Freude my German boyfriend!
May 19, 2017 9:25 AM   Subscribe

My new guy is German, late forties, brilliant and super romantic. He goes out of his way to do fun and sweet things, and I reciprocate in my Colorado way. (We're climbing a 14er, Liebchen!) What are unexpected things that he, as a German/European, might find particularly surprising and delightful?

Raclette in front of the fireplace was a big hit ... he simply had no idea an American would own a raclette grill. (I've had it for years.) Food, movies, activities, whatever ... he's so sweet and I'd love to surprise him. He's well-traveled, from Hamburg, been in the States a few years.

(Also, I had NO IDEA that a German guy of his age would be so schmoopy. Pointers to dating Germans in general are much appreciated. ;-)
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Human Relations (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is he fond of Karl May stories at all? They're huge in Germany (as is a lot of American West and esp. Native American stuff) and I think he might get a kick out of actual Native American cultural experiences.
posted by griphus at 9:32 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]

I was thinking about sporting events.

You've got the Colorado Rapids MLS team in town. On the one hand, MLS is pretty decent soccer (Tim Howard!); on the other hand, it's way chiller and much lower attendance than the Bundesliga.

For more intensity, you could go to a Buffaloes game; for a bigger stadium you could go to a Broncos game.

If he likes basketball, find out when Dallas plays the Nuggets next season (Dirk!), or there's the Rockies.

Non-sporting events: I think pretty much any outdoorsy thing will work, and it's worth showing off as much of the American West, mountains, etc as you can.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:44 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

When I lived in Germany, I found a surprising number of Germans weirdly interested in American pancakes, so perhaps making him a pancake breakfast would be fun.

My mother sent my us a bunch of Halloween stuff for my son's German classmates. They were super into it because they knew about Halloween from the Peanuts cartoons, so maybe that would be something to think about when October rolls around.
posted by FencingGal at 9:48 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]

If you can take the time, rent an RV and spend some time travelling, historical places, natural wonders, etc. Germany is small, crowded and for the most part there are no wild sweeping tracts of land on display like we have. Many Europeans, especially Germans, RV when they come over and they seem to get a kick out of it.

Or you could take him to the Colorado hot springs, which would offer all kinds of things he might well enjoy, like hiking or rafting.
posted by Crystal Fox at 11:36 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]

A local source of good chocolate that's not just imported.
posted by teremala at 12:13 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Oh! Good local beer. Either German styles, and/or some of the American ale styles. (This advice may be a little too obvious, if he already knows all the good local craft breweries.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:43 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

If you can scout out some really good German-style bread, maybe. Think sourdough, rye, dense, 100% nonfluffy. I mean, that is not typical American, but he may be pining for it.
posted by bluebird at 1:21 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]

Does he like trains? Almost no chance he does not like trains.* Cross-continent Amtrak trip.

*German married to American speaking. Late fifties, however.
posted by Namlit at 1:28 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

Elisenlebkuchen are a winter holiday season spice cookie originating from the area around Nuremburg. They use nut flour with little or no wheat flour and have a tender, dense crumb. I love them enough that I thought about importing some from Germany last Christmas but the shipping costs were prohibitively expensive—fortunately US-based Leckerlee makes a pretty good version (my German manager even agrees).
posted by 4rtemis at 1:50 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]

Expanding on 4rtemis' suggestion, German Christmas is a Thing with lots of cute and fun traditions! Something to look forward to if you want to celebrate the winter holiday time.
posted by shalom at 1:54 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Ohboy yes, German homemade Christmas cookies, I couldn't agree more. Of course!
posted by Namlit at 1:56 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Does he like trains? Almost no chance he does not like trains.* Cross-continent Amtrak trip.

Train in question would be the California Zephyr.

Depart Denver 8:05 am, get into Salt Lake City around midnight, Reno 8:30 am next day, Emeryville 4:00 pm, with bus to San Francisco. If you go the other way, you also sleep through Utah and Nevada.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:03 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]

You guys are crushing it, thanks! Cumbres & Toltec and then Mesa Verde, here we come!

Also appreciate the cookie idea ... suggestions for things to do at home would be nice, too.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 2:10 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Find a recipe and make kartoffelkuchen. Maybe someone can recommend a good one; I've never made it, but I hear it's great.
posted by limeonaire at 3:46 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Okay, so if we assume for a moment that you don't want to surprise him by trying to make German bread or cookies for him (although that would be fun), let me list a few unexpected other things that I encountered and liked during my (many) US visits (Virginia, though):

-- We went hiking one day (nothing suuper-special per se, but depending on where, a good healthy landscapy hike can be pretty exciting for a German like me), and for afterwards, the others had found out about a funny little French-inspired eating place in the middle of nowhere - a tiny unassuming house and a lot of flowers in the garden - where they served paté and good bread, some select cheeses etc. and a small-but-great selection of wines. So one thing to look for is the unexpectedly-themed fun-time watering hole.
-- "Authentic" stuff: no matter whether it's a weathered-car-dudes veteran car meeting on a field, a trip to an abandoned sawmill (watch out for poison ivy), one of the better farmer's markets, a conglomeration of food trucks on a Sunday afternoon, somewhere where people show off some genuine traditional home-cooking or -preserving skills, a high-stakes barbecue contest, or whatever else rooted-in-history-but-done-by-real-people type of experience, I would be there.
-- Micro breweries with outdoor eating.
-- You know, don't you, that Collard greens are genetically very close to kale? Now, Northern Germany has a serious tradition of preparing, eating and celebrating kale, and it might be a total hoot to have him (unexpectedly) try collards and exclaim, hey this reminds me of my childhood.
-- Guide him gently toward the origins of root beer, away from the commercial stuff to the micro-brewed small-batch cane sugar varieties.
-- Antique malls. Seriously, the kind of tools you can buy there for almost nothing! Also used book stores...
I could go on.
posted by Namlit at 12:08 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]

Ex-German here; seconding Xmas cookies and Pfannkuchen.


Salad as a starter at every meal.

Apfelschorle (make it with the best local organic apple juice).

Early to bed & early to rise, with planned long walks on the weekends.

Weekend riverside barbecues with friends.

Religiously taking turns observing the driver doesn't drink thing.

Maybe also Fussball?

But also: authentic Americana, we are generally big fans of other countries' lore.
posted by progosk at 5:10 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]

Oh, also: along with interesting breads, butter is central to German anything, and American butter is a pale, ghostly joke in comparison, so at the great farmer's market you're surely going to take him to, a buttermaker's stall would likely be more of a hit than you'd expect.
posted by progosk at 5:18 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]

Seconding the Zephyr mentioned above (for everyone, European or otherwise!) but be warned, he may find Amtrak's somewhat loose approach to timetabling a potentially frustrating annoyance. German trains are terrifyingly punctual.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:07 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

Food-wise: do he and/or you know that chicken-fried/country-fried steak is a close relative of schnitzel? It's not necessarily something you'd stumble upon.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:32 PM on May 20

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