Germans, among other Europeans, are famous as a very hardworking and practical nation. If ten years ago, many imagined the typical German as a tourist with sunblock on his nose and sandals with socks, what would a typical German look like today?
In order not to be an aborigine against the background of respectable Bürgers, I advise you to pay attention to the following points, which are very important for those who want to become a real German.
1. Be proud of your frugality
Sparen, sparen, sparen! The Germans are terribly economical! “50% Rabatt auf alles”, “Alles muss raus!” – and the German’s body automatically moves in the direction of the discounts. To save some euros here, half a cent there is not just a lifestyle, but a whole art.
If you want to become a real German, learn to save. Every supermarket has discounted shelves and a line of cheap products. For example, you can buy Milka or Ritter Sport chocolates, or you can save money by choosing Edeka’s branded chocolate “Gut und günstig” instead. You can buy jeans from the new collection for 80 euros, or you can wait for the sale and buy at a 50% discount.
A special point of savings is utility costs. Don’t waste water, don’t turn on the heating in the kitchen (why? – because the air will heat up from the stove), turn off the heating in the bedroom at night (why is it at night? – because you sleep under a warm blanket), and during the day keep the room at pleasantly cool temperature, just right in order not to completely freeze in thick woolen socks and a sweater. If the room is too warm, the brain works worse! Each increase in temperature by half a degree increases the consumption of heat energy five times!
Therefore, in Germany, we save money together and do not sit with open windows and hot batteries! Sparen!
2. Business planning and “Termine”
It is a common fact that Germans do not like unplanned surprises and unforeseen circumstances. Any important event is planned in advance and recorded in the diary – “Terminkalender“. Many Germans have such appointment calendars scheduled for several years ahead.
The word “Termin” is probably the next most common word after the word “sparen”. You go to the doctor – be kind, make a “Termin” in advance. To the hairdresser – make a “Termin”. Meeting friends on Friday – ein Moment, I have to look in the Terminkalender. Ah nein, I already have an appointment on Friday night! In this case, the same trip to the hairdresser can be an important term. But if something is already planned, then another appointment will have to be postponed for another day – the Germans do not like to rush, everything should be thorough and in due time. If the bus arrives a couple of minutes later, the average German starts panicking at the bus stop. If you had to hurry up and tighten up – that’s it, kaput, stress, stress!
3. Be competent
What German is not proud of his doctoral title? Of course if he is not the notorious politician Gutenberg. The prefixes “doctor”, “professor” before the name and surname are very important for Germans. They indicate a particular level of competence, and being competent is the responsibility of every German!
If you ask how to get to the nearest supermarket, you as a foreigner will be explained in detail for about 10 minutes, and they will repeat it more than once. And in the end, it may turn out that the supermarket was in the opposite direction, but a German showing himself incompetent is much worse than sending an Auslander in the wrong direction. “Beraten” is the main trend in the German professional and personal life. Everyone has their own personal “Berater” (or personal consultant, assistant) on taxes, legal issues, healthy eating…
Are you going to the store to buy new shoes – dürfte ich Sie gerne beraten? And they start telling you for half an hour with a clever look on their faces about new trends, materials, styles, curls… If you don’t know which specialty to choose at the university, please, lass dich beraten. Is your relationship with your loved one deadlocked? – Lass dich beraten…
4. Riding a bike
By the way, about bicycles. Both young and old, ministers and students, ride here on bikes. Riding a bike is good for your health and does not pollute the environment. At the same time, the environment sometimes pollutes you, while you are driving on a bike through the October weather, but what a saving from this – no need to buy a bus ticket or spend money on a travel card, bought an old bike at a flea market and go ahead, start sparen!
5. Love your car
Despite the widespread cycling addiction, Germans absolutely adore their cars! They cherish them, are proud of the chosen brand and gladly brag to a colleague how economical engine their engine is and how little harm it does to the environment. Many Germans are switching to electric cars and willingly share their impressions of new technologies. In a car, above all, the Germans value not the size and design, but economy, safety and comfort. Germans have got a special love for German cars. Volkswagen is truly a popular brand here, and almost every third person dreams of driving a Mercedes. One American friend of mine who met a German woman was very surprised that the first thing his girlfriend’s father asked was not where he worked or studied, but what car he drives.#
6. Go on a vacation to Mallorca
If you want to constantly hear German spoken around you, go on vacation to… Spain! More precisely, to the island of Mallorca, where Germans love to go on vacation so much. Families with children, students & everyone. Mallorca is a real German paradise! Put on a sunscreen and drink sangria as much as your body and soul desires. If you are a student and like to have fun, instead of Mallorca, we can suggest you go to a place called Lloret de Mar. Here you will certainly meet a huge number of German youth who love to hang out and have fun. Just don’t forget to plan your vacation in advance, a year or two beforehand, and grab a discount! (see point 1)
7. Love German beer and sausages
What German doesn’t like German beer… Perhaps this is one of the most common stereotypes about Germany. Oktoberfest and huge beer mugs only confirm this stereotype. Yes, the beer culture is especially honored here, and not only the Germans themselves, but also foreigners will not mind sipping a mug or two of noble German beer in the bar. You can even ride a special beer-bike around the city, where ten people sit at a table around a huge beer barrel, drink beer and… pedal, while someone sits in front and steers so that the barrel with won’t ditch somewhere (the driver does not drink beer, of course).
During the Oktoberfest, the most popular thing not only in Munich, but also in Berlin, for example, is the “meter of beer” – several different sorts of beer, displayed in a row of one meter long. Prost!
8. Drink Apfelschorle
In addition to beer, Germans drink a lot of water. You can drink water from the tap, but nevertheless, many disdain it and buy bottled mineral water in the supermarket. They are bought almost a month in advance, and then in the same bulk they return empty bottles, or Pfands, back to the supermarket. A special trick is to drink Apfelschorle. It’s actually regular apple juice, about half diluted with sparkling water, and nothing special about it, but after cola, it’s the second most popular drink in student canteens. In addition to Apfelschole, there is also Kirschenschorle (with cherry juice) and Weinschorle (white wine with soda).
There are no comrades in taste and color, as they say, but having arrived in Germany, you must try the Apfelshole at least once. It’s not all the time you have to consume beer with sausages!
9. Carry a thermos with coffee and apples with sandwiches
The trick of German students is to drink tea or coffee from a thermos during class and carry lunch boxes with sandwiches or sliced fruits and vegetables. The Germans give great importance to healthy eating, and parents even give their children sandwiches with slices of paprika, tomatoes, when they go to school.
After school, the children rush to McDonald’s or Döner Kebab and with a completely happy look on their faces, gobble up burgers and pizzas. But, being students, they still try to adhere to the rule of drinking at least 1.5 liters of water per day. Water, not beer, mind you! On a desk or under a desk, a German student must have at least a 0.5 liter bottle of water, from which he does not forget to drink from time to time. What for? Because that’s correct.
There are many different stereotypes about Germans, Italians, French… Some of them have a grain of truth, some in fact turn out to be an absolute absurdity. But the fact is that we all can learn something from each other. If the Germans are famous throughout the world for their practicality and striving for order in business, then we can also try to become a little more practical, a little more attentive to the environment, – after all, saving water and other resources is not so bad, and cycling is really useful… German cars are renowned for their quality for a reason, and German beer for its taste. So Ordnung muss sein, and if you, the reader, somehow managed to become the same as a true German Bürger – Prost!