#63: Sie and Du

Sie and Du

German is not an easy language to learn, anyone who has tried for longer than 5 minutes will know this. One of the main peculiarities is the Sie and Du. (YOU)

“Sie” is the formal version of “you” in German. You would use it when talking to authority figures, most strangers and people generally older than you. “Du” is the informal and you would use it with friends and family.

As an example – Woher kommst du? means: “Where do you come from?” using the informal “Du,” you would use this when talking to someone at a party or with a mutual friend. Whereas if you were asking a stranger, you would need to use Woher Kommen Sie? It means the exact same thing, which is mildly infuriating because you have to remember the different verb endings for EVERYTHING.

It is also still used a lot in German business. My wife had to address her old boss by the formal version “Sie.” Everyone else in the office she could use “Du” with, but her boss felt it necessary to stay “formal.”

In general, there comes a time in most relationships where the boss or the person you have been talking to will allow you to “Duzen” This is, they give you express permission to use “Du” with them and no longer the formal “Sie” – but you can only do it once you have been invited to use it, using it before the invite will see you corrected back to the “Sie” version – honestly!

I got approached by some kids in the street last night asking me about a football score, they used Sie to communicate with me, which firstly, made me feel a million years old and secondly meant I messed up my reply because I am so used to using Du, that I couldn;t remember the Sie responses.

Sometimes I want to give up! ARGH!

#70: Tea

Tea, but not as you know it

Being British, you tend to drink a lot of tea, because tea solves all your worldly woes, tea gets you up in the morning, gets you through work, takes you to bed at night, tastes delicious and is as traditional a part of being British, as moaning about the weather.

Germans also drink a lot of tea, but not tea as you know it. Drinking tea for a German is somewhat of an event. For example, just order a tea in a restaurant and you will not receive a cup of tea, first, you will be asked; “What kind of tea?”

“Roibush tea? Fenchel Tea? Apfel tea?” “No, no”, you’ll reply, “normal tea.” NOTE: You need to order “Schwarz Tea” (Black Tea) and then because you are not an animal, you will ask for milk and proceed to disgust your host -Germans drink normal tea, without milk. Monsters!

Even in an Irish bar (that I used to work at) you would prepare tea starting off with a “fancy” glass of hot water… not a mug…  and place the glass onto a little plate, then put another little plate on top of the glass, pick up a box FULL of assorted teas, walk over to the customer, place down the cup of water and present the box of tea to him as if you are presenting a box of riches to an Emporer and wait patiently whilst they sift through and invariably ask you for the one tea that the box does not contain.

But it’s not just the ceremony of tea, Germans seem to think that tea has healing properties akin to actual, real medicine. “Oh, I’m so sick” “oh dear” I reply to my wife, “can I get you some Lemsip?” No, it’s OK I’ll take some tea”

Despite you reiterating for the millionth time, that essentially you are just drinking slightly flavoured water… slightly badly flavoured water at that, German’s will not hear that their “Fenchel tea” is doing nothing that a cup of warm water could not.

In the time it has taken me to type this post, the UK will have drunk nearly half a million cups of real tea. If Germany drank tea to the same extent, they would believe themselves to be impervious to death.

#71: Translating Inlaws

11898690_10155957127410788_2751626023998599823_nIf you live in Germany and meet a beautiful Fräulein and marry her, then  you’re going to want to learn German. Whether you believe you need to or not. Not speaking German will create arguments between you and your in-laws forever. Fact.

Whether the argument be about how hard English is to learn as a German. Or the fact that I live in Germany, so I should automatically learn German, to just plain wanting to understand each other. It’s an argument that happens very, very often.

My wife dutifully serves as translator, whilst her father and I try as hard as we can, with the little English he has and the little German I have (which between us is still no where near enough for a conversation) until we are exhausted. Now the fights can begin over why I am still not learning German, why my wife (who is German) is not teaching me German and how much easier it would be for everyone if I just spoke German.

I do plan on learning more German, but I am a little worried as I understand very little of what’s said around the dinner table, so what happens when I do? What if it turns out that we don’t actually like each other?

The above picture, is actually me with my in-laws at a party in 2015

#72: Hating Bayern Munich

Muller – Loved in the national team, not so much in the Bayern team.

As is the right of every football fan in the UK to hate Manchester United… other than Manchester United fan’s of course, it is every German’s right to hate Bayern Munich.

