Observations in Germany

Natalie Witham
Major: Advertising & Promotion
German Business and Culture, Germany
Summer I 2017

Since I  arrived in Germany, there have been many culture differences. From
the food, human gestures, the fashion, restaurant service and even the bathroom
experiences. Germany has two foods, bread and sausage. Of course there are other things
to eat but I am not sure if the Germans know about this.

They also have a meal that is called a pork knuckle but I would argue that it is possibly a human heart. My favorite German meal is the schnitzel, which is pork but tastes like a weird chicken.

 

Other than meals at a restaurant they have a very popular fast food joint, it is called Doner. This is where my fellow classmates have been spending a lot of their time. It is similar to Two Fellas besides when you ask someone what meat is inside they reply with, “don’t ask”. When people say that Germans are rude, they aren’t kidding, but they don’t explain, it is only in train stations. I have met a lot of very friendly Germans and enjoy talking with them.

The train station is a different story; it is every man for himself. As an American your best option is to stay low, have your elbows out and push your way through. Germans tend to talk at a lower volume than the Americans, which is nice because when I get lost from the group I can always find the Americans easily. One thing I love about Germany is their fashion. An interesting fact is that Germans tend to stay in the same outfit all day and students do not dress like slobs when attending class. Even though I am a typical roll out of bed and go to class kind of girl, it is nice to see classy people walking the halls. Restaurant service is very different here than our normal experience. You have to pay for water, they tend to give you about a sip’s worth and then charge you 2+ Euros. Then after you drink the water and have to use the restroom, they charge you for that as well. When going to the bathroom in Germany you need to always have coins on you so that you can pay the person who keeps the bathroom clean. To make up for the money you spend on water and the bathrooms, you save it by not having to tip the waiter. Compared to the United States, where we tip around 20% and they tip around 3% or less.

Everyday I am learning more and realizing all the little things that we do differently, as well as have in common. Before I left for Germany I did not think there would be as many differences because they have a similar culture and it is a first world country. Since I have arrived, I notice even the smallest culture differences and I am eager to keep learning and experiencing more.

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