Do you like living in Germany?

483 posts in this topic

22 minutes ago, food mom said:

"the land of dirty porn"?. As opposed to...clean porn? (Your cue, smarties)B)

I was also wondering, is there such thing as dirty or clean porn? Or maybe there are categories in this area I'd rather not delve into?

Stereotypes about Germany are punctuality, quality stuff, and yes, showing naked people on films. But it's for all European films really. 

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33 minutes ago, desdemona said:

 

Stereotypes about Germany are punctuality, quality stuff, and yes, showing naked people on films.

 

That summary had me giggling! And it's so true! :D

 

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Clean porn - I can't describe it, but I know what it is when I see it.  The Roberto Ravioli movies (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071126/ this is one) from the 70s had me in stitches.  Ravioli is a randy little character who always brings joy to the women of the towns he visits.  Alpengluehn im Dirndlrock is an excellent example of clean porn.

 

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Most American comedy depicts German fetish porn to be about Bondage and 'Scheisser'. The assumption is that they suppress their feelings and it comes out in strange sexual ways.

 

Here is Conan O'Brian , a comedian from USA:

 

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IMHO "clean" porn is about a sense of humor, a moderate amount of storyline (just a little!), and some basic respect towards women or whoever the weaker part/receptive/submissive part in the movie is.

I've seen clean versions of gay/SM/[insert your favorite perversion here] porn that were porny as heck, and at the same time entertaining, regardless if they tickled my fantasy or not. Chacun a son gout. ;)

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7 hours ago, tokeshu said:

I struggle with some things as well. As many of you have said, the people are difficult. Yes, I've met some great folk, but overall, I wouldn't say I've had many happy human interactions here. I miss having random chats to strangers in shops or on the street. if you smile, you're not to be trusted. Dealing with bureaucracy here does my head in, and the German need to always be right and never admit fault makes me want to start swinging sometimes. I really (REALLY) struggle with this. I know it's just the way it is, but still, it's (IMHO) a horrible trait.

 

100% agree with you. I would have expressed exactly it like this.

 

Both your positives and negatives match my experience exactly - it's like you wrote my post for me :) 

 

 

@Rivka,  maybe we should just move to your town. btw - do you work in Germany? that might be the difference

 

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@tokeshu

@wien4ever

 

Yes, indeed. 10+ years here and never got used to the omnipresent "Rechthaberei" among other less ingratiating traits of the natives. I know they are mostly stereotypes. I've just learned to deal with it and fire back, stand ground or concede when neccesary..the road goes in both directions.

 

I'm glad to have made close friendships here although few. Speaking frankly and honestly shed some light on how they - we react. Biggest complaint I heard was our (American) penchant for being superficial "oberflächlich", beating around the bush "um den heißen Brei herum reden" and general wishywashiness.

Die alte Shinken! for every one of those old chestnuts I have a choice one of my own locked and loaded e.g. Germans queing in lines, reserving pool recliners and general lemming-like behaviour. :lol:

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47 minutes ago, wien4ever said:

Most American comedy depicts German fetish porn to be about Bondage and 'Scheisser'. The assumption is that they suppress their feelings and it comes out in strange sexual ways.

 

Here is Conan O'Brian , a comedian from USA:

 

 

I have a lifelong mad-crush on Conan and this is BEYOND hilarious. Thanks for that laugh! 

 

32 minutes ago, wien4ever said:

@Rivka,  maybe we should just move to your town. btw - do you work in Germany? that might be the difference

 

 

Everyone moves to the Schwarzwald! Great! Or not?! haha

My husband lives and works in Germany - he is Southern Italian but was born and raised in the Schwarzwald. He always described the German people as cold and unwelcoming as lots of you all have! (He always says "especially in comparison to Southern Italians".) I don't work in Germany yet, though I have been offered a few little jobs at a variety of places. I have an animal rescue in the US and work as a Tierpflegerin/lehrerin or trainer and rehabilitator of abandoned and abused animals.

If our experience with the Germans here is not the norm then, I truly don't know what could explain the experiences that my mother, sister, cousin, and myself have been having. Perhaps because we are Caribbean/African-Americans? I'm just throwing that out there as I really don't know. My husband used to often say that he is surprised as well when I recount experiences but when he experiences these with me he always says that these things are the norm in the Schwarzwald. Random examples of what he says is the norm: An hour long super informative and helpful chitchat with the pharmacist about migraines. Random conversation with a group of townsfolk about the quality of spring water. Impromptu lessons from a random Schwarzwald man about German farming practices and animal welfare laws. Hours-long conversations (always thanks to my husband) with strangers at cafes and restaurants or owners of shops about the Geschichte of their particular town and area and what they love about it (am personally obsessed with history). Laughing and chatting for 15 minutes with the baker woman and another customer about what to select for brunch and how much we ladies love sweets and mimosas. My husband says that all of this is totally normal with southern Germans and that it is nothing special at all. So perhaps it is the effect of living in the Black Forest?! 

