British writer Adam Fletcher examines everyday German life in this post where he intends to teach readers how to be German in 20 steps. While the perspective he takes is satirical and sometimes critical, it’s also very accurate.
Reading it, I caught myself nodding and laughing many times, agreeing with his descriptions. From a foreigner’s point of view, a lot of it may seem ridiculous and utterly banal — details that you’d only come to know if you’ve spent time experiencing Germans in their native environment, where the sentiment for house shoes can truly express itself. Where spargel season is in full swing, Apelshorle and German bread are served at lengthy weekend breakfasts. You’d have to attend a German party to laugh about the omnipresent Kartoffelsalat, the creative ways of opening beer bottles or the obligatory eye contact when toasting with a resounding prost.
Fletcher describes himself as a “hipster” and probably surrounds himself with young urban middle class adults and students. While I can relate to his view of German society, older generations or people from different social backgrounds might not be familiar with what he describes as “German”.
What would you suggest to folks trying to work and live effectively in Germany? For example, New Yorkers should avoid crossing the street unless the signal allows for it (or else risk someone scolding you!). And, don’t expect to go shopping on Sundays, everything is closed!