Some German Habits I Will Probably Never Get Rid of

As someone who grew up in Germany and has lived there for most of their life, there are certain things that I consider “German habits”, I have come to practice in my daily life. These things are not necessarily good or bad, they are just incredibly German.

When I plan to hang out with my friends I usually ask them a couple of days even up to a week in advance. Some people, especially in the states, might find this odd, since people here like to be more spontaneous. However, in Germany people tend to book up if you don’t give them enough notice that you want to do something with them.

I also always worry about recycling. What can we recycle and where do we recycle it are questions not too many people in the US worry about (at least from my experience). I do have to say though that compared to some other states Hawaii is definitely making an effort to recycle at least the bare minimum (plastic bottles and aluminum cans). However, compared to Germany, which has around five different ways to dispose of trash this seems hardly like recycling at all.

Taking my shoes off when I enter somebody’s home is another one of those “German habits”. Luckily this is also a very common habit people practice in Hawaii, but on the US mainland it is not so common to take off your shoes when you visit your friend’s house. I still am shocked when I picture my friends lying on their couches (or even beds) with their shoes on (and no those shoes were definitely not house-shoes).

Being a candy-lover is another thing that from my experience is not very common for especially younger people in the US. In Germany, my friends and I would frequently consume candy when we hung out together. Here some people think it’s odd when I offer them candy at my house – odd, but I assume also a nice surprise since they don’t usually decline my offer.

I feel obligated to eat bread for at least one of my meals in a day. If I don’t eat bread for breakfast or dinner my day somehow doesn’t feel complete.

Calling all kinds of cereal “Cornflakes” is another weird German habit of mine. Before moving to the US I didn’t even know that “Cornflakes” is not a universal name for all cereal in the world. Now I know better, but still sometimes fall back into my old habit.

These are just some quirky German things I do in my everyday life (if some people don’t agree with me calling those things “German habits” I apologize and maybe some of these are actually just some personal habits I picked up from my family). I am sure there are some other German habits of mine that I commonly practice and if I can think of any more I will make sure to add them to this blog entry.


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