The Top 5 Things Germany Needs from Arizona

Surprisingly, Germany is not perfect[1]. It has many wonderful qualities about it which I enjoy and will continue to enjoy during the remainder of my time here. While you might find that hard to believe, you might find it easier to believe that Arizona is also far[2] from perfect. However, I do return home about once a year for Christmas and to gorge myself on the things I have been missing out on since the start of my journey abroad. But what if there was a way to combine these two things? To share between two cultures and make one über[3]-country? It might be a long ways off, but here’s a list to start from.

  1. Air conditioning

I know what you’re thinking, Germans- “But it rarely gets that hot! Why should we have it?!” Because let me tell you- there are nights when a dinky little desk fan just isn’t gonna cut it. On those nights you will wish to all that is holy that you have a way to cool down. I’m not even talking about the most deluxe version, just SOMETHING more than a soft breeze. Germany, you KNOW global warming is a thing. Can we get at least a little something to help over the hotter days (last July’s heat wave springs to mind)?

  1. Decent Mexican food

Listen, I’m going to say a word which you aren’t going to like, Germany: spicy. Yeah, you got Turkish döner and their “scharf” sauce, but seriously- you aren’t doing it right. I’m talking about salsa so hot your eyes water. Not this ketchup stuff you throw on the side of your “nachos”. Honestly, I know my Mexican experience is not going to be great when I see one of the vegetables added on my burrito is zucchini[4]. And stop using Gouda cheese instead of cheddar, it’s demeaning to us all.

  1. The sun

See this one might be tricky. I completely understand the principles of geography which explain why two different spots on the planet will receive different sunlight. On the other hand, this isn’t exactly a list of plausible things[5], just a wish list. And on that list is the sun- oh dear God, the sun. It is 4 in the afternoon on an October day- in Arizona the sun would be blazing. Yes, it might screw with the environment, but I’m not asking it to rain less- just be sunny more! Plus, now we got air conditioning, so win/win

  1. Flip flops

None of that Birkenstock shit. Let me hear the flippity flappity of my sandals as I walk to the pool.

  1. A more than basic understanding of Native American history

I still remember being in an American history class in Heidelberg and people being genuinely excited to know I was from Arizona. Their reasoning- I actually KNEW real life Native Americans. A few had been really excited because they read Winnetou and Old Shatterhand; the really enthusiastic ones even had arrowheads they bought from souvenir shops[6]. However, they all sort of had the “noble savage” image in their head. When I told them about the reservations and how some of the kids I went to school with were of Native descent, it blew their minds. But then I told them about the real issues being faced there- how the culture is almost slowly dying out, how many are turning to gambling and alcohol as means of living and escape. The bastardization of the culture being plastered on a casino as “Talking Stick Resort”. In a way, I still remember the days as a child when I went to the western theme park and saw the guy dressed in Native gear to do a “traditional” hoop dance for a few coins in a hat. But while I matured and saw what had become of a proud people on account of the unfortunate circumstances thrust upon them by decades of oppression from a force they had to accept or die, most of the Germans I met were just happy reading “Lucky Luke” and assuming that the Natives were still as noble as when Squanto saved the Pilgrims and Tonto. So long as it is socially acceptable to wear go as a “squaw” for Karneval, that’s going to be a problem.

Well, that’s what I have for now. But don’t worry- Arizona’s about to get their comeuppance as well!

[1] Say it ain’t so!

[2] Far, far, far

[3] Shouldn’t use that word

[4] Nothing against zucchini, just use bell peppers instead

[5] #2 isn’t going to happen any time soon

[6] And were very disappointed when they found out the odds of them being authentic were a million to one.

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