Rudeness: Germans are objectively rude. I think this stems from their inability to take criticism in any way other than personally. This manifests itself best in customer service and it is unnecessary to go into this ubiquitous tendency as it is covered well elsewhere. My own personal opinion is that this follows from a trend to interpret the world in emotional terms (and hence consider everything in reference to oneself, personally), rather than in a detached, rational manner.
zetscho (Apr 1 2008, 02:11 AM) said: > original post
I am really sorry that your experience in Germany was that bad but I can just agree to every single point you said! I just wish we could have met because frankly I'm pretty sure I'm different as I don't get along so good with most Germans - well, must be my Portuguese heritage.
After spending six truely miserable years of study in Baden-Württemberg I realized that all the clichees of Germany do have a strong point. I decided to go back to my beloved hometown Hamburg as I strongly believe that this is the only place in Germany where the people aren't German in the bad way. It is the most international place in Germany, it has been strongly influenced by Scandinavian, English and Dutch culture over centuries, you have lots of Latinos, English, Turks, Arabs, Africans, Asians, Portuguese and I've never experienced any racism here - but I did so in Berlin and in South Germany. I think the tradition of the harbor is what makes Hamburg different - and the fact that is has never been part of that horrible Preußen.
Although I'm German, my plan is to leave this country in about 5-7 years. New Zealand and Canada are my favorites today. I don't see any future for me here. The society is rolling back fast into conservatism and racism, this time not the Jews as there are none left, but the Muslims, and the government has destroyed and keeps on destroying all opportunities for my generation (I'm 30) - and I say that althoug I work in IT and do better than most of my fellows. I would never have kids in this country where soon unqualified unemployed one-Euro-jobbers will "educate" kids in kindergarden, while all the qualified, intelligent people are leaving. The conservatives always complain about imigration without telling, that since several year more people leave Germany than imigrate.
I'm sure you'll have problems and annoyances everywhere, but you pointed the most important issue for me:
This hits the nail on its head!
If you've ever been to England, USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Portugal, well, most of the world, the people are very friendly. There are three countries that aren't, from my experience: Germany, Greece and France.
But you live in Berlin, well, I think the people there are the most rude in Germany.
Anyway, good luck to you and your girl-friend!
I have no first-hand insights to offer on German culture because I have not even been there yet, but I will be there later this year, so I read this post (and comments) with interest. As long as a forum post is civilized and not defaming individuals, and is the genuine expression of a considered point of view, I think it is helpful. A tad less sarcarm would have been an improvement, but I still found the post valuable.
There is a huge amount of describing just one part of the elephant here, but there is also some raw uncensored data that can be hard to come by. I have spent a good bit of time in the UK and some of the points our UK doctor makes sound British and somewhat alien to my American ears. I did find it distinctly ironic that Markov finds the Germans too socially conservative and not open to the talent and flexibility of youth! Many British are not so welcoming to the "fresh ideas" brought in by their own youth, much less the more freewheeling and outspoken American youth! I could cite examples of that from "real life"--many examples.
And one of the (many) common British prejudices is to be anti-German! Especially for that reason, I guess I would have liked Markov's post even better if he had tried for some balance. For example, it is delightful that German trains actually run on time (as opposed to those in the UK or US). Germans also have a fundamental industriousness that puts the Brits to shame. If something needs doing, they just do it. And their penchant for data and rational discourse is also admirable and unusual in many respects. They also seem to have a handle on work-life balance as well, which is something Americans really could emulate.
And to add balance to MY post, and comment on the part of the elephant that matters to me, there is way too much alcohol flowing and unruly and even destructive behavior happening in both the UK and Germany. Per capita consumption of alcohol is much higher in both countries than in the U.S. even though in most respects the Germans are health-minded.
Bottom line: We can learn from each other and should try not to judge too quickly (which can be challenging at times).
My parents left Germany just after the war.
They hid well and I hear the stories the whole time growing up. Not nice.
That is all in past. Now I'm in Greece.
The Greek people tell me now is the same as in war time.
What do people think?
I think these Germans are very arrogant.