To commemorate my 2-year anniversary here, I’ve listed 101 things weird about living in Germany (from a Canadian’s perspective). They are in no special order, only as I came across them in my day-to-day life…
1. Paying for mayo and/or ketchup with your meal
2. Paying for a disposable fork with your meal
3. Sleeping with separate blankets in a double bed
4. Mattress split into two (someone always ends up in the hole)
5. Your pillow is an 80 x 80 cm giant square and you only get one
6. Dogs are allowed in restaurants and stores
7. Dogs are allowed off leash in public areas
8. In the afternoon you see Grannies eating giant bowls of ice cream alone
9. Cake and coffee is an acceptable lunch replacement
10. People love ice cream cones in all weather conditions
11. Opening windows on a hot bus/train or any public place could lead to rude stares or comments
12. Because fresh air is lethal and can give you bad neck pains
13. Na? Is a common greeting and you must reply back with Na? in the tone of how you feel.
14. You do not ask people how they are or they will tell you the truth.
15. You must introduce yourself and shake hands with everyone at a party/get-together. Not doing this will result in awkwardness.
16. Currywurst is a very popular dish with wieners mixed with ketchup and curry.
17. It is common to eat a dinner-sized meal for lunch and only a sandwich for dinner.
18. Walking around with a coffee from Starbucks isn’t cool
19. Grocery clerks sit and don’t bag your groceries
20. You have absolutely no time to bag your groceries and pay until the next person’s groceries are on top of yours.
21. Men are more publicly affectionate
22. You have to be able to take criticism and not be offended
23. Rules are rules – their way or the highway.
24. Germans usually keep their social life away from their work life
25. You don’t need a helmet to ride a bike (don’t worry Mom I still wear one)
26. You have to watch out that you don’t get hit by a bike when walking on the sidewalk
27. You have to pay for a public toilet (but they’re super clear)
28. You may have to pay for a toilet in a bar (don’t worry you can buy an all night toilet pass)
29. You probably won’t have a closet in your bedroom or much storage at all.
30. Beer is the same price as water at a restaurant
31. You will get rude looks if you ask for tap water
32. And they will probably bring you mineral water anyway and charge you for it!
33. You have to pay the rental agent commission when you find your apartment yourself
34. Germans are always prepared for the weather
35. It’s not acceptable to wear leggings as pants unless doing sports (unless your 15)
36. There will always be someone better dressed than you
37. Most lunch food comes in to-go “noodle box” boxes.
38. Doner is acceptable to eat at all times
39. French fries are called pommes
40. You can’t take a sip of your beverage until everyone has his or hers and you say ‚Prost!’
41. Don’t even think about taking a bite of your food until everyone has theirs
42. A Christmas market is an appropriate place to get drunk with friends
43. Going out in the weekend probably means you won’t be home until 5am-1pm
44. Capirinha is a very popular cocktail
45. Men aren’t afraid to get cocktails together
46. Men have more than one pair of shoes
47. Men probably dress better than you
48. The door key turns the other way to open than in Canada
49. They eat pizza and burgers with a knife and fork
50. They always use a knife and fork when eating (fork in left hand)
51. You’ll have to pay for your food at a restaurant even if it was gross and you didn’t eat it
52. The German language is fun to learn and doesn’t sound angry!
53. Your flat will most likely not have an elevator
54. White Converse are cool always
55. They open presents for Christmas on the 24th evening
56. If you have a statutory holiday on a weekend, too bad - you don’t get an extra holiday in the week
57. Don’t think about crossing the street at a red light
58. How dare you if there are children around
59. You can do a master for free as an international (many are in English)
60. Potatoes are not a breakfast food
61. Breakfast consists of a boiled egg, fresh buns, meat, cheese and Nutella
62. There are 9 grocery stores within a 1km radius from our place
63. There are over 6 bakeries in a 1km radius as well
64. There is a towel warmer in your bathroom (awesome in the winter)
65. There is always a soccer game to watch
66. At the hockey games, a liter of beer is 6 euro (8 cad)
67. Kale is not a cool trendy food, it’s only cooked with fat and wurst during the Christmas season
68. German TV can be very cheesy, but they love their game shows
69. Windows open from the top and not from the side
70. There is 6 versions of The (Der,die,das,den,dem,des)
71. I think even some Germans don’t get them right
72. The trains aren’t actually always on time
73. Healthcare is not actually free and is very expensive (from a Canadian view)
74. Mixed gender sauna and steam rooms.
75. Being naked just isn’t a big deal
76. You have to stare at each other in the eye while saying ‘cheers’ (Prost auf Deutsch), or it’s bad luck
77. Fleishsalat – sliced ham with mayo & pickles, common breakfast spread. More delicious than it sounds.
78. It is also popular to eat raw ground pork on bread in the morning (mett wurst)
79. They’re really good at recycling – bottles can be returned at all grocery stores for an easy cash refund
80. You’re not allowed to put your feet on other seats in front of you
81. On your birthday you have to bake your own cake
82. On your birthday you are expected to pay for the drinks
83. Woman’s cake baking skills are on par
84. They’re ridiculously on time, you better be ready.
85. Movies are all dubbed in German, yes James Bond does not have an English accent in Germany.
86. Popcorn is sweet at the movies theaters, butter popcorn does not exist
87. Water is always drunken with bubbles (at first you hate it and then you love it)
88. Men shave their armpits
89. Craft beer is just starting to become cool
90. Everything is closed on a Sunday
91. Sundays are dedicated for long walks and eating in restaurants/cafe’s
92. If you’re a man, single and turn 30 you must find a virgin to kiss, and you have to clean up a mess in front of city hall
93. If you’re a woman, single and turn 25 you receive old boxes (Because you’re an old box ;) )
94. You have to pay extra to have your hair blow dried at the salon
95. Mail comes on a Saturday
96. Credit card Is widely NOT accepted
97. If you don’t have cash you might as well starve
98. When you call a customer service line you have to pay per minute to get help
100. You can take cocktails to go, right from the bar
101. No matter how weird I think things are, they still accept my weirdness and me!