24 shocks you need to get used to when you move to Germany
Germany is exceptionally stereotyped as regards of lifestyle and cultural habits of its native folks. German are often called rude, cold blooded, preciseness-maniacs, insensible, blue-workaholics, fanatics and sometimes even racists and over.
Well, let’s take a look of what we truly must expect to happen to any person when moving in Germany.
You will be impressed by some truths about German people, German food, German culture, German thinking, apart from being too laborious and neat humans.
1. “Eye-contacting” is a common introductory nonverbal language
We all do have a cliché on Germans being hard-hearted folks who do not socialize readily and we don’t want to put a blame on you for it!
Well, the truth is that when in Germany you realize people actually meet new folks at bars, trains, busses, trams and the most fortuitous side of it is…. being overly flirty! Germans can be eye-contact players, as they want to know you from your eyes…so when you like to have a closer communication with a German then you should definitely try eye contacting first. I am not definite but Germans must be big fans of the famous quote “Eyes are a mirror of one’s soul”
2. You will ponder that drinking alcohol during lunch is “genial”
Drinking in public in Germany is a non-prohibited thing. German laws agree for people to drink almost in all public spaces. As an international you get your eyes used of seeing people parading across the road and enjoying their beer and boozing around routinely. Well Germans consider beer as a food portion, not as a drink. They believe that if you drink two beers is equal to having a lunch portion.
You get to frequently see people drinking during their lunch time too! Hooray!… accompany a German friend by having a glass of beer also! But forget not to stare in the eye your German buddy when clinking your beer glasses, as Germans do actually presume that if not doing that can bring a paired bad luck!
3. You will get used to “thanks” when meaning “no”
The odd thing you have to agree while in Germany, will be native folks responding with “Thanks” when you offer them something to drink or eat. A “Thanks” would not be such an issue if it did not mean a “No”! So basically in German a “Thanks” will be a NO! Though they will return a “Please” when they want to tell “Yes”.
Try to remember! Switch your “yes” and “no” with “please” and “thanks”!
4. You will get a different perception of a “quite day”
Perhaps you would never guess it but when in Germany you will abandon shopping on Sundays. Likewise, as Sunday is named “Ruhetag” meaning “Quite Day” you will be incapable to even make noises in your home, as neighbors will be nagged about it. This is a big detriment if you ever about to consider putting in order your veranda on Sunday!
Never get it wrong but during Sundays there will be none opened grocery store, very rare public transportation available and fairly few cafe bars open to customers.
A good side of it is that during Sundays you can spend more time with your family/friends, watching movies, reading or sightseeing interesting places in Germany!
Be positive, you definitely have the perfect situation for yoga practice!
5. You will get used carrying a bag to a grocery store
Especially for smaller grocery stores in Germany, you will need to take your own bag to carry things you buy! Even if the store offers you a plastic bag, this it will be charged on you! Germans usually have their canvas bags taking with them when going to purchase daily goods.
Getting an universal outlook, it is noble thing to become part of the mission of abandoning plastic bags, being aware on their destructing ecological impact!
6. You will be anxious when leaving the window open
Germans have some window-open-phobia of its kind. Odd thing huh! They are confident that fresh air coming from an opened window harms health and causes neck and back pain.
Do not get stunned if a neighbor warns you for the negative sites of not-closing your window! Even the doctor in Germany might diagnose you with a pain caused by an opened window.
Who knows! After a while you will be worried if leaving your window and door opened yourself.
7. You will certainly not send an early birthday wish
Creating friendships with German natives, you will absolutely need sensing that wishing a birthday before the exact birthday date is seen as a kind of bringing a bad luck to the birthday person. Can totally thwart and offend the person, if giving an early birthday wish!
Make sure you do not rush before saying “Happy birthday”! Even that we might get your enthusiasm for being kind, we are questionable if your German friend ever will!
8. You will drop the idea of driving your bicycle when boozed
Dismiss the idea of ever driving while being boozed in Germany! Rules in Germany are terrifically strict when it comes to driving hazardously, even if pedaling a bicycle. Again, once caught by German authorities pedaling with a blood alcohol level 1.6 or more, you will be called-off from your driving license and in some cases you might be required to undergo MPA (Medical psychological assessment – ger. MPU – Medizinisch-Psychologische Untersuchung). Failing on MPA test includes your driving license being revoked.
Here is a piece of counsel, get a taxi to your home after having a fun beer time!
9. You will learn to super speed-up the checkout when in superstore
When in Germany you will realize people being very speedy on their checkout at the grocery store. Definitely you will get that awkward feeling of someone being in rush and passing that to all the people in line. Oops…there are barely no lines in German stores! Checkout operator is a very fast one, scanning products pronto and there is a hurriedly process of paying and packing too.
If seeing some tensed gazing eyes after you, that means you are slowing down the checkout line! Germans are in flurry at a grocery store, so we advise being fast on placing products in the checkout board!
10. You will grasp that playing with pillows can lead to an assault charge
You might yell after hearing this…but is factual! Pillows are considered “passive weapons” by the law in Germany. In any circumstances consider not an interesting option playing with pillows, as if someone being hurt the authorities might charge of assaulting.
