How to deal with the German mentality/rudeness

691 posts in this topic

mlovett,

 

Yes, I've been to the gynaecologist, too, but for a different pain. In fact I went to various doctors with this other pain and it was only the fifth one who found out what it was. Nothing you can do about it, she said. Anyway.. a year later, I go back for the annual check-up and it's virtually cleared up by itself. "I don't know what you've been doing," she said, "but keep doing it." The pain I had in London was much higher up. Above the navel, not like the pain I've had "down below".

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Has this turned into a Kaffee & Kuchen chat about what ails you thread? Who's bringing cake?

 

I like baking.. so I'm always willing to get the mixing bowl out. Don't do cream cakes, though.

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This thread has gotten a bit off-topic but I can understand why it's such a popular place to post. This topic gets to the heart of the issue of living overseas. What to do, where to go, why do people seem strange, how do I get to know people, what do I eat... It's funny to see that things don't seem to have changed at all since I lived in Mainz in the late 80s. I've dealt with the rudeness, got yelled at by a hausfrau for putting some trash into a dumpster that was not mine, pushed out of line... some things never will change I guess. I have really enjoyed reading all the posts here, you have provided a lot of laughs and made me remember so many things about my years in Germany. I am visiting this summer, can't wait to see what happens.

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got yelled at by a hausfrau for putting some trash into a dumpster that was not mine, pushed out of line... some things never will change I guess.

 

But so far I've not seen an article in Germany like this:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265872/Council-refuses-collect-recycling-bin--contained-pips.html

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Reminds me of the guy in my home town who was fined by the local council a few years ago because his bin lid wouldn't close and they refused to empty it. There'd be a lot of unemptied bins where I live now if that were the case here.

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And I don't think the bins in town would be emptied at all here if they went by UK rules. They don't want to lift anything in the UK in case they get back injuries. What they would say to having to lift bins up out of cellars on the end of a rope (line, whatever it's called), I don't know.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1046976/Burly-binmen-refuse-away-rubbish-heavy---7st-housewife-did-herself.html

 

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23491448-now-dustmen-wont-take-your-rubbish-away-if-wheelie-bin-is-too-heavy-to-pull-with-two-fingers.do

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1059929_bin_too_heavy_to_empty_but

 

I dread anything like that happening here.

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But so far I've not seen an article in Germany like this:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265872/Council-refuses-collect-recycling-bin--contained-pips.html

 

Perhaps there are no articles on this subject because it happens all the time - at least in German suburbia. I've had Yellow Recycling bags not picked up for having left too much yogurt in the containers. As the collector pointed out, the yellow bag clearly states in bold lettering on the outside, "Sauber und ohne Inhaltsreste". I've had friends not have theirs picked up because of pizza or other food remnants in the containers.

 

Same is true for the Gardenwaste pick up. A friend of mine placed a pumpkin in the Gardenwaste bin. The collector refused to take it away and told her that he knows the pumpkin did not come from her garden because she had carved a face into it (i.e. a Halloween Jack O'lantern). My friend asked, "So, if I had just thrown a regular pumpkin in the bin, that would have been okay, because you would have assumed it came from the garden. However, because we carved the pumpkin into a Jack O'lantern, you assume we bought the pumpkin from somewhere else, and hence, it is no longer waste from our garden?" To which the collector just answered, "Ja."

 

To be fair, I often think these issues are less a blind adherence to prescribed rules, but rather a chance for some employee to exert his power or authority. There are many times when the collectors overlook the same rules that they sometimes enforce and remove the bins even if contraband waste paraphernalia are sitting conspicuously on top of the bin.

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To be fair, I often think these issues are less a blind adherence to prescribed rules ...

 

I wish more people blindly adhered to the rules with their trash at my place. How hard can it be to understand that in the yellow bins for packages no residual waste is allowed, and in the biodegradable bin no plastic (even if plastic bags will finally decompose in a hundred years or so)? Often the yellow bins stink to hell because somebody must have thrown raw meat or diapers or whatever in it, and those bins only get collected every two weeks around here. So I totally understand when the garbage collectors confiscate bins if people are too dumb to see why it's yucky not to use the correct bins.

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It is now clear to me why a German woman I know puts all plastic food containers through her dishwasher before disposing of them! I almost posted about it in the "Flummoxed" thread.

 

I just give them a quick rinse in the sink.

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Perhaps there are no articles on this subject because it happens all the time - at least in German suburbia. I've had Yellow Recycling bags not picked up for having left too much yogurt in the containers. As the collector pointed out, the yellow bag clearly states in bold lettering on the outside, "Sauber und ohne Inhaltsreste". I've had friends not have theirs picked up because of pizza or other food remnants in the containers.

 

Same is true for the Gardenwaste pick up. A friend of mine placed a pumpkin in the Gardenwaste bin. The collector refused to take it away and told her that he knows the pumpkin did not come from her garden because she had carved a face into it (i.e. a Halloween Jack O'lantern). My friend asked, "So, if I had just thrown a regular pumpkin in the bin, that would have been okay, because you would have assumed it came from the garden. However, because we carved the pumpkin into a Jack O'lantern, you assume we bought the pumpkin from somewhere else, and hence, it is no longer waste from our garden?" To which the collector just answered, "Ja."

