8 more signs you've been Germanised
Over time, living in Germany changes you, as you pick up the habits you found so alien at the start when you first moved. We had such fun with our first eight signs that you’ve been Germanised - and received such hilarious responses from readers - that we just had to come up with eight more. Here we go...
1. You yell “Hallo!” when you’re annoyed at someone
The first time someone did this to you, you probably jumped out of your skin, thinking it was the most aggressive greeting you’d ever heard. Now, however, you know that there’s no better way to express displeasure than by calling “Hallo!” at the top of your voice.
You have no compunction with dishing out your annoyance left, right and centre. Someone’s talking too loudly in the quiet carriage on public transport? Someone cuts in front of you in a queue? Someone’s walking in the cycle lane? You let it rip: “Halloooooo!”
2. You actually enjoy having a bit of peace and quiet on a Sunday
When you first arrived, the fact that Germany turned into a bit of a ghost town on Sundays came as a nasty shock. Since you work full-time, having only one weekend day to get all of your chores done felt like a bit of a tall order, and there were definitely a few times and you forgot, only to wake up on Sunday morning with an empty fridge.
But now you simply do your shopping earlier in the week to make sure the sacred quiet of Sunday remains sacrosanct. You put your feet up and enjoy a solid day of resting. Maybe a long, leisurely brunch with friends, but nothing too strenuous. Even turning the vacuum cleaner on would be too much.
3. You have insurance for everything
You used to think just having health insurance would cut it, then some wise soul planted a seed of doubt in your mind. What, they said, if you accidentally broke someone’s mobile phone, or caused a major traffic accident, or spontaneously combusted? Turns out, in Germany, there’s insurance for that.
Liability insurance, dental insurance, legal insurance, pet insurance, car insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, life insurance - you name it - you collect them like Pokemon cards. You chat to your insurance advisor more regularly than some people speak to their own families.
4. You know your Vollkornbrot from your Pumpernickel
In some countries, bread has become something close to a dirty word - a type of food that’s shunned and certainly not eaten by people who care about their health. In Germany, however, bread is still king. Bread is simple, bread is good, and bread is serious.
Because bread isn’t just bread, as you once so foolishly believed. It comes in all shapes and sizes and now you can name them all, from the large loaf varieties down to the myriad little rolls you pick up fresh from the bakery every Saturday morning.
5. You say hello when you enter the doctor’s waiting room
If you ever found it strange to be greeted by literally everyone who walks in or out of the waiting room at the GP, you’ve forgotten all about it now. Like a regular native, you address the room as you enter with a simple, “Guten Tag!” and take your leave as you exit: “Auf Wiedersehen!”
Naturally, you know that this little ritual has nothing to do with politeness. It’s just what you do. You don’t - whatever you do - try to spark up a conversation with anyone, smile, or even make eye contact.
6. You religiously air out your home
Before, you might not have been bothered by stuffiness - which in Germany is defined as the atmosphere in any room that hasn’t been cruelly blasted with cold air in the last half hour. You might have even kept your windows closed the whole winter through to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Now, however, you know that the secret to good health is good, fresh air, and so you can’t march into a room without immediately flinging all of the windows wide - whatever the weather - for a good bit of Umlüftung. Ahh, you can breathe again!
7. You carry a cloth bag with you everywhere
The first time you went shopping in Germany, you got caught out - where are the plastic bags at the supermarket checkout? You had to meekly ask for one - and got charged 25 cents for the privilege!
The shame has stayed with you ever since, and now you carry a reusable tote bag with you wherever you go, just in case. It seems like you’re being green, when actually you’re being thrifty.
8. You can appreciate the joy of a good Schorle
You’re a convert to German beer - of course - but it’s in the realm of soft drinks that your taste has most changed. In your early days, you used to get caught out by the bottled water labelled "classic" - you know, the way nature intended - that was actually sparkling. You thought it was disgusting.
Now, however, you’ve come round to the fact that a little bit of fizz makes a drink just a tiny bit more fun. Sparkling water? Yes please! Apfelschorle, Weinschorle, anything-Schorle - fill your glass!