I’ve never been to Germany. I can’t speak the language. Besides “almanac” facts, I can’t say that I know much of anything about Germany except the cultural stereotypes (beer drinkers, disciplined, competent, efficient, humorless).
But for whatever reason, I’ve always admired it from afar. As a 10-year-old in St. Louis, I remember riding in my friend’s dad’s Mercedes and thinking “Damn, this car is as smooth as a newborn baby’s ass” and my friend’s dad bragging about German engineering. I remember “Soccer Made in Germany” on PBS mornings before Sunday School; the incredible din the stadiums made when some guy scored a goal was hypnotic.
So unlike a lot of people, I always kind of liked Germany - for what little I knew about it. As I grew older, of course, I learned the history of the country, and how post-WWII generations of Germans have had to bear the burden for that history.
To me, seeing the scenes around Germany today and for the rest of the month for the World Cup is cool. I’m glad the world is seeing the lighter side of the country. Hopefully I’ll be able to go there someday.
Pretty simple, I know, but that’s all I’ve got to say.