What I Know About Germans
Posted on September 18, 2010
Below is the original post. It has since been updated and republished. Find the full list HERE.
Here are some things about Germany and its inhabitants I have noticed … *+
* this knowledge has been gleaned from watching people who inhabit a particular city in the North Rhine-Westphalia area of Germany. I, of course, am loathe to attempt to fit every German into this, albeit expansive, list.
+ as new observations are made, the list will grow.
- Germans are tall
- They enjoy dairy products (I suspect this has something to do with their height). They will put a cheese sauce with most things.
- The global perception of the presence and consumption of Sauerkraut on behalf of the Germans, is not exaggerated
- They have excellent winter wardrobes (I suspect this has something to do with the fact it’s what this Australian would classify as Winter 10 months of the year)
- They are punctual
- Their babies are particularly beautiful
- They are very good bike riders – nay, they are exceptional bike riders. They manage to look elegant whilst freewheeling down cobbled streets, pashminas blowing out behind them. They are also highly adept at riding with umbrellas.
- Germans can eat. And drink. A lot. Regularly.
- They love meat. In all its incarnations
- They are good at mostly anything they do. Or, if they’re not, they try hard and become good at it. Because …
- Germans are thorough. They work extremely hard. This is why …
- They are the strongest economy in Europe and are expected to experience the largest economic growth of the union in 2010
- They speak English better than most English people I know
- They have unexpectedly wicked senses of humour. David Hasselhoff, anyone …
- … a man they continue to embrace
- They love a good boot
- And they never scuff them. Even when bike-riding in the rain.
- They do not suffer fools gladly (thus only put up with drunk Australians and Americans during Oktoberfest because we’ll pay hideous amounts of money for hideous amounts of beer)
- They are extremely hospitable
- They seem to enjoy Westlife
- Germans simply do not understand thongs/flip flops/jandals as viable footwear. Even when it’s warm and sunny. And a boot is impractical, or too warm for the feet to be comfortable. They will stare, bewildered, at thonged feet and quietly wonder if the wearer is mad.
- They love a large, mind-bogglingly well stocked hardware store (with a bratwurst stand out the front). Perhaps because they quietly live by the mantra, if you want something done well, do it yourself … and we all know Germans do things well. Therefore they must be permanently well equipped to do things themselves.
- Germans lose their shit when the sun comes out and act in a manner I can only describe as suspicious. They flock to outdoor cafes and tip their faces to the sun … but remain in boots and jeans with a pashmina close by. Even when it’s 25 degrees. Even when it’s obvious the weather isn’t going to turn. Because …
- Germans are always prepared for the rain.
- They are very fair people and largely adhere to regulations that exist to keep things fair.
- They don’t appreciate the use of the rude finger when driving. If you give it to a fellow driver, that driver reserves the right to report you and your licence plate and you will get a fine. (This is why my driving career in Germany may never get off the ground).
- German clubs routinely remind the world of the universality of 90s pop.
- They love the breakfast meal.
- They enjoy a darker bread.
- They believe the Australian postal system to be a touch more relaxed than it should be. This belief may possibly stretch to cover other Australian institutions and ways of life.
- In the same vein of their love for enormous hardware stores, Germans favour a mesmerisingly large Ikea … complete with an upstairs restaurant, a downstairs cafe and the all important hotdog/bratwurst stand. Because …
- Germans can always enjoy a hotdog/bratwurst, no matter the time, no matter the place.
- Germans don’t tend to jay-walk.
- They are refreshingly comfortable with nudity.
- Germans are candid people.
- German men don’t tend to leer. On the two occasions I have been winked/beeped at, I suspect the leerers weren’t, in actual fact, German.
- It is far too easy to buy biscuits and cake in German supermarkets because, collectively, German people have a very sweet tooth.
- Germans love a good rule. And they reap the benefits of a rule-abiding society.
- Germans can drink. And not just write themselves off, vomit in the bath tub at 2am, wedge in a kebab and back it up the following night, a la American/English/Australian binge drinkers … I mean drink. While the rest of the world is vomiting in the bath tub, the Germans are calmly ingesting their 57th shot and washing it down with a beer, their cheeks a little rosy, their eyes a little glazed, but their livers working as smoothly as a German made automobile.
- This is because Germans start drinking young. They are allowed to drink ‘soft alcohol’ at 16 (so clearly start drinking it much earlier) and ‘hard alcohol’ at 18. By the time we’re all losing our shit with the Breezers, the Germans are enjoying a much more tempered relationship with alcohol … and the benefits of a much more match-fit liver.
- They don’t necessarily say it to you face, at the time ... but Germans don’t like it when you go against the tide in the supermarket.
- Or get on the bus through the wrong door. This they will say to your face, using a microphone and an unimpressed tone.
- If there was a study done on countries and how well they dance in a club/bar situation … Germany probably wouldn’t be in the top ten for general skill. But would they would absolutely ace the enthusiasm component.
- Germans struggle enormously with the concept of ‘naked feet’ – as an Australian, my feet are always naked and therefore oft-commented upon.
- Germans, Muensteranians in particular, are always exceptionally well groomed.
- They embrace one hit wonders like no other country.
- Germans are not afraid to whip out the smoke machine on the dance floor.
- They are not ones to make small talk at the supermarket check-out. Or in general, really. Sure, they’ll talk if you talk to them, but they’re not great Small Talk Instigators.
- Germans enjoy frozen vegetables.