1. Heinrich IX
    August 6, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    This reminds me about once getting really annoyed with a stereotype I’m confronted with frequently: The presumed German rudeness. I am a fauler Sack so I’ll just point to my respective posting:

    • Andrew
      August 12, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

      Given a certain point of view, they are rude. But that is a cultural norm somehow. I get annoyed not in the bruskness of the talk, but that people push in front of me at the tram and walk in front of me and stop to look at store windows. So more the physical lack of awareness. But then again as an American, I require a fair bubble around me to feel ok.

  2. Turtle
    July 21, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    What about ‘efficiency’. The Germans have a great reputation for being so efficient and it seemed to be true from my experience there. Everything happened punctually, people never wasted time, and you hardly ever had to queue for anything.
    (These are all things a lot of other countries in Europe should learn!)

    • Andrew
      July 23, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      I guess I will have to write about German “efficiency” at some point soon. It is a bit of a myth. Things run on time and such, but mainly due force of habit. Things are very well planned here, but not necessarily efficient. But if the plan goes awry, Chaos!

  3. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com
    July 20, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    Aside from Belgium, I think I spent the most time in Germany during my Euro trip early this year, and all I can say is that I loved it! Loved drinking beer and eating bratwurst with it 😀 I can;t say I’ve heard of the Hasselhoff stereotype though. Which is not a bad thing, right? 😉

    • Andrew
      July 23, 2012 @ 8:51 am

      Glad you spent so much time in Germany (and enjoyed it). Nope, not at all bad about not hearing the stereotype. But it is worth doing a YouTube search for him singing in German, actually quite funny.

  4. Cole @ Four Jandals
    July 19, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Haha all very true. Although surprisingly few Germans have been to Oktoberfest (even though we ask every one)!

    • Laurence
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

      I’ve noticed this phenomenon on the road as well. You ask Germans about David Hasslehoff and Oktoberfest, and they get terribly sad about how the world sees them 😉 This is then usually followed by a lecture on bread…

      • Andrew
        July 20, 2012 @ 8:43 am

        Ha. I like the idea of Germans lecturing on bread. The David Hasselhoff thing is weird. Though the Americans gave him a full TV series, so we aren’t so much better.

    • Andrew
      July 20, 2012 @ 8:41 am

      Oktoberfest, if you are not from Munich, is something like being in New York City for New Years. It sounds cool, but really it is more of a hassle than it is worth. Germany is pretty region specific and most of them have beer or winefests locally anyway. Why go to a big tourist thing that is so expensive if you have to travel? For those living in Munich, it is a different thing though.

  5. Bret @ Green Global Travel
    July 17, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    Everything I know about Germany I learned from watching Hogan’s Heroes, so I always imagine Germans talking like Colonel Klink and Sgt Schultz. Is that bad?

    • Andrew
      July 18, 2012 @ 10:08 am

      Yes that is bad, although not as bad as only knowing Salzburg from the Sound of Music. 😉 Although the accents CAN be similar sometimes. Germany is also not in black and white.

  6. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls
    July 17, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

    Ooooh, German stereotypes – I love these! :0 Mostly because A. so many are true and B. Dani is German and it’s fun to have a laugh about these things sometimes. The one that stands out the most for me is German bread because we have been traveling for 800 days and the only time Dani has ever been truuuuly satisfied with her bread has been the month or so of combined days we have spent in Germany 🙂 I get it though – it is the absolute best in the world. By the way, I actually think Germans can be hilarious and found humor in the UK much harder to understand!

    • Andrew
      July 18, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      Humor is one of those things that is very individual. Both the person being funny and others trying to get it.

      I get the bread thing too, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. I guess it is akin to people going to the US and see an entire aisle of salad dressing. Here each bakery is going to have dozens of types of bread and bakeries are all different. Even similar names could taste different.

  7. Jeremy Branham
    July 17, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    I thought it was the Brits that didn’t have a sense of humor? 🙂 Germans are great. I have to admit I love stereotypes. They are fun. However, none of fit the mold – I know I don’t. So having a basis of understanding is good as long as we don’t use it to form concrete opinions about people we really don’t know.

