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After living in Germany now for almost four years, there are many things that I have learned or even adapted into my expat life. These adaptations make living in Germany much easier as now I look and sound like I belong here rather than just some American tourist.

The Good

  • You say ‘Grüß Gott’ as a greeting in Bavaria.
  • You say ‘Guten Appetite’ before every meal.
  • You ride a bike every day, rain, snow or shine.
  • You have an insurance policy for everything: Your health, your house, your car and your friend’s TV.
  • You’re obsessed with conserving electricity, water & gas because you want your yearly refund.
  • You have a case of beer on hand at all times IMG_5724
  • You’re a dish washing pro.
  • You maximize the most out of little space.
  • You’re OCD about recycling everything properly: plastic, paper, brown glass, green glass, white glass….
  • You know the dangers of saying “Happy Birthday” before someone’s birthday.
  • You might have a Masters degree. Or two.
  • You might carry an extra tote bag in your purse/backpack for shopping purposes and kick yourself when you forget it.
  • You have one favorite football (soccer) team and hate all the rest
  • You have a shot of schnapps after every big meal. IMG_5722

The Bad


  • You have been let down by the Deutsche Bahn more times than you can count so you bought a car.
  • You get annoyed when there are long lines and only 2 registers are open out of 10.
  • German banks annoy you.
  • You miss air conditioning.


  • You get road rage when someone is driving slow in the fast lane.
  • You carry an umbrella with you at all times.
  • You hate the German stare and have started asking people, “Can I help you with something?”
  • A corner of your house is stuff to the max with bottles waiting to be taken back for your Pfand.
  • You hate GEMA for blocking all those awesome videos.
  • You know how frustrating it can be to make a Dr’s appointment.
  • You begin wearing scarfs 24/7 because everyone constantly says without one you’ll catch the “Zug”.
  • You’ve hate when someone honks at you within a second of the light turning green.
  • You make dinner reservations even if it’s a casual dinner.
  • You go grocery shopping every 2-3 days.
  • You despise the loud drunken singing at 4am after soccer games
  • You know the dangers of a lunatic driver trying to pass you on a windy country back road.
  • You’ll suddenly find that making “small talk” is difficult…
  • You hate that the stores close at 8pm and you need something at 8:05pm.
  • You avoid the grocery stores before & after public holidays because you know it’s like shopping during the Apocalypse.
  • You can only handle so much of German perfectionism


The Awesome

  • You PROST every chance you get. IMG_4983
  • You can cook schnitzel like a pro.
  • You love driving fast on the autobahn and hate the slow bits.
  • You look forward to the Christmas Market season all year.
  • You look forward to your ‘Feierabend’, preferably with a beer, in a beer garden.
  • You eat Brotzeit as often as possible IMG_4987
  • You wear your Lederhosen or Dirndl to every festival (if you’re in Bavaria)
  • You have a trendy grocery/wicker basket.
  • You’re day feels incomplete if you haven’t said “Genau” at least 10 times.
  • People might think you’re crazy when you have your windows open before it’s warm outside.
  • You have a favorite Döner shop & they know you’re name!
  • You enjoy the crazy, sporadic thunderstorms.
  • You BBQ every sunny day at the nearest park, river, lake.
  • You have a particular potato salad you like the best.
  • You can navigate the bus/train system like a pro.IMG_4992
  • You have walked down the street, in public with a beer in your hand AND not been arrested.
  • You love Spargel season.
  • You can pour a good head on a beer.
  • You know which glass is for which beer.
  • Once you go Audi, BMW, Merceces-Benz or VW, you never go back.
  • You reserve your lounge chair with a towel at 8am.


This post was inspired by My Meena Life.

Have you got more to add to the list? Share your thoughts!

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

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Check out other related posts!

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Replies to Germany: The Good, The Bad & The Awesome!

  1. …if you get angry at people who talk very loudly.
    …if you feel insulted because someone uses the imperative without “bitte”
    …if people from other countries don’t tip waiters/waitresses or tip badly.
    …if you feel hungry around 17:00.
    …when you don’t care about sharing the same lane with 20 bikes, 2 trams, etc.
    …if you carry at least one tote bag in your bag/backpack just in case and hate yourself when you forget it at home.
    …if you empty all the grocery you just bought to leave the packaging in the containers placed at the exit of the supermarket.
    …if you had to make a big effort not to star each of the previous sentences with “when” (wenn)…

  2. Perfect, except the part with opening the window before it’s warm. In our family, at least the bedroom window, was always open. My poor California husband has to suffer through this even in winter – which is really not that bad in the Central Valley of CA 🙂

  3. as a native German, I was smiling, you hit the spot almost always. Just the wishing “Bon Appetite !” should be replaced by “Guten Appetit !” or simply “Mahlzeit !”, unless you have constantly visited a French restaurant

    1. You definitely forgot about getting glared to death by the lady/dude who keep public restrooms clean for not tipping them. ;D

  4. Haha, it’s a long time since I lived in Germany but some of these are very funny – I was in the north west where I was firmly instructed to open the windows, even in winter, to let the air in. It was freezing, so I definitely didn’t! Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

  5. I think you are up for a holiday in a less regulated country 😉 What about dancing in the street and during work, eating dinner at 9pm, kids who go to bed at 11pm? Thanks for the list – it’s very funny to read and does confirm some of my prejudices.

  6. hahahaha this is awesome!! I loved this list and your observations!!
    Riding a bike even under the rain and snow… so true! Wishing happy birthday before the actual day is sine hahhaa I’ve made the big mistake of singing happy birthday 1 day before and I was almost crucified!!
    Genau, genau 😀

    Thank you for linking this post on #MondayEscapes

  7. Ok, I didn’t get a lot of these, so, yes, I do not live in Germany. However, there are things that seem to be the same everywhere (slow drivers on fast lanes). And, I had a German coworker and his name was Stefan.

  8. We’re headed to Germany later on this year for Oktoberfest, and we’ve heard that we’ll look like the tourists if we’re not dressed up in our lederhosen and dirndls! We’re planning on buying some before we leave!

  9. I LOVE this post! My husband is half-German, and we visit his family in Bavaria at least once a year for several weeks (they’re in Dinkelsbuehl, not far from Rothenburg). Even though I’ve never lived there, I can attest to the accuracy of this list, and I even find myself doing some of these things when there! Saying “genau” is like a national past time, haha. I think this is the first time I’ve come across your blog, but it won’t be the last! I’m a nut for anything about Germany. 🙂 #WanderfulWednesday

    1. So glad to hear you liked it! I chuckled at “Genau” being a national past time because that’s probably one of my favorite things about Germans! I can always depend on them to say it at least 5 times a day!

  10. What a fun post! (and so glad I found your blog!) I’m pleased with how many of these I get for someone who studied in DE for only a few months and now lives in the Czech Republic, haha. Is Brotzeit like a typical Deutsches Fruehstueck stituation or something a little different?

  11. I love posts like these! They really give you an inside look at life in a place as these are things that many people can relate too! A lot of these particularly made me giggle as even though I’ve never lived in Germany, I’ve been there many times. I can definitely say that “Prosting” is a fav past time and there’s nothing more German than- “You’ve been honked at within a second of the light turning green.” OH Germany :D! Thanks for sharing and giving me a mid-day laugh !

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