Stuttgart 101 – Surprising Stuttgart

Life, Travel

Who hasn’t already read the recent post in our blog? Please do visit here. Planning The Adventure.

Following his adventure piece, we realized we haven’t written anything about our days in Stuttgart, the city where we met as students. We consider the decision to live/study not abroad as an adventure too, out of our comfort zones and habits, interacting with strangers and adapting to new rules too.


my room view

For some people, this decision is challenging while for the rest, it is outright crazy.

Stuttgart is a lovely and quiet yet modern city. It is the capital city of Baden Wuerttemberg which lies in the southwest of Germany. It seems like I am turning this piece into a geography one. LOL. Okay, if you are a big fan of Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, definitely you would know this city. We reckoned it is a beautiful city to live in after living for several months there.


But, (you know there is always a but, in every story) we are going to tell ya, 10 things that surprised us in our first days living in Stuttgart -to be honest, we didn’t know each other back then – so, I hope this writing will broaden your daydreaming to be a real plan in 3 years.

I will write the first 5 and the last 5 will be Benjamin’s.

  1. German words are damn long. I mean, like you can’t really breath in between when you read it. Their alphabets are, I would say, interesting and challenging. The longest words (perhaps!) my eyes caught in my insurance agreement are “Pflegehilfsmittelverzeichnisses” and “Versicherungsbedingungen”. Try to warm up your tongue before pronouncing it. I know, there are so many countries with unreadable alphabets that you can’t even imagine how to pronounce it. But grew up in a 26 International alphabets country, ä, ö, ü, definitely made my first days catchy especially all the voices you kept hearing all day long. It was all German. No English announcement on the train/bus when its delayed or no English translation when you go to the Supermarket. But don’t get me wrong, they were super lovely and helpful when I asked them in English because I was clueless about finding a cooking cream in German (while the phone signal was hiding somewhere). FYI, knowing German words is a must, being able to speak would do better. Everything is written in German. For anyone who wants to get rid of a boring life, consider moving here.
  1. Sunday is an off-day for shopping. What? Yes, you heard me. I learned that rule when I stepped out for the first time, but you know what, old habits take time to change. One silly moment I still remember till now (Which is making me smile now). The first week I lived in Stuttgart, I didn’t schedule the specific day to restock my basic needs and because Sunday was all I had (all days were occupied with German course and explore the city), I walked to the nearest Supermarket on Sunday morning and saw a big banner hanging on the upper part of the building:

“Montag-Samstag: 07.00 22.00 Uhr”

“Sonntag: Geschlossen”

After I read that, I froze and took almost 5 mins to recall what I learned in German course (what day today was and what Sunday is in Deutsch) And suddenly it hit me, crap! They are closed on Sunday then What would I eat today? In the opposite, I used to shop whenever I liked, well we have 24 hours opened coffee shops, restaurants and convenience stores, even carwash back at home! Guess I have to adjust my habit again. Really, it’s was not easy changing your habits of shopping when you have to rush after school to the supermarkets before they close.

  1. I don’t know what to say, whether it was good or not, but if you’re sick, you have to make an appointment to see a doctor first. Whether you try not to fail sick or make sure you know when you will be sick (both of which are funny to me). Basically, we have to make an appointment for bank, doctor and thesis consultation too. LOL. No appointments, No luck. When you got your appointment, better not to be late. Not to be late means literally be sharp or punctual. If you read about Germans, many sources say they are well known as punctual people. Neither too early nor 10 mins after the time (for some people 10 mins after the time still consider as on time too). A 9:00 am appointment means 9:00 am. Don’t push your luck for this especially for public transportation. Once you missed the train/bus, the whole day is screwed.
  2. When German people said the food is spicy. Try not to believe 100%. Well, I grew up with spicy food and when I lived there (Stuttgart) I barely found any spicy at all. I was not fine. Believe me, they call it spicy though when it is not spicy. It is wrong for me. Even if someone claims that s/he loves spicy food, they will burn their mouth when eating my food. Thank God for Chinese/Thai restaurants, these were my saviours during those times. And in the end, I survived. The Funny thing was when I came back to my country, I did not realize that my spiciness level has been degraded, I cannot handle the real spicy here again. Karma hits me well. Hahaha.
  3. Have you experienced a seasonal sale where the items aren’t really discount? In my country yes, you will find it most of the time. From what I experienced in Germany, most of my friends who live in the border between France – Germany, Switzerland – Germany or Netherlands – Germany, would sacrifice some time to go to the Germany side only for buying things. If you see ‘Angebot or Reduction Preise’, it is totally a sign for ‘better grab now or regret later’. Hahaha. I loved their angebot.

