"The Germans – generally and in particular" Top 5 Page for this destination Germany Travelogue by Trekki
Germany Travel Guide: 56,031 reviews and 163,772 photos
Oh well, I must be crazy to have started this, but… erm… I try my best to accomplish the utmost difficult task to describe the mentality of the people who live in the country I was born in, and to whom I just add one more of these strange persons….
Uff, let me try – but remember, always take this with a pinch of salt ! Did I write pinch ? Oh better with a considerable big amount of salt ! Partly it will be dead serious, partly cynical and partly only a tiny tiny bit of a joke.
To begin with, despite what you might have heard about us – the typical German mentality exists as such, albeit there are differences in our several regions and states. And, there is still hope for us, as a lot of Germans of all ages do actually oppose to some of the mentalities That’s the good side of globalisation and being a bit of a multicultural country.
First of all something deadly serious (really):
Avoid any questions or discussions about the horrible German past unless you know your German dialogue partner a bit better. This is not to cover our cruel history (or the fear of being reminded to it), but more as we are really fed up hearing questions about where to get mementos of the “third reich”. Believe me, there are enough foreigners who ask this question, and sorry, how much more perverse can it get ???
We are prepared and willing to talk about all that but please be a bit sensitive.
Also, as unpleasant as it is, there is an increasing neo-nazism in Germany, that’s why we are also pi**ed when being adressed with some of these specific WWII questions, as we want to place a huge distance between us and these idiots, the neo-nazis.
Or - let me quote my beloved Monty Pythons, oops, no, Basil of Fawlty Towers - how we typical Germans react if somebody talks about that. So remember Basil and the utmost important message, his assistant keeps telling him: These are Germans? Oh, don't mention the war . And see what happens if you DO mention the war..... :-)))))
Punctuality – ambitiousness – unflexibility – hypercorrectness
Ah yes, these typical prejudices – we are punctual, ambitious, unflexible and so overly correct that it might hurt sometimes. Yes, the bad news is, we are ! This must be very very dreadful for our poor visitors and often I ask myself why they don’t start to scream and run away. Luckily for us, they don’t run away and luckily as well that the number of Germans opposing against these “virtues” seem to increase. So there is help in sight – all is only a question of education. Oh, also, these “virtues” or traits do vary from north to south, from east to west within Germany.
Let me try to explain them, as everything must have some cultural and historical reason.
Why are we so punctual ? Frankly spoken, I don’t know. But it is true, we are very much so. In this context we could even try a competition with the Swiss, who invented the super precise clock, but we have invented the super precise time. Try and come to a meeting only 5 minutes later than the time you’ve agreed on, and you will find your German friend as a bundle of wrecked nerves and if not, then at least with this reproachful look in his eyes telling you that you did made a BIG mistake. Well, if you are here on business, try to be punctual (“do as the Romans do”), but if you are here for pleasure, just ignore this – remember, we only need a bit more education to sloooowly phase out our traits :-)
Are we ambitious ? Oh yes, we are and we also overdo this to a big big extent. We want to have…. The bigger and better car, the bigger and more luxury house, the more expensive and exclusive trademarked clothes than our neighbours – just to show that “we are someone”. German braincells get this hammered into them from their earliest day in mom’s womb. It is almost as if we are a population of lemmings, running to worship the money god. Maybe as we are famous for having Schiller and Goethe as our anchestors, or a long history, or maybe as we did have nothing after WWII and had to start from scratch ?
All this culminates in the ROCE, Germany’s most popular, ideal and wanted inhabitant. I am well aware that this term is from business, but it is easily transferrable 1:1 into our private life. Does it help us to be so overly ambitious ? No, definitely not, as it keeps us from being happy , innovative and creative. Can we do something against it ? Well, yes, but it takes a huge effort to break out of this vicious circle and oppose; the number of Germans to do so increase, believe it or not ! Is there hope for us ? Definitely – just come and ignore our biiiig and powerful cars, our titles, our education, our money and show us that you live a way happier life without thinking of your personal ROCE, car and house from the very first millisecond until the very last millisecond of the day.
Are we inflexible ? Oh, very much so ! We stick to rules, we stick to the soil we have been born on, we stick to what we have been educated (I told you, it is all a question of education, lol). The sentence we hear and use all the time is “But….. we did it this way all the time, why should we change???” followed by a very much deperate unhappy look in our faces. Why is this so ? The typical German man has to fulfil 3 important aims in his life (remember, his very first brain cell knows this already in mom’s womb): to plant a tree, to build a house, to father (? conceive?) a son. So he has to go to school, make sure to have the best education possible (better than his parents, that’s what they keep telling him all the time), get a job, not only a job, but the best job he can get (quality is measured in the rate of his income), get a loan from the bank, build a house, marry and have kids – and never ever leave it again ! Does this sound familiar ? Yes, remember that it forms to the vicious circle with our ambitiousness. Now that’s why Germans will have a hard time to understand US Americans, who don’t have any problem to quit jobs, pack and leave for another city and another job. And it might help you US Americans to understand why we stick so much to our homes, thus jobs and are very much inflexible to change either or, as it would rob us the secure income, we so desperately need to show that we are someone. Is there hope for us in that respect ? No, most probably not, as even now in globalisation times, the average German does not understand that the world had changed and that he has to adapt to modern times, move his butt for being more flexible in the location.
