I have lived in Germany 10 months now, so I’ve met a few Germans to say the least. I’ve learned a lot from the people here and have made some generalizations. Germans speak more than one language. Germans are much better (or at least more focused) at math and science than Americans. Germans are on time. Germans love beer. and football. But one thing sticks out above all the rest:
Germans are blunt.
It is important to note that both of these exchanges are with people I do not know in the least bit. These are not funny exchanges with friends. I mean, they’re funny exchanges, but not with friends.
Example 1 (FB Chat):
Me: have you had time to have some fun since youve been back?
C: yeah.. I have a narrow timetable but indeed I did. Mon-Friday I am stuying hard and doing lots of sports, the weekends I was visiting friends or being visited. And I am doing my Portuguese language partner (she is 34!).. so I simplify my life but am fulfilled
Me: Doing what with her? haha I went to Portugal last weekend!
C: yeah really? My exgirl was living there! I love portugal. oh, I am sleeping with her
Me: haah ya it was awesome and haha just had to clarify – not used to people being so blunt. i always hear that’s the best way to learn the language haha
C: I am sorry, I am always blunt. If you go to a different place, you should sleep with the locals to get the spirit. I am doing her a favor
Example 2 (at a bar):
Me: Oh nice to meet you, how do you guys know each other?
B: Oh, we slept together once.
Although I have many more examples, I think this ends the blog-appropriate conversations. Was Eurotrip correct when Cooper said, “You know America was founded by Prudes. Prudes who left Europe because they hated all the kinky, steamy European sex that was going on” ? After the initial shock of “is this normal?”, I actually like the Germans’ blunt style. There’s no beat-around-the-bush in this country. And it’s not just sex related. If there’s a problem, people say what they think and tell you how it is, but in a mature, everything-is-up-for-reasonable-discussion, manner. No one avoids confrontation and no one puts on a show based on these ridiculous awkward/not awkward social conversation standards we have laid out in the U.S.
What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself restrained by cultural conversation norms? What experiences have you had at home and abroad?