“Feierabend,” Tim tells me, “is the most important German word.” Literally translated into, “Party night,” it’s the phrase Germans use to denote the end of the workday—roughly the equivalent of “Happy hour”. And on my commute home, I usually see groups of coworkers standing outside or walking down the street. It’s not a party in the traditional sense—no one is getting rowdy or crazy. But almost everyone’s got a bottle of beer in hand.
As an American, seeing beer or wine in public is so entirely foreign. I’m so used to chugging my alcoholic beverage before leaving the bar or walking out of the house—here (as in many other countries) you can continue to casually sip it on the sidewalk, kein Problem. It’s awesome to be able to go to the park and enjoy a glass of wine or a beer without the telltale brown paper bag and surreptitious glances around for the cops, or to pregame the party night on the way to the U-Bahn with a cold one from the fridge.
Pro Tip: Visiting Germany in the summertime? Plan an evening in the local park. Bring a pizza or ready-made food, or buy a disposable grill from the nearest Edeka or Rewe. It’s awesome to spend some time just people-watching, enjoying the weather, some music, and a chilled Riesling. It was hands-down the best thing I did on my first trip to Berlin.