After my trip to Turkey I had 4 days in Munich. Munich its self isn’t hugely interesting but there sure is a lot of interesting stuff to see in Munich. It doesn’t need to be said: I’m an engineer first and foremost so of course my most enjoyable experience was the Deutsches Museum. This Museum isn’t just a “Science and engineering museum” It’s a freakin’ shrine to Science and Engineering. The scale of this place is extraordinary. I’ve been to the Smithsonian, London Science museum to name a few and this place beats them all. It beats them because of the depth of the content. For example: If the London museum has a small exhibit pertaining to a particular industry, Deutsches museum will haul almost every piece of paraphernalia associated with that industry into the museum, make cut-aways, models, interactive displays and text blurbs with almost endless detail.
The most extraordinary exhibit I saw was a pair of 110KV high voltage cable joins presented as cut-away displays. They weren’t extraordinary themselves, but the fact that the German government thought that this would be interesting to the general public, because, let me tell you: This is some highly expensive, highly esoteric stuff. That display about sums Germany up nicely: Germany collectively cares about Engineering. A lot. Their economic success rides almost entirely on the back of engineering. The United Kingdom government also cares about engineering, they care because they see the prosperity Germany enjoys from its huge engineering sector and they’d like a little of that too. It’s a damn shame the U.K. public no longer shares this interest as they did more than 100 years ago. With the current culture in the U.K. it’s difficult to see the country ever returning to its highly industrial past which brings me to the next question: How are they going to pay off that deficit whilst maintaining current standards of living? Err.
Germany introduced me to a new concept: Reuse. “I know what that means” I hear you say. Do you really? I ask. When you buy a soft drink in Germany it comes in a heavy duty, standard size and shape bottle which is literally, reused. The label is stripped off and that very same bottle is re-filled and re-sold as a different (or similar) product. It must require some extraordinary government initiated ass kicking upon local industry to establish a system like this. Sadly this practice is rarely if not ever seen in any English speaking countries.
All and all, Germany seems like a country I’d like to live in. Everything seems well organised and smooth running. To coin a phrase: The country seems as a well oiled machine. Of course no country is perfect, but this one, is my kind of country.