Stuttgart ist viel schöner als Berlin*

* Stuttgart is so much more beautiful than Berlin. This seems to be the favorite come-on line of the Swabians. Now they are even organizing a song contest with this theme.

Here are some first impressions from Stuttgart:

Her mit dem schönen Leben

graffito in Stuttgart – “bring on the good life”

Scala

a different perspective on the “Scala”, a downtown office building

Walk / Don't walk

walk / don’t walk

Tin Man

Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, err, in front of the Stuttgarter Hofbräu Brewery

“So, is it?” you are asking. Well, let’s say that it definitely is not as bad as our Bavarian friends have tried to make me believe. Let me go over our first observations:

There are unbelievably many “Weinstuben” (winebars) but so few “Biergarten”.

The waitstaff in every kind of bar/restaurant/diner is so much more friendlier than anywhere else in Germany but the cashiers in the supermarkets cancel this nicely out, the worst I have ever encountered!

The theme “supermarket” is a capital in itself, even the best ones are strangely under-stocked, unfriendly and filthy. Yesterday I realized that this might be (at least in part) because of the blue-neon lighting they all use, even the better ones like Karstadt, Kaufhof Galeria etc. In Munich, there seems to me, a lot more “yellow” lighting is being used, which makes everything a lot nicer.

The dialect is killing me! 15 years after setting my foot in Germany for the first time as an adult, I feel degraded to a foreigner again. Often I have to ask people to repeat what they have just said and, to be honest, this makes things just worse: Swabians really can’t speak standard German and should not attempt it. A popular marketing-line of the state Baden-Württemberg (the German federal state, of which Stuttgart is the capital) is “wir können alles, ausser Hochdeutsch” – we are capable of everything, except standard German. How true! Well, looking at the sunny side, maybe after this time in Stuttgart I can add Swabian under “foreign languages” in my CV.

There are so many betting offices around here, I don’t remember seeing any in Munich. And there are so many Turkish people as well (is there a relationship?), in any case they are the reason for a lot of good turkish food supplies. And the hilariously ironic snack stall name “Ützel Brützel”.

Ützel Brützel

this is not turkish!

There shine currently 56 Michelin stars over Baden-Württemberg, more than any other state in Germany. The non-star-bespeckled establishments offer great food as well. Not to forget, of course, that the region is one of the best wine regions in Germany. And we have already started working our way through them. Stay tuned for reports…

One Response

  1. All true, what you wrote, but home is home and the name Stuttgart (or better: Stuagert) rings a nostalgic tone.
    The dialect is nt as difficult to understand as “outsiders” tend to claim.

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