One of Europe’s most successful ever clubs, they have dazzled in recent seasons with amazing football, under great leadership from the likes of Louis Van Gaal and Pep Guardiola. They have won all competitions multiple times and boast some of the greatest soccer players in world football, including  Muller, Robben, Ribery, and Neuer.

In fact, much like Manchester United winning many Premier League titles over the last 15 years, Bayern Munich’s domestic domination has been similar. 9 titles in 15 years and this has resulted in their success becoming a little predictable. Bayern Munich fans have become well, arrogant. They don’t just want to win, it’s assumed they will.

This is where the great German past time of “Schadenfreude” comes in. Meaning simply “pleasure in an others pain” everyone wants to see Bayern slip up, to lose a game they were not expecting, or to be dumped out of Europe. Unless of course, you are a Bayern Munich fan.

My advice? Don’t be that guy. Go for Borussia Dortmund instead, everyone likes them.

#73: Waiting Rooms

Waiting Room.

So, it seems that Germans greet each other in strange places, waiting rooms, elevators, and… sometimes toilets. But always in waiting rooms.

A small, sanitary white room with a cupboard for hanging coats in the corner. In the middle is a small table, full of German magazine publications that, even if I could speak the language, I would probably be unlikely to pick up to read anyway. The German equivalent of “Horse and Hound” I suspect.

Every few minutes, someone will enter and greet the whole room… “Guten Tag!” The whole room will respond in an echo “Guten Tag”

Apart from me, that is… I find the whole thing rather strange. They do not say anything else to each other, only hello and good bye. Sometimes the informal way of goodbye “Tchüss” is used.

The direct translation of Tchüss is “See you again” which, judging by the amount of time I have already spent waiting, may actually be on their follow up visit in a weeks time.

Tchüss!

#74: Weihnachtsmärkt

Beautiful.

Perhaps the single greatest thing that Germany EVER created, better than Porsche, better than Sausage, maybe even better than beer, is the Christmas Market.

Big words, but believe me Christmas markets are the greatest thing ever. Period. Only those that have never been to one would disagree with me.

By the end of November nearly every small town in Germany will begin burdening their small market places with little wooden huts, grand carousels and stages and lighting displays that are visible from space. The scene is set, all thats missing is the atmosphere.

Jam packed and open nightly from the beginning of December to Christmas eve, you can walk around these cute, kitsch little markets that offer gifts that you will not find anywhere else, meat from every animal  and the best part of every Christmas market, Glühwein.

This tasty winter drink is a real treat. It is the English equivalent of Mulled wine, but without all the fuss. Warmed spiced red wine, often with a shot of brandy or rum added to it, making the the perfect winter warmer for standing around on cold German nights.

Germans, incidentally also do wine festivals better than anywhere else and there are similarities between the two. For instance many of the same drinks are available at Christmas Markets, that you would find at the Summer markets, but just heated up. These may include: (and bear with me here, I have sampled most of these)

  • Weisser Glühwein (Hot White Wine)
  • Heisser Cider (Hot Cider)
  • Heisser Tequila (Hot Tequila Shots (GROSS))
  • Heisse Schokolade with Rum (Hot Chocolate)
  • Glühkirschbier (Hot Cherry Beer)

These are just to name a few, but if you find yourself passing through Germany in December, be sure to make it one of your stops, it will leave you full of christmas spirit and cheer before you head back to the misery that is England in December, or France in December, or anywhere that isn’t a small German town full of festiveness in December.

#75: I’m not sorry

I’m no longer sorry.

Sorry… Sorry, excuse me, sorry, could I just? Thank you.

A common word to an Englishman, “sorry” is the go to saying for excuse me, a genuine apology, a sentence starter, or just a plain old polite dismissal of a mishap. Sorry is multi-functional, well it is in England.

German people do not apologise anywhere near as much as English people. Or Americans for that matter. When I travel back to England now, I am actually amazed at just how much time we do spend apologising for things – our fault or not. When I first met my German wife, she told me off for apologising too much as “I did not mean it.” I advised that of course, I meant it. As an Englishman, I am pre-programmed to apologise all the time, but now, maybe I agree with her, perhaps we do apologise too much.

Nowadays I do say sorry less often, but still find myself apologising as a matter of course. If a German were to bump into you, cut you off, or disagree, you should not expect to hear a sorry and offering one will be met with complete indifference.

