The American's guide to living in Germany

Support information for us lost Americans

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nowandlainers
Okay lessons we as Americans (and those who know us) need to learn.

1. They DO NOT Take VISA: and they do not care it’s the only form of money you have and further more they do not understand why anyone would put a euro twenty on a card at McDonalds. Learn to bring cash!

2. Not Everyone Speaks English. I am aware that in the USA they tell you that every where in the world they speak English but really. Not everyone speaks English...

3. YOU as an American are not special or thought of as cool for being one. In fact just the opposite they see Americans as loud and obnoxious... so in fact you mother lied you are not special more so in Germany.

4. Not all people who look Middle Eastern are Terrorist. So try to resist the urge to stare or panic when you see one.

5. The majority of the people of "Color" are actually African. Really! Try not to break out in a mass of Ebonics.

6. Learn your address and phone number in German! In English it will not help you!

7. Please try not to dress like an American, Look around you. You look strange and are drawing attention to yourself. That neon tri colored shirt with matching tights and swag boots are not in fashion here, the girl at Wal-Mart was wrong it is not on Paris runways!! It screams American. I swear, look around you a bit ;you do not have to change your style but at least try to blend in just a bit.

8. Do not carry your passport everywhere you go. Read the Embassy website; make a copy. leave you passport in a safe place. Unless you are traveling.

9. Learn your geography. And that the USA is not the center of the world.

10. There is a huge difference between American English and British English if you do not know the word you just heard (and all of its meanings) don’t repeat it!

11. There is no Wal-Mart in Germany. if you need a cooking spoon go to the kitchen store, a sewing needle go to a sewing store sometimes you will find it all at a grocery store, they do not believe in one stop shopping here.. And more likely than not they also do not take Visa!

12. The large billboard of the two naked people is not porn it’s an advertisement please try not to stare or get out your magic marker. You will also see this in the newspaper. Get ready

13. Yes they trust that you have bought a train ticket right up until the point where you get caught. They have a great amount of trust try not to blow it for the rest of us.

14. If you trip down a large hole that they left un-covered without signs there is no one to sue. In Germany they expect you to know better. So watch what you’re doing.

15. Pedestrians do not have the right of way, if you get hit by a car on the red man, you can not sue them and more so it is your fault.

16. Never laugh at a German who is trying to speak English to you! They will never speak English to you again, and then you are in trouble.

17. If you tease taunt or in any way insult one of the many foreigners around you they will more than likely knock you teeth out. Leave the foreigners alone.

18. Never eat a Mexican burrito at the Christmas market. Seems like a great Idea and exciting to see but really you are in Germany now. German/mex is a strange combination.

19. Our Dramatics annoy the Germans; try to refrain from tears-screaming-and basically all emotion.

Okay come on let us help out the fellow Americans who are struggling. What have I forgotten??
mulah
LOL, I'm just wondering how many of these you discovered personally.

EDIT: You forgot to add that increasing the volume of your voice will not make Germans understand english.
rick_de
Have you seen the following site. Very funny accounts of some American tourists and their behaviour when abroad...

http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/archives/ugly.html
UpQuark
Okay come on let us help out the fellow Americans who are struggling. What have I forgotten??
That there are Americans who have lived in Europe for several years and are sick to death of stupid, self-loathing Americans who spend a week over here apologizing for every perceived misbehavior and validating every stereotype to any European who will listen ("It's true!! We all love war and hate sex!!") before f*cking off back home and leaving us to deal with ill-informed Europeans who have heads filled with wrong notions about how we think and act.

Respectfully yours,
A fellow American who is struggling ... with fellow Americans
DanHessen
UpQuark, Don't be silly. Americans are obviously all morons. Get with the program!
kent_73
9. Learn your geography. And that the USA is not the center of the world.

10. There is a huge difference between American English and British English if you do not know the word you just heard (and all of its meanings) don’t repeat it!
Funny post.

Re 9: Yes, the average American I've come across seems to have really poor Geography, which is a shame, because if they didn't then they wouldn't get this 'stupid American' reputation. A bit of advice: at least look at the map of Europe and note its countries and capitals.

Re 10: I wouldn't say there's a huge difference. American English is not a dialect of British English. In fact there are bigger differences within England than between UK and US English.
Keydeck
1. They DO NOT Take VISA: and they do not care it’s the only form of money you have and further more they do not understand why anyone would put a euro twenty on a card at McDonalds. Learn to bring cash!
This one never ceases to amaze me. I've been using my VISA card at garages, shops, hotels, bars and restaurants in Germany for 10 years now. I don't see this problem that some people seem to have. I recall Vienna in the late 90's being an issue in some shops, but in Germany, never had a problem.
Editor Bob
That's not true, Keydeck. I just had lunch at Sasou, a restaurant in the very center Munich, full of tourists. Yet they don't take credit cards. They don't take cards of any sort. Cash only. You're stuffed if you forget to go to the cash machine first, which I often do.

Same at McDonalds throughout the country. Cash only.
Keydeck
It is true. Or at least it's true that I've never had a problem. Perhaps I've not noticed such instances because I happened to have cash on me at the time, but I honestly cannot recall ever having a problem.
Punchbear
I've seen EC card receptacles in McDonalds, they look like a black lollipop that you slide your EC card down into.
3 Lions
Actually I didnt know until a few weeks back that Molly Malones does not accept EC card, but take Visa. Which I thought was a little strange.
nowandlainers
I will start praying that that Technology actually comes to Cologne.. So far we have EC.. I have seen a smathering of places who take that and even less that take visa.. My favorite store do not..
bohemka
Not sure I agree with the notion that Americans have poor geography skills. At least not the Americans that travel.

I'm taking German lessons at the Volkshochschule, and while that isn't exactly a hotbed of intellectualism, most of the people in the class were unable to find their own country on a map. The girl from Morocco actually began her search in South America.
eurovol
Why does this strike me as being somewhat of a British tinged portrayal of an Americans Guide?

Learn your address and phone number in German! In English it will not help you!
They both read the same don't they?
nowandlainers
No idea.. they might be.. ( british/ american)

The address thing No!

you have no idea how many students I have had to teach numbers to over and over.. 56 ( fifty six) versus sechsundfünfzig
zero zero two versus null null zwo
it gets confusing more so when the person you are trying to tell your addy or phone number to can not speak english
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