20 cultural difference you rather feel than can explain

german city, culture, us

20 German cultural aspects that you feel more than you can explain

USA vs. Germany

Each country has its smell, taste and smaller habits that you can feel more than explain. When you are living abroad, and you are coming home for Christmas, this is a perfect opportunity to explore your own culture with new eyes. You will recognize differences you have not been aware before moving abroad. Here is my selection of 20 typical Germans things that caught my attention after living in the US. 

20 cultural differences Someone feels when visiting Germany after living in the US

1.    When the traffic light turns red while you are crossing the road and you did not expect it. 

2.    Sitting in a restaurant wondering why the waiter won’t approach you proactively to ask if you need anything else right after bringing you the food. 

3.    Sitting in the restaurant wondering why nobody brings the bill.

4.    Feeling the stress of having to calculate the tip right away and communicate it to the waiter in front of all others desperately trying to remember the appropriate amount. 

5.    Listening to all kinds of German dialects on the street and being able to say where the person is coming from. 

6.    Turning your head each time you hear another language than German feeling more comfortable in an international setting. 

7.    Filming the ride on public transportation as you want to document how silent & fast the train moves. 

8.    Noticing that people are standing closer to you while waiting in line than you are used to. 

9.    Having trouble with paying by debit or credit cards

10.    Actually starting to miss that people ask you how you are

münchen, germany

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münchen, germany

11.    Noticing that nobody pets a dog from a stranger.

12.    Buying tons of food but paying a fraction of the price. 

13.    Walking down the street and thinking: Everyone looks alike.

14.    Drinking water right from the tap because it tastes so good (at least in Munich).

15.    Being thirsty all day long as there is no complimentary water with the food.

16.    Indulging with great joy in the vast menu of “Saftschorlen” (juice mixed with sparkling water). 

17.    Enjoying a Latte Macchiato in a high glass  (I never see this on the menu in the US). 

18.    Desperately searching for internet hotspots in the city to arrange the next meeting with former colleagues or friends. 

19.    Having trouble finding a coffee shop to work with space, internet, and electricity. 

20.    The feeling of having saved lots of money at the cashier as there is no additional tax added on the bill. 

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What cultural differences do you feel?

Tell me what smaller differences you noticed when you visited your home country. Are you more aware of your home culture now? Let me know in the comments below or write to info@sharethelove.blog. Let’s also connect on social media! I share my cultural experiences on my Instagram Account or on my Facebook Page. Also sign-up for the Share-the-Love Newsletter if you don’t want to miss out on new content. 

Thanks for sharing the love and stopping by

Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

6 thoughts on “20 cultural difference you rather feel than can explain”

  • Great. Can relate ! Especially about tipping !
    Also find that in Germany people dont queue at trains or busses .
    – Have very loud conversations on the train – they dont mind strangers follow their conversations !
    – Dont reciprocate smiles a lot !
    – 6 hours on the train observation : at trainstation platforms in winter…..everyone seems to be dressed i
    in black or grey !
    The Christmas markets are great !

    • True about the smiles. I was on a train and smiled at a older women and she just looked at me with no smile back. Probably didn’t like Americans .If only she knew I am really German. But my husbands Polo shirt gave it away

  • Great blogpost! Definitely 3,8 and 12.
    I just returned from a trip back home to Berlin and had similar experiences. To me one of the biggest cultural differences is the Restaurant/Bar/Café culture which is much more relaxed and affordable in Germany. Another major difference is the noise level in those establishments, it´s much noisier here in the US.On the other hand all establishments here are smoke-free, which is good.

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6 thoughts on “20 cultural difference you rather feel than can explain”

  • Great. Can relate ! Especially about tipping !
    Also find that in Germany people dont queue at trains or busses .
    – Have very loud conversations on the train – they dont mind strangers follow their conversations !
    – Dont reciprocate smiles a lot !
    – 6 hours on the train observation : at trainstation platforms in winter…..everyone seems to be dressed i
    in black or grey !
    The Christmas markets are great !

    • True about the smiles. I was on a train and smiled at a older women and she just looked at me with no smile back. Probably didn’t like Americans .If only she knew I am really German. But my husbands Polo shirt gave it away

  • Great blogpost! Definitely 3,8 and 12.
    I just returned from a trip back home to Berlin and had similar experiences. To me one of the biggest cultural differences is the Restaurant/Bar/Café culture which is much more relaxed and affordable in Germany. Another major difference is the noise level in those establishments, it´s much noisier here in the US.On the other hand all establishments here are smoke-free, which is good.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *