How To Avoid Getting Scolded By A German?

That’s easy. Practice very aggressive social distancing. You know. Like, move to France?

Scold

Have you ever walked on the bicycle lane? Put a refundable bottle into a regular bin? Asked a bus driver how much the ride costs? In Germany, these beginners’ mistakes might earn you a good scold. Here’s how to avoid it…

“The point is not whether they are right or not, it’s that anyone here thinks they’re allowed to educate you.”

German Oddity 177. Germany is what you might call a correcting culture. It is not uncommon for perfect strangers to publically reprimand you here if you do not abide by what is considered the societal norm. Newcomers are usually shocked when discovering that others have no qualms about telling you that you’re doing something wrong, as if you were a small child. If they don’t tell you outright there will at least be a display of disapproving headshaking.

Ho-hum, They Found Another Bomb In The Neighborhood

German Oddity 15. Germany is a place where huge underground bombs are routinely unearthed all around the country and this barely even makes second page news. In fact, most Germans directly affected are more annoyed about it than anything else. They grudgingly leave their homes until the bomb crews have disarmed or detonated the damned things. Over 5,000 bombs are found in Germany every year.

Bomb

1,100-pound US bomb from WWII defused in Germany after mass evacuation.

Verzögerte Räumung, schnelle Entschärfung.

Can I Have My False Pleasantries Back?

German facial expression of the day: Staring.

Stare

Oddity 34. You know you are in Germany when you regularly find yourself being stared at for no clearly discernible reason. I don’t know if Germans necessarily like to stare but they sure do it a lot.  A nice term a friend of mine prefers using is “unfiltered curiosity” but it’s staring all the same.

But it’s a wonderful trait: Firstly, you know the person is listening intently (they really are); secondly, since it’s very difficult to look someone in the eyes and speak coherently and come up with pleasant little white lies, the false pleasantries vanish and the conversation becomes honest and true – leading toward a final deep dive into the other’s soul.