I am a German National, who was born in South Africa. I moved to Germany in 2002 and was granted citizenship in 2009.  Between 2010 and early 2013 I worked and lived in the UK. I moved back to Germany in February 2013. An advise for a new comer is to learn German before you come over, have a specialised skill that the German Economy requires. Germany does not need another person who thinks that they can teach English!

There are many good things about living in Germany. There are huge crowds of drunk people and no one fights, unlike the UK. Public transport is fantastic, especially in Berlin. All 30 000 Railway station clocks are co-ordinated. Police phone you to return your lost wallet. The Beer and Oktoberfest. Bad things about Germany: the lack of service ethic, shops not open on Sunday. Women only wear trousers, no make-up and are more aggressive than women elsewhere. Germans and queues do not mix, they ignore them.

What is typical German for me? Beer, unfriendly, especially women with prams, no queuing, trains that run on time. Order and inflexibility. Very traditional society. Very safe. Very hierarchical society. And you will never fit in, you will be tolerated for your contribution to the economy, but that is about it. After more than a decade in Germany, I am still hoping to make a sincere German Friend! You will not be invited to peoples’ homes unless you are either very lucky or very attractive.

I have committed many cross-cultural blunders. I think my greatest crime is that I have an unpronounceable surname. I was not sufficiently worshipful of german academics. I remember I once took sparkling wine to a Christmas party. Sparking wine is apparently only for New Year! I also took savoury treats to work for a birthday celebration, only to be told in no uncertain terms that Germans only like and want sweet things. I arrived too early when invited for a breakfast. I was only 10 minutes early, the chap had not even showered by the time we got there.


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