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49 minutes ago, sr5dnptylno said:

@tokeshu

@wien4ever

 

 Biggest complaint I heard was our (American) penchant for being superficial "oberflächig", beating around the bush "um den heißen Brei herum reden" and general

Somehow I doubt they would call you "oberflächig" (though that *is* a word), but rather "oberflächlich", but hey ho, I'm just trying to be right. 

 

[ducks]

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@Rivka  Well , I've been in Germany for 5 years, and I can only say this charming behavior has happened to me only a very few times. I'm a happy you are finding many good moments in Germany. 

 

Maybe I am just giving off bad vibes or don't look the right way or something to Germans. It took a year and half until my neighbors started greeting me. It took four years for a good portion of my colleagues to start treating me decently.

 

Back in the States I was considered a social butterfly - here it's another story for me. 

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There are always going to be regional differences. People from London and people from North Yorkshire would probably feel like they are not living in the same country. @RivkaGioUndHunde I would say that NYC is London and the Schwarzwald is North Yorkshire. However, in England, I would say that the unfriendliness of London is not the norm. In Germany, I would say that the friendliness of the Schwarzwald is not the norm.

 

The difference is that Germans find random niceness to be fake and dishonest. Others (myself included) find random niceness polite and heartwarming. It just depends where you come from.

 

People (and myself) have said that they met some of the nicest people they know here. But to be honest, I would argue that wherever in the world you live you can find nice people to make friends with. There are a number of countries I wouldn't like to live in but I've still met some really nice people there.

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@RivkaGioUndHunde

 

I'm actually working quite close to your area today :).  I live on the opposite side of the forest to you - Rottweil area.

I'm glad you're having a nice experience and I hope more of us do. I'm not saying my average day is doom and gloom. I've always thought you get back what you give out - it's just that I feel I give out a lot more than I get back here, but that's just a problem with me having expectations. 

 

With your husband being from an Italian background I can imagine he feels it too. I've never had anything but warm experiences in Italy - even when people were trying to rip me off! The thing that makes me notice it most (the "Germanness" I was writing about) is how I feel whenever I have to come back here. It doesn't matter from where - Australia, Asia (where I often am), the UK, Ireland, Holland, Italy... it's always with a slight sadness that things are soon going to be less 'light' - a little heavier and a little more sombre. That's when I realise things are decidedly different for me here.

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Me again :huh:

 

See - I can stop pondering the original question now....do you 'like' living here?

 

It just occurred to me after writing my last post...my life in Germany is fine and I am quite content. I like the people I have around me very much as well as the area I live in.  

 

There's not a lot of joy though. I'm not living a particularly joyous life here.

 

I can't honestly say i was living a "joyous" life in Oz either, but I know for sure I had more joyous moments there than I've had here. 

 

Gonna have to keep pondering...

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@tokeshu Give it time...don't let a some bad experience taint everything.

Life is what WE make it and the joy we find is there for the taking you will surely find.

 

 

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Getting into social circles is much harder work in Germany that I had expected.

 

I've been going to train for a local Rugby team and it takes a little while for people to warm up to you. You have to do almost all of the work of introducing yourself, asking how long you've played, what do you do (blah...blah). I've found a similar situation in the friends from my girlfriend that I've met for the first time. 

 

But, that being said, when you do make friends here they become friends a lot quicker than being 'that guy' that you 'kinda know to nod at' when you're down the pub.

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5 hours ago, theGman said:

There are always going to be regional differences.

 @RivkaGioUndHunde

I would say that NYC is London and the Schwarzwald is North Yorkshire. However, in England, I would say that the unfriendliness of London is not the norm. In Germany, I would say that the friendliness of the Schwarzwald is not the norm.

 

The difference is that Germans find random niceness to be fake and dishonest.

 

@theGman  Re: random niceness being considered fake/dishonest - This is the first time that I am hearing that but it would make the experiences that people were reporting make so much sense. Thank you for that insight. It puts a lot of things into perspective. It's good that I'm learning this so that I'm not too shocked or thrown for any loops when I go to other areas - particularly up north where it seems to be extra socially distant and cold. Though from what I understand a large part of that is due to the coldness of the many Russian-Germans there (all of my negative experiences in Germany have also been with Russians/Russian-Germans, interestingly enough).

 

I think so much of it also depends on perspective. 

 

 

1 hour ago, tokeshu said:

@RivkaGioUndHunde

 

I'm actually working quite close to your area today :).  I live on the opposite side of the forest to you - Rottweil area.

I'm glad you're having a nice experience and I hope more of us do. I'm not saying my average day is doom and gloom. I've always thought you get back what you give out - it's just that I feel I give out a lot more than I get back here, but that's just a problem with me having expectations. 

 

With your husband being from an Italian background I can imagine he feels it too. I've never had anything but warm experiences in Italy - even when people were trying to rip me off!

