You may be surprised that being a German site we make our country the subject of an article, but now we have more foreign visitors than German ones, for example over 25 per cent from North America. They could be interested in our not quite uncritical view on our country. After all, our motor vehicle industry is among the most respected in the world.
Another typical feature of the Germans is worth mentioning: nearly everyone has at least one hobby. And no, it is not what you think, "a hobby is only for fun" and so on. If somebody wants to do something in this country, then properly. Thus, if your hobby is construction of models, a mere reproduction is not enough. No, everything must work properly in a four-engine jet aircraft. For such thing, you almost need a special license and an insurance, should you shave people's heads with it.
A hobby is pursued as wholeheartedly as the initially mentioned construction of houses, and often a lot more earnestly and with far more networking than the actual job. The combination of originality and the highest technical precision is well appreciated here as well as sociability. The whole thing is accompanied by an abundance of newspapers and literature that is unparalleled.
Let's take for example the hobby of restoration of classic cars. It is a perfect example for this duality of solitude and sociability. Thanks to the solitude work, some cars become often better than they were, when they left the factory. But as the procurement of parts and advice on restoration can be accomplished only by appropriate hobby clubs, it is not far from socializing. And when the precious piece is finally completed (is it ever really finished?), this is only the beginning.
In Germany, people do not go with their vehicles to a classic car show just like that. No, people dress accordingly; they also know each other, because the chain of such acquaintances never breaks off. And while the ladies sit together perhaps with a cup of coffee, the gentlemen are already on the improvised track, where they let creak the superchargers in a Mercedes to the delight of the many spectators.
As an average earner, one should not even imagine what is the repair cost of a De Dion from the early 1900', but the car is accordingly called for. And when they go back home with the vehicle on the trailer, having driven it for maybe an hour, they will spend up to five hours cleaning it. And despite all this trouble, the number of old-timers constantly grows.
In the past, nearly all classic car lovers were do-it-yourselfers. With the increasing value of the cars, this situation has significantly changed. Anyone who has a 300SL for at least 300,000 Euro belongs rather to the old-timer middle class. On top of that, one has the feeling that people, having a particular agenda, no longer search for fairly intact barn finds but much more only for chassis numbers. Specialized companies bring either phantom cars or scrap heaps back to life. Money controls almost everything.
Germany is a beautiful country with enormous potential, but the wealth on the one hand and the poverty on the other hand cause us a lot of trouble. Even if our poverty threshold definition can not be compared with that of other countries, for example from Africa, still, poverty can not be tolerated in the case of children. Equal opportunities, no matter in what kind of family you grow up, should really be the top priority.
The socialism / communism may perish with deficiency, the capitalism - with abundance. Here, we are dealing more with the latter. While the rich do not know what another accessory they should buy spending vast sums of money, a single mother is in trouble, because there are not enough nursery school places. It is not so easy to create incentive for those rich ones, who already have everything, but whose energy and experience is still needed.
On the whole, I am optimistic for our country. There are trade unions here that have demonstrated sound judgement often enough. Despite the large debt burden, there are still enormous sums for social compensation. Probably nowhere else, so many people use their spare time for charitable causes. Government and most of the opposition have shown in times of need that they can cooperate. 10/12