12 Things Americans Hate About Germany, but Shouldn’t

12 Things Americans Hate About Germany, but Shouldn’t

My God! It is so hot. Why is there no air conditioning in Germany? I am only in Berlin for 3 days and I want to go shopping, but all of these stores are closed. Why can’t one go shopping in Germany on Sunday? Why does my cola cost 15 Euros? I only ordered one. My God! They are charging me for every refill. Hey! This is a bike lane. (Ring. Ring) Some things Germany can annoy visitors. More than likely, it is just a problem for the visitors and not for the Germans. Numbers 1 and 6, however, annoy not just visitors, but also Germans. Number 12 annoys me personally. 12 Things Americans Hate About Germany, but Shouldn’t Hmm. That’s garbage. I can never find free wifi in Germany. If I finally find it, it is only at a snail’s pace. I can order a döner and get it before I can download a picture of it. In the USA, we almost always have free wifi and the connection is mostly faster than 100 Megabytes per second. If you are sitting in a cafe or a bus, you have free wifi. Every hotel has free wifi. Stores have free wifi. There are even shoes that can be used as a wifi hotspot. In Germany free wifi is much more rare. Not many stores have free wifi. In the hotel, you often have to pay for it. There is free wifi in the bus if you travel with Flixbus, but it doesn’t work well. The connection is slow. I am often kicked off the wifi. Almost everything is blocked by Flixbus. No YouTube. No Netflix. That isn’t without reason, however. In the USA a company is not responsible if the customer does something illegal on their wifi. In Germany, they are. It can become very expensive for the company if the customers do something wrong. In order to avoid these fines, many companies don’t have free wifi. But why is the wifi in houses so slow? The average download speed in Germany is much slower than that in the USA. With cell phones it is much worse. Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile’s parent company) has the largest market share of telephone and DSL contracts. Instead of updating the system in Germany with fiber optic cable, Deutsche Telekom repairs the old system, which is built on copper cables. They claim that the majority of people in Germany don’t need a gigabit connection. With copper cable 80 percent of Germans have a connection of around 50 megabytes per second. I think this reasoning is logical, but it is still annoying that it takes so long to upload a video in Germany. If you would like to learn more about this topic, there are links for that in the description. Come on! This video is unfortunately not available in Germany, because it could contain music whose usage rights we have yet to reach an agreement with GEMA. We are sorry.” What is this? I wanted to watch a funny cat video, but I can’t because Germany blocks the coolest videos. For years one could not see certain videos (more specifically music videos) in Germany, because GEMA (the Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights) had not granted the music rights. It wasn’t just with music videos, but all videos that included German music. A few of these issues have been solved since 2016, but there are still many videos that one cannot see in Germany. GEMA represents artists in Germany and manages the usage rights for the copyright holder of the music. Normally this is not only ok, but expected and exactly what we do in the USA. The problem in this situation is that GEMA simply blocked everything instead of reaching an agreement with YouTube. I don’t understand. *He is staring at his receipt.* Why does my cola cost 15 Euros? I only ordered one. My God. They are charging me for every refill. I am an American. I don’t drink a lot of cola, but when I drink cola, I want to drink a lot of it. The glasses in Germany are much smaller than those in the USA. I have to get a refill. Otherwise I won’t have enough cola. Do the Germans often die of thirst? There is almost never free refills of cola not only in Germany, but also in all of Europe. It is illegal for restaurants in France to offer free refills. In Massachusetts and New York they have proposed laws to ban free refills. There are a few reasons why there aren’t free refills in Germany. First of all, Germans don’t drink as much cola as Americans. In my experience, Germans are more health-conscious than Americans. It isn’t healthy to drink that much cola. They normally don’t want a refill, free or otherwise. Secondly, many restaurants sell cola in bottles. It would be unbelievably expensive if one received as much as one wants. Ok. I understand cola now, but why aren’t there free refills for coffee? If I order a coffee in America it is usually “bottomless”, a word that my dictionary simply describes rather than give a real German word for it. The dictionary has to describe this word, as there isn’t a real German word for that. This kind of thing doesn’t exist in Germany. There are different cafe-cultures. In the USA, you buy something to eat and a coffee. You eat something, you drink two or three cups of coffee. Then you go somewhere else. In Germany you buy a coffee and chat with friends for an hour and a half. If you kept getting more coffee in Germany during that much time, the cafe could continue to make money. In the USA, they couldn’t. Since we are already talking about cola in the USA and Germany, I have to ask you a question. Why