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    Post You've been in Germany too long when...



    After France, Italy and Belgium, let's tackle Germany.

    So you know that you've been in Germany far too long when :

    1. You start removing the label and staple on your tea bag because they have to respectively go into the paper and metal recycling bin.
    2. You get irrationally annoyed when the bus or train is over five minutes late.
    3. You have actually memorised the timetable for your local station or stop.
    4. You know fifteen different kinds of potatoes and know how each is eaten.
    5. You eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    6. You have no problem with public nudity and actually contemplate to go to a nudist beach this summer.
    7. You are not surprised to find porn magazines in supermarkets and petrol stations... next to children items.
    8. You state your family name when answering your phone.
    9. You have come to regard crossing the street when the little man is red as a serious offence.
    10. You check for signs in a public park to make sure it not prohibited to tread on the lawn.
    11. You don't mind sharing a table with strangers at a restaurant.
    12. You have a döner kebap in mind when you think of having a snack.
    13. You feel the need to underline everything with a ruler.
    14. You don‘t change the radio station when techno comes on, because you know it's on all the other stations too.
    15. You verify regularly that your watch and all the clocks in your house are on time (that is those that aren't radio controlled).
    16. You start referring to your friends or relatives with the word "the" in front of their name (e.g. Der Klaus, Die Laura).
    17. You shovel snow in front of your pavement at 5 am.
    18. You think it is normal behaviour to remind your neighbours to remove the weeds in their garden or to warn them that their children are not dressed warmly enough.
    19. You keep quiet at home between 9 pm and 8 am to avoid disturbing the neighbours.
    20. You have taught your dog to keep quiet during the rest hours to avoid getting fined.
    21. You can't imagine washing your car or mowing your lawn on Sundays.
    22. You wouldn't dream of asking your co-workers about their private lives. (How are your kids doing ? Where did you go on holiday ?)
    23. You buy a French or a Japanese car to stand out from everybody else (who drive German cars).
    24. You try to guess what city other cars come from based on their license plate. (HH ? Hansestadt Hamburg, of course !)
    25. You drink beer at the cinema.
    26. You don't cringe at having to eat a piece of meat with a thick layer of fat on it.
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    Oh my goodness, I`m completely guilty of 2,3,9,10,19,21 and 24 !

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    Oh, I am a native German, but from all these, "only" eight go for me. (1, 2, 3, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24)
    However, I can tell that quite some points really are true. My friends, my neighbours, etc. They all fit into this. But my friends and me, we surely don't care if the traffic light shows red for us or not. We cross the street anyway. (Or, for me, I'd just got next to the zebra crossing. xD)

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    ¿Will it be so?.... no wonder

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    Even though most of these points are clearly exaggerated, there is a certain kernel of truth in each one of it.
    However, point number 16
    You start referring to your friends or relatives with the word "the" in front of their name (e.g. Der Klaus, Die Laura).
    counts only for the high and middle German dialects. We don't place articles infront of names in Northern Germany.

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    This is so funny. Surely a few things exaggerated. But for example, last time i've been in Frankfurt, I looked around at the traffic light, there weren't any cars in the vicinity and I crossed the road at red. When I was approaching the other side, I glimpsed at people and I saw shear discontent and bewilderment in their eyes. At that moment I felt like a criminal. And three of us were the only ones to cross it while the rest of folks patiently waited for green. If only they had known, that in London you cross a road not when the light is green but when you can do it otherwise you might end up waiting till next day to cross it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    After France, Italy and Belgium, let's tackle Germany.

