The Top 5 Things Arizona Needs from Germany

Not too long ago, I had a bit of fun at the expense of the Germans (don’t we all?). I promised that I’d follow up with a post about the things that Arizona could use from Germany, so here we go…

  1. Responsible drinking

Arizona has a huge, huge problem with drinking and driving. While Germany may avoid a lot of that with a very integrated public transportation system that just isn’t practical in the States, it’s also a culture which encourages responsible drinking and respect for alcohol. The legal drinking age in Germany for beer is 16, though from my personal experiences with German friends it tends to happen a lot earlier within the safety of a family environment. People grow up knowing about alcohol and all the things it can do; Germans may drink in excess from time to time but I’ve seen more Americans, Brits, Australians, and even French, Italian, and Spanish who get so wasted they can barely stand. If anything, the rare times I’ve seen a truly drunk German is when they are within a group of more responsible individuals who make sure that the one person isn’t too reckless. This means drinking on the streets is perhaps not encouraged, but allowed. Arizona could take a lesson there.

  1. Paid leave

Vacation, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave in the USA is a joke. It’s holding back so many families from having a two income household and a big reason why I’m not planning on coming back any time soon. Did you know in Germany you get 24 PAID days of vacation a year? That coming into the office while sick is so discouraged they will get upset at you for even trying to work through a cold? It’s a policy that makes a lot of sense[1] and frankly leads to happier work environments.

  1. Autumn

On the other end of the weather spectrum, autumn in Arizona[2] is terrible, in that it doesn’t really exist. Just one day it goes from hot and sunny to cold and sunny. Germany has it down- the leaves slowly change color, you start to smell the scent of smoke from old apartments with stove heating, there are transitional layers of Jack Wolfskin. I’m not saying it should get as cold as it does in Germany, but at least give me the transition.

  1. Glühwein

Best way to warm up on a cold day. Cannot recommend it enough. Spiced wine is the way to go- can’t do that with tequila and Corona[3].

  1. A more than basic understanding of European history

Germans may have an unfair advantage here, since they were around for a large portion of it[4]. Still, many Arizonans and Americans are only aware of a fraction of history simply because for them, it starts in 1492. Many still stick to the disproved belief that it was Christopher Columbus who discovered America and that the man should be honored for what he did; this is ironic considering that Arizona, of all states, should be incredibly aware of the terrible things he did to the Native population for the same reasons as listed before. Ignoring all that, a lot of what my friends from Arizona tease me about regarding Germany is extremely outdated[5]. The country is an economic powerhouse and one of the main countries in the EU. The amount of companies which are either owned or partnered with Germany is astounding- did you know T-Mobile is a German company? Or DHL? Or Adidas and Puma? That’s not including the rest of Europe, which most Americans kind of only think about post WWII. If I were to ask your average Arizonan which countries were part of the EU, most of the time I’d be met with a blank stare. So while Arizona may have Germany beat on Native American history[6], they could do with a healthy dose of European history as well- modern and otherwise.

[1] Read: don’t infect everyone, idiot

[2] Excluding the high country

[3] Actually, don’t do anything with Corona

[4] And, frankly, responsible for a lot of it, good and bad

[5] Mostly “Indiana Jones” related jokes, if that helps you understand

[6] Possibly a debatable statement

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