do you have to have so many ice cubes in a cola? The cola is already cold when it comes from the fountain. Ice melts. Then you have water in the cola and it doesn’t taste as good anymore. The ice cubes take up a lot of space in the glass. Then you get less cola. Are Americans dumb and tasteless? There are many ideas about why we do that. I don’t know which theory is right. A long time ago, it was very expensive to make ice. If you had ice in a drink, it showed that you had a lot of money. This trend didn’t die in the USA, but in Europe, it did. It is sometimes very hot in Germany. We want our drinks as cold as possible to cool ourselves. If one has ice cubes in the glass, you don’t get as much cola. The restaurant can make more money that way. Really?!? I really have to go to the bathroom. Luckily I am in the train station and I have a few minutes before the train comes. What is that? I have to pay to pee? Everybody poops! It is even a damn children’s book. Why do you have to pay for that in Germany? Isn’t that a basic human right? You don’t always have to pay in order to use a public toilet. If you have already spent some money in a business, you may use the toilet for free. In every restaurant there is a free toilet. In every gas station, there is a bathroom. Sometimes there is a thing like this. Then you have to pay for it, but if you buy something nearby, you will likely get a coupon to use the restroom for free. You simply have to scan the barcode and then you can go through. Sometimes you can go to the restroom first and then you get a coupon which you can use in the store. And what is with this old lady who sits in front of the door? She has a plate full of coins and if I don’t throw something on it, she looks at me with an evil eye. That is the restroom attendant. She takes care of the hygiene of the toilets. The coins are her tips. If you don’t throw anything on there, she makes less money. Of course she is looking at you with an evil eye, you cheapskate. Are you kidding me? My God! It is so hot. The city train in Berlin is as hot as a sauna and stinks like a soccer jersey. Why is there no air conditioning in Germany? Normally it isn’t as hot in Germany as in the USA. They don’t need air conditioning. It costs more than it would be worth. One would use the air conditioning a few days per year and the system costs thousands of Euros. There is also a health reason. Sometimes I catch a cold in the summer. Then my German friends say to me, “If you would turn off your air conditioning, you wouldn’t get sick so often.” They are correct, because an air conditioner can make you sick, but their reasoning is incorrect. They claim that it isn’t healthy for you to change between hot and cold so often. In reality it is the bacteria that grow on the air conditioner that make you sick. No… thank you. If it is so hot, you sweat so much and there isn’t any air conditioning, why do so many people not wear deodorant? I can’t count how many times I stood in a train and an overly large, hairy, stinky man reaches his arm up in order to hold on to the handle. Inevitably, his armpit will be exactly as high as my nose. It doesn’t cost much. It doesn’t require much time. Buy deodorant and use it every day. Of course it isn’t all Germans, but there are many Germans and Europeans in general, who don’t wear deodorant. If you stink, it bothers the Germans too, but it isn’t just when your body stinks, but also when your deodorant or perfume has a strong smell. Therefore a lot of Germans wear natural deodorant. It simply keeps your body smell at bay. Maybe this is a part of this stereotype. I hate you. Why don’t the windows in Germany have screens? Even in Germany there are insects. Mosquitos, flies and other annoying insects come through the open windows. Then they sleep next to me in bed. They bite and buzz. This problem is easily solved. Use screens. They exist already in Germany. Many apartments and hotels don’t have them, because they don’t have to install them. There is no law for that and screens cost money. Many houses don’t need screens, because there aren’t very many insects. There is also another problem. Some windows open out. In order to be able to do this, you can’t have a screen. Darn it. I wanted to go shopping today, but today is Sunday. Why is almost everything in Germany closed on Sunday? Sometimes there is a holiday on Monday or Friday. Then all of Germany flips out. It looks like the USA when it snows a bit. Bread, eggs and milk are completely sold out. Why aren’t the stores open all seven days of the week? Do the Germans have something against capitalism? Shopping Warning: Friday is a holiday. The grocery provisions on our earth will end on Thursday forever. PLEASE PANIC! In Germany state and religion are not completely separate. Sunday is protected as a day of rest in the constitution. Sunday is treated as a holiday. That means that many shops are closed. That doesn’t bother most Germans, because they don’t want to have to work on Sunday and you simply have to plan better in order to avoid problems. Luckily museums and restaurants are open on Sunday. When I am in Germany Sunday is either a day for traveling or museum day. Dude. Why are the workers in Germany not happy? Smiling is a kind of greeting in the USA. When you walk into a store, the worker smiles when they greet you. When you get to the cash register, the cashier smiles. The German workers almost never