Morgen!Today I propose you a funny post which was originally writted in French: That’s so German! It will be one year now that I am a long-term expatriate in Germany, and believe me, the transition wasn’t easy at the beginning. I know, I know, Germany, it’s really not so far from Belgium BUT I used to live in Portugal before (which, say clearly, at a pace of life more chill than the German one) and suddenly I had to say goodbye to my little siestas or dinners on the beach
Today I propose you a funny post which was originally writted in French: That’s so German! It will be one year now that I am a long-term expatriate in Germany, and believe me, the transition wasn’t easy at the beginning. I know, I know, Germany, it’s really not so far from Belgium BUT I used to live in Portugal before (which, say clearly, at a pace of life more chill than the German one) and suddenly I had to say goodbye to my little siestas or dinners on the beach 😭
In this post, I would like to share with you the little things that make Germany such a special country to live and make you discover some aspects of Germany you do not even suspect! With luck, some of those characteristics will make you laugh or make you crazy!
20 German habits
- Everyone -I really mean everyone- is addicted to sport and has a subscription to the fitness club (except me). After all, Sunday is the day of jogging (except for me).
- Half of my kitchen is filled with empty bottles (Pfand in German). Here the bottles and cans have a deposit and it pushes everyone to recycle. If you drink outside, don’t put your bottle in the trash but put it next to it: Someone will take it later. It is quite common to walk in the street and see people collect bottles in the trash (it’s weird when you come from Belgium where nobody cares).
- No, don’t cross at the red light on the traffic light. Wait nicely. Especially in Düsseldorf, it’s the best way to die.
- Take cash money on you, there is a lot of places which don’t accept the credit card; or only the EC-Kart (German payment card). In Portugal, it was quite the opposite, so I’m still struggling to adopt that attitude. (= Debt to all my friends … Sorry guys, I’m going to the ATM)
- « Apfelschorle is life » is probably the first thing my boyfriend told me when we met. Apfelschorle? It is an apple juice mixed with sparkling water, super refreshing in summer!
- There is a ray of sunshine for 5 minutes? We organize a barbecue in the park! Everyone brings sausages and cold beers. I even received a picnic basket kit from my German friends.
- I believe that Germany is the country with the most vegetarians and vegans.
- No one kisses on the cheek here (which is pretty common in Belgium)! When you meet someone, you first shake hands. If you become super buddies, you can do a hug. In fact, Germans are like teddy bears!
- Sausages are a BIG DEAL. There are various sauces and sausages, it is better to be careful when you do your shopping (personally, I always buy the wrong thing. If I’m lucky, it’s a good discovery, otherwise …)
- DM ❤️. You don’t know DM? Wait, I’m gonna write an article about it because it’s my favorite shop in Germany!
- The double beds are very small (except mine which is a King Size 👑) and each one has its own blanket (not in my house).
- Baguette? Not here. Rather take a cereal bread (which I call the bread of birds) or black bread.
- I hope you like football because it’s almost a religion here. Everyone has their favorite local team (BVB ❤️)
- Everyone buys online (Zalando, Amazon, …) so it happens pretty often that when you go to the post office, you have to wait a lot. People are taking packages or are sending back some orders.
- Price comparison websites are very important and widely used (my boyfriend spends his life there). The efficiency of the quality / price performance is very important! Go CHECK24!
- Take off your shoes when you go to visit someone! If this person is well-organized, they will surely have slippers for you (not with me, sorry, I forgot all the time). So, it often happens that there is some socks party; It’s pretty funny!
- The super long breakfast / brunch on weekends are sacred! (OK, this habit is nice)
- This is probably due to my social circle here (engineers/teachers in their thirties), but having a Master or PhD is really common. It’s not like in Belgium where when you have a certificate, it’s almost impossible to find a job because you are too expensive.
- You must be able to open a beer bottle with anything.
- I hope you like potatoes. Salzkartoffeln, Pellkartoffeln, Bratkartoffeln, Kartoffelbrei, Knödel, Pommes, Kroketten, Kartoffelgratin or Spätzle, they all exist!
Bonus: 3 German things absolutely WTF
- When you rent an apartment, you have to buy the kitchen (and/or electrical appliances that goes with it) from the previous tenant or you will have to place your own kitchen. The kitchen is not included in the price of your rent. So stupid, right? When I moved to Düsseldorf, we negotiated the purchase price of our kitchen with the tenant who was leaving the apartment because frankly, a kitchen costs a lot! Apparently, this « rule » tend to disappear but it still happens very often
- You have to pay a tax for the religion called Kirchensteuer (
because they don’t have enough money already…). It’s 9% of your salary! When I had to register in the register of the city, I had to notify my religion. If, like me, you are an atheist, this tax goes directly to the state.
- So, as I said before, I don’t have TV at home BUT I still have to pay a license fee called Rundfunkbeitrag! Before 2012 the price used to vary depending on the type and number of owned devices (radio, PC, TV) but since 2013, there is a flat rate per household of € 17.98 per month. At my parents (in Wallonia, Belgium), this fee is 100 €/year, so still cheaper than in Germany. But still… Why ?!
Did you enjoyed this post? Is it also strange to you or it’s just me? What would you think about a little post about Portuguese habits? I look forward to reading your comments and see you soon!