Location: Deutsches Museum, München, Deutschland
Date: June 5, 2009
Person Mentioned: First Name, Unknown, Last Name, Michael or Possibly Michel
Today, I visited the Deutsches Museum, which featured a vast array of aircraft and various ship and locomotive motors. I had an excellent time, having my father and I discuss the intricate dynamics of flight, engine and war alike; making analogies like how little or great influence a rudder of an aircraft holds relative to its position and how that relates to the drastic and slight turning that occurs when either the front or rear wheels of a car serve as the turning mechanisms. But what was most fascinating was the discussion I took part in with a volunteer of the museum that my father and I stumbled upon. So when my father came across the high-speed single wing airplane that is spun around by a select few, and began to mention the "wire" of the plane, the volunteer emerged from the spiral staircase. An eccentric, disciplined German he was, the first notable words he spoke to us; "Are you from America? America is my favorite country". This blew me away. I have aspired to move to Germany for some time now, and when he mentioned that he wanted an American citizenship, I was incredulous. In my mind, I must have made up Germany to be a fantastical place where busy cities and clean air can live in harmony, and that was well evident by my experience of the past few days. But according to him, I had a few misperceptions. Then when I told him, after glancing at my father that I am totally the opposite, where I intend to emmigrate from the United States to Germany, he began to justify his opinion. As he did so, I began to realize how little of a concrete argument I have to support my moving to Germany other than sentimental, cultural, and European snobbery purposes. I also noticed that in general, his expressions communicated a sense of restriction, and mine inversely, too much freedom. He cited cases in which the Bundeswehr were inferior to the United States Marine Corps, such as the lack of Black Hawk support helicopters and various other transport helicopters and AC-130 gunships in the Bundeswehr, calling the German Army a "joke", all the while laughing superficially. Although not in agreement with him, I let him speak, which would result in him discrediting every possible sense of German ingenuity I had previously understood.
Then I said, "What about rifles?", mentioning at first the G36's quality in comparison to the American-made M16. Incredibly, he said the G36 felt like a "toy", while acknowledging the M16 as a solid, reliable, and overall good rifle that dwarfs the G36 in terms of quality. Obviously this man's opinions were skewed, and he must never had spoken to anyone assertive enough that told him to think otherwise. Wheras I was willing to objectively acknowledge the faults of German ingenuity, to him, American glory was irrefutable. Clearly, this man was set in his ways, and could not be reasoned with. But that didn't stop me from trying. I first cited the brand-new HK416 as a rifle surely deserving of at least some recognition. I could tell he knew it was a more reliable rifle than the American M16 and M4 models, but he soon changed the subject as if to avoid a submission in (verbal) defeat.