A New Home

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Germans love labeling too.

Some of you may know that Klaus and I have been recently on the move again and this time I think we will call Canada our home permanently – for now at the very least. Reflections and reasons? I think I’ll save that for another day, another post.

Planning for our next home has been a chore. Not that I don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of living in my parent’s basement with Klaus or anything. Other than the funny ring whenever we answer the question “where are you guys staying right now?”, it’s been not half-bad.

Living in Leipzig has helped us confirm a few things about us – we are city people who like to be central, we like trees, recycling and composting makes sense, and we really appreciate good city planning. We also like decent weather, but you have to give some to win some to live in Edmonton.

To remind us of some of the beauties that we’ve come across during our travels and to inspire our own happy living back in Edmonton. I think I might just tag happyiveson on this.

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A few things to have in your backyard: Mature homes, check. Proper lighting, check. A castle, check – Town of Wernigerode

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I love this home because it’s crooked.

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A proper city must have amusing signage.

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Alternative energy – Wind parks are popular in Germany.

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Barely plants to make the home comfy.

Whimsical pieces to make the home your own.

Whimsical pieces to make the living space your own.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

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Encouraging everyone to share the roads.

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Street markets for people to take advantage of what the city has to offer – Christmas Market

“Europa macht schöner” sagte sie

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Ein schönes Bild von der Sammlung von Goethe

Ein schönes Bild aus der Sammlung von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wem gefällt Europa nicht? Europa hat eine reiche Vergangenheit, romantische Gebäude und eine schöne Integration von der alten und modernen in täglichen Leben. Letztes Wochenende haben wir über das Thema beim Tennisverein mit Bekannten geredet. Eine Frau dort hat gesagt, “Ich finde dass Europa eine reicherer Kultur hat als in Kanada”.

Ich war ein bisschen (nur ein bisschen) beleidigt dass man weniger Kultur in Kanada findet. Leider konnte ich ihr keine Antwort geben, warum das Leben in Kanada genauso schön ist wie in Deutschland? In Kanada haben wir natürlich keine Vergangenheit seit 899 wie in Weimar -eine UNESCO Kulturstadt- und keine großartige Personen wie Bach, Martin Luther oder Goethe. Unsere moderne Architektur sieht auch nicht so wie Bauhaus aus.

Die Nordamerikanische Kultur hat nicht nur langweilige Häuser, große Ladenketten und das “Flintstones” Leben. Jezt kann man einfach ein leckeres, lokales Restaurant oder ein schönes Geschäft in Kanada finden. Die Leute in Kanada sind sehr sympathisch und nett zu jedem. Und sie probieren und machen spaß mit alten Ideen. Zum Beispiel, niemals würde “Japadog” – ein beliebter Japanischer Hotdog Imbiss in Vancouver (Komisch, ich weiß) – in Deutschland klappen.

Daraus muss ich schließen, dass ich die beide Kultur nicht vergleichen kann weil die so anders sind. Es ist einfach besser diese Unterschiede zu schätzen und von einander zu lernen. Hoffentlich kann ich mehr über die Kultur in Deutschland lernen ohne zu zunehmen! Der Käse, Spritzkuchen, Rotwein und die Leipziger Lerche sind sehr gefährlich.

“There is more culture in Europe”

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Salve means “to be well” or “Hi” in Latin. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had this word engraved on the footstep of his home in Weimar to greet his guests

Salve means “to be well” or “Hi” in Latin. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had this word engraved on the footstep of his home in Weimar to greet his guests

… Who doesn’t love Europe with their rich history, romantic buildings, ability to integrate the old world with new in everyday design and not to mention their adoring accents. We were discussing this with some new acquaintances at the tennis court last week and in light of us recently visiting the historic town of Weimar, Germany – a UNESCO world heritage site – it is quite true to agree that Europe indeed has more culture.

I took offence from the lady who suggested that to me. But being Canadian, the offence was only slight and it did take some afterthought to express in words why living in Canada is just as great. Maybe we don’t have records like Weimar dating back from year 899 and didn’t have the likes of Bach, Martin Luther and renaissance man Goethe walking around every corner. Nor is modernist architecture inspired by some of the greats – i.e. Bauhaus – our forte. But in my opinion, the North American culture is not just about boxed-up, cookie-cutter homes, chain businesses and ‘Flintstone’ sized products.

It is easy to find genuine friendly faces and growing local businesses with unique flair nowadays. And our knack for transforming (and embracing) an old idea into something different is uncanny. I mean, bratwurst chilli poppers with beer mustard just wouldn’t fly in the old country because that is “just not the way bratwursts are prepared” and you can forget about the Japadogs making it big here.

At the end of the day I find that one cannot compare the two cultures because they are diverse in many different levels. Instead we should simply embrace these differences and rejoice the fact that we will never stop learning from one another. People watching, eating oodles of cheese and taking advantage of the fantastic 5 Euro bottles of wine here have been my recent latest and greatest.