Country of beer, rules and reserved people. At least that’s what the stereotypes of Germany are. Truth? Well, let’s see.
1. I was in Hannover for just 4 days. I didn’t know anyone and anything here yet, but wanted to feel myself like a real German and therefore, I obviously needed to buy a bicycle. My only sources of information were naturally the internet, GPS and a map. After replying to a few ads and seeing a few bicycles that I didn’t like, I ended up somewhere in the suburbs of Hannover in the evening with no idea how to get to the next place before it got too late. As I was squatting in the middle of the street with GPS in one and a map in another hand, a boy came to me and asked me if I needed help. Since I was absolutely desperate, the help was strongly welcomed. Not only did he tell me how to get to another point of my I-want-to-buy-a-bike journey, he actually went to buy the bike with me. And we became really good friends. And now we make jokes of how he literally found me on the street. And. And. And. Germans are reserved people? Ah, quatsch!!!
2. The Germans have always been well-known for their positive relationship to alcohol. However, I must admit, that the relationship is even more positive than I would ever expect (and since I come from eastern Europe, I think I am competent to judge it). Frühschoppen, Tanzen in den Mai, Vatertag and many more – as a friend of mine always says: „Wir (Deutschen) trinken nicht viel. Nur oft und regelmäßig!“ This stereotype definitely has a real basis, but honestly, who would be such a fool and not like it?!
3. Always late. No matter if I get up one hour earlier or later. If I expected exaggerated punctuality to be only another fake stereotype of Germans, I was mistaken again. Coming to the lesson 10 minutes late? Well, for me actually quite punctual, for the home-born obviously an impolite behaviour. „If your appointment starts at 15:00, you should be there at 14:55!“ Might seem unrealistic for me, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right? So, challenge accepted!
The above-mentioned stereotypes are just a few drops in the sea of many others. But what I’ve learnt is that my mum (such as every other mum) was right again: one should always create the opinion based on one’s own experience, not on what my cousin’s neighbour’s aunt once said. Cheers!