After all, the hardest part of living in Stuttgart is leaving you (Stuttgart) because I got an opportunity to say proudly, it is where my home is.


p.s. Don’t believe when the weather forecast app says its sunny. You know what you see isn’t what you get. Most of the times, it is just a fake sun with cold air. Like a decoration, trying to manipulate us to lighten up our day with its sunlight while the fact was ‘my God!!! it’s f**kn cold’. Like in the photo below, it is our way to Mensa (canteen), it was 13 degree Celsius, bright and sunny, but trust me, it was really windy and f**kn cold.

Our way from campus to canteen

Ok. So, it’s my turn now:). They say the only constant thing in life is change. Change can be hard sometimes but, in most cases, change is either a choice you consciously make, or life just deals it to you. Do you know what I mean? For me, this change came in the late summer of 2016. I kind of official moved to Stuttgart to follow a dream. Since Jude has already geographically described Stuttgart, I will try to do it ‘grammatically’.

But Stuttgart is amazing simply put. It has a sort of magic that slowly entraps you and makes you part of itself soon. In a nice way of course. I mean, from the moment you arrive, you feel it. you feel her. Its thumping heartbeats are its vast network of trains, its voices though still are carried in the wind and it feels all around you from green natural parks to all its clubs and pubs. :). And after some time, you become one with the city. It becomes HOME to you.

So, these are 5 things that surprised me about Stuttgart.

  1. Mind your damn business! – I know right, so coming from a very conservative society where there are a lot of things people are culturally not allowed to do (There is no legal law). I mean no one is going to stop you but wait, someone might actually stop you. For example, if you have any piercing on your face, someone (mostly very old people) might rebuke you about your choice of facial fashion. Ok, that might be an extreme example but let’s say you have a visible tattoo of anything angels, triangles, trees anything you be the centre for everyone attention and gossip. So, if you want to be famous or if you want to be the ‘trend’ just do something out of the ‘normal’. Dye your hair like a unicorn rainbow, wear coloured contact lens and you will be the number one trend before you can say Jack Robinson. On the contrary, you can literally walk about almost naked in Stuttgart and no one will look at you twice (Disclaimer: This does not include Jude and I, we will definitely look and spare 5-6 mins of our precious lives discussing how shocked we are – and no that is not gossiping but social commenting 🙂 LOL). I mean everybody minds their business. No one cares about what you choose to do, or drink or eat or wear. The freedom to be you without fear, I know this might sound strange to some people but if know if know. AH!!! The sweet smell of freedom to do anything, after all, it is your life, isn’t it?
  2. Smiling is forbidden. lol. This is another thing that surprised me. There are a lot of lovely people in Stuttgart but don’t be surprised when almost none smiles at you. Such a trivial thing but no way. It’s like the evil Santa came around everybody’s house one summer night and stole all their smiles leaving only those who were not in bed at the time of the theft with still some smile to show around. True. Ask anyone I bet you a dollar that they would confirm this. When I went for my German visa interview in Ghana, I experienced this first hand. I walked into a waiting where about 10 -12 people were sitting. Everyone looked nervous and I soon came to understand why. As soon as I sat down, I could hear the interviewer faintly, she was so direct and blunt. No small talk, no-nonsense and that is completely alien in my culture. The tension in the room thicken like chocolate pudding each time the door open and you saw the nervous face of the guy/girl trying to convince the straight stiff face German woman that they would return to their home country. I left there with the confirmation of a visa and the thought that the woman was super mean until I arrived in Stuttgart. OMG!! My first train ride from the airport to my residence was filled with stiff faced people and then I realized, they weren’t mean they just didn’t smile.

