There were just too many German behaviors to keep to one post, so here are a few more things to watch out for when you’re in the land of kraut and potatoes.
[Side note: none of these are meant to be taken negatively. I actually do most of these things now as well, and have come to realize how crucial they are to keeping Germany, well, like Germany. If I didn’t love Germany, I wouldn’t be here. These things stressed me out when I arrived, but now I write this and laugh.]
It doesn’t matter if you are going to the mountains for an hour or a week, if you are with Germans, they will pack enough for a month. When I would go to the mountains with my family, they would pack water (bubbling and still), cut-up vegetables (peppers, cucumber, carrots and kohlrabi), salamis (4 packs), meat pretzels, first aid kit, back-up first aid kit, extra shoes for the kids, swim suits (in case we find an undiscovered lake), etc…
This was the same if we went to the mountains or to another town to do a walking tour or the zoo. Don’t get me wrong, we used most of the stuff and I found out quickly that the kids need snacks to occupy themselves, but I remember growing up in Tennessee, going hiking and bringing nothing but flip-flops and a snickers bar. This new way of life really stressed me out. I like going on hikes, but I’m not too keen on packing for 3 hours for it.
Giving unsolicited advice:
Ever tell someone your problems and just want them to hear you and not help? Well, don’t try that here. In Germany, they hear a problem and immediately think of solutions. You’re having problems with your boss, sit down, they will grab their phone and start constructing a strongly worded email for you discussing why you are unsatisfied with your company. Want to go back to school, but don’t know what to study? In a mere 5 min, they will have a pros and cons list of all of your options and maybe even a venn diagram if you’re lucky.
I have this fear that I am breaking the rules and no one is telling me. That I’m making the same mistake over and over and everyone is just too polite to let me know. So, years go by before i find out that “well, actually you’re supposed to walk here and stand here..”. WHY!? JUST TELL ME!
Well, I have accidentally found my dream home, becuase Germans don’t do that to you. If you do something wrong, you will be corrected the first time (like with the dog in my previous post). You don’t know if you’re allowed to put your feet on the train bench? Try it. If there is an Oma within eye-shot of you, you’ll get a whack to the leg and a good talking-to and you never make that mistake again.
If no one says anything then you are doing it right and that gives me comfort, but might make a stranger here a little uneasy. This might be how the Germans got the stereotype of being mean or rude, but to me ( a completely oblivious person), the stern directness comforts me.
I haven’t been hit in weeks 🙂 have I been accepted into the fold now?
Thank you for reading! If I left anything out,please let me know. If you are German or especially from Munich, please let me know if I got anything wrong or need to add more “German behaviors” 🙂