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100 Things I've Learned About Germans! - California Globetrotter

100 Things I’ve Learned About Germans (and the Bavarians!)

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I would like to clarify before you read this blog, that these are just my opinions and beliefs from my experience living in Germany. They are in no way to be taken as a prejudice against Germans as a whole. I know that Germans are more than just beer drinkers, bratwurst eaters and Lederhosen wearers.

1. Germans love a good rule. They have a strict adherence to following ALL rules and breaking these rules will definitely give you some serious looks of disapproval.

2. Many Germans like it when they see someone trying to speak German. But because they speak pretty good English, they’ll talk to you in English.

3. You might get a funny look if you order tap water (Leitungswasser). If you want free water, bring your own or pay 2€ for a SMALL bottle of water. I was once told if I wanted tap water, I needed to order a coffee and it came in a shot glass.

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4. Living in Germany means carrying change with you at all times in case you have to go to the restroom. Tipping the bathroom cleaners is not (always) obligatory, but recommended.

5. Germans loooove their “Feierabend” preferably with a beer!

6. German transportation is relatively always on time. Germans live by the rule, “Punctuality, Practicality, Planning”

7. Bavarians love to wear their Lederhosen and dirndls, mostly for special occasions, but also for whenever they feel like dressing up for special occasions and festivals.

8. Ask before taking someone’s picture if they’re wearing their traditional Tracht.

9. Germans have immaculate winter wardrobes, probably because it lasts forever before the sun finally shines again!

10. Germans are AMAZING drivers…except the crazy drivers out there.

11. They looove to say “Genau” every 10 minutes.

12. Being yelled at in German is downright TERRIFYING!!!

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13. They will bike no matter the weather: rain, snow or shine. And they make it look so easy! Probably because they’re given a bike to ride as soon as they start crawling!

14. All Germans want to go to Florida, New York and California. That’s it.

15. Beer festivals are all about the “Gemütlichtkeit

16. Bavarians do not like to be called German. They are from the “Kingdom of Bavaria”. Yes, I once had a student tell me this with a straight face even though we all know, Bavaria is one of 16 states in Germany.

17. They love to STARE. If they hear you speaking English or if you dress differently, they will STARE. I think they just don’t realize they are doing it.

18. Germans are terrible about waiting in line with a reasonable distance between you and them. They.just.can’t.manage.it. Even if I stand at a reasonable distance behind the person in front of me to give them privacy, someone will just cut right in thinking I’m just some person standing in the middle of the aisle.

19. Germans looove their meats! Mostly pork though! They eat a lot of schnitzel!

20. Germans rarely follow the rule “stand to the right, walk on the left” of escalators probably because they’re always in a hurry.

21. They are crazy good at organizing everything. Year, color, size, numeral…

22. Germans love American pop music and lots of music from the 90s.

23. Germans love their wurst!

24. They idolize the pig! Not just because of how delicious it is, but because it’s also considered lucky! “Schwein gehabt” means to have a stroke of luck!

25. Germans are efficient at EVERYTHING! They believe it getting things done right the first time!

26. At Christmas time, EVERYONE bakes Plätzchen (Christmas cookies) and then gives them as gifts. So basically you spend all weekend cooking, to give away the cookies only to get the same thing back from someone else.

27. They distrust air conditioning because 10 months out of the year they don’t need it.

28. They have the shortest working hours in the western world! No wonder shops are always on holiday!

29. They think you will catch a cold if you walk around your house barefoot. I guess I’m sick all year.

30. They become mildly suspicious if you turn down their offer for Hausschuhe for fear you might get sick with bare feet! Sicher?? (Are you sure!?)

31. Beer is a wheat. Therefore it is a food. Therefore it is perfectly healthy. End of story.

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32. Germans take their recycling VERY SERIOUSLY. They have a bin for everything: paper, plastic, brown glass, green glass, bio…

33. They love to play the game Mensch Ärger Dich Nicht which translates to something like “Don’t get mad” and its more like the game “SORRY”.

34. As soon as the first slightly warm spring day arrives, German flock outdoors to cafes and restaurants and sit in the sun, without taking off their massive winter jackets and scarves. I don’t know how they do it! I get all hot and flustered just looking at them!

35. Germans don’t pack away their winter jackets until the weather has reached a minimum of 25*C! And even then, you still might see some people prepared for snowmaggedon.

36. Anywhere at anytime in Bavaria, you can ALWAYS find a beer festival. Just follow the Bavarians in their Lederhosen and Dirndls. They will guide you.

37. Even if they have a car, they may not always use it because it’s just cheaper to go with the bus, bike or by walking.

