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What Americans can expect when going to Germany.  Germans close room doors. ◦ At first it will seem extreme; they are guarding against draftiness (see.

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Presentation on theme: "What Americans can expect when going to Germany.  Germans close room doors. ◦ At first it will seem extreme; they are guarding against draftiness (see."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Americans can expect when going to Germany

2  Germans close room doors. ◦ At first it will seem extreme; they are guarding against draftiness (see below)  Doorknobs are often different, as are the locks and keys.  They pull shades.  They lock bathroom doors.  They keep most windows closed, except to air out a room. ◦ They avoid having multiple doors and windows open in order to avoid drafts: "Du, mach doch bitte die Tür zu – es zieht!"

3  Germans don't take a shower every day. ◦ Most Germans do not shampoo and style their hair every day.  Girls don't necessarily shave underarms and legs.  People don't change clothes every day. ◦ They air out their clothes and wash them less often so they don't wear out quickly (Germans are frugal!)

4  Short phone calls: even local calls are individually billed  Up early - to bed early. ◦ Isn't that what Ben Franklin said?

5  They have small refrigerators (don't raid them!) ◦ Germans shop almost daily to buy fresh food for meals  They eat a hot meal at noontime.  They tend to eat more fresh food, less processed food.  Germans eat almost all kinds of food and almost all parts of animals.  They eat raw ham and beef (don't worry - it's tested for cooties)

6  No ice - or maybe one cube - in sodas, so strong cokes! ◦ Also, Coke is still made with real sugar in Germany, the way it was in the USA back in the day…  Meals are social events ◦ Wait to start eating until someone has said "Guten Appetit!"  In many cases no prayers at the table.  Germans love sparkling mineral water! ◦ Try it... Soon you might enjoy the refreshing taste as much as they do

7  Germans like to have flower and vegetable gardens.  Dogs and cats are important ◦ and may even be taken into restaurants! ◦ Well, maybe not so much the cats

8  When people visit friends, flowers are often brought as a gift ◦ Always an uneven number ◦ No red or white roses, unless in love! ◦ This is always an appropriate birthday present  They shake hands to greet their friends and acquaintances, new and old.  Girls often walk arm in arm and dance together.

9  There are three types of high school ◦ Gymnasium (college preparatory education), Realschule (intermediary education), Hauptschule (vocational education) ◦ but none of them have water fountains!  Students carry bookbags, briefcases, or backpacks.  Young people in Germany are more often politically involved than they are here.  Young people are often very mature for their age. ◦ Perhaps this has to do with the degree of freedom they have?

10  War time history is different from what we learn in U.S. TV-movies ◦ So it is often difficult for us to talk about it with Germans  Ubiquitous: nudity in magazines and sex scenes on TV  You may find restroom attendants ◦ Tip them! That's how they make a living ◦ Also, restroom stalls require a few coins to unlock…  Mind numbering of floors in buildings: U.S. 1 st = their main or ground floor; our 2 nd = their 1 st ; our 3 rd = their 2 nd floor. ◦ It can get confusing!

11  Mind different greetings: "Grüß Gott" in the South, "Moin" in the North, "Guten Tag" in general.  Germans "boil" (kochen) their clothes (washing machines have heaters) so ask for your clothes to be washed at 30° (auf 30 Grad waschen).  FKK: Freikörperkultur! Nude areas at beaches and in parks, topless swimming/ sunbathing. ◦ This is does not involve sexuality! It is part of the naturist movement dating back to the late 19 th century. ◦ Let’s not stare though, ok?

12  These Strange German Ways and the Whys of the Ways by Susan Stern (1998)  The Germans by Gordon Craig (1981)


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