I am going to venture a guess as to why… maybe it is because the German word for sorry is so horrendously convoluted, ugly and long. “Entschuldigung!” is the word, but of course owing to the German language there are at least 97 variations of this depending on who you are talking too, what you are apologising for, whether it is being used as a verb etc. etc… ugh.

Sorry, but it seems that due to my Germanifaction, I am no longer as sorry.

#76: Dubbing

Germans do not like it either.

In many other European countries, western cinema is played in English and subtitled. This means that you can meet people from Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands etc. and they will speak remarkable English, albeit with an American accent owing to all the US TV shows they consume.

However, in Germany, they dub overall English language movies and TV with German actors and dub the film into German. What this does is potentially ruin great dialogue and movie scenes because the words may have no direct German translation and it also creates an annoying visual where the mouths never match the words and it actually dilutes German exposure to “British and American English”

I would be watching a film with my German girlfriend that starred an actor she had never seen in an original English film. Let’s say Bruce Willis for instance and she say’s “Oh my god, is that what he really sounds like?” Because in Germany you get used to the same voice actors playing the same people, there is a German Bruce Willis, a German Arnold Schwarzenegger, a German Scarlett Johanssen etc.

What a job that is, sitting around waiting for Arnie to make Terminator 5 so you can work again.

#77: The Movies

Cinema in Germany

Finally, I can go to a cinema and be treated like a grown up.

Germans do cinema’s right. Not only do they serve beer in the establishment but they also have things called “love seats” which are comfortable double seats without armrests in the middle, so you can cuddle with your significant other.

I have never understood why you can’t have a beer in UK cinema’s and why do I have to be separated by an armrest? Who are these people that ruined it for everyone? I can only assume that cinema bosses expect that alcohol and double seats would turn every movie screening into an orgy so steer well clear of any potential temptation.

Now, if only I could understand what any of these German films are talking about.

#78: Beer for the lads

Beer for the lady.

Ordering drinks on a night out is generally a straight forward affair. I normally allow my partner to order the drinks for us, due to my lousy German and quite regularly I will allow her to pay as well.

What I have found is Germany is the only country I’ve been to in the world where I can repeatedly order a couple of drinks, for instance, a  large beer and a white wine, that when the waiter brings your drinks back, he will stop and ask who the beer is for.

“Well sir, the litre of beer is clearly for my small lady here, whilst I sip on that tiny Chardonnay”.

Yes, it could be that way round and in Germany, it’s probably quite commonplace, but anywhere other than Germany, it is not particularly likely.

#79: Currywurst

Yummy….

I am a huge fan of German sausage, it’s right up there with my favourite things about Germany. One thing I am still not sure if I am very fond of though is Currywurst.

Served by street vendors the nation over, they take a sausage, slice it into small round pieces, cover it in a tomato based sweet curry sauce, sprinkle with a tasteless curry powder, place it on a small paper plate with a bread roll and “voila”. You enjoy your sausage with a small plastic fork and a small beer. Generally handing over around 5 Euros for the privilege.

It is difficult to say what makes a good Currywurst, as a lot of the sausage taste can be masked by the sauce so this part has to be good. I enjoy mine the most in the winter and would say that this German tradition needs to be tried when in Germany as you will not find this delicacy anywhere else in the world!

Guten Appetite!

#80: Toilets

Replace duck, with poop.

Toilets in many establishments I have frequented are sub par. Not only this but in most places, you also have to pay for the privilege of using the toilet, in anywhere from shopping centres, to restaurants and train stations.

I have always been of the opinion that you can gauge an establishment’s overall level of hygiene by the cleanliness of its toilets. If the toilets are immaculate, then likely so is the kitchen, but I digress.

When I’m not inspecting toilets for the cleanliness, I am normally making swift use of the facilities and the thing about a large number of toilet bowls in Germany is, that it’s very common for you to have to crap onto a shelf. Apparently, the way German toilets are designed is to allow you to poo onto a ledge in the bowl, so that prior to flushing the water away you can examine your poo. This is left over from the days where eating poorly refrigerated cold meats could leave you with worms or worse. Lovely.

Of course in the UK and for that matter, most places around the world, you crap into the water. This does a couple of things, it ensures that a particularly long poo remains relatively smell free, it also gives you some separation from your deposit when wiping.

My advice is to courtesy flush yourself half way through. Crapping onto a small shelf is not a pretty sight, smell, or experience.

#81: Gardening

Communal, out of town gardens

In the UK at least, we have communal gardens located in the centres of cities and towns (allotments). These remote gardens are extremely popular among people – generally, older people – who either do not have a garden, or only have a small garden, to give them somewhere to grow food.

