Willkommen in Amerika


Lara Rieger, Staff writer

Celebrities, famous movie places, and shopping malls – these are the first things most Germans think of when they hear “America”.  Well those Germans for sure have never been to Nebraska. When I got here, I experienced a completely different part of America. 

To start my journey, my first flight went from Frankfurt, Germany to Denver. It took about eleven hours. There were more than 500 people on the plane, so it was gigantic. That’s also why I was even more surprised when I went onto my second plane which flew from Denver to Scottsbluff. I had never been on a plane so small. There was only enough space for about 20 people.  After the 18 hours in total that I spent at the airport and on the plane, I finally arrived in Scottsbluff. There my host family picked me up and we started the hour long trip to Alliance. When I looked out of the window there were no shopping malls, famous movie places, or celebrities. The only thing I saw was corn – lots of corn!

The next morning, I had breakfast on a paper plate, which is apparently typical in America too. In Germany nobody uses disposable plates and we always have to do the dishes after eating, which can be pretty annoying. Here you don’t have to worry about that, because you just throw your plate away and you’re good. 

When I left the house I saw the next big difference: Cars here are huge. Most people have a pickup and almost everybody from the age of 14 or 16 is also able to drive. In Germany you have to wait until you’re 18 to drive and then you have to spend more than 2,000 dollars just to get your license, so highschoolers usually don’t drive. 

Not only are the cars here huge, everything is bigger. A large portion of food  in Germany is a small one or maybe even only a side dish in America. I also have never seen peanut butter containers or milk bottles so big. The largest milk bottle you can get in Germany is 1 liter while 1 gallon is the common size here.

Food in general is pretty different in Nebraska. There are more fast food places and also much more meals with meat, so eating healthy or vegetarian can be pretty hard. Being vegetarian in Germany is a very common thing and not hard at all. Every restaurant offers a few vegetarian dishes. Although I have been a vegetarian for a long time back in Germany, I gave up three days after I got here. Most of the time there is no vegetarian school lunch option, and most meals in restaurants also contain meat. So even if you really wanted to be vegetarian, it would be barely possible here.

I’m sure that in the next few months I will experience lots of other differences between life in Germany and in Nebraska, and I’m already very excited to tell you about that.