Berlin and Beavercreek

Over the past few weeks in Berlin, I have noticed a number of differences and similarities between Beavercreek, Ohio (the town I grew up in) and Berlin. One of the most striking differences, aside from the native language, between Berlin and Beavercreek is the sheer size of Berlin. Beavercreek, suburb of Dayton, a town with a population less than 150,000 people, has a population of less than 50,000 people. On the other hand, Berlin’s population is estimated to be a little under 3.5 million people. This is a huge difference in the number of people living in the same city/town. The population difference contributes to a difference in the way of life. For example, the modes of transportation between the two cities can be quite different. In Beavercreek, there is no public transportation (aside from schooling buses) and so everyone must either walk or drive their own cars. However, Berlin has an extensive public transportation system that allows those who do not wish to drive or who do not own a car to travel quickly and efficiently. Public transportation is more necessary in Berlin, in part, because of the large population of Berlin would cause numerous extensive traffic jams if everyone in Berlin drove a car everywhere. The demographics of Beavercreek and Berlin are also different. Berlin has a large immigrant population, especially Turkish. Beavercreek, however, has a very small immigrant population, which is mostly Asian. The last difference I shall point out deals with money. In general, most cities in America, including Beavercreek, uses credit cards to purchase almost everything. However, in Berlin, and Germany in general, most of the business transactions are done with cash and a large number of places don’t accept credit cards. This stark difference shows how differently the two cultures view money and the use of it. Additionally, another striking difference is that a glass of water in Beavercreek is free while, in Berlin, I have found that a glass of water can cost between one and three Euros. The same goes with public toilets where they cost money in Europe and are free in America.

Despite numerous differences between Beavercreek and Berlin, some aspects of the cities remind me of the other. The neighborhood that our hotel is in, for example, reminds me of my neighborhood. The calmness of the neighborhood and the gardens are similar to my neighborhood, except there are more single family houses than apartment buildings. On my trip to Dresden, I observed the landscape. My hometown has numerous fields and patches of forests similar to those I saw as I left Berlin by bus. Such basic similarities, as those provided by nature, show how everyone is interconnected, even if they may not realize it.

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