38. Germans are very formal and will always address you with Herr or Frau and your last name , unless they specifically tell you it’s ok to call them by their first name.  It’s strange to be called “Frau Lolo” sometimes.

39. Quiet time is strictly enforced. There is no doing your laundry, vacuuming, blow drying your hair or hammer anything past 8pm.

40. Potato Salad is the most popular thing to be brought to a party. You may end up with 5 different variations.

41. Germans don’t like really sweet treats. They aren’t used to adding all that sugar that us Americans put into our cooking.

42. Many Germans will go grocery shopping with their own little cute baskets, some even have special bags specifically for their cold goods.

43. Everyone always carries an extra bag in case they need to go grocery shopping, otherwise you will have to pay for a plastic bag. I have even started doing this!

44. You will be stared at if you aren’t properly dressed for the right season. Once its between 50-60*F I feel that I no longer need my heavy winter jacket. But they still worry I will catch a cold.

45. Germans are very serious about looking in the eyes when Prosting otherwise you will bring them bad luck!

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46. They’re always prepared for the rain! Even in the middle of summer on a cloudless, blue sunny day because you never know when that 5-minute patch of rain will hit!

47. Germans are not big card giving people, therefore birthday cards etc are extremely expensive.

48. Germans don’t do road trips very well. Driving anywhere farther than 1-2 hours should be considered an overnight trip. Telling them we went on a 3-hour road trip one way, in one day is always exclaimed with a mildly shocked expression.

49. They love their bakeries and butchers! I do too!

50. They make terrible small talk and feel that if you can’t say something directly, don’t say it at all.

51. I see more sandals and socks worn together at the same time here more than any old retirement home

52. German banks are never open when you need them to be

53. Stores all strictly close at 8 or before 8 in Bavaria. It’s the law and it makes it difficult to shop if you work until 6, not home until 630 and dinner at 7. How people manage to shop I have no idea

54. Germany loves public holidays. Bavaria more than others.

55. Soccer or should I say, Football is a religion here. You must choose your team carefully!

56. Germans use a system of good faith on trains and buses. You may not always get checked for a ticket but they know you will always have one.

57. They’re super duper smart people!

58. They have a strange obsession with their privacy online and will create funny names to hide their identity such as Stef Ani, but they are perfectly willing to announce to the world on their work badge Frau or Herr Smith. I would rather people know my first name than my last name

59. Germans love to garden and can rent a little patch of earth so that they can garden in called “Schrebergarten”. No these are not a poor man’s shack.

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60. They make some of the best beer in the world but then do funny things to it by adding a cola to a Weizen, called a ColaWeizen or lemonade to a helles called a Radler

61. They loooove Spargel (asparagus) season! They even crown an Asparagus Queen every year!

62. They will always say hello and goodbye to anyone in a room whether or not they know that person.

63. They definitely loooove to drive fast on the autobahn.

64. Even if the bus is early it will sit at a distance waiting until the exact time even if the weather is pouring rain or hot. No exceptions.

65. Going for a beer on your lunch is perfectly acceptable. In fact, because it’s considered a food, you’re allowed to have 2 beers while on the clock!

66. Flipping drivers “the bird” is unacceptable here. If you flip someone off, they reserve the right to report you!

67. However, being fined for anything in Germany won’t cause you to break the bank. Most fines are pretty minimal at a whopping 30€.

68. They love to wear black, blue or grey. It’s like their in mourning or something.

69. They have good boot fashion.

70. Sandals will get you stared at if you wear them before it’s above 70*F.

71. They always carry an umbrella because you never know when the weather will change

72. They love to BBQ and lay out in the sun

73. German clubs generally don’t open until midnight and close when the sun rises

74. They love a good hearty breakfast but not heavy and full of sausage, eggs and cheese with potatoes. That’s considered a dinner to them

75. Germans hate jaywalking and refuse to cross when the light is still red. You will be given a dirty look of disapproval if you do.

76. German men generally don’t leer at beautiful women and they don’t whistle at women like they’re animals. Thank God!

77. Germans know how to drink better than anyone else

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78. Germans.LOVE.paperwork. They revel in it. Copy, print, sign, copy, print, sign.

79. And those who work in Government…don’t actually do ANYTHING. It’s like the every government office is perfectly interconnected. There’s no need to call the Auslandersamt for my paperwork when the Stadtesamt can just whip it up.

80. They love their beer so much that a law had to be made that says “one alcohol-free drink must be cheaper than beer”. Therefore, we have water.

81.They take their dogs with them EVERYWHERE!! Even in clothing stores, supermarkets, restaurants and buses. I’m a dog lover but this is too much.

