MY TOP FIVE THINGS ABOUT SUMMER IN GERMANY
With 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Huntington Beach this past Friday, Southern California let its residents know that summer has arrived in all of its glory. While I do have to admit that everything over 80 degrees is getting a little tough to handle, I am an avid fan of this season. I mean, the great summer weather was one of the main reasons why I chose to reside in this beautiful place on earth.
When I was living in Germany, summers were unpredictable. It could rain any day; One day it could be 65 degrees Fahrenheit (bring out those winter coats), followed by a day of excessive heat with 95 degrees and humidity; I could be laying by the lake sunbathing and then having to lock myself up in my apartment the next day to escape a huge thunderstorm.
What I did love about German summer was that when the weather was actually great, everybody was outside. Literally EVERYBODY! I love, love, love it when there is people and action around me (one of the reasons why I could never survive on a lonely island by myself). People even went as far as calling in sick and skipping work just to be able to spend the day outside, especially since you never knew how long the great weather would last.
Granted, it does seem kind of unfair to compare summer in Southern California with summer in Germany. This would equal to comparing Iceland to Saudi Arabia; or hot tea to iced water; or David Beckham to Oscar the Grouch. Everything in life has its pros and cons, and so does summer in different places of the world.
So, to be fair, I want to give credit to my motherland today and am going to share my five favorite things about summer in Germany.
1) Everything is blooming and SO SO green! I love the nature in Germany during summer. I grew up living across the street from a farm and close to a forest, and let me tell you, the colors of the trees, flowers, and grass during summer are unreal. Just thinking about all the flora and fauna puts me in a happy mood.
2) Riding my bike almost everywhere. Obviously this is not only great for the environment, but riding my bike to the store, the train station, work, my friend’s house, the city during summer is so much more enjoyable since I am not going to freeze my fingers or ears off.
3) Meeting for drinks with friends at the Kasematten at the Rhine River. The atmosphere at this scenic promenade in old town Düsseldorf is just plain amazing. It consists of quite a stretch of outdoor restaurants that invites guests to come in for a good time. My friends and I met there quite frequently to enjoy some great cocktails and conversation.
4) BBQ’s. Summer is barbecue season in Germany. The sun doesn’t set till around 10p.m. during summer in Germany, and people tend to stay outside late, grilling it up and having a good time. My family was always very creative when it came to food. My mother created amazing salads and marinades for the meat. I really do miss sitting on our patio in the backyard with my family and sharing a good laughter and food.
5) People seem happier and more relaxed. The Germans do seem to carry the reputation of being a bit grouchy here and there. I can just speak from my experiences, but during winter, I was way less fun to be around than during summer. Keep those endorphins coming, sun!
Have a wonderful summer, everyone!
Anne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as about working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.