Day 3: I’ve never seen anything like it

Today was our first site visit, and I could not be more ready to start learning about the automobile industry. We had the pleasure of learning and exploring the company Hirschvogel. I did not know anything about this company previously, but after the presentation and the tour, I feel like I have a good grasp on what this company does. After our arrival we were given an hour presentation on the company followed by a question and answer session.

After the presentation we were given the privilege of touring their facilities. Having never really been on any type of factory tour before, I was blown away by all the different kinds of machinery and how they all have specific objectives. What struck me most during the tour was the actions of the workforce. All the workers seemed very focused on their job, and I never saw any of them distracted or doing something that was not part of their job. Another thing that stuck out to me was that workers were allowed to smoke while they worked. This surprised me.

After the tour we had lunch at the cafeteria where the workers eat. I tried a new dish which consisted of small little noodle balls, and then on the way to the checkout line, I picked up a random sandwich. The noodles were very good the sandwich caught me off guard. After unwrapping the packaging and opening the bun to see what was inside, I realized it was only cheese and bread. I learned that some Germans like to just have cheese sandwiches for their meal, plain and simple. After lunch we went back to the conference room and wrapped up with some closing questions and then said our goodbyes.

After a somewhat long bus ride we arrived at our second location of the day: Oberammergau. This cute little town was filled with antique shops. At one shop they sold katanas and I was interested in getting one but convinced myself not to buy it. However, the main reason why we went here was that it was right next to the Alps. I must confess that I am very afraid of heights so when I learned we would be going to the top; I was pretty afraid. However, after seeing the spectacular views, my fears quickly disappeared. We took a gondola up to the top, and while riding up, I could feel the air get colder and my ears even popped a few times. After arriving at the top, I quickly realized that I was looking at one of the most amazing views I had ever seen. It literally looked like something I would see in movies, and I was completely blown away by its beauty. My friends and I took many pictures. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I had ever had. I also was able to make incredible snowballs as the snow was perfect for making nice compact snowballs. After taking a couple more pictures and a group photo, we all sadly had to say goodbye to the Alps.

Being given the option to go wherever we wanted for dinner, my three friends and I decided to go to an Irish Pub. Having never been to one I was quite excited about what it would be like as I heard from friends that they can be very loud. After taking a ten minute walk we arrived and were quickly served. I ordered a nice bacon cheeseburger, and I must say, it was one of the best meals I have had since I have been here. It was cooked really well, and the bun was very soft. About an hour later we started to hear lots of screaming and cheering from around the corner and found out there was a sporting event being watched. A lot of the people at the pub were big fans of this team. This was exciting as every time something good happened, there would be lots of cheering. After finishing up I learned one more lesson for the day from an unexpected person, the waiter. My group was unsure if the tip was included with our meal so we decided to ask him. He told us it was not but was not expecting any as he said students usually do not tip. He went on to tell us that usually only American students in Germany tip while students from other countries do not. I thought this was really interesting as I had no idea that the social norm around the world was to not tip. Again, lesson learned. After this long day I went back to the hotel and quickly fell asleep.

Leave a Reply