We are inventive ! We surely have the highest innovation potential on the planet, maybe even in all galaxies ! At least this is what media and politicians and the big shots of the companies want you and us to believe, be it as we need to keep our position in the financial circles of Euro zone, or place the stocks of the companies as high as possible.
Oh yes, I can definitely confirm that we are the most inventive country in all galaxies if it comes to find excuses. I herewith claim that we Germans have invented the term “I am not responsible for that, go and ask so-and-so”. Let me give you and example: if you go to one of our government establishments to get, let’s say, papers to marry, or buy a car, or prove enough income to rent a high sophisticated apartment or house, or to get a loan at the bank – in 99,999% of the cases you will encounter public servants who with the most persuasive voice will tell you that they are not the ones you have to consult with, but that you have to go next door (then you are lucky) or another floor (then it is a bit of walking), or next building (well…), or, but then you are in deep sh*t, they might even tell you that you are in the wrong city.
Oh well, this is one of our most deplorable disadvantages: we do not have any sense of humour. And the most horrible: we do believe we have! But unfortunately we mistake our ability to laugh about average jokes during sessions of Gemütlichkeit to be humour. It isn't. Please feel free to feel sorry for us. I will happily join you :-)
By the way: I am not the first to point out this humour defect of us Germans. Again it were the fabulous Monty Pythons who did so when they analysed why Germany has lost WW II. Read yourself why:
The funniest joke.....
to be continued :-))
More Travelogues (8)
- See All Peaceful heaven in Bavaria: next to Wies...
- See All Odd bottle sizes => buy at...
- See All Car: Save money at Autobahn stations &...
- See All Tchibo: coffee & more, in case you...
- See All Ultimate culinary delights in Palatinate
- See All Rhein river romance: the fireworks
- See All Fake policemen - in Berlin (mostly)
- See All Germany's alcohol laws (age, time etc)
- See All German Christmas songs :-)
- See All Cycling around Lake Constance/Bodensee
- See All Forst, the cutest little wine village...
Been to Germany?Share your travels with the world!
Trekki's Related Pages
Germany Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Where to go and what to see !"
- "Discover Germany’s incredible diversity"
- "Germany on a Budget from an Insider"
- "Paul's Germany Page"
- "Breweries, Hikes and Climbs"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Germany
- Hotels in Germany
- Transportation in Germany
- Nightlife in Germany
- Restaurants in Germany
- Shopping in Germany
- Warnings and Dangers in Germany
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Germany
- 803 Reviews
- 3,525 Photos
- 256 Forum posts
- 50 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (68)
Have you been to Germany?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Germany
- Posted in Travel Italy Forum "Re: Where to go besides the..."
- Commented on one of Trekki's Germany travel pages
- Wrote a Review Peaceful heaven in Bavaria: next... in Germany Hotels
- Uploaded a Photo to "Odd bottle sizes => buy at supermarkets"
- updated a Germany Travelogue "My Germany page=> individual tips, better reading"
Videos in GermanySee All Videos (16)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Intro, 118 reviews, 473 photos, 7 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Intro, 108 reviews, 398 photos, 9 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Marburg an der Lahn Intro, 90 reviews, 407 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Gubbio Intro, 80 reviews, 330 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Land Rheinland-Pfalz Intro, 77 reviews, 293 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Speyer Intro, 55 reviews, 271 photos, 7 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Umbria Intro, 60 reviews, 264 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Darmstadt Intro, 62 reviews, 240 photos, 21 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Germany Intro, 81 reviews, 190 photos, 9 travelogues
- London Intro, 40 reviews, 202 photos, 6 travelogues
FriendsSee All Friends (136)
Top Germany hotels
- Berlin Hotels
- 6867 Reviews - 15338 Photos
- Munich Hotels
- 4309 Reviews - 9910 Photos
- Düsseldorf Hotels
- 950 Reviews - 2158 Photos
- Frankfurt am Main Hotels
- 1667 Reviews - 3684 Photos
- Cologne Hotels
- 1607 Reviews - 3989 Photos
- Hamburg Hotels
- 1453 Reviews - 3457 Photos
- Stuttgart Hotels
- 612 Reviews - 1569 Photos
- Nürnberg Hotels
- 883 Reviews - 3005 Photos
- Karlsruhe Hotels
- 895 Reviews - 4115 Photos
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen Hotels
- 320 Reviews - 1065 Photos
- Koblenz Hotels
- 346 Reviews - 821 Photos
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber Hotels
- 585 Reviews - 1823 Photos
- Würzburg Hotels
- 353 Reviews - 1189 Photos
- Fussen Hotels
- 130 Reviews - 479 Photos
- Dresden Hotels
- 1205 Reviews - 3542 Photos