Thinking about moving to Germany? If so, prepare yourself to embrace some of the coolest – and sometimes weird German habits.
1. Leave empty bottles on the streets.
In German, empty bottles = money. The Germans call it Pfand. Locals often leave their bottles outside, beside the trash can to be collected. This is a really kind way to give back to those in need in the community, as they can exchange the unwanted bottles for 25 cents for plastic or 8 cents for glass containers.
2. Sit when you pee – even if you’re a man.
My favorite unusual habit so far. I’ve been here for 5 years and I’m still amazed why other countries don’t incorporate this into their culture. It is easier, cleaner, there is no mess. In bars, in the cinema and especially in German homes, those who pee standing up are not very welcome. The splashes, the lack of aim… just don’t.
3. Drinking warm beer.
German people drink warm beer. Why? Because a cold beer can mask poor quality and bad taste, but German beer is some of the best in the world. To experience the flavors at their best, some Germans drink it at room temperature, which is basically ‘warm’ for the rest of the world.
4. RV, RV and more RV.
Germans are known for their love of travel. They especially love a road trip. RVs are a popular sight throughout Germany, and there are many well equipped camping sites dedicated to RVers. If you want to get to know Germany, German-style, consider renting one and driving your way around the country, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Cash only.
It is very hard to find a restaurant or a bar and sometimes even stores that accept credit cards. Germany is one of the European countries with a lower debt per capita. And once you come here, you understand why. They only spend what they have. Cash only, baby. Believe me, once you adapt, you will love it.
6. Rent for life.
Germans also have lower debts compared to some of the neighbouring countries because the renting market is quite stable. Rent cannot increase over a small fixed percentage every 2 years and you can’t be put on the streets from one day to the other. Because of this stability many families rent their homes instead of owning.
7. Pretending it is warm. / pretending it is cold.
It is a phenomenon that happens every changing of the season. Germans seem to care more about what the calendar says rather than what the weather forecast says.
Germans have 2 rules:
#1 – if it is winter, it is cold.
German people will wear a scarf, wool socks and all the winter jackets possible during winter. They complain that the winter is miserable and that they can’t wait for the summer because the summer is amazing and they can wear shorts and hang out in the sun. Furthermore, although it is 20 something degrees outside, all the buses and trains have the heating on, the bars and restaurants too.
#2 – if it is summer, it is warm.
If it’s summer everybody wears shorts, flip-flops, tank tops. Nobody cares if the wind is cold — and if they’re not directly in the sun, people apparently don’t feel cold.