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 German stereotypes: if there's a sign, they obey it

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Peter
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PostSubject: German stereotypes: if there's a sign, they obey it   Thu 17 Mar 2011, 20:40

Guardian | guardian.co.uk wrote:

German stereotypes: if there's a sign, they obey it

Yes, the pedestrian crossing man is sacred – along with recycling and a nice, quiet lunch
One of the first noises you may hear when arriving in Germany is the sound of people tutting as they see you crossing the road before waiting for the little green man. Ignoring the red Ampelmännchen is a crime in Germany, punishable by a fine of €5 (£4.30) or more, and, outside the big cities at least, is just not the done thing. Never mind that you're in a two-horse town with one bus a day passing through: if the light is red, you wait. This is even truer in Austria, where one sleepy Sunday in Salzburg Iwas whacked on the back of the legs for ignoringthe light by an elderly woman brandishing a walking stick.

If there is a sign, you should probablyobey it. If the sauna poster tells you to shower before cooling off in the plunge pool, do it – unless you want to get into an argument with a naked German about your personal hygiene. Always carry ID. Don't cut your lawn during the Mittagsruhe (the fiercely enforced quiet time over lunch). Recycle everything. Even the grungiest station platform includes a bin separated into compartments for paper, glass and Restmüll (leftover rubbish), and woe betide you if someone spots you chucking your apple core into the wrong receptacle. If you want to argue about it, good luck: Germans are not known for backing down in an argument.
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: German stereotypes: if there's a sign, they obey it   Fri 18 Mar 2011, 05:41

Just for amusement, I once asked my wife which nation was the most opposite of Mexico. She said, "Switzerland", and nailed it. I guess the Teutonic Nations all might qualify.
We haven't visited those nations, but we do know a lovely Mexicana of Austrian parentage, and a friendly Swiss baker, the latter in Eronga.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: German stereotypes: if there's a sign, they obey it   Fri 18 Mar 2011, 11:13

While I have never liked stereotyping, I have found that Germans can often be accommodating in that department. A number of years ago, I flew into Cologne and made arrangements to stay in an apartment in an apartment house owned by a German widow of a US Army Officer. Once situated, she took the time to explain the Germans in the area and the best way to get around the city. She warned me that even though it was required that recent graduates of their school system be proficient in English to graduate, most of the younger generation would act like they knew nothing if you spoke in English. Even though she especially warned me about taxi drivers, I found myself being driven out of the way to increase fares. The same seemed to be true with the younger wait staff in restaurants. Later in my trip, I was in Munich and found just the opposite to be true. At the time, I remember thinking that it may have just been a regional thing much like certain areas of the US.
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