What is the most German thing ever?
Shashank Goyal, lives in Germany
My observations as an expat working in Germany -
- Passion for precision:
- Most glasses used for beer, water, wine come with a marking to measure the liquid intake
- Drinking 0.18 liter of water instead of 0.2 liter would be… chaotic
- Efficient waste segregation and recycling:
- Many countries apply regulations for separating organic waste, electronic waste, metal, glass
- In Germany, you go a step beyond and also separate green glass from brown glass from white glass
- Trust and Honor system:
- In many places, people can self-pluck flowers or strawberries and self-pay into an unattended cash box
- In many other countries, people may leave without paying. In some countries, someone may steal the cash box too
- Fast Trains, Fast Automobiles, Fast journeys:
- In Germany, you can literally start from “Kissing” and end up in “Wedding” in about five and half hours
- Even with a couple of “additional milestones” on the way to Wedding (like the ones shown below), one can make it from Kissing to Wedding in approximately 9 hours
- Passion for precision:
- The fact that at this point, most German readers are thinking -
oWhy are there five points in this answer, when the question required only one
oWhy is the point about “precision” repeated?
- Yes – that’s the level of “passion for precision” in Germany – the most German thing ever !
Adwit Sharma, 6 years of travelling to 20 countries.
My wife and I were on the S8 train to the Münchener Flughafen for our flight back home after a 20 Day vacation in Germany and Austria.
The first German thing that struck me that the kind gentleman, Mr. Klaus, we were staying with in his AirBnB, forced us to leave at 8 AM for a 11 30 AM flight. He was almost offended when I said its too early.
In Germany, it's never too early.
The second “Only in Germany” moment came when the train reached Unterföhring and all of us heard 5 sickening Gunshots. There was 1 gunshot and then there were 4. It took the whole train full of people a few seconds to realize that those were Gunshots! And at one moment, the WHOLE train drooped to the floor and tucked their heads in.
In one unified moment, no one dropped to the floor sooner neither later.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46530.html 译者：Joyceliu
And then there was silence.
Punctuated rarely by faint sobs, utter and complete Silence.
A few minutes later, I along with many others peeped out of the window to see a man lying down in small pool of blood and the Polizei running to the floor above us.
In a matter of 7 minutes, the next German thing happened where 10 Cops manned the train doors and everyone emptied the train in a matter of seconds.
We climbed 1 floor above the station exit and saw almost 50 Polizei Cars and a Helicopter in the Air.
And then it happened!!
All the cellphones of all the people beeped in unison. A text message from the Federal Government stating “Not a terrorist attack. Stay Calm. The accused has been captured.”(Was in German, I couldn’t take a screenshot.)
So up until now, the Germans have had 7 minutes in which 2 people die, Suspect is shot in the leg and captured, 50 Police cars have shown up, close to 200–300 people have evacuated a train and the Government has informed everyone in the city!
It was not over yet for the stranded tourists/business fliers though.
The police started combing the area and the locals had started booking Uber for the ride to the airport. The tourists were slow to realize this and soon Uber Cabs turned to ‘nicht verfügbar’(not available).
Panic started building up and then the most strikingly German thing to me happened. People in the area came out of their houses with their cars and offered everyone free rides to the Airport. 100s of Cars came rushing in and started clearing the area off worried travellers.
As you can see I took some pictures, I missed a whole wave of good Samaritans while doing so. I looked back on the road and I see 95% of the people gone. My wife by now, got a grip on the situation and realized that the flight is in 90 minutes.
I asked a bystander, how far is the Airport from here and can we walk it down?
He laughed first. Then said “It's 27 KMs from here, my friend. If you have your flight in 5 Hours and 37 minutes, Yes you can walk it up.”
I said “No, its in 87 minutes now. And my wife is fuming at me there.”
He immediately said “I am waiting for my colleague to pick me up. You can come with us, we will drop you to the airport!”
The colleague arrived and we jumped into the back of the car. She drove in the Most German way possible : DISCIPLINED and FAST.
We made small talk and I offered money in return of the favour, when we are about to reach the airport, and they vehemently refused. He said “Nie. Niemals”(Never. Never Ever.)
They dropped us to the airport and we exchanged contact details. They were getting late for work, so couldn’t get a picture.
In the next 10 minutes, I got the below mail from him
Hope You got your flight and you are safe back home.
Don’t mix this last impressions from Munich with the overall experience in Europe.
