Monday, 7 March 2011
I was interested to see this morning that Germany was voted top of the pile in the BBC World Service Country Rating Poll, while Britain rolled in second. Germany's result made me very happy as it's a country where I lived for eleven years and have worked every summer since leaving in 2004. It's not a popular tourist destination, so people never really get exposed to just how user-friendly the place is, but in terms of basic quality of life you'll be hard-pushed to find anywhere better within a three-hour flight radius. The populace is intelligent and considerate and their products speak for themselves. In short, the place is a by-word for quality and I'm pleased they've started getting a bit of recognition for their territory. A few years back I published a piece in the Telegraph about their hosting of the 2006 World Cup and the positive view the Germans started having of themselves after that tournament has only continued to grow and shows no sign of abating. Whilst the Sun and Co. are still happy to churn out tired wartime clichés, Germany confronted its deeds of that period, issued an impressive array of mea culpas, built a more enlightened approach into the school curriculum and reinvented itself as a modern, analytical and conscientious nation, for which they are now garnering the fruits. Good on you, Brüder.