    Stereotypes are like guidebooks. They give you a good introduction and some basic navigation. However, nothing beats getting off the beaten path to explore. If we take this same approach with the people we meet, stereotypes can be good guides that can help us build deeper relationships.

    • Andrew
      July 18, 2012 @ 10:03 am

      The thing about stereotypes is that they are abstractions and generalizations, but very often come from exaggerations of reality. No one person fits the mold completely, but a society taken in general often shows trends that do match the stereotype in some way.

  8. Vera
    July 17, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    Good stereotypes -although I find that David-Hasselhoff-thing truly haunts me everywhere (talking about schadenfreude!). I guess I should be glad, because being questioned about the Germans and their liking of David Hasselhoff is a slightly lighter topic than say, Hitler and the war, but it seriously annoys me, maybe because I feel deep within that it is not a once-in-a-lifetime-slip-up but a festering proof of a general bad taste. It is SO embarassing. At least I’m not alone with this -even the Spiegel (a big German magasine) thought it was important enough to write an article about the Hasselhoff-phenomenon. It’s called “The collective guilt abbout bad taste” (be aware, it’s actually in German: ). …Can we talk about something else now!?! 😉

  9. Masha (2away)
    July 16, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

    Very true and funny! 🙂 The first three items are so good! It’s enough to try them once to become German in this regard. At least I find myself quite often explaining others why German beer, bread and wurst are the best in the world 🙂

    • Laurence
      July 17, 2012 @ 9:37 am

      They are absolutely the best in the world 🙂

    • Andrew
      July 18, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      🙂 Glad you enjoyed it. The food is really interesting here. I still find it cool that the main food of Germany is the bread, not the sausage.

  10. Daniel McBane
    July 16, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

    As a half German I can confirm pretty much all of this. And I can also proudly state that not one of my friends considers David Hasslehoff a singer, but sadly there are still many in Germany who do. Mostly it’s the older generation, but I have to admit that my very own sister was the shameful owner of a Hasslehoff cassette tape when we were growing up. Luckily she got older and wiser, her tastes improved and we once again allow her to attend family gatherings.

    • Laurence
      July 17, 2012 @ 9:39 am

      I was always told that it was a myth by everyone I met in Germany, as part of the great David Hasslehoff conspiracy coverup. Then we ended up at a house party, and the song came on.. and mysteriously everyone knew the words! I’m not sure its a source of great national pride though.. unlike Scooter. Now there’s a German band to be proud of!

      • Jeremy Branham
        July 17, 2012 @ 10:18 am

        Don’t forget the greatest German band of all time – the Scorpions! 🙂

        We gave Germany David Hasselhoff. They gave us Scorpions. We got a much better deal!

      • Daniel McBane
        July 17, 2012 @ 10:58 am

        You’re right, as much as we try to deny Hasslemania, it will never go away. I mean, he sang on the wall in Berlin when it came down. They could have gotten any singer on Earth and they chose The Hoff. That moment is now etched in history and if it weren’t for the Nazis, would be our greatest national shame.

        I was going to mention the Scorpions, but I was too slow. Also: Rammstein and KMFDM.

        And of course Heino, if he’s still alive…..

        • Vera
          July 17, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

          True, you find some good German music as well, but I don’t think KMFDM ever had a number 1 in Germany… Ooooh, but both Guildo Horn and Helge Schneider did -so at least we sometimes manage to serve bad taste with a dash of irony. As for Heino: he is very much still alive, but Heino is just far out to be a threat to my bad taste alarm -and hardly anybody knows him out of Germany. He’s a tame, toothless cat.

          • Daniel McBane
            July 17, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

            Heino’s horrible. I think. I haven’t heard any of his music in over 20 years, but growing up he was, to me, the quintessential example of why Germany turned to David Hasslehoff for musical entertainment.

      • Andrew
        July 18, 2012 @ 10:01 am

        Have you looked up Gunter? The videos are hilarious. It is funny to try to decide if he is trying to be strange or trying to be serious and ending up strange.

    • Andrew
      July 18, 2012 @ 9:57 am

      Thanks for the confirmation. I have heard him on the radio once or twice. Meh, we all had embarrassing music tastes as kids.