Good old days

Oct 1st, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Good old days

When I came down on orders to Landstuhl, Germany, in the early 1970's, the office secretary related to me a story about her niece and the niece's husband. The couple had visited Germany after graduating from college many years before. They had bought a VW bus and toured Germany to their hearts' content. They loved it. They returned shortly before I came down on orders and were bitterly disappointed. Germany had, for them, lost its charm. Everything was new, not an improvement. The couple would return to Germany no more.

We moved to Germany and settled in. We lived in a village, studied the language,walked in the local woods, shopped at the local butcher & baker, ate at small Gasthäuser, and traveled as much as work would allow. We were later assigned to Würzburg, which was another wonderful experience. We loved it all.

We were again assigned to Germany (Bremerhaven and then Nürnberg) in the early 1980's. I initially fell into the trap of comparing my second tour to the first, with the first being the standard by which all things should be measured. Luckily, I snapped out of that.

Things had changed. The German economy was better and the dollar did not go as far. Fewer Gasthäuser and more hotels. You had to search harder to find a good meal at a low price. My God, I once that a potato dumpling that had not be fully thawed in the MICROWAVE.

Things had also changed for the better. More ethnic variety in restaurants; I came to really like Greek and Portuguese food. Deals on major goods in stores were more open, not requiring a bribe of duty free cigarettes.

Mostly, things stayed the same. The people were as nice. The scenery was as attractive, or more so, as more buildings were restored. The food was still very good. Wrestling with the language was still just as hard and as rewarding. Recent visits have been equally as nice.

We are returning to Germany in December with my brother and his wife. This will be their first trip. They will be seeing everything new. I must remember not to draw comparisons to the “good old days”.
Gary_Mc is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 10:05 AM
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My husband and I went to Germany in 2006 - my first trip. He had been stationed in Ansbach outside of Nuremburg for a couple years, I think 1989 and 1990, right before Desert Storm. So this was a return trip for him and I wondered how things would measure up. Turns out it measured up fine because his memory is terrible! He couldn't even find where his post was in Ansbach, which is not exactly a large town - and he had lived there for 2 years. We practically had to do memory regression hypnosis to get at those memories and find where the post was.

I guess sometimes having a faulty memory has its advantages
november_moon is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 10:24 AM
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My wife's father had been stationed at Katterbach in 1974 just outside Ansbach. At that time, she attended the U of Maryland extension in Munich but went "home" to Ansbach for the holidays. We visited Ansbach in 2006. She remembered things well as it happened in her youth.

In 2007, we visited Roßtal where we lived while assigned to
Nürnberg in 1987. If I had not remembered the street name, we could have not found apartment. I think these memory blanks have to do with aging, sure does in my case.

Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Hi Gary_Mc,

Yes, I experience this all the time!

My first memories of visits to Germany are from the 1960s; there are some photos of some hotel-based family Christmas celebrations from 1963 or so. I almost weep when I see them.

Then I was stationed in Heilbronn in the 1980s.

I moved here for good in 2008. No, it's nothing like it was in the 1960s, well, obviously. But it's still so wonderful!! Cycling around Garmisch, visiting the Friday open market, enjoying the centuries-old houses with mossy edges, enjoying the trees as they're changing colors, walking in the mountains, being greeted by name in German at my bank.

Yeah, I think there's certainly enough great stuff here to keep you happy! I hope you'll get to some smaller towns and villages, where you may find more of the older buildings --

(I am apalled that everyone here has both a microwave and a dishwasher, lol)

swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 1st, 2010, 11:28 AM
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I have no microwave!!!!

Ingo is online now  
Oct 1st, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Posts: 1,314
Funny how your perspective can color your experience. I had only spent a few days in Germany as a teenager, so the 2.5 years I spent there (2005-2007) were my first immersion into the country and culture. I for one feel that much of what was "good" in the "good ol' days" Gary describes is still's one of the reasons I love Germany so much. (And FYI, I lived in Germany with no microwave, no clothes dryer, and no air conditioning!) ;-)
hausfrau is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
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No microwave and no dishwasher here!!! And neither dryer nor air conditioning. And no car!
(Hi s and Ingo!!!)
quokka is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 01:46 PM
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I've never had AC in any house I've ever lived in and our current house is the only one I've lived in with a dishwasher or a clothes dryer. I know this is weird for an American, but there ARE indeed some of us around.
november_moon is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Nah, the good old days were definitively better. We feared terrorism, but didn't really care. We were occupied with other things. There weren't that many people everywhere, no PC, smarter people, just 5 TV stations. Trash wasn't burned, plastic bags were free, stores were small, roads weren't paved, electricity went off with every major storm and the septic tanks were emptied at least once a year. Gas was cheap and cars didn't have a computer but still worked. You could buy two stroke mixture everywhere, they even pumped it for you and didn't want a tip either.
logos999 is offline  

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