Monday, June 05, 2006

Thinking about traveling to Germany?

Shamelessly adapted from Blau on Live Journal.

Thinking about traveling to Germany?

If you do, as a tourist from the underdeveloped regions of the world (anywhere beyond the German borders), you should know that not all Germans are Nazis. Some of them just want to make an outrageously enormous profit off you. The German people are renowned for their friendly and neighbourly nature. That said, here are a few Don'ts to help keep you out of trouble:

Don't blather on pointlessly
In Germany, communication is always goal-oriented ("Get out of my way!" "Show me your papers!" "Give me the money!"). Things that might count as charming banter in your culture ("May I help you cross the street?" "What glorious sunny weather!" "By the way, I come from Burundi.") will be regarded in Germany as superficial blather and a waste of time.

Don't turn down invitations
If a German invites you to his home to show you his own personal waste recycling system, you must never turn down the invitation, otherwise, you'll make an enemy. Be warned: what it means to make enemies of Germans you can learn from any history book.

Don't speak during meals
It is considered improper to speak during meals in Germany. According to old German custom, you should poke around the plate gloomily for a while, then suddenly choke it all down as quickly as possible. As soon as you see the German national dish, Dreckmitschlammundfleisch ("muck with goo and meat"), you'll understand why.

Don't conceal your fears
In Germany, the culture, economy and cuisine are all traditionally based on fear. Germans are accordingly proud of their fears and delight in spreading them. Currently, Germans are afraid about their pensions, dying-out as a nation, and being eliminated in the first round of the World Cup. Don't be afraid to talk about your own fears (such as floods, nuclear war or sauerkraut), but always admit that your hosts' fears are far more important.

Don't display an inappropriate appearance
An inappropriate appearance can injure religious feelings in Germany. Of course, nobody will complain if Catholic Brazilian girls visit churches in their traditional costume of sequined bikinis. However if you happen to be in east Germany, you should avoid provoking the natives by having an unusual skin color. The ancient Germanic gods that are worshiped in these areas strictly forbid it.

Don't remain sober during the evening
During the day, Germans like nothing better than to appear lifeless and stony. During the evening, however, they drink several litres of beer in as many minutes and then suddenly go out of their minds and begin screaming like banshees. You should absolutely join in! Anyone who doesn't will quickly get punched in the face. Of course, if you join in, you'll also get punched in the face, but you won't notice it as much.

Don't forget to mention the war
Never forget to mention the war to Germans! Germans love to prove, in conversations that last for hours, that they know a lot about the rather unfortunate parts of their recent history, and that they've learned important things from it. As a follow-up, they'll be happy to explain to you all the bad things that your country has done, especially if you are American, and which genocides you should feel personally responsible for.

Welcome to Germany.

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