents at Oktoberfest without the aforementioned Bavarian attire.
Honorable mention: This comes from our friends to the south in the small town of Fucking (pronounced fook-ing), Austria, where a famous light-colored ale, (referred to as “pale” in American and “hell” in German) beer was born. So yes, here in Germany and a few neighboring countries, you can treat yourself to a nice cold glass of Fucking Hell. Enjoy!