The Westvleteren 12 Trappist beer, brewed by the monks at the St. Sixtus Abbey, is one of the most coveted beers in the world by beer connoisseurs. It is also one of the most exclusive beers in the world, as the only place authorized to sell the beer is at the St. Sixtus Abbey in West Flanders, Belgium. There are websites that offer to sell the beer, but this is often at an outrageous cost to the buyer, and against the wishes of the monks that brew the beer. While in Germany, why not make a trip to the Abbey in West Flanders, Belgium, to buy some beer yourself. The beers from Westvleteren are listed as some of the best beers in the world, and twice listed as THE best rated beer in the world.
We´ve created this card in hopes of saving you money, so please read below to find out how it works. The Together Card is a prepaid dining card that is given out by restaurants that work together with our magazine. This card is only given out to Americans living in Germany on official military or government orders and their affiliates - as it can only be filled up in conjunction with a VAT form! The Together Card has our logo on one side and the restaurant´s logo on the other. For example, here you can see the Schwabengarten´s Together Card:
The Schwabengarten, located in 70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen, is one of the first, of hopefully many, restaurants to join us! This card offers you the possibility of eating your meals at the Schwabengarten tax free. Just bring your VAT form with you and ask for the Together Card at the register. Here you can fill up your card with varying amounts (100 EUR / 150 EUR / 200 EUR / 250 EUR / 300 EUR / etc.). What this means is that all future snacks, meals and drinks at the Schwabengarten will be tax free when purchased with your Together Card. Even if you´re just buying your kids an ice cream, or you are stopping in for the occasional weekend beer; why not get everything 19% off!
Germany is a beautiful country, I´ll say it time and time again. I´m a child of mixed cultures, and I may have been born in America, but deep in my heart, Germany is my home: the lush green country side, the mountains, rivers and lakes, the castles, festivals, food, beer, soccer, it´s churches, museums, chirping birds, and even the deer in the early morning fields, these things fill my heart with joy. Germany has a rich, and yes sometimes dark, history, but all of this makes Germany unique and amazing. There is plenty to do and see within this country alone, but another one of the things that I love about Germany is that it´s located right in the center of Europe. So it´s a great location to start a trip from; you won´t have to drive, or fly, too far to get to some of the most breathtaking and exciting places in the world.
Germany`s Transportation Innovation
If there`s one thing Germany is famous for, it`s the autobahn. Started in 1929, it now spans more than 12,950 km or 8,047 miles across the country, even crossing into Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, The Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, and France (but always watch for tolls when crossing into other countries). Really there are few places that can`t be reached using one of the world`s most famous highways - and the autobahn can offer you a fun, fast, and at many times scenic roadway to your destination. So feel free to hit the highway, go on that amazing road trip you`ve always dreamed about! Germany offers you a wonderful four seasons and plenty to do - but before you go, here are a few important facts - and busted myths - about driving on the German autobahn.
There are a lot of unique expressions in German that don´t translate well into English. I´m sure you have heard of some, the word Wanderlust recently became a popular German word that was adopted into the English language - to the point where you will hardly hear a German use it. It´s the desire to wander. Another German term that you might here is Ohrwurm or ´ear worm,´ which just sounds gross in English - but it´s what a German would call a song that easily gets stuck in your head (or your ear, I guess). One of my personal favorites is Fernweh, which directly translated means distance pain; it is the antonym to ´home sickness´ or Heimweh. Fernweh is a general longing to be somewhere else, or to go on vacation. That restless feeling you get when you want to travel (yes, this term is very similar to Wanderlust, but more likely to be used by a German). Another great term is Kummerspeck, which stands for the weight you´ve gained through emotional eating. Kummer meaning something like sorrow and Speck meaning fat (or Bacon, in case you ever see the term on a menu). Or maybe you know someone with a Backpfeifengesicht, I know that´s a mouthfull: I´d say it´s pronounced something like Bak-Feif-En-Geh-SiCHt. The ´CH´ is prounced like a cat hissing. This is a term for someone who has a face that´s just begging to be punched. Yep, we all know there´s that one guy or gal whose face is just irritating to us. So now you have a word for it.
Despite the fact that the English language is full of its own expressions, there are still phrases, and especially jokes, that can´t be translated. As a student of Anthropology (the study of human kind; culture, linquistics, archeology, etc.) I have discussed this topic in great depth with my bilingual mother. She said that because German is her Muttersprache or ´mother language´ - which is again, one of those phrases you can´t really translate, that it´s often easier for her to find the right words in German. Jokes, in particular, are hard for her to bring over, because Germany has a different Witzkultur or ´joke´ culture than America does. Something you may realize if you´ve ever heard the prank calls on the German radio (yes, that´s what that is) or seen the absurd political floats in a parade. To summarize I´d like to include a quote from Laura Ahearn´s book Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology.
"Every time a child, adolescent, or adult enters a new school, region of the country, religious community, profession, or other social group, the general process of becoming socialized into that community is accomplished largely through linguistic interactions and is often accompanied by the learning of new words or usages. Conversely, as people gradually become competent members of a new community, their relationship to both written and spoken language often changes."
I hope you can all enjoy your time in Germany, embracing the challenges and changes that can occur when living in a new country. It´s a wonderful experience, and there are many things to see, do, and learn!