I think my experience of the German people (and I’m half German myself, so perhaps it makes sense) is best summed up by the following exchange, at 3am in Berlin after a night out in clubs:
Me: “That was just lovely. All the people were sooo nice and friendly!”
B: “‘Nice and friendly?’ You mean, ‘quiet and reserved and kind of socially awkward and pretty much keep to themselves?'”
Me: “Um…. yeah, I guess, kind of. Aren’t they great?!?!”
And then also my occasional shame regarding my own country-folk by this exchange:
Hotel. Full elevator leaves ground floor. One level up, a young couple gets in. The dude is wearing a backwards baseball cap and blasting ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ from his iPhone speakers. This lasts three floors, then they get out. Into the ensuing awkward silence:
B (to me, partially under his breath, shaking his head): “Not MY people…”
American girl in the corner alone: “Oh god, I wish I could say the same… It just makes me want to apologize to everyone!”
Me: “Yeah, tell me about it…”
Older couple in the other corner: “…Ja, we are Dutch.”
So anyway, yeah. Dear world, sometimes (oftentimes) my country-folk are clueless, obnoxious idiots, and I am so sorry. Lots of us are great, though! Promise!
And dear Germans: I love hanging out in clubs with you, and also social spaces in general. Know why? Because when there’s a reason for us to talk you are polite and generally friendly, and when there isn’t, you leave me alone and I leave you alone and we coexist in a comfortable, relaxed space where everything is fine and everything is working correctly and everyone is politely following the rules and if something breaks, we will fix it, because we are German and that is what we do.
And last but not least: I found this in a German shop (see photo). Whaaaaaaaaat? I see it a lot with NYC and LA, but Seattle? Also, I appreciate the specificity of the particular region, but I find it hard to believe that the Germans would know the political/idealogical differences between eastern and western Wa. Oh well 🙂