Are you an expat living in Germany or thinking of moving there anytime soon? Well, this might be your chance to discover 50 pleasant chapters about what it’s like to mingle with its people and really get to know the German mentality.
It’s a fun read with insightful expat advice and you will find yourself chuckling away while nodding wisely and thinking to yourself “IT’S SO TRUE!” I’d even recommend it to German expats living abroad – it may be a great Christmas present.
Here is how to be more German:
Fail at flirting
As an expat living in Germany you may have guessed that already, but has it been described so nicely and concisely before? Germans may stick to being direct and efficient even when it comes to flirting, and “Sorry, you’re too short!” may not be an unheard of an answer to a chat up line. Though, I wonder what chat up line triggered that response… 😉
Understand the German “Poker face” and their sense of fashion.
Sure, facial expressions and gestures are pretty scarce in German conversations, like in some Nordic countries. Actually, this is how I spot fellow Germans from a distance.
And if you’ve found yourself wondering about those Jack Wolfskin and Northface jackets, you’ll probably enjoy reading about the “Dress normcode”.
Be terrified of mould. And microwaves and drafts probably, too.
The book is digging deep into psychological layers of conditioning that I can’t deny I knowing about. I’m sure reading these chapters will take off some pressure half-German couples may go through when it comes to airing rooms, air conditioning or home cooking.
Reject patriotism, unless during major football events
Well done on this delicate topic! “Suffer Third Reich Fever” may give you an insight into how Germans grow up with a nation’s guilt on their shoulders that unwillingly makes them know more about freaking Hitler than their grandma. “Patriotism is, largely, verboten“ (prohibited), but every two years it’s ok to let it all out while watching international football matches.
Stay pessimistic and blame yourself for everything.
Ever wondered why Germans are said to be a rather serious bunch of people? Sure, history has had quite a few impacts over the last 100 years. Unfortunately there’s truth in these chapters that I least like about my German heritage. “The average German, coasting along on the Traumschiff (love boat) of their life, remains at all times – even times of total calm and prosperity – scanning the horizon for icebergs.”
The Bahn Purge and Kassekegeln
Have you queued politely to hop on a German bus or train to only realize that a rugby-like crowd is fighting its way inside?
Have you rudely been rushed to pack your shopping at the supermarket counter? Well, you’ll find compassion and amusement in these chapters.
And much more….
Don’t judge this book by its cover. It might not look too promising at first, but trust me it really is a fun read, for everyone. Even my mum got hooked! It takes you to a level further than the obvious cultural differences.
It’s the second book of the series, and both come in two languages, English and German – however I definitely preferred the English version! I guess British humour doesn’t translate across into German so well. It’s also available as an ebook.
Sure, there are some topics that you won’t relate to that much and I missed an index to read certain related chapters again, but I enjoyed reading it! I really liked that it’s touching on some more Eastern German habits like “Don’t go to Oktoberfest” or “Ostalgie-Kapitalismus-Konflikt” which by the way is probably the first compassionate approach on Ostalgie (Nostalgia of Eastern German products) I read so far. Well done!
Adam Fletcher is an English expat who has lived in Berlin and Leipzig and that’s obviously where my heart is. 😉 Check out his website howtobegerman.net .
Are you living in Germany? Please share your experience in the comments box below.