During my time here in Germany, all 5 days of it, I’ve noticed some basic differences between Germans and Americans. These are simply general observations and generalizations and don’t hold true in every situation.
- Germans don’t have boxes of tissues in every room like Americans do, they rather have small packets of tissues in their pockets or bags
- German teenagers are given a great deal more independence than American teenagers. They are expected to mostly take care of themselves and get themselves from place to place alone.
- This applies to German school as well. Students can rome around the school during their breaks and can even go home or to town during their free periods. The teachers expect students to ask for help if it is needed. There is little “handholding”.
- Many people have their dogs so well trained that they walk them without leashes (this is not technically legal)
- Germans don’t understand American sarcasm and vice versa
- Germans bury their dead in decompostable boxes, so after approximately 30 years, the gravesite can be used again
- German funerals are always closed casket and the dead don’t have the lengthy preparation process to make them look alive
- Germans are generally not as talkative as Americans with new people
- Germans have fewer friends, but they are closer. It takes a long time to make friends with a German
- Germans are more honest and straightforward
- Germans have smaller cars
- There are more trees in the cities and in general
- Supermarkets are mostly alcohol, not food
- As an 18 year old, I can purchase alcohol (including hard liquor). Coming from the US, this was a big culture shock for me
The biggest thing I’ve noticed, however, is that most German stereotypes are false and that, on a deeper level, Germans and Americans are very similar. We are all humans and need water, food, air, and love. So, before you form an opinion about someone, first get to know them. It makes a big difference.