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Why Germany? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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My excitement waned when I learned that I was going to Germany. It would be my first visit to Europe, and I had been hoping for France or England. Why Germany? The language is guttural and unpleasant and there aren't any tourist attractions like France's Louvre or England's Buckingham Palace. I begged my parents to reconsider, but before I knew it, we were boarding our flight to Munich.

We stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany, a famous ski resort, at a gasthaus, or hotel. The houses and roads somehow looked old-fashioned, as if they had popped out of a medieval scene. In January, the snow-white scenery was breathtaking. Every morning we were served a satisfying breakfast buffet in German style. Wherever we ate, we were provided with delicious local food like bratwurst (sausage), backhendl (roast chicken) and hausgemacht brot (homemade bread). I have never been keen to try new types of food because of my picky nature, but on this trip I was always first to clean my plate.

Almost every day we went to a ski resort and learned how to ski. It took a couple of days to get the hang of it, but soon I was skiing on my own. Days we didn't ski, we walked through the touristy streets of a nearby Austrian village and visited Germany's highest mountain peak, the Zugspitze, where the weather was perfect above the clouds as we gazed at the golden summit cross. That magical trip will always be embedded in my memory.

The German people I met and talked with were friendly, even though they probably didn't often see Asian-Americans. Once when my family went out for dinner, we were sitting at a large table when an older couple sat at our table, also. Later I learned that it is perfectly normal for groups to sit together if there is room.

I also found it interesting that we had to pay for grocery bags. Because my mom and I didn't know this (and we didn't want to pay extra), we made two trips carrying groceries from the store to the car. I began to understand I was being exposed to a different culture where certain behavior that may be acceptable in America was not here and vice versa.

I learned that German is a beautiful and often misinterpreted language. Since the trip, I have ­studied German for three years and learned more about the language and culture. I became much more interested in world culture, as well as the history of America. I have began to appreciate and respect the various quirks and differing beliefs of others, beliefs that seemed strange to me at first. The travel has different meanings for different people, but I travel to leave my biased thoughts at home and perceive things I thought I knew from a different perspective and with an open mind.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

clashofclans said...
Dec. 21, 2016 at 4:19 am
me SHAH RUKH KHAN MUMBAI IN INDIA . THIS IS FABOULOUS
 
Vania M. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm
thank you for the feedback and correction! i will definitely make that change asap.
 
TheGerman said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm
This is a very nice college essay. I am from Germany and the way you described it makes me think of how wonderful it is. One thing though, hausgemacht brot is correctly written hausgemachtes brot. Not that it matters just thought I might add that.
 
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