 

The thing that makes me notice it most (the "Germanness" I was writing about) is how I feel whenever I have to come back here... it's always with a slight sadness that things are soon going to be less 'light' - a little heavier and a little more sombre. That's when I realise things are decidedly different for me here.

 

@tokeshu 

Rottweil! We were looking at a few houses there! haha Hello neighbor, indeed!!! I do know that the folks in the colder areas do tend to be a tad bit less friendly in my own experience. But the vast majority of my experience in Germany has been in the Schwarzwald, and as my husband's Southern Italian family (who all live in the Schwarzwald) had always described the people there as being cold and distant etc, which was obviously the opposite of what we were seeing and experiencing, I just assumed that they were feeding into stereotypes and maintaining unrealistic expectations based on comparisons with their own extremely and extraordinarily warm Southern Italian culture. I am learning now based on a lot of the feelings that people are posting here, that generally throughout Germany there is a sort of distance and coldness that sounds very much like Manhattan and Long Island, NY. That's very disappointing, but I suppose it's better to learn such things through reading than to learn it through experience.

 

However, I don't think that the expectations based on cultural comparisons are to be discounted! The perspective bias of cultural expectations can make a neutral situation seem slightly or even tremendously negative, or can make a negative situation seem neutral or even positive! Look at me, coming from NY where I've literally been living next to these neighbors for decades, watching their children grow up - and they're cold and extremely distant when we try to say hello to them or have a conversation. Where I come from in NY, if your children don't go to the same school and play at each other's houses, you have no idea who your neighbors are. When there was a massive power outage the neighbors called family members and friends from out of town instead of going to each other for help and support. If you walk past someone on the street and they smile at you or say hello, it is off-putting and you naturally assume that they want something from you or that you must know hem from somewhere and forgotten who the heck they are.

 

My husband always described Germany the way that you did - an overly organized, decently pretty looking place, full of cold, somber, distant people. After coming to live here in NY for a year, he learned to appreciate Germany as a country. Then after experiencing Germany through my eyes - all of those lovely experiences that he says are "normal" things - he is now beginning to see the German people and even his experiences with them through totally different eyes. He didn't used to notice or care when everyone walking past us on the road would be sure to say "Guten Abend", "Morgen", "Guten Tag", or "Hallo!". He thought it was adorable and amusing that I was always so amazed and excited by this - he always said "but this is normal, amore.They are just being polite. It doesn't mean that they care about you". Yet I always would say "But they care enough to say hello when they don't have to!" - my reaction and my constant surprise and delight at this kindness that he minimized as "politeness" made him begin to take notice of these greetings which he always took for granted before, and to view what he described as  "normal politeness" as a warmness and a kindness instead. When we leave a restaurant the Germans there always say "Tschüss!" - my husband never really registered this as significant before, but for me it is reminiscent of Japan and feels like we're making new potential friends everywhere we go! 

 

I'm particularly grateful for these little kindnesses because my NY family and I speak so very little German, and we feel like we stand out, so little greetings and things like that always help us to feel as though we can at least positively interact with the community in this way.

 

Likewise, if you think about what you've said - you always return to Germany "with a slight sadness... a little less 'light' - a little heavier and a little more somber" -  would that affect the view and feelings that you have of neutral or even potentially positive experiences and things? My husband didn't used to realize that he was comparing Germans and German culture with his Southern Italian culture, but realizing that has helped him to reduce his comparison-based expectations and put the perceived negatives in a more neutral perspective - and his seeing things through my ex-pat New Yorker eyes has helped him adjust his perspective to a much more neutral one!

 

Where in Asia do you usually go? If it is Japan (guessing based on Tokeshu) then I am not surprised that you feel a sort of weightiness when thinking of Germany. The Japanese are some of the most sincerely kind, genuinely hospital, warmest, polite, and generous people that I have ever met in my life. I've been obsessed with and fascinated by Japanese culture since childhood and we recently spent a month there - primarily in Tokyo where I find Japanese social culture to be very pure and strong. Even comparing the Italians (who are extremely warm but also very insincere) to the Japanese sincere warmth and hospitality would be unfair haha. If Australians are anything like the Italians or the Japanese in terms of he warmth and hospitality, then its no wonder you feel like you're stranded on a ashen gray, somber, cold island! It must have been wonderful growing up in such a place.

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I might be the odd one here but I don't find Germany to be particularly unfriendly. Perhaps I've never lived in friendly countries :) I'm used to Asian general politeness and over the top respect to those they deem superior (older people, guests, bosses), but genuine friendliness and sincere warmth it is not. we won't chat randomly on the street or open our house to strangers. Even with acquitances the friendliness would only be on superficial level, I should know, I've lost contact with people I considered friends before simply because we don't actually care about each other. Gosh I sound so bitter...anyway, I'm not surprised at the general lack of friendliness here, rather I'm used to it. Where is this promised land of friendship and sincere warmth? 

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29 minutes ago, desdemona said:

Where is this promised land of friendship and sincere warmth? 

 

Everywhere when one is lucky enough to meet such people.

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