What are some German customs and habits that seem weird to foreigners?

  • Your smiles are returned with stares, and by that I mean Real Angry Stares. The Germans will think you have a screw or two loose in your head.
  • Toilet brushes in Germany’s Public Restrooms are there for a reason—for you to clean every bit of your crap so that the toilet is clean enough for the next person to use. – So don’t dare just flush, wash your hands, dry them and walk off. You better learn to clean up after yourself. You don’t want the guy who entered the toilet after you to come out dangling his bratwurst, hollering for you. Seriously!!!
  • Never ask a German for his/her opinion if you don’t have the guts to digest hard truth. Germans can be brutally honest with their comments, honest to the point of being rude. I once asked my German host if I was dressed appropriately for the meeting we both were going to go to be attending at a client’s office. He launched into a lengthy tirade on how my shirt was a little too large for my frame, how my socks were mismatched, and my cologne too strong. That day I learned 2 things:
  1. Never to ask for an opinion from a German man or a woman if you are not serious about following through with it. And,
  2. That my wife was not the only Fashion-Nazi in the world.

I see that inadvertently though, I may have created a stir by using the term Fashion-Nazi. I hope you all understand it was sincerely unintentional and nothing more should be read into it.