Five things I miss about Germany

I am not exactly sure why I am writing this. You probably don’t care. Then again, you probably also don’t care about why I am training for an Ironman, why I thought I could live without a cell phone or what I think about those weird five finger shoes. Most of my entries are about me (it is called the mario blog after all), so I thought it would be a nice change to write about others for once. If you’re ever in Germany, maybe this can serve as some sort of guide.  Here are the five things that I miss the most about Germany.  Because yes, that's where I was born and raised.

My parents

Yes, I could have written my family. I have two beautiful sisters, two funny looking cousins and amazing grandparents, aunts and uncles. All of who I miss.  But, really,  I grew up with just two people. My mum, and my dad. They’re the best parents in the world, have done so much for me and while I would never admit; I wish I could see them more often.  If you ever met my parents you'd know that they’re the perfect parents. I’ve gone through my entire life, knowing I had the coolest parents in the whole wide world. Anyways, my mum and dad are the best. I owe everything to them. I miss them the most. Most definitely.

My friends

This one is expected. What else am I supposed to write here? My favorite soccer team? That’s next. Considering I’ve been away from home for the past 12 years and I am the worst at staying in contact with people; it’s amazing that I have any friends at all. I do. Not many. But the ones I do have, I will have for life. And they will forever remind me of the best childhood one could imagine having.  Thank you Alex, Sebastian, Dominik and Christian.

Schalke

If you’ve never been to a professional soccer game in Europe, then you haven’t lived. True, I enjoy watching baseball, basketball and football. But compared to a Schalke game, those sports are like watching paint dry. If you’re ever in Germany, let me know and I’ll try to hook you up with some Schalke tickets. If you’re traveling solo, bring my mum. Then come back and tell me that that wasn’t the best sporting experience you ever had.

Plettenberg

I grew up in a small town of about 30,000 people. It’s not that in Plettenberg everybody knows everybody. But every weekend there is some sort of community event (mostly built around some sort of alcoholic beverage) where hundreds of people gather and celebrate.  Whether it’s watching a Germany game on big screen TV,  drinking after Sunday morning church or celebrating one of the dozens cultural and religious holidays; there’s always something going. I miss that in the US. True, there are huge communities here. But they normally don’t evolve around your neighbors but rather things that people are passionate about - such as religion, sports or XBox. Every time I go back to Plettenberg, I go to some town’s festival and every time, I run into 200-300 people who I grew up around. That is so great, and something I miss here in the US.

Döner kebabs

Yes, I am listing my all time favorite food in this list. And it’s not even German. But it was invented by some Turkish gentleman in Berlin. The Döner Kebab. Lamb, salad, other healthy stuff plus this killer sauce that gives you the worst breath ever - all served in some delicious toasted piece of round bread. While my consumption of Döner Kebabs is definitely not healthy, there fundamentally isn’t anything terribly unhealthy in this most wonderful creation of Allah’s. There we go, five things I miss about Germany. Have you been to Germany? Anything you miss?