Sometimes all you need is a good dose of American cinema in English.. and sometimes you have to ride the train for a while to get it. Last week, I travelled to Kaiserslautern to see a movie and spend the afternoon with a friend who lives there. My friend informed me that Kaiserslautern has two nicknames. The locals refer to their hometown as “Lautern.” The second nickname comes from the Americans living on the military base thats stationed just outside the city. The “Amis” (Germans’ nickname for Americans) call it K Town, which drives the locals crazy. In Kaiserslautern, it’s not too hard to see that something is a little different.
Here are the tell tale signs that you are surrounded by “Amis”
1. The movie theater had salty popcorn. Germans prefer their popcorn sweet.
2. The movie was shown in English, without any German subtitles.
3. The café served me a water with ice in it. Usually, you never get ice in Germany.
4. People are walking around in PJ pants and/or tennis shoes. Germans wouldn’t dream of wearing either of those things outside of their proper setting. Rules are rules, you see.
Here we have the double whammy. PJ pants with tennis shoes. Sorry the photo looks like a bigfoot sighting picture, but in all honesty, seeing PJs in public in Germany is about as likely as spotting bigfoot.
So meanwhile, I’m laughing to myself at all these silly “American” things and my first reaction is “ha! This is great! I need to post a picture of this!” As I pull out my phone to start documenting these things, my friend laughs and says “Social Media. That’s so American!”
5. Overuse of Social Media. Guilty as charged.