Allotments were made popular during the war, particularly during rationing, when great swathes of land were put aside by the government so that people could “Dig for Victory”

In Germany, they have similar patches of land, generally in, or near busy cities but they are used slightly differently. In Germany, they are actual gardens. They will most likely have a small shed containing a mower and other gardening tools, maybe some decking, a trampoline, a swing set, an apple tree maybe, usually a flag pole and it is completely fenced off.

It’s funny to know that, when a German family would like to do something as simple as sit out in the garden, they are prepared to load the car and then drive several miles out of the city in order to do so.

#82: Die Autobahn

Approx 160 MPH

When I was young, the revelation that there were roads in Germany that had no speed limits was incredible to me.

I dreamt of this magical road in Germany that where I could drive as fast as I wanted and pledged one day I would find it. Little did I know at the time that there is actually over 12’000 km of Autobahn in Germany and a huge percentage of this is unrestricted and only carries an “advisory” speed limit of 130 KMH (81 MPH).

Someone should have told the Dutch guy I was driving with… It seems that (the bulk of) people from Germany will drive fast on the Autobahn, but incredibly vigilantly and carefully, they generally only pull out into the fast lane if sufficient room and are quick to move back into the slower lanes to allow the faster cars to go past. All very polite and efficient.

Recently, I travelled from Amsterdam to Frankfurt with a Dutch guy that was offering a ride on a popular car sharing website. He kindly collected me and the trip through the Netherlands was all fine and then we hit the Autobahn. This was his first time on the unrestricted roads in his brand new Audi A4, and he felt it was an opportune moment to put the car through its paces. What followed was a very, very uncomfortable and scary trip, with much braking and pant wetting, where we more than once topped 245 KMH (152 MPH). We were actually averaging over 200 KMH (120 MPH) for the majority of the journey and ended up getting from Amsterdam to Frankfurt (some 440 KM) in just under 3.5 hours.

That weekend I was actually coming back from Amsterdam having just parachuted for the first time and I honestly don’t know which was scarier the jump, or the drive. I think the general advice here is, just because you can drive as fast as you want on the Autobahn, does not mean that you should.

#83: Your Majesty

God Save the Queen.

I am learning German at the moment and it is not especially easy, so anything that makes my 3 hour lessons slightly more palatable is always welcome.

In one lesson, I came across something that stuck with me. So, there we were doing a speaking exercise from our course book when one of the people we needed to identify was Queen Elizabeth the Second, Or to the less worldly wise, The Queen of England.

I was startled to hear that in Germany, The Queen of England, is referred to as “THE Queen”. Let me give that some context, in a country where she has no function, authority, or relevance and with many other Queens worldwide, she is not referred to as “A Queen”, or “Queen Elizabeth”, or “The Queen of England” but simply “THE Queen”

Kind of makes you proud to be English.

#84: Schlaf Gut!

1 bed… 2 mattresses, 2 quilts!

It wakes you in the night, it takes you to that cold, dark, alarming space, you fumble around in vain for safety, there is none forthcoming, you expand your search to locate any shred of comfort and security, but it won’t come.

You grab something, you pull hard and frustrated by your impotence, you use all of your body’s leverage to heave the cotton armour back over your cold exposed body, only to stir the beast that lurks within and the inevitable battle commences. “you have stolen all the duvet!”

This argument takes place in households the world over, maybe it happened to you last night, maybe tonight is the night for the battle of the Duvet!

You can always count on the Germans to solve a problem and being as efficient as they are, they have of course come up with a remedy so simple, it could be considered as genius. So, behold the solution in all it’s glory!!!!!……. 1 bed, 2 Duvets.

How easy is this? I can’t believe it has not been adopted more widely, stay at many hotels in Germany and order a double room, you will find the double bed has 2 single duvet covers neatly folded at the bottom of the bed, the battle is over, you can relax now. Sleep well, or Schlaf Gut! as the Germans say.

#85: Ice, Ice Baby

Spaghetti Ice

If you are asked if you want to go and get “Ice” by a German, you may do exactly as I did, look vague and repeat with confusion “ICE?”

I am still not used to this word, every time I hear a German tell me “we get some Ice” I picture that we are about to go to a dark street corner to procure the latest class A street drug.