source: Pinterest

  1. Golden Friendships. yea I know this might seem contradictory to what I just said but (most) the people I met in Stuttgart were some of the loveliest people I have ever met. I am used to smiley people. I am a smiley person if you don’t believe me ask about me. 🙂 But the people in Stuttgart were genuinely friendly at least when they considered you as a friend. For them the question ‘How are you?’ was not just mere small talk but a caring gesture to actually know if everything was ok or not with you. In fact, I am where I am because of some very good friends I met and made in Stuttgart. So if you are ever in Stuttgart, just ignore the ‘smile-less’ but open up who knows, you might just make a lifelong friend.
  2. The European sun. Jude mentioned (yes Jude is a woman) about the tricky sun. Let me explain a bit more. So coming from an equatorial region of the world, we experience sunlight 12 good hours each every day of the year. And if you see the sun you better be prepared for the heat. This was what I knew (at least when then). Then I moved to Stuttgart and winter began. Sunrise was after 8 am, I mean what does the sun do between 6 am – 8 am? and that’s not even the worse part. After sunrise at 8 Am, it has the audacity to set at 4:30 pm. You wake up in the dark, go to school in the dark and return in the dark. There were days I didn’t see the sun. No warm glowing natural heating system. And in the summer the reversed happened. I, like most of the people, I grew up having our dinner around sunset and go to bed with a moonlit star littered night but noooooooooooo.. not in the summertime in Stuttgart (and other places too, I know but). In the summer, sunrise can be as early as 4:30 am and set after 9 pm. I just could not do it. I could not sleep with the sun shining at night. I can’t. I can’t do it. But in the end, I did lol.

Size matters by Pinterest

  1. Lastly, if you are ever going to travel to Stuttgart from any other country, other than Germany, bring your own pillow. I mean this literally. Carry a pillow with you else I can promise you-you are in for a surprise. I am not saying they don’t have pillows in Stuttgart. I am saying those square things you find on the bed are half your body length that if you are 1.74m tall else do the math. It is a very complex situation. To crack this square pillow code. You can’t rest just your head on it because it extends to your stomach and trust me you would probably spend nights turning and trying to figure out the best sleeping position. If you do figure it out, please tell me because I am still clueless.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed writing it.

Leave a comment if you have questions or experiences or just to show some love. If you want to know more about us, check out our About page (obviously hahahahaha)

– Benjamin


Planning The Adventure.



Planning a trip can be hard work especially when you are going to a place for the first time. There are lots of things to take into consideration and its easy to overlook or underestimate something which can turn out to bite you in the rear end (-wink-).

Though I do not claim to be a travel expert, I may know a thing or two about getting from one place to another and a few things more about enjoying yourself in unfamiliar yet beautiful destinations. There goes.


  • The first question is where do you go.

And that is a good question if you ask me. The answer is… wait for it (#Barney Stinson voice) where do you want to go? lol. gotcha ( -evil laugh- ). But on a more serious note, start small. Know your community, your town or city, your region or county and even bigger for a country.


Accra, Ghana

Visit an area you’ve heard about in school or read about in a book or even seen in a movie (like ‘In Brugge’ – If you haven’t seen it, well its not too late) and as you see these places it would give you an idea of what you like and based on this you can select the next adventure. For example, if you live in Accra (capital city of Ghana), make a short trip to Ho or Kumasi. If you live in Stuttgart (Germany), travel down to Lindau and experience the serenity of the small town and lake. And if you live in Mumbai (India) visit Goa, check out what it is like there.


Jakarta, Indonesia

Don’t forget, a city has so much to offer and nightlife might be completely different from what happens under the glare of the sun. Try different foods, drinks (wine or beer) and pick up a souvenir to remember the trip.

Lastly, Google is your friend. Read about the city, know what makes it unique. Look out for its hidden gems. Not all crowded place are worth seeing.

  • How do you get there?

Now that you know where you are going the next question is how to get there. If you are fortunate to live in a country with structured public transportation then again Google is your friend:). Don’t be shy… Pick up your smartphone, find the google maps app and punch in your destination. I find this to be most helpful. And most likely you can find the cost of the trip online – voila, you are set. Consider also alternate means like car sharing or carpooling. They are usually faster and cheaper.

