The Ger­mans’ idio­syn­cra­sies are a Teu­tonic

Central and North Burnett Times - - ESCAPE - — Ti­ahn Wet­zler, news.com.au

BERLIN is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity for Aussie expats due to its gen­er­ally low rental prices, English-friendly neigh­bour­hoods and in­com­pa­ra­bly on-trend at­mos­phere.

I my­self made this de­ci­sion at the end of 2015 and have since en­joyed my time in the Deutsch cap­i­tal, ob­serv­ing not only the ben­e­fits but the hi­lar­i­ous idio­syn­cra­sies that set us apart from our Teu­tonic cousins.

While I have done my best to learn the lan­guage and ab­sorb my­self within the cul­ture (go hard or go home!), there are cer­tain be­hav­iours and man­ners of con­duct that I sim­ply refuse to adopt.

The first ex­am­ple prob­a­bly comes as no sur­prise to most – so­cial graces are ut­terly out the win­dow here.

If you mut­ter the Ger­man equiv­a­lent of “how are you” – “wie geht es dir” – in a cafe, su­per­mar­ket or when re­ceiv­ing any kind of ser­vice, you will be met with one of two re­ac­tions.

The first, most com­mon, will be a very strange look, won­der­ing why a stranger would ask such a per­sonal ques­tion and why that stranger would pre­sume the per­son wants to en­gage in a con­ver­sa­tion.

The se­cond op­tion, which I have ex­pe­ri­enced on more than one alarm­ing oc­ca­sion, is that they take the ques­tion ex­tremely lit­er­ally and be­gin to tell you ex­actly how they are, what they are feel­ing and per­haps their en­tire life story. Your best bet? A quick hello, avoid eye con­tact and a quick good­bye. Sim­ple, me­thod­i­cal, oh-so-Deutsch­land.

◗ TRAF­FIC LIGHT ETI­QUETTE: One of the most won­der­fully con­tra­dic­tory be­hav­iours com­mon in Berlin is the re­fusal to jay­walk.

Ger­mans are per­haps most renowned for their log­i­cal way of ap­proach­ing sit­u­a­tions, but they are also, gen­er­ally speak­ing, a rule-obey­ing so­ci­ety. Logic and rule obey­ing come di­rectly to a head when we’ve got a red man on the traf­fic pole and no cars to be seen for days.

Walk or stay? They stay and wait pa­tiently un­til that man turns green. No cars, one-way street, they wait. If you walk, you will feel eyes burn­ing into your back.

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