I am a bridesmaid! I am the only foreign bridesmaid in my friend Elizabeth’s wedding which makes me feel special :-). Aside from constantly raising my glass to the couple (which I literally do since last June), accompanying Eliza to shop for dresses (she ended up getting her dress alone, which might be due to my sporadic “holy shit”-exclamations when I peaked at price tags) and coming up with horror stories on how I will misbehave at the wedding (jumping in the pool with her Dad is my favorite, and I only do this as a expectation management technique “prepare for the worst”), it was my duty and pleasure to spend a weekend in Nashville with her and her closest friends. And I learned a lot! Here are my German observations from my first time in “the South”.
- Nashville is bachelor and bachelorette weekend mekka. We saw at least one other bachelor/bachelorette group everywhere we went.
- BBQ is big in Nashville. We left grumpy weathered Boston and arrived in springy Nashville, spending a wonderful afternoon with BBQ and beer in the sun. As a good German I have to admit that this is pretty much a paradise afternoon for me.
- Smoked is a dominant flavor in Nashville. There is smokes Balsamic Vinaigrette, there is smoked Old Fashioned drinks, smoked beer, smoked whiskey.
- Breaking news for me: You may drink outside in Nashville! And you can smoke inside! Wait, what? Yes, it is very European when it comes to these things. You can stroll through town with a beer (in case I have not told you yet, American friends, Germans have a name for a beer that you take with you on your way, “Wegbier”)
- There is live music everywhere!
And you might just end up seeing a country singer that will be the next big thing in the music scene. As a matter of fact, we spent saturday night in the Honky Tonk bar “Rippy’s Bar & Grill” with a wonderful band and the singer just had his first single published.
- People are unbelievably nice and want to chat with you. The brutal truth is this: If I go to New York after a couple of weeks in Boston, I feel like all New Yorkers are terribly unfriendly (which is nothing compared to the resting bitch face of the average German, especially in Berlin…), but coming back to Boston after a weekend in Nashville I really felt treated poorly.
- I cannot help but think that blond is a thing in the South. There are many many many fake blondes out there. I also have that feeling that Southern ladies do not leave the house unless their make-up is perfect and they are dressed like little dolls (admittedly, since I am doing Crossfit, I love walking around in my workout clothes all day long)
- After a visit to the Johny Cash Museum, my Spotify playlist is a mixture of “The Million Dollar Quartett”, “Hurt” and the Folsom Bossom Blues.
- Last, but not least, I am now the proud owner of my first pair of tailored jeans from Imogene and Willie, made in Nashville. They come with one caveat, though: The makers encourage you to not wash them for several months…I will not keep you updated on that.
After Nashville I realized that I really do not know that much about the United States. As much as I call out anyone who speaks about Europe as if it is one, I am calling out myself for thinking I know the US, just because I have lived in Boston and California for 4 years. There is so much more to explore…