Posts Tagged ‘IDgermany’

The Stressed Expressions of Germans



A German footballer carrying the national expression...

A German footballer carrying the national expression…

Germans are not a cold, stone-faced people. They just like to make you think that. If you can fend off intimidation and get past that gruff, stoic exterior, you’re likely to find a warm-hearted, friendly person inside.

When I first started spending time here, I’ll never forget my friend’s exact quote about her kinfolk: “Germans mostly have a stressed expression on their face. That’s what gives us a hard time when we go on vacation and meet people who really enjoy life; we have to come back and get used to the ‘unfriendliness’ again.”

Of course she didn’t mean unfriendly, just the outward shell that people here seem pre-wired to carry with them. Being stoic and shortspoken doesn’t mean one doesn’t enjoy life, and given the consumption habits of the typical German, I’d venture to say that most people here actually enjoy it quite a lot. Just don’t go walking around with a big grin on your face if you hope to fit in…

Beer and Sausage, and Beer…and Sausage…and Sausage, and Beer


If you’re hungry or thirsty in Germany, well, you don’t have much of a choice. You drink beer. You eat sausage. And that’s just how it is.

Sure, German cuisine has started to become adventurous with the influx of immigrants—particularly evident in the prevalence of currywurst and doner kebab shops—but this is a national diet that has and always will be built firmly on the staples: beer and sausage.

The average German gulps down 116 liters (or 31 gallons) of beer every year, and consumes more than 60 pounds (27 kilos) of sausage. While there are 1500 varieties of sausage produced in Germany (who would have guessed there were so many different ways to put meat in a thin casing?), the heavy hitters here include wurstchen, or tiny cocktail-like sausages often used as snacks or appetizers, and bratwurst, a heartier meal staple. Salami cold cuts are also huge here, often as a part of breakfast.

On the beverage side of things, Germans are masters of the craft of brewing. The home of a huge variety of beers—alt, bock, dunkel, kölsch, lager, malzbier, pils and weizenbier—it is no surprise that beer is often cheaper than water here. It’s perfectly normal to see some brands of beer sold in supermarkets for just a few cents a bottle.

So eat well and drink heartily while you’re here—just make sure you learn to like sausage and beer.

Beer at 39 cents a bottle

Beer at 39 cents a bottle

Types of sausage on the menu

Types of sausage on the menu

A "fancy" dinner

A “fancy” dinner








The Complicated Art of Disposal


Germans are earth-conscious. They recycle…a lot. And that’s good. What’s not so good, however, is the process of figuring out exactly how to abide by the strict recycling guidelines if you aren’t from here.

Being one of the world’s pioneers in recycling, Germans have it down to a science—evident in the many colors of bins you’ll see for recycling throughout any city you walk through. One for plastic, one for metal, one for tin, one for a different kind of plastic, one for green-tinted glass, one for yellow-brown tinted glass, one for clear glass, one for paper, one for…it can be quite a confusing ordeal. And with the army of recycling men running around collecting and managing these things, not to mention the “observant” locals not-so-subtly shaking their head at your ignorance as you make your bin selection, quite an intimidating one too!

Make sure you know what goes where...

Make sure you know what goes where…

And don't let the size intimidate you!

And don’t let the size intimidate you!

And that’s just at the park. Let’s not forget the refund machines in many supermarkets that collect certain types of glass bottles for some money back. You have to look for a particular logo on your bottle, and if it’s not there, no matter how much all the glass may seem alike, you won’t get your 50 cents for it. But more importantly, you’ll draw the ire of the people lined up behind you, who just lugged 10 kilos worth of bottles to the store to walk away with their euros!

Try to navigate the instructions...

Try to navigate the instructions…’


Put the bottle in...

Put the bottle in…

And collect your cash!

And collect your cash!

I’m glad the Germans are this way—we should all learn from their example. But perhaps a tutorial on the flight over would make life a little easier for all of us :).

Even their clothes donation bins can be intimidating!

Even their clothes donation bins can be intimidating!