 

To be fair, I often think these issues are less a blind adherence to prescribed rules, but rather a chance for some employee to exert his power or authority. There are many times when the collectors overlook the same rules that they sometimes enforce and remove the bins even if contraband waste paraphernalia are sitting conspicuously on top of the bin.

 

 

 

It is now clear to me why a German woman I know puts all plastic food containers through her dishwasher before disposing of them!  I almost posted about it in the "Flummoxed" thread.

 

I just give them a quick rinse in the sink.

 

This is not neccesary and I have never done it.

 

"Auch ist es unnötig, die Plastikbecher und Dosen, die man in die gelbe Tonne wirft, vorher auszuspülen. Zwar kann es dann in der Tonne schneller unangenehm riechen. Aber der Umwelt schadet es weitaus mehr, wenn bei jedem einzelnen Joghurtbecher Wasser und Spülmittel zum Reinigen verwendet wird. Beim Recycling stören kleine Reste von Lebensmitteln nicht."

 

http://www.platinnet...r-umwelt-helfen

 

And you can put all your vegetable waste in the brown Biosäcke aswell as your garden waste. It doesn't have to come out of the garden.

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Around here, it's just apartment buildings that have yellow bins. The rest of the people just have yellow bags. When you leave left over food in the bags and then put the bag outside to wait for collection, often days in advance since many buildings have space to stack them up outside, cats, birds or other animals will pull the bags apart and either they will make a mess of it or the garbage guy comes and grabs the bag without realizing that it now has a big hole in it and stuff will go all over the place making the garbage guy very unhappy because he will have to pick it up.

 

Another thing that makes garbage guys unhappy is when people try to sneak regular garbage in the yellow bags and this happens a lot. You know as soon as you pick it up because regular garbage is generally heavier. They see it as cheating because you have to pay for regular garbage pick up and not for yellow bag pick up so if they see that, they often leave those bags behind.

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Around here, it's just apartment buildings that have yellow bins. The rest of the people just have yellow bags.

 

Ok...I still think its crazy to put the stuff in the dishwasher, but now it is making even more sense to me. I am used to having the bin where I can get rid of stuff daily and never see (or smell) it again. She has the sack, and if memory serves, it is kept inside the garage. Guess that could get pretty stinky if it doesn't get picked up often enough.

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And you can put all your vegetable waste in the brown Biosäcke aswell as your garden waste. It doesn't have to come out of the garden.

 

Clearly, that is what my friend thought until the collector refused to take the Biosack until she removed the pumpkin. Same with the yellow recycling bags. Sometimes, if you are not home, the collectors will even leave a note explaining why they did not collect your yellow bags.

 

I rinse the containers now in the sink rather than risk having the yellow bags sit for yet another two weeks before being picked up.

 

Resistance was futile. I've been assimilated. ;)

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How hard can it be to understand that in the yellow bins for packages no residual waste is allowed

 

In former time it was required to rinse the containers that go into the yellow bins/bags, but not anymore.

 

 

and those bins only get collected every two weeks around here.

 

In our case the Restmüll is collected every 2 weeks, just like the yellow bags, so no difference.

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Hello; a slight change of topic.

Some time ago (months, I think) I read something here about the process of enculturation: there were four or five stages, excitement, rejection, anger, rebellion, acceptance, and so on. I'd love to find that post but for the life of me I can't. Believe me, I spent half an hour searching for the post in question, all over the forum using a variety of words.

Perhaps someone remembers who wrote it, and can dig it up quickly? I'd be very grateful.

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I think I am in stuck in between anger and rebellion mode right now. Today at a festival I was kindly giving way to folks walking by as the streets were very crowded. After letting several pass in front of me and seeing that it was now my turn I started to walk when a lady comes barreling through as if she had an absolute right to go next. She came out of nowhere and had zero consideration for anyone else and before I knew it I found myself loudly saying" You better watch it, lady!" My German husband was in stitches laughing and the lady didn't understand me but I was on fire and thought to myself, "I'm not taking this anymore." Rebellion? Ha.. I hope I get to acceptance soon. :)

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Thanks Bipa for the link, gratitude beyond words....

 

I am slowly moving into the Acceptance Phase, had no clue the end of the pain was so near... There were moments, just flashes, of being comfortable here. I am very much a Cancerian, hiding in my shell until it is safe to come out. I noticed the comfort level had risen when my mom came to visit recently. She looked and acted just like I did when I first got here, a deer in headlights at some points and a brazen tourist the next. It was a rare peek at the "then and now" of myself. I had assumed I would pretend to be more comfortable and "all that" here for her sake so she would not worry about me, but now realized that I wasn't faking. I really am more comfortable here and had experienced growth that I had not realized up until now.

 

All I can say is that you will experience Culture Shock, no avoiding it. There is nothing more sobering and comforting in finding out that your experience here is the exact same as millions before you. When I read that linked article, it was EXACTLY what I had gone through word for word. It was kinda freaky. I am not alone anymore....

 

Right now, I am listening to Johnny Nash " I Can See Clearly Now" the ultimate song of an optimist... and bawling. I am there. Finally.

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It is now clear to me why a German woman I know puts all plastic food containers through her dishwasher before disposing of them! I almost posted about it in the "Flummoxed" thread.

 

I just give them a quick rinse in the sink.

 

We use the same water to clean the dishes as we rinse them off to clean yogurt and other plastic containers ,puff am I glad we don't eat that much pizza.

I walk around Germany with the feeling of needing an extra pair of eyes in the back of my head.

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