What do Germans miss when they're abroad?

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03:19 mins.
18.04.2018

What do Germans miss when they're abroad? | Meet the Germans

Missing German bread is a common woe when Germans travel abroad. But as Kate Müser finds out on Meet the Germans, there are a few other very German things they miss as well.

Every other week, DW's Kate Müser explores the quirks of everyday life and language in Germany. Originally from the United States, Müser has lived in Germany for over 13 years. Follow Meet the Germans on YouTube or at dw.com/meetthegermans.

What are Germans passionate about - besides their delicious bread varieties? Find out in the picture gallery below. 

Culture

Beer

It's a cliché, so might as well get it out of the way: Only the Czechs drink more beer on average than the Germans. It's not that every German likes beer, but it's just so socially established. An older woman drinking a pint at noon will not be seen as an alcoholic. And any German beer fan knows extremely creative methods to open a beer bottle without an opener.

Culture

Paperwork

The binder is a German invention, and this might help explain why Germans are so fond of keeping their records. Yet even the most chaotic person will quickly find out that keeping any official document is a necessity in Germany. You actually need them more often than you'd think. Despite digitalization, German bureaucracy also remains surprisingly reliant on good-old paper forms — stacks of them.

Culture

Bargains

It's a country where discounter stores often serve as supermarkets for all classes of society. People who are always searching for the best deals are called "Schnäppchenjäger," or bargain hunters. The mentality is ingrained in many Germans, allowing this advertisement slogan, "Geiz ist geil!" — being stingy is sexy — to become part of pop culture.

Culture

Travel

If you're to meet any other tourists in a remote area of, say, the Middle East, they could well be middle-aged Germans in high-tech hiking gear. Passionate travelers, Germans are everywhere. Many prefer to stick to established habits, though. A favorite is the Spanish island of Mallorca, nicknamed "Malle." "Ballermann 6" (pictured) is a particularly famous bar known for its excesses.

Culture

Schrebergärten - garden colonies

The Germans who prefer to stay in the city throughout the summer might be doing so because they have a garden in one of the country's 1.4 million "Schrebergärten," which are colonies divided into plots with a little shack. There, they can work on their flowerbeds, barbecue or line up garden gnomes. Germany, however, strictly regulates these allotments, and each colony also has its own rules.

Culture

FKK

The German nudist movement was the first worldwide, developing at the end of 19th century through clubs promoting "Freikörperkultur," or FKK, which translates as Free Body Culture. It became especially widespread in former East Germany, and not only in nudist camps. To this day, you shouldn't be surprised to see naked people in parks or around lakes in the eastern part of Germany.

Culture

Road rules

As an adult, you may feel you can take your own risk and cross on a red light when there aren't any cars. However, in Germany, you shouldn't be surprised if you hear someone yelling at you: "It's RED!" Often, cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers all feel the need to "educate" their fellow road users.

Culture

Stammtisch

There's no exact translation for this German tradition: "Stammtisch" initially referred to a table reserved for regular clients in a pub, where they'd often play a card game called skat or discuss politics. The discussions weren't always elaborate, though, leading to the expression "Stammtischniveau" (Stammstisch level). Now, Stammtisch is also a regular meet-up organized by any imaginable group.

Culture

Tatort

Most Sunday evenings, nearly 10 million Germans tune in to the TV series "Tatort" (Crime Scene), which has been continuously running since 1970. Regional public broadcasters take turns producing episodes, so investigations are set in a different city each time. As it's more fun to watch with other people, many pubs organize screenings. Tweeting during the show is another popular option.

Culture

Cake every day

The "Kaffee und Kuchen" (coffee and cake) tradition allows Germans to eat cake any afternoon, like British teatime - although most people now indulge in this treat on weekends only. You're also expected to show up with a cake for your colleagues on your birthday. Children sometimes start theirs with cake for breakfast, then bring one to school and get a third one for their party with friends.

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