Things you do not expect when you move to Germany

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Well, I think it is about time to start talking about something that creates a big impact when a Southern Spanish person used to live in a Southern Spanish city moves to Germany (and I specified it cause I was never living in the North of Spain so I have no idea if this is a general thing).

You might think it is just a matter of adjusting to the new weather which you think will change or the fact that you need to get used to hear German (in my case it took me a while to see the language hidden on people shouting at each other in a very manly way).

There are also cultural differences that I was not expecting at all. Let me put an example right away.

If you go to the supermarket in Spain and you are waiting on the line to pay, when a new counter opens to let people pay and finish faster with the queue, the employee at the supermarket would say ” please pass through using the already existing queue order”.

That is not what happens in Germany at all. What they do instead is to throw whatever they find in their basket (from the items that they are willing to pay for) into the cashier  to get first in the line and get out of the supermarket as fast as they can. The first time I saw it I seriously thought that there was a raffle going on, something completely different from what it actually was and I could not close my mouth when I saw all these people getting first in the line while I was already waiting for some minutes to pay before they arrived. I like to call this “the Vettel effect”.

Here another thing that I got used to since I live in Germany and now I would love to be able to introduce in Spain. If you go to a restaurant, expect the bill to be divided directly by the waitress. It really surprised me the first time I went to have dinner out and the lady working at the restaurant asked us if we wanted to pay together or if we wanted to pay each of us our own bill instead. That was overwhelming as I was used to struggle in restaurants in Spain counting the money each of us had to pay for a dinner and gathering the money to put it all together (even better when someone forgets some cents and it is impossible to find out who wants to be the smart ass).

Do not give two kisses to a German in the cheek when you meet him/her. Even if that person knows you are not German you will create a very uncomfortable situation. You might make them even blush.

I could keep writting things that are funny for me or that were weird when I saw them the first time but then this post would turn into a book so I will just add one more fact (and this is not a cultural thing) and finish for today: Germany is not a cold country! If you come in summer take the flip flops, this is not the North Pole and we reach 35º/ 37º sometimes for real!

See you soon!

-piink

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