But of course, German’s mean ICE-CREAM! but have efficiently omitted the word “cream” to speed up the whole transaction. It is a big tradition in Germany to venture out for a walk that ends at a local Ice-cream shop, which you will find in pretty much every town, village and high street.

Lastly, when the German you are with asks for “spaghetti ice”, don’t be confused, it is merely ice cream that is pressed through a machine that makes it all stringy.

#86: Dude, Where’s My Cooker?

You must buy your kitchen, even in a rental.

A little something I was not prepared for and had never read anywhere prior to moving to Germany is that, when you rent or buy a place in Germany, the kitchen is generally not included.

Unless you have agreed to buy the kitchen (around €2000) from the previous owners/tenants, the likelihood is that you will be moving into an empty room with some pipes sticking out of the wall.

So, when negotiating your let remember to ask if the kitchen is included, or you may face an unexpected bill and a new best friend from the pizza delivery company.

#87: Spare any Change?

There are different types of beggars here, some will stop you in the street to ask you for money, some will wait at traffic lights and wash your windscreen and ask for money and others kneel on the street, their heads bowed and covered holding out their hands.

It’s the ones that stop you in the street that I am most discomforted by, not only because I don’t like to be stopped in the street, but also because I normally respond with my best English accent and advise that “I don’t understand, I don’t speak German” and try to move on, whereupon they immediately switch to English.

It says something about my school education when the vast majority of tramps in Germany speak more languages that I do.

#88: Oh! You’re English!?

Prepare to be accosted by drunks, random weirdo’s and colourful students whom, upon hearing you are native  English will spend the next 5 minutes earnestly practicing the only English they know with you.

You will have almost daily conversations that are exactly the same, as these people use up their high school English and then fumble around for sporadic words that make no intelligible conversation.

I complain, but seriously if they weren’t invariably drunk, or crazy, I would think it was cool that people so willingly dive into English and want to speak to you using it, they sometimes make you feel like a minor celebrity such is the rarity of the native Englishman in Germany.

I will certainly not be doing the same with my German, unless I am drunk, of course.

#89: What the Hell is an Adverb?

Because, screw you, that’s why.

I am currently on an intensive German course. German is not an easy language, unlike say, English.

German’s are very sympathetic to those learning Deutsch and for some, it may actually not be all that hard. However, it is made infinitely harder for me as I didn’t actually pass English at school. So the structure you need to apply to learning and understanding the basics such as indefinite articles, irregular verbs and such are all gibberish. So, a lot of time learning German has also been spent really understanding English.

Top tip: If you want to learn German, know your English.

 

#90: Iron Curtains

Bomb Proof

Houses in Germany look like the houses you will find all over Continental Europe, but different to those commonly found in the UK. There, the houses and villages could be described as quaint, or cute. In Germany, you can describe them as functional, or bomb proof.

I live in an apartment built most likely in the 1950’s and structurally it would survive everything but a direct hit from a 10 megaton blast. To keep out the sun and heat in the summer many German households have metal shutters on the outside of their windows, these also double as curtains. These shutters roll down like the security doors you see on the front windows of shops and obscure every particle of light from the outside. Coupled with this many apartments will have bars across the windows, to keep bad guys out in the summer.

My rear door, for instance, has a double glazed door, a fly net, a metal roller shutter and THEN iron bars with a lock. So, no one is getting in, but in a fire, how am I getting out??

Still, should WWIII ever happen, I probably won’t even hear it.

#91: Prost!

Eye contact must be made!

Or Cheers! to anyone from the UK.

Germans do like beer, which is perhaps one of my favourite things ever and when coupled with sausage I am in Bavarian heaven! Germany has a great tradition of great beer and it is generally of a higher quality, with a much larger choice than other countries I have visited. Wheat beer (Weizen) in particular is delicious.

It is very usual to toast, as it is in the UK, with “Prost” replacing “Cheers” however there is one marked difference. In Germany according to tradition, you are supposed to look the person in the eye when you “chink” your glass with that person, lest ye face 7 years of bad sex, Germans will often toast several times throughout the drink, so it can be a fairly time-consuming process.

It is particularly uncomfortable to “Prost” your girlfriend’s father, whilst he demands you look him in the eye, I know that he does not wish himself to have bad sex, but in a roundabout way he is ensuring his daughter doesn’t either… CHEERS!

#92: Breakfast

Breakfast on the weekend is a big deal in Germany, and man it is good.