Ignore what we just said and eliminate the idea of taking-out pillows from their regular use! Sleep well!
11. You might get a restraint for playing piano at night
Cruel news if being a musician in Germany or a passionate piano player! Germans are captivated by peace and tranquility and at night hours you might get criticized by neighbors for playing piano or any other clamorous instrument. Straightly said, it is at times even forbidden by law to make noises at night hours.
Make sure you play piano during day time!
12. You learn to be punctual
Germans are fussy and strict humans! They consider being punctual as a sign of respect. If you are ever to be late for a meeting or date, make sure properly apologize and avoid happening over again. Forget not that Germans typically are too early than too late. They even make it into a party earlier!
13. You will identify that Germans are straight forward
Germans are modest conversers. They tent to orientate their talk straight to the point. Not being fan of over-discussion, they want to put the opinion clearly and quick. Sometimes you get the feeling they know only “two colored” conversation, frequently using “yes” and “no” for an answer. Indeed, we did not wanted to bring it here but occasionally they can be the absolute conversation stoppers. I guess Germans are good at “Kiss” – keeping it short and simply!
Do not get discouraged if you are trying to get an in-depth opinion by a German, as you might never get one!
14. You will acknowledge that Germans do not open themselves easy
You wished having a German best friend! Nod, Germans are tough people when chatting about themselves, their finances, their lives. They have a mania of faintly talking avoiding their discussion to their emotions, needs or losses. However, they can be very curios people about others perspectives and experiences so don’t be surprised being questioned on private issues.
15. You don’t see a big family in Germany
Is rare in Germany to see big families. According to a study made by Robert Bosch Foundation German man are scared of having families and many children. Not a surprise that the average birth per women in Germany is 1.37.
Don’t presume for a German to get adapted to the fact that you have a brother and 3 sisters let’s say!
16. You will start eating more dark bread
You will get used to the fact that bread in Germany isn’t solely a food, but a traditional principle. As such in Germany there is an extensive assortment of rolls, regular and mini breads. Well, so far so good!
But there is a piquant and distinguishing aspect about it! Germans widely use the dark bread over the white. You will get amazed how much German traditional tasty dark bread is on the market and tables, crunchy outside and fluffy and dense by inside…and so appetizing. And surely! If one needs it, white bread such as baguette or ciabatta is kept into stores too!
At any case, the reason for reducing white flour usage is its lack of fibers, proteins and vitamins that dark one has it!
Ponder as a luck having German bread on your table each day! Enjoy it!
17. It is better to fart then to burp in Germany
This is a very sticky culture but it is true. People do not get annoyed if someone farts, let’s say while eating. Being comfortable if someone burp instead is normal!
Here is a piece of advice, make sure you burp in toilets when accompanied by a German!
18. You well get the apt meaning of work smart not hard
In Germany you will truly discern the meaning of working “smart” and “effectively”. Germans like to work and they love giving all their potential. They want to finish their task once and in the best way possible.
I wouldn’t be surprised if “productive” working hours are originated by Germans!
19. Looking for a good German joke is a mission impossible
You will learn that German humor is very rare. Germans are rated as lees funny people in the world. Some say that understanding German humor properly, one should have local language and culture comprehension. We are not sure if it is inappropriate English translation or lack of German cultural knowledge, but however the humor is very poor.
Fine, even the fact of being the worst country when it comes to humor, it is not comical at all!
The good news is that instead Germans are authors of popular proverbs.
20. You will attend biggest Beer Festival in the World “Oktoberfest”
You will not miss a world biggest beer festival “Oktoberfest” held in Munich and “Wiesn” by locals, with a 204 years of tradition. The festival is held in September and it doesn’t relate with the name October.
The festival is a world attraction gathering millions of local and international people! People can drink beers, socialize, visit places, get dressed traditionally and much more!
21. If you are a man you will get used with urinate sitting
This goes only for men…as Germans don’t like men standing up while urinating as its sprinkles the place around. They even have a criticizing term “sitzpinklers” used for people who pee while standing up.
Unless you want to provoke a German, don’t urinate standing up at their homes!
22. You will believe that nudity is normal
Surely you will get surprised by the fact that Germans are comfortable with public nudity, especially for the West Germany. It’s likely for a coworker or a friend to ask you for a nude swim at a beach, at pool, hot bath or sauna, do not take it in a wrong way!
The nudity is a sign of liberty for Germans….it is so unique fact for sure! Make sure you don’t mix nudity with the sexuality, as Germans don’t!
23. You will party hard
Parties are a bomb! There are many opened bars and clubs where parties last till 5 to 7 am in the morning. Public transportation is available all the time and laws allow bars and clubs to remain open during midnight.
There are assorted beers, wines and other alcoholic and cocktails you can chose.
24.You will not wear high heels daily
This one goes for girls…even that you might have several pairs of high heels, you possibly will not need most of them in Germany. Well that is a “practical” reason for that! Walking in Germany is discomforted, as you will encounter lots of stairs and cobblestones! Sure, girls wear high heels on special work meetings or parties, but not in any case in a regular day!
After a while you will get used of taking your flat shoes for a walk!