We recently had the privilege of meeting a talented blogger; Robyn, who blogs at robynchristi.wordpress.com, moved from The UK to Germany and has written a blog post about the differences and similarities between the 2 countries, some things she has written might surprise you and your knowledge of German stereotypes.
When I say the word ‘Germany’ to you, what do you think? Something along the lines of Sauerkraut and lederhosen? Thought so. So after living in the land of Schnitzel and hard pronounce words for a year, I decided to unveil some facts on the those typical German stereotypes we’ve all come to know..
Stereotype: You can’t move for a sea of Sauerkraut
Mmm what doesn’t sound tasty about cabbage pickled in various lactic acids?! Haha one of the biggest ideas about Germany is that you can’t possible escape from this pickled veg, but surprisingly it’s rarely served in German restaurants and there aren’t even huge aisles dedicated to the holy fermented cabbage (sob sob). So Sadly this stereotype is rather false (although I do recommend sauerkraut, it’s just coleslaw without the Mayo!)
Stereotype: This is called a pretzel:
FALSE LIES ALL LIES! This ladies and gentlemen is called a Brezel! In fact if you ask for a pretzel you will be met with a confused look and, most likely, a bowl of these:
Stereotype: Germany is wildly efficient!
I have to kind of agree with this one, okay this may not be the most scientific piece of information you ever heard buuuuut there are builders constructing an apartment block near my house and they start work at 7am each day! Even on Saturdays! They start work early (a bit too early if you ask me but I am very lazy) and from what I can see is that they don’t faff around! Wake up, go to work and get home as soon as possible which is probably why Germans are said to work 265 hours less than the average Briton in a year. Not too bad.
Stereotype: Oktoberfest is just an excuse to get drunk!
When the Germans aren’t being efficient, they do like an opportunity to get dressed up and get rip roaringly drunk. The phrase ‘Rip roaringly drunk’ is not one I use often but apparently during Oktoberfest, Germans drink over a whopping (again not a word I use often except when in Burger King) 7 million litres of beer! All this beer, gingerbread hearts and dancing on tables sounds like a good night to me!
Stereotype: German people wear socks with sandals
Ah-ha okay I had to laugh at this one! But now I do have to say during my time in Germany I have only seen 2! Yes 2 incidents of socks and sandals, that’s probably less than I would have in England! In fact Germans tend to be quite a fashionable and well put together bunch, in fact Berlin was voted 7th in the fashion capital ratings! Not bad!
Stereotype: Germany has more beer than people
In Germany there is the idea that English people only drink warm beer, I’m not sure where this came from but I guess when Germany has over 4000 beers (deemed tastiest in the world) English beer could seem a little lacklustre.
Recycling: it’s a way of life.
Probably one of the craziest parts of adjusting to German life wasn’t surprisingly the language it was in fact recycling! When you’re a naive English recycler there seems to be hundreds of bins all for different materials, the mind just boggles! And to add insult, if you get mixed up between the confusing colour coded system and put the wrong material in the wrong bin then the bin men might refuse to take it! Sigh moving on the the better part of recycling in Germany: Pfand; This is basically a system where you recycle a bottle or tin you can get up to 25 cents back! That at least can go towards medical bills for recycling induced high blood pressure!
Till next time bunnies.