    So you know that you've been in Germany far too long when :

    1. You start removing the label and staple on your tea bag because they have to respectively go into the paper and metal recycling bin.
    2. You get irrationally annoyed when the bus or train is over five minutes late. Check
    3. You have actually memorised the timetable for your local station or stop. Check
    4. You know fifteen different kinds of potatoes and know how each is eaten.
    5. You eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check
    6. You have no problem with public nudity and actually contemplate to go to a nudist beach this summer. Check
    7. You are not surprised to find porn magazines in supermarkets and petrol stations... next to children items. Check
    8. You state your family name when answering your phone. Check
    9. You have come to regard crossing the street when the little man is red as a serious offence. Check
    10. You check for signs in a public park to make sure it not prohibited to tread on the lawn. Check
    11. You don't mind sharing a table with strangers at a restaurant. Check
    12. You have a döner kebap in mind when you think of having a snack. Check
    13. You feel the need to underline everything with a ruler. Check
    14. You don‘t change the radio station when techno comes on, because you know it's on all the other stations too.
    15. You verify regularly that your watch and all the clocks in your house are on time (that is those that aren't radio controlled). Check
    16. You start referring to your friends or relatives with the word "the" in front of their name (e.g. Der Klaus, Die Laura).
    17. You shovel snow in front of your pavement at 5 am. Check
    18. You think it is normal behaviour to remind your neighbours to remove the weeds in their garden or to warn them that their children are not dressed warmly enough. Check
    19. You keep quiet at home between 9 pm and 8 am to avoid disturbing the neighbours. Check
    20. You have taught your dog to keep quiet during the rest hours to avoid getting fined. Check
    21. You can't imagine washing your car or mowing your lawn on Sundays. Check
    22. You wouldn't dream of asking your co-workers about their private lives. (How are your kids doing ? Where did you go on holiday ?)
    23. You buy a French or a Japanese car to stand out from everybody else (who drive German cars).
    24. You try to guess what city other cars come from based on their license plate. (HH ? Hansestadt Hamburg, of course !)
    25. You drink beer at the cinema.
    26. You don't cringe at having to eat a piece of meat with a thick layer of fat on it. Check
    You can just copy this if you do a Finnish one.

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    Hahahahahahhahahaha...two months in Düsseldorf...and i recognize some points above all for driving...gosh...they are very disciplinate...nobody will take the red light...and even when you walk, there is no car around but nobody cross the road...they wait wisely...lollll...

    Same thing for the neighbour, i hear nobody lollllll, feeling that i live alone in this building...

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    I've never understood number 18. Why do people frown upon washing your car on a Sunday?

    Also, how long do you have to work with someone before you can ask them where they're going on holiday or if they had a good time, or how their spouse and children are doing? This one seems very different even from an American perspective. It's sort of pro-forma good manners even if the questioner really has no interest in the answer. :)


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    Canadians generally think that Americans ask too many personal questions and share too much (often far too much) information about their personal lives. And I know that some Asians are even more reserved than we are when it comes to talking about home and family, and perhaps Germans are the same way. Perhaps Germans simply consider it inappropriate to ask questions that people may not wish to answer. I realize that many Americans seem to see nothing wrong with telling people who they only see at work that they've been "born again in Jesus", or that their son got expelled from school or that they think their spouse may be cheating on them (or all three things in the same sentence), but in many parts of the world anything along those lines would be considered a really inappropriate conversation.

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    Who the hell "suspects" that their spouse is cheating? When you FIND out; it's OUT the door and good riddance as far as I'm concerned lol.

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    If your spouse cheats on you, they don't quite respect you. So I suggest you stop thinking about him/her immediately, show them the door, and move on to better things. Don't negotiate, don't "oh but why?"; just turn around and walk away from it all, then and there, and never look back on it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John123 View Post
    If your spouse cheats on you, they don't quite respect you. So I suggest you stop thinking about him/her immediately, show them the door, and move on to better things. Don't negotiate, don't "oh but why?"; just turn around and walk away from it all, then and there, and never look back on it again.
    I was talking about actual conversations I've had with Americans when visiting the U.S. for work related reasons, to show the difference between things they think are appropriate to talk about with co-workers and visiting strangers, as compared to things that Germans consider appropriate to talk about with co-workers. I don't see your views on that subject as being relating to the thread. My post had to do with point #22 and Angela's question about it. I was simply making the point that the American willingness to share a lot of personal details with other people isn't a universal norm.

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    Ok; very cool.

