Must know before you fly – Visiting Germany

Here are some things that a foreigner needs to know about Germans.

  1. If you offer Germans something, like food, they will take it! Incredibly scary, right? Don’t consider it rude! We don’t know that you’re just offering it out of politeness, because…
  2. when Germans offer you something, they mean it! In fact, some of us consider it rude to reject an offer, unless we have a good reason (like being full or allergic in case of food). We believe that it means that you don’t like us or our food. “What, you don’t trust me that it’s tasty? Come on, it’s really good! Try it!”
  3. If you smile and say “yes,yes”, Germans will think that you actually mean it! So if they say “did you already eat?” and you say “yes, yes :)”, you are going to go to bed hungry! If they say “I’m going shopping, do you have everything that you need?” and you say “yes, yes :)”, they are not going to bring you the toilet paper that you so desperately need!
  4. If you don’t tell a German that you didn’t understand something, he will assume that you understood! Germans don’t know that people are supposed to pretend to have understood something when we didn’t actually understand it!

Also extremely important: our toilets look like this:

and in men’s toilets and only for urinating, they look like this:

Anything that looks decidedly different from these IS NOT A TOILET and should not be used as such!

There are three more extremely important things to note here:

  1. On the first type of toilet, you sit; and after you are done you use the little brush to clean the inside of the toilet and flush with water.
  2. Germans sit on the toilet seats. This means that when you also sit down, your bum touches what is touched by thousands of other people’s bums. In public toilets, there’s sometimes even disgusting stains on the toilet seat. If that weirds you out, you could use some toilet paper as an insulation between your bum and the seat.
  3. There is no water to clean your bum! Nope, none whatsoever! Germans usually only use toilet paper. If you want to have a really shiny hiney, you need to bring water into the toilet, e.g., with a small flask, and be imaginative!