The Stressed Expressions of Germans
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…