So you’re probably either thinking, at last!
Or, what the darn diddly?
I cannot under-estimate how much I love living in Germany.
I mean, I shout about it loud enough and it was just four (4) years ago that I introduced myself to you on this blog, when I wrote a cheeky article which most people didn’t seem to get. And the title? Germany is Boring.
Ah well, either way, it’s going to be interesting.
I mean, what is the big deal?
I’ll tell you what the big deal is my good man.
It’s the fact that Germany.
Otherwise known as Deutschland!
Some people might think that by coming to Berlin or Munich for a lost weekend, they know everything they need to know about the German people.
Not so my friends.
It’s a little more complicated than that, so I’m going to help you!
Just so that you know what mean, here’s a 2004 MTV commercial called Günther, otherwise known as Mum, Dad, I’m German…
It’s totally ridiculous but absolutely hilarious, and very tongue-in-cheek. Watch the video below!
1. LOOK THE PART AND WEAR SANDALS AND CLOGS. INDOORS!
When I first came to Germany, I was amazed at the number of men who wore sandals.
Why people? Why?
The last time I wore leather sandals was when I was a school girl, and they were a sensible pair of Clarks!
However, in order to be as German as the next person, I wear Birkenstocks at home. With socks!
I even wore Birkenstocks at my wedding!
But without socks!
And in my defence, I had been wearing killer high heels all day which I had changed three (3) times!
2. HAVE LUNCH FOR BREAKFAST!
During the week, a typical German breakfast is a bun known as a brötchen. It’s usually covered with cold cuts and cheese with mustard, and a variety of other sauces.
At the weekend, it’s a feast!
Many German families, including my own, would queue for hours in order to get the freshest amount of bread straight from the bakery. And yes, many people still go to the bakery!
In fact, just five (5) minutes from my home is the family-owned and oldest bakery in Berlin – Bäckerei Siebert – and is still going strong after 111 years!
Then they arrange their tables so that there’s a wide variety of cold cuts, sausages, cheese, seafood, eggs, fruit, and a wide assortment of bread!
The first time, I had breakfast with my German family, it was such a mish-mash of food that halfway through the meal, I left the table and was sick in the bathroom! It was too much you see, so get ready to gird your loins, as there’s no escaping!
All hail the almighty S!
The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage, so if you want to be a German, learn how to like it!
Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.
I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.
The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.
My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst. The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.
Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun.
It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!
If you’re vegan or a vegetarian however, you’re done for!
I’m happy to say that Germany is the leading country as far as going green is concerned, and they’ve been doing it for years!
I remember when I first came to Germany, and I casually put a piece of paper into the dustbin, my German boyfriend at the time, literally freaked out.
It was the wrong dustbin!
Germans have a dustbin for everything.
There’s a dustbin for paper.
A dustbin for plastic.
A dustbin for glass.
A dustbin for metal.
A dustbin for organic stuff.
A dustbin for dog poo.
A charity bin for clothes with a different compartment for shoes. Of course.
There’s even a dustbin for batteries!
And every supermarket will encourage you to leave your cardboards boxes and plastic packaging behind, if you so wish.
Oh, and most people have recycling bags that they take with them for shopping.
And don’t think you can sneak your large items into the backyard, as the dustbin men won’t take them, and you’ll be charge for “littering!”
We even have our own organic compost “bin” in the garden!
If you want to be a German keep your rubbish, and take it home!
If you want to be a German, if your appointment is at 09:00, make sure you arrive there on the dot, or better still, a few minutes before. However, if you arrive twenty (20) seconds later, you’re late!
Mind you, don’t be like the strange fellow that I invited to a Christmas dinner party I was organising. He arrived at 17:00, and the invitation was for 20:00!
I sent him away!
6. SMALL TALK ISN’T A THING!
I live in Germany.
I have quite a knack for small talk.
Most Germans haven’t.
They don’t seems to understand what I mean by “small” talk. They think we British people are trying to evade the subject.
Germans believe in speaking plainly and clearly, about what is on their minds!
I once had some random stranger who stopped me on the street, and told me that he didn’t like my hair style!
See. Plain and true. No beating around the bush here!
Oh, and talking about the private issue of how much you earn, could get you fired!
If you want to be a German, forget about it.
Let it go!
It’s against the law!
7. LONG CONVERSATIONS!
If you want to be a German, learn the art of a long conversation and long meetings. There’s no need to say something in one (1) minute, that could better be said in ten (10)!
What’s the hurry?
Don’t make your mind up too quickly.
Sleep on it.
Discuss it a bit more over lunch, and a few pints of beer.
Then let’s talk about it again next week!
For the laymen among you, that means paperwork and certification!
If you want to settle into German life, and you don’t have any certificates, you won’t get very far. After all, how would they know that you’ve “done it,” if they can’t record it, and file it away somewhere!
Germany is a high-technology country, but as far as paperwork and bureaucracy is concerned, it might as well be back in the Dark Ages!
So bring along document A, as well as three copies of document B, signed by the Head of Department, who gave you document C, then send them all by post with a verified stamp, and document D!
And don’t smile!
9. OKTOBERFEST AND DRINKING BEER!
Ha! If there’s one other thing that Germans do well, it’s drink beer!
Beer in Germany isn’t a joke.
And neither is Oktoberfest!
Some people would have you believe that Oktoberfest is only known in Bavaria.
And that the Bavarians aren’t really Germans!
But it isn’t true.
And I should know ‘cos I’m more German than the Germans. So there!
And for goodness sake. Whatever you do, please don’t order water at the bar.
10. BE INFORMED ABOUT GERMAN HISTORY!
Learning how to be a German is lots of fun, but if you want to be a real German, you’ll have to know and understand your history.
All of the history. Including the horrible bits.
That’s it for now.
Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!
See you next week!
This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions are my very own!
I have so much to share with you.
In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!
October & November is going to be thrilling!
Watch this space!
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