Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I guess Germany's pretty OK :)

Not quite my usual post format, but I had fun making these lists, so I hope you enjoy them. :)

So, I've been in Lemgo about a month now (how time flies!), which means I can look back on my first impressions of Germany with a fresh perspective (although I'm sure this will continue to change as my time here goes on). Though I have to admit I'm still very much a home bird, there are many things that I'm distinctly warming to in this strange land; I'm almost being won over to the German way of life. There might even be a couple of ways in which the Germans even manage to one-up us Brits. (Who would've thought!?) Perhaps these Germans aren't so crazy after all.

Here are just a few things that, in my eyes, Germany does better.

  • Giant square pillows... it's true! I've been converted! They're still weird though.
  • Cycling - Everybody does it, even old ladies! And I absolutely love it! Much quicker than walking, but still provides that inner smugness that comes with doing exercise. Win win!
  • Beer (We should definitely bring Altbierbowle to the UK! And who had the brilliant idea of mixing beer with lemonade??? Whoever it was, I take my hat off to you)
  • Table service in pubs - Such a good idea. Though I'll definitely have lost my ability to elbow my way to the bar in Wetherspoons.
  • Haribo - Germans do haribo in a big way. Not just gummy bears, but gummy everything. My taste buds are loving it! My teeth? Not so much.
Yes, I did buy Christmas Haribo in October. Don't judge me.
  • Opportunities for sausage puns - I think we all know how I feel about those... (They're the wurst)
  • Language - Germans have so many useful terms that we don't have single words for in English! I've read about words such as Drachenfutter (a gift to make it up to someone, especially a spouse, who you've done something to annoy) and Treppenwitz (literally 'staircase joke', a joke or comeback that you think of once the moment has passed). Since coming here, I've also come across fremdschämen (to be embarrassed on behalf of someone else), Suppenkoma (or 'soup coma', the tired feeling you get after a big meal), and Liebhaberstück (something an individual especially likes to collect). See, English seems ridiculously wordy by comparison!

However, much as I love the Vaterland, there are some things that we Brits just do better!

  • Tea - sorry Deutschland! I know you try.
  • Tap water. There is nothing wrong with it, despite what the judging looks from waiters would have you believe.
  • Films - seriously, it seems like every German film is actually a British or American one (well, mostly American if I'm honest) dubbed into German. And it isn't half confusing trying to lip-read while you listen.
  • Jokes. (To be fair, humour is one thing that just doesn't translate. When I've grown to fully understand the deutsche Humor I'll know I've become a fully fledged German!)

Edit: I just read the best German word! It's verschlimmbessern, which is the verb used to describe the act of making something worse, while actively trying to make it better. Such a great one!


  1. Ooh! Does this mean feathers are my Liebhaberstück? :D Let me know if I have the context right there.

    It would be really cool to find out some German bird names, actually. I've found a French bird blog and I'm making a list of French bird names, but don't know any German bird blogs that don't write in English. Have you come across any bird names at all?

    1. Yeah it definitely does! I think my Liebhaberstück would probably be books.. I can't stop buying them! or maybe nail varnish :P

      I haven't heard any German bird names.. Haven't really seen any birds actually, apart from boring ducks. Ok, I just googled Vögelblog and it wasn't pretty... 'Bird' is a slang word for woman in German too. O_o

      Just had a quick look at google results and all the German blogs appear to be in English. Why you so good at languages, crazy Germans?

  2. Oh goodness, I am the queen of Treppenwitz! That makes me want to learn ALL the cool German words :) So cool that they have a word just for that! Drachenfutter is really cute too.. especially since it means... dragon food, literally, I think?! So something you bring to tame the beast?? Makes sense to me!!

    1. Haha! we should totally adopt some of their words! Or at least make English equivalents :P and likening an angry spouse to a dragon is pretty funny! Crazy Germans :D