Expat Observations: An American Among Germans

Expat Observations: An American Among Germans


It’s been two years since I moved to the land of lederhosen and schnitzel from Austin, Texas.  In no certain order, below are my observations….  


 – Germany has an equivalent to the Mason-Dixon Line, and dialects change accordingly

– Germans have an aversion to small talk (which works for me, mostly)

– Germans are concerned about current political events in the US 

– Germans don’t all wear Birkenstocks (or lederhosen & dirndls)

– Germans are highly embarrassed when proven wrong (so much so, I don’t bother – unless provoked)

– Germans appreciate America’s contribution to music and movies

– Germans like rules (unless at the bakery or market, then it’s free for all)

– Germans thrive on fresh bread, daily

– Germans don’t look at their phones while dining out

– Germans like to eat out, which is why reservations are a must

– German men over 50 are often seen wearing red pants (random, but true)

– Germans only laugh loudly if libations are involved

– Germans wear wrist watches

– Germans speak English, very well (although they say otherwise)

– Germans only make cookies during the Christmas season

– Germans are cautious of curiosity

– German couples hold hands, young and seasoned

– Germans aren’t afraid to stare (I’m guilty of this, hence all the observations!)

– Germans get most excited by three states in the US: New York, Texas and California

– Germans are never late (except for their trains, this has been disappointing)

– Germans can’t imagine a vacation less than two weeks

– Germans don’t offer bottomless cups of coffee

– Germans love Mallorca

– Germans like to eat ice cream cones

– Germans don’t brag

– German fashion is conservative *Exception – red pants mentioned above*

– Germans drive hatchbacks (rare to see sedans on the autobahn)

– Germans respect their B’s, butchers and bakers

– Germans struggle to accept (and give) compliments

– Germans use handled wicker baskets and reusable bags for grocery shopping (No plastic)

– Germans don’t put their feet up on empty seats while riding public transportation

– Germans read paperbacks and newspapers (and have wonderful book stores)

And if a German happens to read this, please share how an American expat can be a better guest while living in your country.




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