German Quirks

After 5 months more or less living in Berlin, I had fallen in love with a city (again). Half of me didn’t want to leave, half of me was excited for the next adventure (hiya Brussels! – I will give an update sooner or later)

Maybe one day I will return for longer? Who knows, I barely have a 5 day plan let alone a 5 year plan.

Every country and its culture has it’s oddities. And Germany is no exception. Here are some things I noticed, which are definitely not the only things.

Germans: a mixture of warm and cold, but very nice people! Like us Brits 😉

Knocking on Tables

It comes from university students, but they don;t know why. Instead of clapping (and they would at the end of a class), they like to knock on the table to show appreciation. It’s kinda cute!

Not Sitting on Public Transport

I’ve seen elderly, and women carrying babies refuse to sit down despite there being multiple empty seats on a bus. It seems like they really hate to sit next to a stranger, which has made me self conscious about sitting down next to a stranger.

Very Trusting of Payment on Public Transport

Aside from the bus driver, checks for you public transport ticket is only once in a while. You don’t need to scan to get into the metro stop, so in theory you could easily use it for free. But they do check, so don’t.

Not the Best at Queuing

I’m British, and I appreciate an orderly queue. Not Germans though, there are no unspoken rules about allowing those there first for the bus to board, people just go for it. Even in cafes, once a friend and I went up to order and two women quickly stepped in front of us to pay. The shock!

A Bizarre NYE Tradition

They like to watch an old black and white British film – Dinner for One. It’s a comedy they like to play a little drinking game whilst watching it at New Year’s Eve, but they were surprised that I had never heard of it.

Clubbing is very different to British Clubbing

The rules are, make sure someone speaks German, wear black, don’t wear high heels and little dresses, don’t arrive super drunk. Some are notoriously hard to get into, whereas in the UK if you’re a girl it’s pretty easy. I like dressing up for clubs, but the chilled vibe in a very cold city did make a nice change.

Always Carry Cash

Despite Berlin, and Germany, being a very modern place boasting the latest technology, for some reason most cafes/bars don’t accept card, or if they do their machines might not work. So rather than risk embarrassment always make sure you have a decent amount of cash handy!

Smoking is okay in some bars

I’m not sure of the exact laws regarding smoking in Germany, but it seems that in some bars it is okay to smoke freely, others have a designated smoking area, others don’t.

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