It’s a Beautiful and good Country.
What is patriotism you ask? This image is your answer.
Finally, we got our boarding cards and called the AirBnB gentleman Mr. Klaus just to inform him that we are safe. And he said the most German thing my wife has ever heard
“I told you to leave early. Didn’t I?”
Charu Pathni, Not a German. But definitely adapted.
“You’re such a German now”.
After hearing this for n number of times now, I guess it’s time to write what I have actually adapted that makes my friends and acquaintances think that I am such a German now.
- Preferring beer over other alcoholic drinks…?
- Preferring fresh bakery products rather than supermarket breads.
- Looking for origin of products and buying what seems to be better for the farmers (for example).
- Enjoying schlager but mostly during festive season.
- Being at least 10–15 minutes early before appointed time, even if it’s informal meeting.
- Complaining profusely when public transport is running late even by couple of minutes (because that’s going to make me late, obviously).
- Taking my time to understand people before considering them my real friends (didn’t happen before).
- Knowing and admitting that German is indeed a hard language but at the same time enjoying the beauty of the language (secretly).
- Getting annoyed with some words like ‘Affe!’, ’Idioten!’, if some driver is not really giving way on the left lane and going at a super slow speed on autobahn.
- Enjoying Wurst/Würste of all kinds at any time of the day.
- Discussing politics but being politically correct, making sure no sensitive topics are touched.
- Being straightforward about my opinion, if asked. Rather than beating around the bush.
- Knowing that Sunday is for cleaning and making sure no loud sounds disturb my neighbors.
- Adding every single tiny detail (termin) to my calendar. And also, checking it before making some more appointment. It’s better to check now than cancel later right?
- Getting annoyed if someone doesn’t throw the waste in right boxes.
- Planning and organizing at least 4 weeks in advance, especially if it involves other people too.
- Being so happy and excited to see the sun (which does happen seldom)
- In general complaining about things if it isn't right (even a bit).
- Absolutely enjoy the nature during weekends and not leave any opportunity to go wandering if the weather is right!
- Turning into a mini dragon every time I accidentally eat spicy food! (And this is probably not that normal, considering I am an Indian by birth).
- Not really interfering with anyone’s business if I am not really connected with it.
- Enjoying potatoes in every form possible, every chance possible.
- Finally, not saying anything in a conversation until and unless I am absolutely sure about it!
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Some of these things were instilled in me because of my father, who is from an Army background and I grew up with some ethics that HAD to be followed.
Some I picked up from some of my closest friends and family here in Germany.
I worked in northern Germany for a little while in a small grocery store. As a cashier I had to type in the price of all the items (no scanners) and total the bill at the end. If a customer thought I made a mistake they would confront me in an angry manner demanding that I fix it. They would do this regardless of how long the line was or how little the amount in question was.
Once I started working on the solution the force of mood would still be there, but less angry. Whether there was or (often) was not a mistake the customer would instantly regain their good mood and go on their way once it was resolved.
As an American I was thrown by this for a week or two because I thought they were so angry that nothing would calm them down. After a while I realized they weren't angry, just extremely concerned that something was out of order and that all they wanted was a return to order. I actually grew to appreciate it once I realized that even if I was in the wrong they were going to behave well.
This grocery store often had lines 50 people long, and I never once heard a peep from anyone in line showing impatience that they had to wait for me to clear up the problem. They were all willing to wait to make sure things were done correctly.
Bobby Kasala, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
My wife and I visited Berlin for the first time in July 2017. We stayed in Alt Moabit Hotel Abion. On our first day, we just relaxed and slept early, but I was up early the following morning, around 4 a.m., because I was still adjusting with the time (we flew from Winnipeg to Toronto to Berlin).
The restaurant in the hotel was still closed, so I just walked out and had a cigarette and hoping I could find a convenience store where I could buy a cup of coffee, but no luck. I saw a taxi (a Benz, which is commonly used as taxi here) which just dropped off a guest to the hotel, and I approached the driver to ask where I can buy coffee. In his broken English, he gave directions to a convenience store which is about a 15-minute walk. I thanked him and started walking. After a few minutes, the taxi driver followed me and offered to drive me to the convenience store -- for free! So I got in and he even had to drive around because of the one-way street. I thanked him a lot for this kind gesture to a total stranger.
That changed my prejudiced stereotype impression of how Germans are -- that they are not friendly. The opposite is true.