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Thread: Travling to Germany in the summer

  1. #1
    Krauser's Shoe Shiner
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    Travling to Germany in the summer

    Gutentag,
    I'm traveling to Germany in the begining of summer, and there's some things I was wondering about I thought you gentlemen could possibly help me out with. I'll be staying with various friends so I'm not worried about living arrangements but I will be traveling to some other countries. My question is, what customs should I be aware of going into germany? I do not wish to be rude or say the wrong thing. Any help, comments, or info you guys have about anything involving Germany would be wonderful.

    Bitte,
    tony

  2. #2
    I AM NOT FRENCHMAN,
    I AM A HUMAN BEING!
    SPINMASTER X's Avatar
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    I'm an American living in Germany so maybe I can help, hehe.

    Just curious but what parts of Germany will you be going to?

    Americans and Germans are different but not enough to the point where it's likely you'll offend somebody with your day to day normal actions. If something offends them I'm sure they'll understand, but here are a few tips:

    Don't bring up WWII, but that should be a no brainer.

    Don't bring up American politics cuz Europeans hate Bush and they love Obama. So if you aren't a fan of Obama, steer clear of politics.

    Attempting to learn the language is always makes you look good, no matter what country you go to. Especially if you try to order food or a drink. It'll probably score some points with the ladies too.

    If you are visiting someones house I'd say it'd be nice to bring a gift. It's cool if you bring something from where you live like I know for sure old German men like shot glasses. When I went home on vacation I brought some shot glasses back with Mississippi stuff on them.

    When you go out to eat the tip is usually part of the check so you don't have to leave money on the table. If you really want to leave a tip give it directly to that person.

    Some Europeans have a different sense of personal space than we do. They tend to get closer when they talk to you than we would. So don't overreact and be like "hey man back up". I live in the German countryside and the people here are very friendly towards the American community. If i meet new people they usually by me drinks(cuz i'm the lone American usually) and the tend to get real close and put their arm around me like we're brothers. That's just how they are sometimes so I wouldn't take offense and think they are trying something.

    If you go out and drink with Germans and you happen to be an angry drunk who likes to fight, then I suggest that you don't drink cuz they look down on that. Germans can drink twice as much as Americans and can keep their composure twice as good.

    I can't really think of anything else. Those tips I gave you are from my experience from living in Rheinland Pfalz. Every part of Germany is completely different from the next. From the language, the culture and the overall mood of the locals. Germans from the south typically like to remind everyone how awesome it is to be from the south much to the chagrin of everyone else. Up north people can be very cold at times and in the backwoods of the country people can be warm and welcoming and everywhere else it's inbetween or to either extreme, it's a very diverse place. But Germany is an awesome country, and I know you'll have a great time and I'm sure you won't offend anybody.

    p.s. contrary to American pop culture, Germans are not huge fans of David Hasselhoff.
    Last edited by SPINMASTER X; 03-13-2009 at 05:13 AM.
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    m.o.terra kaesi's Avatar
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    very amusing to read, just as well for non-americans. thanks

  4. #4
    Krauser's Shoe Shiner
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    Well that was exactly the kind of stuff I was wanting to know so thanks. As far as where I'll be... well I know I'll be in Frankfurt for part of the time a Munich for another part. I have a few German friends that I'm sure I'll visit in a few other smaller towns/cities. This was kind of a spur of the moment decision and I really don't know much German at all. I just kind of woke up one day recently and said "I'm gonna go to Germany". I intend to learn some German of course. Enough to get to the bathroom and find a good beer. I already know 1 bier bitte which is maybe all I'll need . I really appreciate all the good info especially coming from an American (since it gives me a more accurate outsider depiction). Any more info would of course be welcomed, and again thanks a ton for the help!

  5. #5
    I AM NOT FRENCHMAN,
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    Frankfurt and Munich, very nice. Those are 2 awesome cities. There are lots and lots of clubs in and around the Frankfurt-Wiesbaden area, especially hip hop clubs cuz there are lots of American military bases in and near there. "1 bier bitte" is a good start. Just another little extra "gee wiz" tip is if you order 1 drink use your thumb to indicate 1 and not your index finger. If you use your index finger they might sometimes mistake it for 2 because when you order 2 drinks you use your index finger and thumb. Clubs and pubs is actually where I learned to speak German and get acquainted with German culture, I only learned to refine my grammar in class, people always find that funny.

    Anyway I can't really think of any other tips for ya. Just have fun, see everything, party like a rockstar, take some pics and post em for us to see

    Quote Originally Posted by m.o.terra kaesi
    very amusing to read, just as well for non-americans. thanks
    yeah I was wondering how non American people would view my tips. I'd like to see what your tips are for travelling to America.
    THE KING OF FIGHTERS
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  6. #6
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    If you are allready in Germany between May 28th and June 8th, I propose to visit our Beerfest here in Erlangen http://www.der-berg-ruft.de/
    Not as big as the Oktoberfest in Munich, but also very popular.

    And a little correction concerning the "don't bring up WWII": I think most germans have no problem discussing WWII on a reasonable level. But you shouldn't meet new people and start with "You are still Nazis?" "Is Hitler still president?" or similar stupid questions.
    Contrary to some believes, todays Germany is a democratic republic and is very far from the Germany of 1945. We have some problems with Neo-Nazis, especially in some big eastern cities, but I guess some idiots can be found in every country.

    So I hope you will have a nice stay and meet many cool people.
    Dampfwalze
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  7. #7
    Kraut Mod Takumaji's Avatar
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    Here are some more pro-tips by John Cleese for avoiding trouble while visiting Germany: Don't criticize their food, never put Ketchup on Schweinebraten and never call their Mercedes cars Volkswagens.

    Apart from that we're quite uncomplicated. And don't worry about the food, at the moment you'll find more Balkan grills, Turkish restaurants and Italian pizza than traditional German stuff...

    What Spinmeister wrote about the personal space depends on where you are, it's less intensive in urban areas.

    Anyway... gute Reise und viel Spaß!
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  8. #8
    Krauser's Shoe Shiner
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    Thanks for all the tips fellas. I especially found the thumb and index finger tip very interesting.
    I'll also be sure not to start a convo with "Sup Nazi doood" - that one gave me a laugh
    I'll be sure to snap some shots while I'm there. I'm kinda going blindly, but as I said, there are a few friends of friends I'm gonna' crash with occasionaly along with showing me the ropes. I can't imagine it will be anything but amazing. And just maybe I'll find one of you guys for a nice Windjammer match

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