However, if you live in a country with a less fortunate public transportation system then its a different ball game for you my friend:). Let me use Ghana as an example since I am Ghanaian. (I am feeling so patriotic right now ). Again google is your friend. Say you want to hike up Mt. Afadjato (880m), the first thing would be to find out where it is. Then you can decide whether to drive using google navigating in google maps or option 2, look for the nearly bigger town and transit from there in this case that would be Kpando or Hohoe. Then ask about the fare and voila. you are good to go.

Screenshot 2019-03-03 at 14.44.20

Tema To Mt Afadjato

You can also ask friends for directions or from people along the way but be prepared for a typical ‘Ghanaian’ style answer – Drive straight for 2 miles (even though we officially use metric units) and turn after the junction from the mango tree – then drive straight until you meet the woman selling fruits be the road (can there be more than one place where a woman is selling fruit? you will find out there are several of those women after getting lost). And take it from me, always remember to greet and be nice to people you ask directions from. You might just end up in the forest if you don’t. (Well, I have warned you)

  • Should you travel with people or travel solo?

Now, this is a tricky one. Traveling alone or solo has its advantages and likewise its disadvantages. I think it is a personal thing but that being said, here is what I think are some of the advantages or disadvantages for both so you can be the judge.


Traveling with People

It’s always safer to travel with people. There is no doubt safety in numbers and the companionship of a friend on a long dusty trip is priceless. You will always have someone to talk to and share ideas with and best of all, someone to share the cost with. (Budgeting will be discussed later) There will be someone to take pictures for you and when you need to quickly go to the toilet, your friend can always look after the luggage or hold your drink. BUT…………………………………….. people are naturally different and these differences tend to come out when you have spent more time with them. A friend you might know very well might behave totally different under stress and fatigue. And this can come as a shock to you while on a trip. Again since people are primarily different, their interest might also be different. Say one person wants to visit a museum of history and the other wants to see a natural park (true if you have time you can do both–) how do you decide where to go? ( I just realized I can write a whole post about traveling solo or with people 🙂 .. I will definitely write about it). Say one person is a fanatic of photography and wants to spend 20 minutes to get that Instagram perfect picture, can you wait or the other person is a selfie queen 🙂 my friend Nabil knows what I am talking about (He is going to kill me. lol)

So you get the picture?

Travelling Solo

Have you ever sat on a bus or train for over 6 hours with no one to talk to? or stood in a picturesque scene and could not find someone to take that photo for you (damn!! you left your selfie stick at home). Traveling solo can be hard. Happiness, I believe was born a twin. Life is meant to be shared. But think about it. Are you really alone? Solo traveling gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. (sure you can still meet new people when you travel with others but what if you want to go where the new people are going?) You get to do anything you want. Best of all, you can get your freak on. lol. Come on, you know what I am talking about. When you find yourself in a city full of strangers you have the chance to do things you would never try if your friends are around. Aside from doing things, solo traveling gives you time to reflect on yourself and helps you to discover you. You get time to read that book in peace or just chill.

In any case, this is totally up to you.

In the next post, I will write about budgets, accommodation and what to expect. check out these other posts too :

24 hours in Luxembourg

Yes, Its Paris

Here I Go Again!

The overjoyed Paris!

I hope you enjoyed reading. Jude and I would be glad to hear your thoughts and feel free to ask any question.

– Benjamin

What is your score for your (ongoing) resolution?


This month, yep, February has almost reached an end. If we rewind to two months ago, most of us were excited about welcoming 2019. New Year’s Eve armored with fireworks, drinks and of course with family and friends too. While others were thinking of doing nothing but sleeping because in effect nothing really changes except for the calendar. That’s all! Oh, one more thing, your number too, you’re getting older dude!!!

Are you one of those who believe a new year means new resolution resulting in a better life? I was not, until two years ago someone implicitly introduced me about his resolutions and guess what, it had made me think about making one too. What I experienced, the resolutions we made, whatever we commit to, improving our days/life because it’s a promise you make to yourself.

Oh for the Love of FOOD!!!

