Even though I love life in Germany and am really happy here, every so often I tend to notice things which I don’t like. This list is not meant to hurt anybody’s feelings and badmouth Germany. It’s just my own personal opinion about things here which I could do without. So without further ado, let’s see which things I am not so fond of in the Bundesrepublik.
- Dark bread ain’t my thing. I still love me that American style toasted bread.
As un-German as it sounds, I do not, repeat not like Two And A Half Men. That show was only funny for the first two and a half seasons, if you ask me. All Germans I know except my girlfriend, love it.
- German babies are adorable and I make funny faces at times. What I do find weird are the disapproving looks their parents shoot me if they catch me in the act. So now I do it when their backs are to me.
- I refuse to call biscuits cookies, even if none of the Germans I know understand what exactly a biscuit is.
- Unlike the majority of the Germans, I still engage in small talk.
Sparkling water? No, thank you. While on this subject, I ask you, how can NATURAL water contain bubbles?!
- Even though Germans don’t queue, I still try to find the end of the queue sometimes in public places. But this comes more from my school. God knows the Pakistanis are not a queuing nation.
- The word Quasi? Still not getting it.
- I don’t like or trust Tchibo. I just don’t understand it! Is it a shop which sells coffee and coffee machines? Then what’s that blanket doing there. And what about that garden gnome, how does he fit into all this?!
- To any Pakistanis reading this, you remember those lame PTV shows from the 80s and 90s where they would clap in unison and work up an annoying rhythm? Germans still do that.
- I can’t watch shows in other languages synchronized into German.
- Even though European and German food is great, I feel these urges every few days to binge on Pakistani food. I don’t like eating German food constantly for more than a couple of weeks at a time.
- Although I speak (imperfect) German, I have not managed to get rid of a bad habit I developed which is that I can zone out when listening to German and somehow push it to the back of my mind.
- The opening timings in Germany are insane. And not in the good way. Coming from Pakistan in general and Karachi in particular, I am quite used to stuff being open 24/7. In Karachi, you could go out at 4am and find breakfast joints open.
- Sometimes, though admittedly not always, German formality throws me off. I find people to be too distant at times even when there isn’t any need for it.
- I have definitely not been impressed with the bureaucracy here in Germany. But, to be fair, Germans have a really bad opinion of the red tape in their country. This said, German bureaucracy is light years ahead of its Pakistani counterpart.
- The German – and actually the European – definition of “stress” is quite lax for me. I think people generally in Europe should be more thankful for what they have. People get stressed too quickly over here over things which aren’t that big of a deal.
- Most German homes (like 99.9%) have no air conditioning. Although there are radiators for the winter, there is nothing for the summer. Granted, summer’s only there for maximum 2-2.5 months, it can get really stuffy inside homes. I can’t count the number of times I have wished for a ceiling fan.
- Germans like to say that their country is a “service desert”. I have to say that I agree with this statement. People working in shops, restaurants and even customer service are short, to the point and sometimes downright rude. I think it has a lot to do with the face that they’ll get paid no matter how they treat customer, unless they are very obviously unfriendly to people. So they kind of stop caring.
GEMA. That one word can usher in a string of expletives by people who are both German and non-German. If you don’t know what GEMA is and why they are so hated, you can get more info here.
- ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio is yet another gem from the people who brought us GEMA. It’s a combined TV, radio and internet licencing fee which frankly seems ridiculous in this day and age.
- I absolutely do not like that German attitudes to punctuality are set aside during a visit to the doctor. I once waited an hour and a half to see a doctor even though I arrived 10 minutes before my appointment.