Seeing the city/Sehen in der Stadt

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Oct 06, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We woke up this morning and had a delicious traditional German breakfast. 
"Germans eat a lot in the morning," Tim's sister-in-law Carmen said of the food she brought to her table for us.
We had broetchen, croissants, marmelade, butter, kaese (stinky and not), wurst (ham and smoked ham), kaffee, apfelschorle...........!
We then left to explore Wuppertal and Carmen took us around the zentrum/city center. We took the Schwebebahn Wuppertal also known as the flying hanging train. This train was built about 100 years ago and it exists only in Wuppertal, Carmen said. 
Tim's brother Bruce took us for a hike in the forest/park called Kaiserhoe in the afternoon and for a tour of the old homes around the city. 
An impressive harp performance by Bruce and Carmen's 10-year-old daughter Etta was a highlight of the afternoon
I've also been learning to play cribbage on this trip. I'd never played before this trip. It's a fun game. I also heard that there are outdoor ping pong tables around here:)
It's interesting to hear from a German family about their way of life. Carmen told me that in Germany, students begin learning foreign languages sometimes in kindergarten and always by first grade. Most students learn English as their first foreign language. In the sixth grade, students begin learning their second foreign language (usually French or Latin) and in the eighth grade, they can begin with a third foreign language (their choice) and in the the eleventh grade, the student can choose a fourth foreign language of their choice. 
Americans can attend a German university only after they have graduated from high school and have completed two years of college, Carmen said. 
Health care costs are relative to the amount of money you earn and everyone in Germany has to be insured, she said. All employees pay an average of 7.5 percent of their salary towards their health insurance and the company they work for pays approximately the same amount towards it. People who are self employed pay approximately 15 percent of their salary to their health insurance and that covers them and their children and spouse if the spouse is not working. If the spouse is working and not self employed, they would still be required to pay 7.5 percent of their salary to health insurance.
It has been nice to take a break for a moment with new friends and family and have a day of not driving. We've been going, going, going ... 
Bis spaeter ...


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