Thursday, March 01, 2007


Germanities, my new word for German oddities. I confirmed the widespread odd habits of Germans recently via It appears they did a bit of a german survival foreum in preperation for last summer's world cup. I came in the other day to find patrick wearing a scarf in the house. When I inquired I was told that was the normal way of curing a sore throat. I laughed and he showed me this website. The next day I went to work to find my boss wearing a scarf. I shook his hand (proper greeting/normal) and then asked if he had a sore throat and explained I just learned about the very German remedy. He claims the French and the English also wear scarves to cure sore throats, I think I need to see that to believe it. He also informed me that it was a sign to not shake his hand (like he couldn't have told me that before). Another Germanity thatI obsedrved and Speigel confirmed involves crossing streets. In American, we have the walk/don't walk light. In Germany, they have a green/red man and bicycle. I am actualy not sure why they also need the bicycle as they are always the same color and anyone with a bit of logic would know that if it is safe for a man to cross the street it is also safe for a cyclist. Anyway, when this man is red, Germans do not cross the street. Even on a one way where you can clearly see traffic approaching well in advance, Germans wait. I don't. I noticed that people will often walk if someone else walks so I may be a bit of a bad influencew on the whole culture but often times, one person walking on red does not compel others to follow. It is a rediculous system of obedience. I'll let you learn more in the German survival bible. So far, I agree with everyhting I've read in there for accuracy.,1518,k-6896,00.html

1 comment:

Walzi said...

Waiting for the lights turning green if there's no car at all seems to be stupid, of course. But most people here only do this if there are children around - it's all about being a role model. Kids must learn that crossing a "red lighted" street is bad - they can figure out the rest when they are old enough to think for themselves ;)
And, maybe, we Germans just LOVE rules.