I feel like my first day America after 22 years in India. New people, new language, old and new buildings, urban landscapes placed next to farms,… It still hasn’t sunk in that we are here. I am a little shy to smile back or talk to the friendly people I see everywhere. I have also become camera shy, shy to take out my camera and start shooting. Something I have never experienced before.

We landed in the night. And have early morning plans. Hence retiring for the night. We did do a little walking around and made a visit to a beer garden before crashing in.

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First impressions:
0. Customs, immigration check ,… All the officers are really down to earth and friendly. I write this line in reference to passing such check points in Hyderabad airport. Snobbish pedagogy officials trying to extract money off you and poke through your belongings ! Not here apparently.

1. The German people are really friendly. Really really friendly. People seem very eager to help out the tourists. And teach you some German words.

2. The hostel is as what i expected from popular travel movies. Bunk beds. Random roomies, broken house rules and ice breaker liners: “which country are you from?”, “Do you speak any other language than English?”, or “Where are you going next?”.

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3. Unbelievable number of people on bicycles! I love it here already. Backpackers on bikes, respect to them for putting their back through it. Grandpas in a blazer, oxfords and trousers on a bike, what a sight it is. Working women on bikes fixed with little carriages to hold their handbags. Men on bikes. A hoard of bikes outside every store, beer house, office, grocery store, ….

4. People walking. Everywhere. Something I don’t see in America. And very few cars, most of them compact.

5. Lack of obese people. What !!

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6. Food markets. Street side food is all fresh food ! You can pick out your fruit and they wrap it up in a paper cone for you to take it on the go. Loving it. There is a market in the airport with the veggie and fruit isle as big as that of a grocery store, where people seen to be picking up fresh fruit to eat on the go. Respect! Kids snacking in carrots instead of cookies or red bulls.

7. Hostel are bustling with very busy people or ppl extremely relaxed. And they are full of travel stories and advice to make your travel cheaper.

8. I can’t sleep in beyond 3am due to jet lag. My bunk bed frame is full of engravings of people’s sexual escapades. Interesting reading while I wait for sunrise.

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9. Food and beer. We tried out some Weisse beer and ordered goulash soup, lamb chops and breaded pork.It was delicious. Beer usually served in liter mugs, not that i am complaining. And the waitress took a liking for Harsha for his German accent and his willingness to say out everything in German. She would respond back in broken words so that we understand too.

10. Fashion. I expected it to be this casual, but am a little disappointed at it all.

Can’t wait to learn more.

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