Food, Life

screenshot 2019-01-26 at 16.51.56

Wait… Before you are quick to judge me take a second and think about it. I know I know!! Yes I admit it, I like food BUT I am not a foodie (Whatever that means). But doesn’t everyone else like food as much? Come on don’t be shy, fine! I promise to keep it as a secret (you know, just between the two of us). Doesn’t the smell of freshly baked bread, croissants, muffins, pastries (*OH MY GOD you name it) arouse you? Does it not fill you up with a burning desire to embrace it within your mouth and gently swirl your tongue all over it??? Don’t you feel the urge to close your eyes and devour the savoury deliciousness delivering a cosmic bliss to your taste buds?? No??? Damn it, I guess I am a foodie after all. lol.

(hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha) – EVIL LAUGH.

Let’s be honest. There has been at least one time that you just could not fight the craving for that food. Doesn’t matter what it was. There are days when a meal beckons to you like the proverbial red two horny spiky tailed surprisingly white teethed devil. And you don’t rest until that quench has been put out. True Story, I have queued for waakye (A Ghanaian dish made primarily of beans and rice) in the hot Ghanaian sun for over an hour.

screenshot 2019-01-26 at 14.44.27

Waakye (Source: Pinterest)

Yes, if I had not let the cute girls have my turn maybe I would have got it in 30 mins why did I do that, maybe because I didn’t want them to see me buy food with meat. Again that’s a different story. (My Ghanaian men will understand). But you get what I mean right. Somethings never can come between a man and his food. Not rain, not snow and damn not sun.



But in recent times, I have come to understand food in a whole different context. I call it ‘Food Tourism’. Essentially it has become a reason for me to travel around and experience new things foods.

Like Goulash in Budapest which has a striking resemblance to a Ghanaian light soup or a Nigerian pepper soup. Or Dumplings in Poland which oh-my-world are damn delicious. Not forgetting Indonesian Nasi Goreng and Bami Goreng. And in my quest to preserve these tasty secrets I have learnt, I find myself cooking more often and hosting dinner parties where my guest can get to sample.

My Cookbooks

My Cookbooks *so far

Truth is, food is much more than a nutritional requirement for your bodies, it is a language for communication, for brokering peace and cementing bonds and even a form of foreplay (Nothing better than some brownies to get your grove-on lol). The list goes on and on.

What??? How is food used to brokering peace?? easy, How do you think Breakfast- In-Bed was invented huh? If you mess up, for example, you forget to get her a birthday present and you realise Holy Molly it’s her birthday – Quick Fix: Make her breakfast in bed. It doesn’t even have to be fancy. A cup of coffee or tea (Whichever), toast, eggs, juice and if you are fortunate to have some flower sprinkle some petals there and VOILA. This should buy you some time to get the present on Amazon Prime or Alexa. If you don’t have flowers… well just pray your neighbours do.

Cementing Bonds, a classic example is the wedding cake. Plain and simple if there isn’t a cake it’s not a wedding.

For foreplay.. well, that’s something you have to figure out yourself. I will give you a tip though. Some fruits, honey, chocolates… if you don’t know where this is going then sorry can’t help you any further. (Shaking My Head)

This is the point where I get all philosophical about deep mental sh*t things about food but OH FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD, let’s just eat and enjoy the damn thing.

NB: Next time I write about food again I will to do the right thing and have the decency to leave a recipe at least.


Thanks for reading and a Happy New Year to you.



If you like watching series and you know it, please stomp your feet..


Lately, I have been missing something,

A habit. I found out something I was continuously doing, even while I was occupied with my thesis stuff.

Watching series and dramas but not movies. I’m not a huge fan of watching movies.


pic source:

I know I know, It generally has no differences, nonetheless, sitting down in the couch or laying down on the bed and.. watching.. whatever it is. But Idk, I find it uninteresting to watch movies alone contrary to series/dramas. Again, for me it’s not the same. I am more of a series person. lol.

Now, I don’t know what to watch, a good one, a watch worthy one.

I’ve watched one episode of the latest series ‘New Amsterdam’ and I think it’s pretty okay. I need more opinions, is it good enough?

Well, I’d love to watch any genre other than horror. lol. More with a political twist like ‘Scandal’ or criminal/mystery such as ‘NCIS’ or ‘Miami CSI’. Not forgeting to mention ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ -everybody’s fave, I think-

We could talk about those series later..

Well, please kindly share any ideas on which series I should watch.

Thank you!

p.s. I love watching korean drama too. That would be great if you know and share some. thanks!



