Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ze Germans and Zer Funny ways

Having been a Gringa in Latin America for so long it was interesting to be on a new continent, immersed in a new culture. Although I do have a bit of history with Ze Germans, I worked three years for Lufthansa in a call centre where all my supervisors would stand behind me speaking loud aggressive German. I didn’t know if I was doing something wrong or right or they were just gossiping about getting shit faced the night before. I had flight benefits whilst working for them and had to fly standby so the Frankfurt airport became a familiar place to spend the night curled up on a hard chair waiting for my next flight out of that country. Only once did I stay in Germany while working for them and that’s when they paid me to go to the Lufthansa training complex in Seeheim or as my supervisor called it Sexheim. Apparently there is quite a bit of bed hopping in the complex that has three bars, a bowling alley, squash courts, a pool, sauna and Turkish bath but I won’t go into what happened when I was there.

So I already knew quite a bit about Germans before but now I was in their natural habitat where I could observe them properly and from my extensive research I have compiled a list of what I found.

Germans are quite modest and shy. Whenever I approached one to ask for directions I felt it polite to ask in German first if they spoke English and 100% of the time they would always say, just a little but then they carry on a full conversation in perfect English.

It is true Germany is very clean and very environmentally friendly. Everywhere outside there are not just garbage bins which a lot of cities lack but there are multi sectioned bins labelled for recycling ; plastic, cans, paper etc.. It took the London boy forever to figure out the rubbish bins.

There is no background noise. Seriously! It is really really quiet! Even if you see a construction site you can’t hear the work going on. There is some sort of efficient German vortex that sucks up the background noise in cities. The trams would come into the square pick people up and breeze out without a sound. I felt like I was in the Steven King movie The Langoliers. No horns honking, no music playing, no murmur of people chatting, it was very perplexing and haunting.

My friend who I came to visit however didn’t agree with me so I put it down to the fact that I am used to the organized chaos of Latin America. English boy who I met in Colombian noticed this as well as my friend who I lived with in Mexico. It was too quiet and it actually really bothered me.

Perhaps if the activities on the street were a bit louder I would have been able to hear the thousands of bicycles that almost ran me over. I was starting to accept the fact that I was either going to die in this country by being run over by a bike or a tram. Everyone rides bikes. There are huge parking lots just for bikes with thousands all chained up. You have to really make sure where you are walking because if you are on a bike path look out they ain’t stopping.

I could really go on about the crazy things in Germany like those white sausages they like to eat in the Beer Haus that look like a Ginger man’s penis (not that I have ever been with a Ginger man but that is what I expect they would look like). Their love of bakeries and sweets but yet they all stay quite slim. How I found their language sounds quite dirty like this sign I discovered:

And my friend’s favourite saying: “Gute Fahrt”

I do have to say my favourite funny thing in Germany is the observation deck. Now I am referring to the toilets. Germans have their own unique and amazing toilets! There is a small space for the water to go down and a little deck for your poo to drop where you can have a good look and check 'er out. However there are a few negatives to this amazing invention.

1. There is no water to hide the smell of your number two and let’s face it your shit does stink!

2. What happens when you have the diarrhoea? I didn’t come across this problem but I am thinking, your going to have one messy arsehole.

3. If it's a fair size, like she was a pretty dense jobby then even the pressure of the water isn’t going to help it off that shelf.

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