Breakfast – well brunch really – is where the whole family/friends etc. will sit together and enjoy a breakfast of rolls, cheese, cooked meats, salmon, eggs, good coffee and other delights for around 2 hours. It may also include 1 or 2 bottles of Sekt (fizzy wine) which leaves you feeling like you want to go straight back to bed after having it. However, it is usually followed by a group walk around the village/town/city.

I think it is the equivalent of the English Sunday roast, but with fewer calories and effort. Cooking chicken, roast potatoes etc. is a 3-hour hour marathon, placing lots of fresh cheeses and meats on a table takes a lot less effort overall.

#93: Schönen Feierabend!

Schönen Feierabend is rapidly becoming one of my favourite German sayings. It has no direct translation to English though roughly means “Have a nice evening”

In fact, Feireabend is the period of time after leaving work. For instance, you leave work at 5 and head to the pub for a beer with colleagues before going home, this is your Feierabend. You may be asked for a Feierabend Bier, by your colleagues, which is the English equivalent of “a quick pint”

#94: Road “Rage”

Driving through a city such as Frankfurt can be a both harrowing and exhilarating experience as lanes merge and disappear, traffic appears from your right and expects you to stop, flashy motors both over and undertake you simultaneously.

If you dare to change lanes at an inappropriate time or hesitate at a green light you will most likely experience the German equivalent of road rage.

Instead of hurling abuse, names, and finger gestures – as is widely accepted in towns and cities across the UK –  Germans are more likely to pull up along side you at traffic lights and discuss the inadequacy of your last lane change or point out how you could drive better. Of course, this is often delivered through a heated debate but rarely does it descend into childish name calling and fighting. It remains as a direct conversation, something one will surely be indulging in whilst I learn the roads!

#95: Street Drinking is OK

In contrast to the UK, where drinking in the street can likely end up in a police officer disposing of said alcohol, in Germany, it is largely OK to drink in public.

A German friend of mine was enjoying a nice beer on the tube in London last year to round off a splendid Feierabend (the period between finishing work and getting home – there is no direct English translation) only to be accosted by the British Transport Police and told to dispose of the contents. Imagine his surprise as only Two weeks earlier he had been doing the exact same thing in Germany with no problem whatsoever.

Drinking on the tube and on the streets is largely acceptable in Germany, just watch out for Saturday afternoons where local supporters of football clubs will be celebrating victory – with a beer, or drowning their sorrows after a loss – with a beer.

#96: Green Light = GO, GO, GO!

German’s have a love affair with Das Auto, Fact. But, why not? They make the finest cars in the world – BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche are all designed and manufactured in Deutschland and with many families having reasonable disposable income, they can and do, buy nice cars.

What this means is an array of normal saloon looking cars, with enormous engines underneath, V8’s rumble from under the bonnet of an otherwise discreet Mercedes Estate car, mundane looking Golfs are actually hyper tuned cars designed for the race circuit.

Particularly in Frankfurt – a wealthy city – you will find these cars at almost every set of traffic lights, eagerly awaiting the green signal, whereupon you would think that they have just been given the green light on the Nürburgring as all hell breaks loose, with Audi’s, Porsches, Range Rovers (and the occasional Smart car) roaring off the line into the city.

Please be aware that a slow start is not an option though, even a micro second of hesitance at a red light turned green, will invoke honks of fury, as if in that moment you are holding up the entire German economy. So as a rule, if you are at the front at a green light? it is time to test your start line timing, foot to the floor, Go Go Go!

#97: Sunday is a Day of Rest

Don’t try to get anything done on a Sunday.

German’s take Sunday rest very seriously, you will not find any supermarkets open and 99% of all retail shops are closed. It is better you stock up on all the things you think you might need on the Saturday.

Sunday’s are used for long lazy breakfasts and walks in the country side with no particular destination in mind, you will find some restaurants and bars may be open but don’t plan on buying any DIY equipment, or Food on a Sunday.

#98: Thou Shalt Not Cross

Ampfelmanchen

Stood at a red light on a cross walk once all the cars are gone is an interesting spectacle.

10’s of Germans will gather at an empty road, devoid of cars or any other traffic clearly indicating nothing is coming, but as opposed to using their own common sense, or survival instinct as a means to safely get across the road they will stand at the red crossing light until it turns green.

Attempting to cross the road on red will create looks of astonishment and bemusement as the Germans repeatedly look at you, then the light to confirm it is still red, then back at you, nonchalantly using your own common sense to traverse an empty road.