For all of you who don’t know, “Nein” means “No”.
There are a lot of different cultures everywhere and you always have to remember that people on the other side of the earth might have other habits than you do.
Today I am all about Germans and their let’s say “special features”.
There are simply a couple of things that you don’t do in Germany, if you don’t want to get everyones attention or be regarded as completely rude and disrespectful. But don’t be scared, we’re not THAT bad.
- DON’T touch people!
We’re slightly more difficult than our neighbors in the south when it comes to socializing ( but super easy-going compared to our neighbors in the north!).
When you meet Germans don’t just touch them or come too close while talking. We’re not used to that and we’re completely overwhelmed when random people touch our shoulders after we just said “hi”. We need our PERSONAL SPACE!
- Respect our ENVIRONMENT!
We Germans are super clean and you can expect to be publicly slaughtered when you throw your garbage on the street when there’s a garbage can right next to you.
We like stuff to be clean and tidy-and we’re not ashamed of telling people what they’re doing to the environment by leaving plastic bags in the park or something like that. Also we RE-use things. We take plastic bags from home when we’re going to the super market and we’re perfectionists when it comes to what to recycle and what not. Also we’re always looking for ways to save more water and energy . So you better turn off that tab when you don’t use it!
- Take your shoes off, wash your hands!
When you are invited to someones home, you take off your shoes before entering the house. We would actually never tell you to do that if you don’t want to, but it’s a question of respect and of course hygiene. We don’t need to have all the stuff that you walked through with your shoes in our living room!
And we wash our hands before we eat. Though we use forks and knives and don’t eat with the hands, it’s just very important to be clean.
- BIKES are good!
I have to admit that I am annoyed by cyclists sometimes-okay most of the times, because I am one if the black sheep and I drive my car. When I ride my bike, I tell everyone about it for like half a year.
But Germans in general protect those who ride bikes (which is half of the country). It’s a sign of being sporty and caring about the environment, so we have a loooooot of bike lanes and they’re meant for bikes, NOT for you to walk on it. So keep on walking on the pavements that are actually for pedestrians and give cyclists everything they want.
- BE QUIET!
When you’re in the bus or in the underground don’t turn on your music so loud that everyone can hear it. Also Germans are not interested in your personal life, so talk inside voice instead of sharing your story with the whole train. At least when you’re not interested in getting some evil stares from everybody else.
Is so super important for Germans that I actually keep repeating it. We don’t share every detail or our private life on Facebook. We don’t just give private information like phone number to anyone, just like that. We don’t talk on the phone for hours when we’re on the train or the bus.
We try to protect our privacy wherever we can. So of course taking pictures of people just like that is a NO-GO. Don’t ever do that. You may ask them if that’s okay, but we get really mad when you do it without asking. Taking pictures of random people or filming situations is a thing we don’t do here.
- Stick to the PLAN!
In Germany we have almost everything organized. So there’s one bike lane for going up the hill and another one for going down the hill. (Just an example) . So what you don’t do, is doing however you feel like. Stick to the plan. We have signs everywhere for everything, explaining how things work, so we are more efficient. If you want to save some time, just roll with it.
- Be DIRECT!
We are pretty efficient. Which is sometimes a nicer way to say that we can be rude. But the point is, we don’t do shows in Germany. When we enter a shop there is no one pretending to be interested in how we feel. When you have to say something, then say it. We don’t need a big show with lights and glitter, we just want to hear your point.
- SOCCER is different.
When it comes to soccer, the whole country works differently. We drive literally crazy. We get loud, we get excited, we can get totally out of controle and we’re super super proud of our football team. Which is special, because usually we Germans are proud of not being proud and of being very self-reflective.
I hope you liked this post. Although I have to admit it doesn’t sound like that, the Germans are lovely and it’s fun to have them around. We’re not as scary as you might think, and not as cold-hearted as it might seem. How is it in your country? Or what experiences have you made? I’d love to hear about things that one shouldn’t do around your place.
Lots of love from Germany!