smile. No wonder they are often depicted as humorless robots. The Germans smile. They make jokes and laugh. They just don’t smile without reason. It is odd to smile without a reason. They think, “Why is he smiling at me? Do I have something between my teeth?” Some Germans see smiling like this as fake and a sign of something wrong. If you are really happy, you smile. When you hear or see something funny, you laugh. Only crazies and Americans smile without a reason. If you laugh without a reason, Joachim Phoenix plays the main character in the biopic. Ahhh! Why are there no medications in grocery stores? Why do I have to go to a pharmacy in order to get Tylenol? Why do you have to talk to a pharmacist in order to get medications like that? Everything is behind a counter. In 1950 we had something like this in the USA, but not any more. It shouldn’t be so difficult. I just don’t want to cough anymore. Give me my medicine! Do you know what happens when you take ibuprofen and blood thinners at the same time? No. Why should I? The pharmacist can tell you if it is a good idea to take certain medications at the same time. Because many over the counter medications can interact with each other and only pharmacists and doctors understand this, you should talk to a pharmacist in order to be sure that you aren’t going to cause yourself problems. In order to avoid these problems, medications have to be sold in a pharmacy. It may not be as easy as in the USA, but it is better, healthier, and safer for the patients. No, sir. May I pay with my debit card? No. How about with a credit card? Not in this store. Ahh! Why not? Why do I always have to pay cash? I almost never have cash in my wallet, but when I am in Germany, I have to have cash with me. I believe you are exaggerating a bit. Almost all restaurants, stores and museums accept credit cards. You only have problems with credit cards when you travel outside of the tourist areas. Small stores and restaurants in small places don’t accept credit cards sometimes, but that is exactly like it is in the USA. With debit cards (called EC-Cards in Germany) there is another problem. The system for EC-Cards in the USA and Germany are not the same. Because the banks are different, you sometimes can’t use an EC-Card in Germany. I have personally not had any problems with this. You simply have to check with the bank before you go to Germany. It is true that the Germans pay more often cash. In Germany one pays cash 79% of the time. In the USA, less than 50%. The Germans have on average €100 in their wallet. The Americans have only half as much. Why? What do they have against cards? The Germans don’t like debt. Therefore they mostly don’t use credit cards. Some Germans like the anonymity of cash. It is also a cultural tradition to pay cash. If your parents always paid cash, you probably also always pay cash. Germany is the reason why there is a 500 Euro bill. There used to be a 1000 Deutsch Mark bill and in order to put the Germans at ease, the European Union created the 500 Euro bill. Since 2016 they haven’t made any new 500 Euro bills. Since January of 2019 banks have stopped putting these bills back into circulation. Only Germany and Austria waited until April before they started removing the 500 Euro bill in phases. Short version: Many Germans buy almost everything with cash, but you can use credit cards almost everywhere. Stop it! No one is perfect, but sometimes I think that the Germans expect that from everyone. I walk two centimeters onto the bicycle path. “Hey, this is a bicycle path! (Ring, ring)” The crosswalk light is red, but there are no cars coming. I walk a step and a grandma yells at me. “The light is red!” I say “der” when I should say “die”. “My God. Do you even speak German? How can you not say something like that correctly?” If you read the comments under this video you will likely see what I am talking about quite clearly. I can predict them in my head already. There are many hotels with free wifi. GEMA isn’t so bad since 2016. That’s when YouTube and GEMA reached an agreement. You pronounced this word incorrectly. I wouldn’t use this word in this case. It is ok, but it sounds a bit odd. You have the wrong intonation. It is LeviOsa and not LevioSA. Ok. You are finally right there. The Germans far and wide are know-it-alls. When you do something or say something wrong, they will correct you. They usually don’t mean it to be mean. They just want that everything is done “correctly”. Sometimes it is something as simple as “it has always been done like this”. In other cases it falls under the saying “There must be order.” It doesn’t matter why they do it, a German will eventually correct you. Now it’s your turn. What bothers you the most when you are in Germany? What do you hate about Germany? Write your opinion in the comments. Except when you write some know-it-all stuff. Then you can leave a dislike and go away. Thank you. Bye.

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  1. Get a copy of the video script in German and English along with a worksheet, answer key and mp3 download to go with this video here: https://www.germanwithantrim.com/product/12-things-americans-hate-about-germany-but-shouldnt/

  2. Wie immer ein tolles Video. Zum Punkt mit dem Schnecken-Internet könnte ich etwas sagen, werde mich aber zurückhalten, da ich auch den letzten Punkt gehört habe! 😂

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