“What Part of Germany?”

I’m originally from Germany, but right now I’m in the States, learning about business, writing, and other stuff. Since I travel around Ohio and Kentucky quite a bit, I meet many people. When I’m with my American friends, they like to introduce me to people and tell them, “This is our friend Jan. He’s from out of town. Actually, more like out of country. He’s from Germany.” The thing I noticed is that the people I’m being introduced to would always, always, always reply with, “Wow, that’s, like, really cool! What, like, part of Germany are you from?”

To me, as a German, this is an absurd question to ask. Germany isn’t that big at all; the culture stays the same throughout the country. Texas is almost twice the size of Germany, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re from the north, south, east, or west. In the United States, however, it makes a huge difference if you’re from the east or the west, because the culture does change.

To be a nice, foreign German, I answer their question every time without telling them what you just read. I simply say, “Oh, I’m from the southern part.” But after a while of being asked the same question over and over again, I decided to answer that question in as much detail as possible: “Oh, I’m from the Southwest corner of Germany, five kilometres from the French, and seven from the Swiss border. My house is located in an area called Dreil√§ndereck. It’s near the Black Forest. The closest bigger city is Basel in Switzerland, whereas the closest bigger city in Germany is called Freiburg. I also like sports.”

Germany merely has 16 “states” whereas the United States has 50. Germany simply isn’t big enough to have a cultural alteration in society.

I love my American friends! I really do.