Especially new Expats are struggling with the so-called Expat syndrome: We tend to see only the negative parts of the new culture we are living in and praise our own culture from back home. It is human and does not define your character. It’s more of a coping strategy of the human brain for an overload of uncertainty and new beginnings. However, this attitude won’t make you happy when living abroad.
20 cultural difference you rather feel than can explain
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
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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.
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 email@example.com. Let’s also connect on social media!
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