One (lame) Joke


One fine day.

I watched youtube and there was a channel full of silly slash lame and dry jokes. In my local language.

I tried my best to translate into English and push my luck to try its funniness  to Benji.

Jude (J): Hey Ben, I have a joke. *I know, he is feeling weird somehow*

Benji (B): Okay

J: Why do the witches bring brooms?

B: So they can fly?

J: Nope.

B: Why then?

J: Because vacuum cleaner is too heavy. 😛

B: Oh ok. Nice try then…I am killing myself now. *Feel he just wasted his time*



image source:


I think I have no talent or luck in this trying.

Next conversation:

B: I think you need to practice more.

J: Oh ok.

B: Or I think you do better in your job as GIS Analyst..

J: I think so too, My job is more than fine for me instead of trying the lame joke.


No more jokes trying





Here I Go Again!


It’s been ages. I know right! 🙂



So much has happened since then. So many stories I could share. For instance, the dumplings in Poland, those delicious little treats or the chocolates in Switzerland. Or if you prefer something more exotic, I could tell you about the sky blue beaches in Bali where there are cooked banana and lots and lots of spicy Indomie or walk you through the streets of the German capital, Berlin. The city famous for its vibrant night life with people from all 7 corners of the world. How do I know there are seven corners??? Just take it like that.

— To be continued –

Hi, This is Jude! I am hijacking Ben’s ‘to be continued’ article. sstt..

We have been drowning in our reality – busy life. a classic excuse, bills don’t pay by themselves, do they?

It has been 7 months and counting, since we moved out from Stuttgart, Ben, to his new cave and I have returned to my home country. As Ben said in the beginning of this writing, a lot of things happened (I wish) I could share. Well, Ben had reminded and texted me uncountable times to publish something new. I know Ben *covering my face*

Speaking of 7 months, I have learned so many things that I thought I had already finished this ‘stay positive’ chapter of life lessons a long time ago simply because I am old enough. My positive affirmation had been fading away counting from the days before I left Stuttgart. I kept saying to Ben, we are going slowly to forget each other, I mean, not literally forget, but lets talk about the facts, “you and I will have different time zones, different rhythms, different environment, different works and for sure different lifes too”

and Ben said “that is why this blog is here”

I kept chanting, “We will have no chances to travel together again, or even worse, we would not have any chance to see each other again”. I mean that time, I would have had no idea how I am going to afford the ticket to Europe and get the Schengen visa without showing my number in my account. Yes, unfortunately my country is one of those countries from which you need a visa to go to Europe. smh! I was being a realistic person, tbh. How can I save the money in few months after I finished my study, For sure, I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth though.

and Ben said “how about stay positive and let us hope”

I don’t know how his mom raised him this well, but Benjamin surely is a positive man.

How I could say that, because the ‘lets hope’ was worked out well. We have met already for two times within 7 months. Just like that. Yes, no explanation at all and the most important thing, I didn’t have to show my account to get the visa to Europe. Yes, I was a lucky bitch who got a chance to see him and the autumn leaves again. My fave season for-e-vah.


I had forgotten how the power of positive affirmation could play an important role in our perspective to see things in our body and mind. This is incredibly and an amazing language which talks deeply to our minds unconsciously.

What he did tell me during those days (Well, I know he’s exhausted of telling that to me) don’t sweat small stuff that will distract your mind instead of hoping for the things you want continuously. Sometimes we wheeled the good days in Europe and thanked to each other we have made it.

“You are what you think” is completely true. Idk, who said that, but I believe google knows everything including who said that quote. lol.

The thought of ‘I am old enough’ may lead you to the thought ‘I know that well’. For me, I have found out it happens all the time. It makes me think that I know it all and because of that, I just act and respond because I know based on my perspective and knowledge as well. Shallow me, I know. But that is a different story I would tell later.

How about switching the engineer job for a motivator, Ben? 😛

p.s. I know, soon he will finish his meeting, he will find out this blog after it is published, he would remove my writing to another new article. hahaha. Tbh, I have no idea what he is going to write about, just found a notification in my email – as the back up email of this wordpress email- when I finished my Monday meeting. Just get the time and the mood. All is perfect for me.

or maybe I am thinking too much.