82. They can eat a currywurst or a bratwurst anytime, anywhere, anyplace!

83. Everyone has their own favorite Döner Kebab shop

84. They take their Sundays very seriously as a day of rest.

85. Everyone carries a Taschentuch (tissues) because they think it’s rude to sit there and constantly sniffle. Get it over with already!

86. While they are certainly environmentally friendly, they are not entirely health conscious and many people smoke A LOT.

87.  Villages just a few miles apart have a completely different dialects, especially in Bavaria

88. They don’t understand the joy of dipping your chocolate candy bar into peanut butter and don’t know the joy of a Reese’s peanut butter cup!

89. They love American TV shows but dubbed over into German.

90. Germans enjoy a good Kaffee und Kuchen as often as possible. 

91. Aspirin might have been invented by a German, but they do not believe in filling their bodies up with medicine.

92. Eating ice cream during the winter is a no-no and many of the ice cream shops turn into a crepe shop during the long winter months

93.  A shot of Schnapps is insisted upon after dinner to help with digestion

94. It is perfectly acceptable to still be at university well into your late 20s, early 30s. There is no rush to finish.

95. Their love of sauerkraut is not to be exaggerated. They really do love their kraut! Blaukraut, rotkraut, krautsalat, …

96. They do not want to talk about WWII. They want to learn from it and leave it in the past and move on

97.  Nudity and sex are perfectly ok, violence not so much

98. They love their mountains and love to hike!

99. They keep work and play separate therefore, they don’t mingle with their coworkers outside of work. They do however enjoy spending lunch together.

100. They love to save and save and save their money but have a hard time spending it.

101. They hate it when you go against the flow of traffic at the supermarket. You might even hear a “tut, tut”.

102. Germans will always reach for your hand even if you feel that you’re beyond the formal hand shake, even if you’re family.

103. They will run away from you like the plague if you even try to congratulate them on their birthday before their birthday! It’s considered unlucky!

104. They have the most nerve-wrecking supermarket check out system in the world. If you haven’t packed all of your stuff back into your bag by the time the cashier is ready for payment, you’re holding up the line!

105. You haven’t been Germified until you drink an Apfelschorle every day.

106. Or any other mixed drink such as Spezi (coke/fanta).

107. You’ll never see a German throw away a bottle and if, for some god forsaken reason someone does, there will be someone right behind them picking up the bottle to cash in.

108. Their fashion and music is stuck in the 90s but with a modern twist

109. They are direct and to the point. There is no beating around the bush with Germans. Otherwise you’re just waiting their time.

110. Audi, BMW, Mercedes. Punkt.

111. They get so excited on New Years Eve to sit and watch the British slapstick movie from the 60s Dinner for One. No idea why.

112. Germans can open a beer bottle with ANYTHING. Ok, maybe not redneck crazy and using their teeth.

113. Everyone has a garden.

114. Filled with gnomes.

115. 95% of all sickness in Germany can be blamed on the weather. Anyone feel a “Föhnkrankheit” or a “Frühjahrsmüdigkeit” coming on??

116. They can usually offer you different colors or sizes in Hausschuhe

 117. They love to sunbathe. Until the point where they look like roasted chickens.

118. Germans are efficient light savers. They enjoy sitting in a room with the lights off to save electricity.

119. They love watching the Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men in dubbed over German.

120. They can’t handle super sweet deserts without getting a sugar rush

121. They love plain spongy cakes which go great with coffee or tea

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

More posts about living in Germany:

100 Interesting Facts About Germany

Strange Superstitions to be Taken Seriously!

Germany: The Good, The Bad & The Awesome!

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

8 thoughts on “100 Things I’ve Learned About Germans (and the Bavarians!)

  1. Yes – amazing post! German rap is terrible and I LOVE Spargel!!!🙂

  2. Very good article, but IMO, I disagree with a few things. Trains run late about 10% of the time, almost all trains outside of a city are fare-checked, people do stand on the right on escalators, and while the staring is hard to get used to, don’t consider it rude. That is cultural conditioning. To them, it is not rude, but normal. And there is actually good deutsch rap music. I’ve also not seen the cell phone phenomenon you mentioned, but don’t use your phone while driving, it’s illegal. tschuss!

  3. I’m german and I find it very entertaining to read this post😀
    Although some points are just not very true ^^

  4. Pingback: Top 8 Most Popular Posts from 2015 | California Globetrotter

  5. Pingback: An Expats Guide To Living In Germany | California Globetrotter

  6. Reblogged this on The Flensburg Files and commented:
    Here’s another installment of the series by the California Globetrotter on German Culture. I have to admit, when reading this, there were some items I didn’t know existed in Germany, despite having lived in the country since 1999. Have a look at the 100 things this guest columnist learned about Germany and feel free to add to the list…..

  7. Reblogged this on Ginge in Germany and commented:
    Very true!

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