Things Germans think are weird about Americans

December 2, 2011

As my regular readers know, I love to point out the absurdities of other cultures whether foreign or domestic. I am an equal opportunity “pointer-outer”.  A friend of mine recently sent me a list of 50 things that Germans found odd about Americans. These are the highlights from a survey taken by the German magazine “Die Zeit” in 2002.  Many of my American friends may possibly look at this quizzically, because, after all, this is what you are used to. But if you are familiar with other cultures, this is really fantastic.

1. They are fatter than the Germans even though everything at the grocery story claims to be fat free or low-cal.
2. Whoever isn’t fat is a fitness fanatic.
3. Their money bills are all the same color and size – odd for a country that worships money.
4. They are so superstitious that there isn’t a 13th floor in hotels.
5. They always say “excuse me” when they happen to walk quickly in front of someone at the book store causing a momentary blockage of view for the other person.
6. Many Americans express their statements in the form of a question? That’s annoying?
7. For completely normal melancholy, they only know one word: depression.
8. Americans talk a lot about love, even when it’s just about a chocolate bar.
9. Terrible understanding of geography: Bombs in Beirut means many US tourists won’t go the opera in Bayreuth (this is probably lost on most of you, because, well, you’re American:)).
10. They consider actors completely competent in all areas of life (i.e. Talkshows, politics)
11. Peanut butter and jelly. (OH YEAH!!!)
12. They talk too loud in restaurants and public transportation.
13. Their heavy duty washing machines look like tanks.
14. They don’t see the point in learning a foreign language.
15. They even drink their milk with ice cubes.(And in the south, their wine!)
16. Millions of lawsuits against everyone and everything.
17. American boobs aren’t real.
18. Nothing costs what it claims. There’s always a tax added or
19. Ridiculous super sales that make no sense (Buy 2 shirts, get 1 pair of socks absolutely free!!!)
20. Frappuccino Decaf with strawberry flavors = living the Italian life.
21. Because they are so fat, when you go to the beloved Monster Truck Rallies out in the country, you don’t know which one’s the truck and which one’s the monster. (Ouch!)
22. Ridiculously short attention span.
23. They constantly take pills. Vitamins, minerals, powders for and against everything.
24. They talk about relationships like an accountant: “I invested so much in her…!”
25. Many have bull necks. Must be from all the hormones in the food.
26. Every politician has a side part.
27. In general, a love for helmut-like hairstyles, especially the news reporters (I would also submit those on TBN)
28. For some reason they believe: Heidelberg is Germany. Period.
29. They drink beer out of brown bags.
30. With their Double Whopper and extra large fries they drink? a large Diet Coke.
31. They all call each other by their first names.
32. Even better: using nicknames!
33. When they come home, the TV is turned on just like the lights.

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5 Responses to “Things Germans think are weird about Americans”

  1. Marianna Says:

    The crazy thing is that so many Americans are baffled by the same things! I am totally confused about 31 though… Do they always call each other by their last names?

  2. kensajolaw Says:

    They tend to stick to last names until enough rapport has been built. An everyday example is at the store. Where here in the US the employees wear name tags with first names, in Germany it will say Frau or Herr and the last name. Think back to the 50’s here where last names were used more often than first names. It’s a sign of respect and politeness in their culture.

  3. MaryBeth Says:

    This list is fantastic. I laughed out loud – in particular at #26. But seriously, it’s true. Well – except I’ve never heard of ice cubes in milk or wine before. WHAT?

  4. Matt Says:

    Wow, I am working in Germany and found similar beliefs. However, I have also found that most of these and those on this list are based on what is seen on tv shows and people in California. Quite ignorant. This is certainly not true for all Americans. As for fat people, I have been quite shocked at the amount of fat people here in Germany and how fat they are. If I were to make a list like this before and after living in Germany you would see vast differences between them.

  5. Ivan Says:

    This is extremely funny, I’ve read all weird things germans pointed to americans and vice versa. I live in Germany as a foreigner and foun that this perspective to americans is ganz lustig!! And also about root beer float, I LOVE THAT! But in germans eyes, root beer float is eklig or disgusting. An interesting perspective between these two culture amuse me.

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