Myths about Germany


1. Germans are the most punctual people
Despite the fact, in German you say ‘being TOO late’, not simply ‘being late’ (e.g. Er kommt immer ZU spät), Germans are as punctual as many other nations. Being 15 minutes late is becoming to be fine and acceptable in Germany. Personally, I follow the rule ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’. I am never late, because I hate waiting for others. I have not noticed people in Germany are any different from the majority of the people in my country, when it comes to punctuality. At the same time, there is no such a stereotype about people being punctual in my motherland.
Trains in Germany come late the way too often! I can never rely on the train schedule and have missed the trains, while transferring, several times. Bus drivers are not that punctual either.

2. Germans always follow the rules
I am used to seeing the same scenario every day: I am waiting for the green traffic light to cross the road, while other pedestrians cross a street when the light is red. Where is their sense of responsibility?!
While staying in WG in the past, I saw Germans did not sort their garbage that well. In theory, Milchdose (Papier) shall be thrown away in Gelbe Tonne/Gelber Sack. In practice, they often end up in Blaue Papiertonne.

3. Germans are organized
Germans do love rules, organization and structure, but they are not that well organized on every level. As a foreigner, you can see it very clear when living with Germans in WG. Our neighbors were more than messy. They were filthy! I could not understand how people could be okay with living like that. They left dirty pots and frying pans in a sink for two days. The refrigerator was dirty from the inside and outside! You could find hair in the shower drain every other day. They waited for the trash cans to be full and never cared about the flies flying around. Eww… You would hardly call that place an organized one.
Sense of cleanliness and hygiene does not depend on the nationality. Households in Germany do not have the best sanitary conditions ever.

4. The awful German language
Despite the ideas of Mark Twain in his notable work, one can find German language to be rather pleasant to the ear.

Es reden und träumen die Menschen viel
Von bessern künftigen Tagen;
Nach einem glücklichen, goldenen Ziel
Sieht man sie rennen und jagen.
Die Welt wird alt und wird wieder jung,
Doch der Mensch hofft immer Verbesserung …

(Hoffnung by Friedrich Schiller)

Any language is beautiful when the words of love, benevolence and compassion are spoken.


One thought on “Myths about Germany

  1. Yet another reminder that generalizing about a country or culture is fraught with problems, to say nothing about insulting and erroneous. Thanks for reinforcing the message; it really can’t be said enough – about Germans or anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

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