On 7th May 2012, warm winds greeted us as we stepped out of Frankfurt International Airport. We had left Oxford in the morning to start all over in Frankfurt with Daniel’s new job. In a twinkle of an eye, it has been exactly 22 months since we settled in the city. Time flies, doesn’t it? During my time here, I’ve made some observations of the Germans. What I’ve observed may not necessarily be entirely true and definitely cannot be used to apply to every single German person, so do take anything I write here with a pinch of salt.
2. They are TALL. Daniel is slightly above average (185cm or more, 6 foot 1) but he’s nothing compared to some of the really tall ones here. Women included.
3. They are practical – just check their winter wardrobe. It’s all Jack Wolfskin. Which idiotic person wears ballerina flats and mini-skirts in winter? My German friend says not keeping our bellies warm can cause UTI (urinary tract infection). Any take on this?
4. They are punctual to the second.
5. Germans are carnivores! Some are vegetarians (duh…) but generally, they do love their traditional, hearty, meaty meals.
6. Everything is shut on Sundays and the expats complain about the inconvenience it causes. However, Germans love their Sundays. A proper relaxing, errand-free day.
7. Totally comfortable with nudity. Just check out their saunas.
8. They are thrifty, hence Lidl and Aldi exist in this country.
9. Unfortunately, they cannot queue. The concept doesn’t seem to exist in their genetic make up.
10. They love their scented candles. I tried having a couple at home and I stopped lighting them after 2 nights.
11. Football is huge here. Avoid the taking the trains after a match. Half the train will be packed with happy fans and the other half, sore losers. Both groups will be equally drunk though.
12. A sandwich is a huge slab of big, fat meat slapped between a small, dry bread roll. Have it with ketchup and/or mustard.
13. Banks and some pharmacies decide that the best time to have lunch is when everyone else who needs their services is also on a lunch break. No lunch roster whatsoever. Everyone goes together at the same time.
14. Water needs to be sparkling or extra sparkling. Always get the “you’re strange” look when I ask for still water. There’s even sparkling tea!
15. Germans don’t beat about the bush. They don’t like something, they’ll voice it in your face.
16. They love locking you into contracts – phone contracts, gym contracts, childcare contracts, piano lessons contracts etc. Requires hell a lot of luck to find a service you can get yourself out off easily.
17. Germans love Carnival more than Halloween.
18. Germans who smoke do not hesitate to smoke anywhere and everywhere (apart from indoor places which prohibit it). The “Non-smoking area” signs on train platforms are utterly useless.
19. They love their cafes, cakes and coffee. Who wouldn’t?
20. Unlike most people, they have an exceptional ability to laugh at themselves. And I love them for this.