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    Here in Canada you can talk about your family or plans for the weekend or whatever with co-workers as long as you don't really say anything meaningful, but asking leading questions is usually frowned on. I think the Brits are fairly similar. But it sounds as if in Germany one keeps one's family life and job as two completely separate spheres, although that presumably wouldn't be the case in small family owned businesses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Canadians generally think that Americans ask too many personal questions and share too much (often far too much) information about their personal lives. And I know that some Asians are even more reserved than we are when it comes to talking about home and family, and perhaps Germans are the same way. Perhaps Germans simply consider it inappropriate to ask questions that people may not wish to answer. I realize that many Americans seem to see nothing wrong with telling people who they only see at work that they've been "born again in Jesus", or that their son got expelled from school or that they think their spouse may be cheating on them (or all three things in the same sentence), but in many parts of the world anything along those lines would be considered a really inappropriate conversation.
    Goodness, Aberdeen, I was thinking about something more along the lines of...

    "Jack...how nice to see you...it's been too long...How are Grace and the kids?" To which the usual answer is "Fine, thanks." whether or not things are actually fine.

    Or, "Jack... heard you went to Bermuda. I've always wanted to go. I bet it was great!" And then you try to make a quick exit before they bring out the pictures!

    And here I always thought that I projected such a sympathetic aura, and yet I can't ever remember a casual acquaintance in the first situation blurting out..."Terrible. We're getting a divorce because I caught her in bed with Tom, and now I'm living in a one room efficiency, my daughter's in therapy, and my son got arrested for dealing."

    The problem is usually the opposite...it's the need to share with you how very wonderful everything is in their lives. You know, or maybe you don't...the printed letter that used to get slipped into every Christmas card. "Just wanted to fill you in on some family news...I just opened my fifth store, Julie got promoted to partner, little Amanda and Chris are both thriving in the School for the Gifted, and we just got back from a ski trip to Colorado. You really should go...it's a whole different experience from what you get there!"

    (To be fair, this practice was so parodied that it thankfully disappeared. Talk about too much sharing...I must be a terrible person,because I think I'd rather hear the tale of woe!)

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    My view may be biased in that it's based on my interactions with a certain segment of the American population, in the U.S. southeast, and they may be more interested in discussing their personal lives than other Americans, because of some cultural difference from the rest of the country. Perhaps people on the Atlantic seaboard or in California would be more likely to talk in generalities, as Canadians tend to do, or maybe use work situations as a chance to boast about one's family (which we tend to avoid doing). But I gather that Germans don't do such things, based on the wording of item #22 in that list. Although it says they don't ask, not that they don't discuss, so they may not be so different from Canadians. We do talk about such things, but not in a meaningful way with people who are only work colleagues and we don't usually ask snoopy questions.

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    Here in Canada I've seen people talk about families and vacations with co-workers in a lightweight fashion; it's not really like you're revealing anything special, unless you say something stupid (because it will be used against you :). The Germans I've met are more reserved, it looks like they're thinking: "why the f... do you care about my personal life?!", which upon inspection I really don't. I guess the be-nice-to-everybody small talk culture is a tradition from the puritanical rural religious communities.

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    I don't think "over-sharing" can be attached to one geographical region in the U.S. I'm guessing it would be more linked to socio-economic status. I've noticed the very wealthy seem to be the most private overall... probably because they have the most to hide! :)

    Also, folks that take anti-depressants can be REALLY open about their lives. Especially if they've recently started taking pills haven't dialed into the proper dosage yet.

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    for me always nice in Germany (Brelin, hamburg), and I like how he drives and their roads.
    The German are very homey every time and very correct.
    With Spanishes it most interesting people of Europe behind the French are.

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    germany is a boring place

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanDerrek View Post
    germany is a boring place
    You are wrong. Or as I see - from other culture. So You should first visit Greece or Italy. Germans like order and quiet.

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    After living in Germany for a while I can agree with all of the above!

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    Let's see: 1,2,3,6, 8,9,11,12,15,19,24,25! OMG I was there for just 3 months!

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    Another one:

    When you don't know half of your colleagues' first names.

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