Now I've Seen Everything
Now I've Seen Everything

20+ Things About Life in Germany You Would Be Intrigued to Find Out About

Germany is known to be one of the best economies in the world and it offers good incomes for those who live and work there. The education system is also extremely good, with most universities being completely free to attend. Their crime rate is quite low, which means that you won’t have to worry a lot about having your wallet stolen in the streets. There are also many other small details that most people outside the country have no idea about.

Dwelling

  • Almost every German home will definitely have egg stands for breakfast, a bookcase (an item that the owners feel especially proud of), a pair of cozy slippers, and individual blankets for spouses who sleep in a double bed.
  • When renting an apartment, you need to take into account the following things — Germans go to bed and get up early. This lifestyle affects their behavior in their apartments, so making noise after 10 p.m. is prohibited. After 8 p.m., traditionally, you couldn’t even vacuum or turn on the washing machine. And Sunday is generally a day of total silence.
  • In 1981, a tenant was evicted in Germany after spreading Surströmming (fermented Baltic Sea herrring) brine in the stairway. The landlord was taken to court, where he brought a can of Surströmming as evidence. After being opened, the court unanimously ruled in his favor because of the smell. Stacey Jones / Quora

Public transport

  • Some people say that major city train stations’ waiting rooms, such as the one in Frankfurt, can get quite cold, and this especially becomes an issue when traveling during winter. Because of this, it might be best to prepare for it, like by dressing warmly.
  • I was shocked that Berlin’s transit system runs on the honor system. You’re expected to purchase a ticket, but there is only a small chance you’ll ever be asked to show it. Ariakkas10 / Reddit
  • It is illegal to run out of fuel on Autobahn. Autobahns are expressways/highways in Germany. According to German law you can’t run out of fuel in an Autobahn. If you run out of fuel you may be subjected to fines. The law is equal to both locals and tourists. Amitanand Suralikerimath / Quora

Holidays

  • On the night of Easter Sunday, the Germans light bonfires. This is a typical German tradition to welcome the sun and the spring. It’s still popular in the countryside. Most of the wood used for the bonfire comes from old Christmas trees that have been collected and saved for this occasion.
  • In Colgone, Germany it is common to donate your used Christmas trees to the local zoo. An elephant can eat up to 3 of these trees a day and can also use them to clean their teeth. Stacey Jones / Quora

Education

  • Between your 15th and 16th birthday it is mandatory for German boys to visit a daily class 5 times a week called “Der Deutsche Mann” (lit. The German man). During this time they get taught all the secrets of German efficiency, punctuality and stuff I can’t talk about due to a confidentiality agreement every man has to sign. Let’s just say that during the last three months of the course your childlike innocence gets transformed into a responsible and adult view of the Truth. It gives you so much experience and insight in the inner workings of the world that you abruptly age about 6 years. various_extinctions / Reddit
  • Since 2014, higher education in public universities in Germany, with the exception of Baden-Württemberg, is absolutely free, even for foreigners.
  • The government can (and will) reject weird baby names. According to German law, a person’s gender must be obvious by first name. So the civil registration office, or Standesamt, can refuse names that don’t comply. Re-applying can be a costly process, so that’s why many parents go for traditional names like Michael and Maria. Sona Khachatryan / Quora

Recreation by the water

  • It’s prohibited to build sandcastles on many beaches in Germany, and there are strict limits for the size sandcastles can be on beaches where they are permitted. Rules for every beach are placed at the entrance.

  • If you want to go fishing, you need to undergo special training and get a license. The courses will teach you the rules and regulations of fishing.

Food

  • If you ask for water in a restaurant or a café, the server might just bring you sparkling water. Germans adore it and love to mix it with lemonade and juice. By the way, you can drink tap water without having any worries since it’s of good quality.
  • Pizza, mushrooms, milk, potatoes, eggs, and even meat can be bought from vending machines on the street. In fact, local farm products are sold this way very often. So if you didn’t have time to go to the store in the evening, look for a food vending machine nearby.
  • My husband one time looked over at his German sister in law, diligently cutting the fat off her steak, only to eat it first. Don’t even ask what’s hiding in the cheeses and sausages. Ariakkas10 / Reddit

Society

  • Since it’s supposed to be quiet in German houses on Sundays, families with children usually spend this time on the street — they walk around parks, visit museums, go to the cinema, and so on.
  • A polite and well-mannered German will never start eating their lunch in the company of other people if their dish was brought first. They will start eating only after the host tells them, “Guten Appetit!”
  • Morning, and I wake up with a slight cold. I decide I want some hot steamy soup. Wallet in one pocket, room keys in another, I walk up to the nearest supermarket in my night clothes. It’s early morning, and barely anyone is there in the supermarket yet. As am staring around the supermarket, trying to figure out where the soup section is enters an old lady into the scene. Looks at me, and slowly shuffles across the aisle. Stares at me kindly, and proceeds to question me
    Lady: Everything ok?
    Me: (Baffled) Umm, yeah...And how are you, mam?
    Lady: Am fine, thank you. Can I help you with anything?
    Me: Umm (she’s obviously not a store employee)...No, but thank you.
    Lady: It’s all comfortable here?
    Me: (not sure what is happening) Pretty much so, yeah. Everything’s good.
    Lady: That’s good to hear. Can I help you with buying food or anything?
    Me: Umm, not really, I am sure I can manage.
    Lady: Ok. You are welcome here.
    Me: Umm, thank you....... Vikrant Srivastava / Quora

Hobbies

  • Germans love gardening. Most people have a small plot of land outside the city, but they plant gardens in any suitable place, even in urban settings. And garden gnomes have become not just an element of decor, but also a part of the culture. In the 1990s, this prank was popular — people used to steal a gnome from someone else’s lawn and then send a photo of it to the owners before returning it.

  • It turns out that Germans of all ages are just as passionate about soccer as the Italians or the Spanish.

  • The hobby of purposefully seeking discounts and money-saving is big in Germany. People who are always looking for the best deals are called Schnäppchenjäger, or “bargain hunters.”

Clothes

  • On a Berlin street, it’s practically impossible to see a person wearing clothes in bright colors. Locals prefer dark colors, especially black.

  • People with any type of income buy clothes at second-hand stores. It’s common, profitable, and environmentally-friendly.

  • It may just be a matter of opinion, but Germans seem to love scarves. The average German resident will have a collection that includes many of them, from lighter ones to warm ones.

Have you ever been to Germany and, if so, what things surprised you the most? Do you think that the country is better than your country in some areas?

Preview photo credit Ariakkas10 / Reddit
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