Way too many compliments

Once I heard an expat in Japan saying that it is easy to believe that as a foreigner in Japan you are someone very special. Japanese people compliment you on your fair skin, your pretty hair, and the stunning way you look in jeans and a T-shirt. 🙂 You can fall into a trap thinking you are awesome and unique. In my experience, that works both ways. Expats also tend to give too many, moreover, unnecessary compliments.

Here are three situations I found myself in while staying abroad:

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Please keep distance!

About personal space

It happened to me again. Shopping in Germany became an unpleasant experience. As I was waiting in a checkout line this Monday, a woman came and joined the line after me. There are no shopping baskets in a local Kaufland, and I did not have a coin to unlock a shopping cart, so I carried my purchases in a plastic bag I held in my hand. As I shop with a plastic bag instead of a shopping trolley, very often, people behind me in a checkout line do not notice that I have like 5 kg in my hand and try to put their purchases before me as soon as we approach a conveyor belt.
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‘More clever’ than others in Germany

The other day I was shopping with a Japanese friend of mine. She wanted to buy some presents for her friends back in Japan. We were wondering around a store for a long time. While I was checking some face creams, she left me to have a look at body lotions. Some minutes later, she came to me and complained that an old lady (another customer) told her not to check lotion flavors by opening the bottle caps. My friend said she ignored the lady and pretended she did not hear her.

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In Germany only

I am taking a break from an actual posting today due to my sickness (it was a pretty tough week at the language school). I would like to share a funny link with you instead. A friend of mine sent it to me on Facebook the other day.

The article is called ’22 Things No One Does Better Than The Germans’. Let’s see if you agree with the list. My friend agreed with that completely. Personally, I find that Japanese cars, American supermarkets, Italian/French/ Russian Classical-era composers, and French/Portuguese baked goods are still better than Germans. 🙂

Read it here:



7 things to do in Wilhelma (Stuttgart Zoo and Botanical Garden)

Wilhelma is not only a zoo, but also a botanical garden. The best time to visit it is probably summer or late spring. During these seasons, you can see more animals staying outside and gaze at flower beds, trees, bushes, etc.

The zoo is located on a hilly area. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes if you want to see all the exhibits.

It can be very crowded in Wilhelma. Be mentally prepared to spend some hours around parents with children, babies, and strollers.

Here are the 7 things you shall not miss:

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Hard to find in Germany (especially for women)

My list of things that I am having troubles to find in Germany (or, at least, in the German city I live in) is probably more interesting for women than men. Mostly, I mention personal hygiene products about which some men do not even care. But if you are a man and want to find out what your expat gf/wife might miss in Germany here we go:

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Is it safe in Germany?

Last week a suitcase of a German acquaintance of mine was stolen on an ICE train. In the past, as I traveled by long-distance trains in Germany I had doubts about leaving my suitcase on a special luggage rack either by an entrance or in the middle of a coach. I constantly looked back and checked how my belongings were doing. In the end, I always felt silly. “It is Germany!” I thought. Nobody wants to steal my luggage. I can trust strangers here. Well, things changed.

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Who is right?

Is that true, that 1+1 equals 2? Let’s do a quick thought experiment:

If the definition of 1 could be changed and we had a different set of axioms in mathematics then the results of calculations would be contrasting in comparison with what we believe is the right answer at present. If people from various countries used distinctive ways to deal with mathematical numbers then there would be a strong disagreement on what is right and what is wrong.

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