It has been 6 days since I lived in Dusseldorf, Germany. I have to say, there are many things, both ups and downs, that I have experienced in just these past few stays. The one main thing that really surprised me is the lack of air conditioning. But I will discuss that for later. For this post, I want to highlight the lifestyle of the locals in Dusseldorf, located northwest of Germany.
The first day that our group assembled at the train station to go to our hostel, we probably have walked more than a mile before the meeting. After that, we walked another mile from the train stop to our hostel. Overall, having only 2 hours of sleep from the flight, that day was very exhausting. However, despite being tired, I found the picturesque scenery relaxing, even for just a moment. Walking down the street, it made me aware of how close I live to the stores back in Florida, yet I would use a car instead of a bike or walking it. During my first week, what I noticed that most is how locals here walk a lot, maybe more than 10,000 steps a day, based on my friend’s tracker. On top of that, many locals commute using their bikes as well along with public transportation. Even when we use the trams and buses, my friend and I still end up walking more than 10,000 steps a day, which is an accomplishment for me since I live a sedentary lifestyle back home.
The first picture below shows how beautiful the Altstadt (Old City) is across the Rhine river, while the second one shows some people riding their bikes while some at the back are either resting or walking.
I believe this experience links to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being, as the city promotes an active lifestyle for the residents. I also learned personally and from class that Germans prefer a healthier food choice, such as choosing wheat bread over white, or not adding any additives or too much sugar in their drinks. However, I feel that, despite such a healthy lifestyle, many locals here smoke and drink beer frequently. In almost every corner I go to, smoke would just fill the air. Some even smoke in front of their kids. Since smoking is an air pollution and contributes to environmental health risk, I am glad to see that there are some places, such as the hostel I’m staying in, that bans smoking inside. There’s more I want to talk about, but we can continue that for next time. Until then, tschüss!