Photo: Anelo/Shutterstock

How to Piss Off a German

by Oskar Lingk Nov 24, 2015

Tell us that foreigners score our goals

Winning the FIFA World Cup felt like Christmas, Easter and Karneval all at once. After so many years of national restraint, it was a very liberating feeling to wave our flags proudly again. But as with any championship team, there are haters all around. One of the most popular comments about our national team is “Tzz, don’t get too excited – foreigners scored your goals!” No question about it, that pisses us off. I have two words for you: Thomas Müller. Yes, many of our players have an immigrant background. But this is Team Germany, and if you’ve worked hard enough to get to that level, you are German through and through. Seeing players from different origins, singing the German national anthem together, with the eagle on their chest, is a point of national pride, no matter where our players are born. Berlin has more kebab restaurants than Istanbul, so come here and feel the spirit before judging our sense of multiculturalism.

Serve the kind of bread you could use as a pillow

It doesn’t matter where Germans go abroad. There’s one thing no other country seems to be capable of providing: our hard, dark bread. Back home, we have manly, firm-to-the-bite bread to start our day right. The rest of the world disappoints us with a white loaf of half-baked dough. It should be forbidden to call it “bread” when you can poke through it without so much as chipping a nail. Leave that shit to the toothless people in retirement homes or the people getting their tonsils removed. It’s easy, people. Start treating yourself. Make the world a better place. Saving the baby bread for the people who need it and bake the real stuff for the rest of us.

Disrespect the street laws

We love our cars. Even the slightest ding will ruin our whole day, and we won’t sleep until the vandal is punished. Behind the steering wheel, the most relaxed German becomes a raging bull even if you do respect the right-of-way. And if you don’t… he’d put your car in a ditch if it wouldn’t damage his own baby. We Germans love to keep order, so God help you if you run through a cross walk or park incorrectly. We have a number to call and report parking offenders, so they know they won’t be getting away with it. It doesn’t matter if your car is sitting in front of an exit for five minutes, or its wheel is just outside the white lines of your space. You’re done. Older people especially love to dial those three magic numbers. But street lights are where we get really angry. You must drive immediately once they turn green, or we will start a honking concert and scream out of our windows behind you. We love to be punctual, so don’t waste our time.

Ask about East Germany

Seriously? I have been confronted with the dumbest questions while traveling abroad. “Do all people in Germany have electricity?” or “do the people in East Germany live in houses?” I wish these weren’t real questions I’ve been asked. How can we finally overcome all the prejudice left behind from World War II when some people can’t even open a history book or check the news? According to Forbes, our chancellor (better know her name!) is the most powerful woman in the world, so you should know a bit more about the country she ́s leading. We are the third biggest economy in the world. And you ask us about the availability of electricity? If we are developed enough to live in houses? Wow. And by the way, the wall fell in 1989, so you’ve had 26 years to get up to date. Read a book.

Act like everybody loves Oktoberfest and Bayern Munich

Apparently, most people think the annual Octoberfest is our cultural Super-Bowl. Really, it’s not even a German festival. It’s a Bavarian one! It’s their classical clothing you’ll wear. Their food and drinks you’ll taste. Not all of us like to wear sticky Lederhosen and start drinking beer at 8 in the morning. I’ll guess that most of us don’t enjoy the constant smell of sweat, piss and vomit all around. Many people from Munich leave the city during the two weeks of alcohol anarchy. And yes, a solid amount of people enjoy sweating, screaming and skulling overpriced beer in noisy tents at the end of September, but it’s still just a minority and not representative of the spirit of our whole country.

Pretend you’ve seen Germany because you went to Berlin

I personally love Berlin. It’s crowded and dirty, and the streets are an everyday catwalk, but it’s without a doubt the German epicenter of creativity, change and lifestyle. But at the same time, it’s so indicative of a particular time and place. It’s hard to separate Berlin from the Cold War. That’s not a bad thing. You have to go there to understand our history. But that’s definitely not enough to understand our culture. We have so much more outside of the thumping clubs and bustling restaurants of the city. And if that’s all you’ve seen, don’t say, “I’ve been to Berlin and I love Germany.” No, you love Berlin. You don’t know what all of Germany is like. Be amazed by this city, but afterwards move on and discover the rest of Germany. We have so many small towns and even large cities with an entirely different feel.

Dislike our beer

There’s a beer revolution going on, with amazing craft brews coming out of Belgium and the Netherlands and–God help us–even America. But our beer culture is famous for a reason! I may not love Oktoberfest, but there’s a reason millions of people come from all over the world to chug as much German beer as humanly possible. Besides Oktoberfest, we have “Karneval” in Cologne or “Canstatter Wasen” in Stuttgart. Like Oktoberfest, it’s all about celebrating the cities’ identities by singing songs, dressing up and drinking until the buttons burst. Beer has been an intricate part of our identity for as long as we can remember. Each brewery follows the German Commandment of Purity, which means the only ingredients allowed are hops, malt, leaven and water. If you want to get into that fancy strawberry-flavored-light shit, do it where we can’t see you. Prost!

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