Friday, August 16, 2013

Typical German - How others see us.

John Madison made a great blog which has now turned into a book using a special German expression and translating it directly into his native language "Nichts für ungut" becomes "Nothing for ungood"

He tells about his life in Germany and special things you can only experience in Germany like "Der Zug"- the air draft, the fact that nearly all Germans speak a strange kind of Oxford English and why people here get crazy about asparagus. Quite ironic and well written, although not all people think so, have a look at the reviews on Amazon, some really think that this is another dumb American who doesn't understand the German way of life. - Oh well, sometimes a little bit of irony and sarcasm is just too much for the people.

There are many blogs describing life in Germany, one which isn't very positive about Germans anyway,
is this one:

Well, judge for yourself. I think, some of the points are right, but others seem to be a little bit too harsh and seem to be based just on one experience.
A great point is the mention of the lack of good customer service. There he has a very valid point. Maybe staying only in Germany, one might not think very much about it, because we have gotten used to service gradually worsening every year. But if you are outside the country, for example in North America, and see how much more improved service is there, it makes you even more angry, that this isn't the case here.
Especially in the supermarkets, I see a very large difference.
Let's not talk about the fact, that in America there are usually people who pack up your purchases and even bring it to the car - maybe in Germany that wouldn't work, because we like DIY..
But you are working for the supermarket yourself, without getting paid. You go to the fruit and vegetable department, where you pack, weigh and label and the machines where you put your empty glass bottles. Once it happened to me, that one of the bottles wasn't taken by the machine. So I brought it along with my purchases to the check-out telling them about it. They sent me another time to the machine to try again and then, after trying the fourth time and pushing it inside, the ticket didn't come out. Response of the lady at the register: I wasn't putting in the bottle in an appropriate way. This after hearing the story of my brother who had returned from the USA. He was in a supermarket and there were several items which hadn't been labeled with prices. So they got the whole purchase for free for the inconvenience. As he said, if it happened in Germany they sent you to the place of the product to look up the price for them.

Benny Lewis writes a blog about languages and has written a very interesting article about Germany.
One point he emphasizes, is the rudeness or maybe honesty of Germans towards strangers in certain aspects. He recommends not to ask certain opinions if you might expect a negative answer about your looks or have ultimately gained a lot of weight. At the same time he muses if this is really about rudeness or that people from other countries are too sensitive about certain matters. I remember having read a blog from a girl who had been to Germany and was surprised that mistakes in class tests are marked with a red pen. For us this is normal practice and I never had thought about this before.
In the same blog she mentioned that she was afraid of the operation she was going to have in the hospital. I absolutely could understand that but not the reason. I presumed that she was afraid for the risk or about the ability of the operating staff, but no. She had a problem with people seeing her only in a patient gown.
Benny Lewis also mentions German humor, or the lack of it. This will be a theme for another post. I would like to present some of the humorous German features, I like.

Have a look at the TOP 100 how Germans are by another blogger team who seem to be English.

And here is a Youtube Video about German stereotypes

Here is another nice and humorous page of advice.

As you see, some things always appear:
rudeness and/or honesty
insisting on being right
no jay-walking

well - what do you think, what has impressed you on your trip or stay in Germany?

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