Packing my suitcase: What the Germans love most
We all know about the German passion for beer, sausage and cars, but what about their dedication to fixing things, complaining and their love of sauces?
I was eating dinner at home with my partner when suddenly a list started to build in my head. Yes, I am crazy about lists. Only this time, it was a very simple list about what Germans love. Oh yes, they are capable of loving; they are not a people as cold as many might think – they have big hearts, and I mean it!
To me, not only are Germans lovable people – no wonder I married one – they also love a lot of things. I even had to narrow down this list so you won't get bored reading endless text. Now, getting straight to the point, I would suggest that we start with the most obvious German passions, because I cannot write a post about what Germans love without mentioning beer, sausages and cars. I promise things will get more interesting after tackling these three of the most popular things Germans love. Naturally, the items on this list are based on my personal observations and experience, so of course it's a generalisation of the majority.
There is no doubt beer is a national passion in Germany. However, for many Germans it is more than just a passion – it is a necessity, and some even claim it is part of their food basics and important for their nutrition.
The numbers don’t lie. In 2014, Germans were ranked second in the world in terms of beer consumption, with 110 litres of beer per person, and a total of 8.9 billion litres consumed in one year. Perhaps not suprising seeing Germany is the 4th largest beer producer in the world.
In Germany, there are all kinds of sausages for every occasion – some are commonly eaten for breakfast, others at the football stadium, some at Christmas markets, and all of them at Oktoberfest. There are sausages for everyone’s taste: weißwurst, bockwurst, currywurst, bratwurst, wiener, Nürnberger, Thüringer, blutwurst – yes, blood sausage – and the list goes on, because there are more than 1,500 kinds of wurst in Germany.
Thirty kilograms of sausages are consumed per person in Germany per year – 2.5 million tonnes per year in total. Bratwust is the favourite sausage, with 2.4kg consumed per person per year. Oh yes!
Germans love cars and widely known that some of the best cars brands in the world are from Germany – Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, and even the MINI and Rolls-Royce belongs to the German BMW Group. And what about the Formula 1 drivers? Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hülkenberg, Timo Glock, Ralf Schumacher, and I can keep going.
The thing is, I don’t only say that the Germans love cars because they produce the some of the world's best cars and Formula 1 drivers; I say this because on a daily basis I notice how they worry about their cars and take care of them, be they men, kids or women. Plus, they value their national brands; the majority of the cars on the streets are German.
Now things are going to get serious…
Oh my. Germans love to complain. They complain about the long line, about lack of punctuality, traffic, if your dog pees or poos in the wrong spot, if the bus is late, if you have a barbecue where you are not supposed to, if you are too loud, if the product they bought took too long to be delivered, if someone parks the car in the wrong spot, if things don’t go the way they planned… and I can go on.
But you know what? I often tell visitors or those new in Germany not to complain that they complain, because if they didn't, this country would not be the way it is: organised, with everything working as it is supposed to. I have started to complain a lot, too.
Solution to the problem
Germans don’t only complain, they solve things. They don’t look for someone to blame when something goes wrong, they simply find a solution to the problem. They love having a solution, and certainly they appreciate when you come up with a problem that already has a solution. Their main thought is: the mistake has been made, it already went wrong, now we need to focus on a solution. And thinking logically as they do, they always find a solution to fix things.
I don’t know if Germans themselves have acknowledged this passion, and it took me a while to realise it: they love sauces. In Germany, there is always a sauce accompanying your food. I am not talking about tomato or barbecue sauce, but referring to every possible sauce you can imagine: with mushrooms, cream, with red or white wine, curry and so on. If there is no sauce, they will find one.
In Germany there are rules for everything you can imagine. Rules regarding the time you are allowed to make loud noises in your house, where you can't smoke, where you are allowed to barbecue, where your dog is allowed to roam, which side of the staircase to use, banks, traffic and pedestrian rules, job interviews, garbage and hospital rules.
At the beginning, I must say I was paranoid and afraid of doing something I wasn’t supposed to. But with time, I got used to the little rules of the daily German life.
I know that the fever of ordering online is not only here in Germany, but I am often impressed by how much the Germans shop online. I always wondered where Germany stands when it comes to online shopping, and guess what I found out? Germany is number three in the world according to this infographic from Forbes:
Palma de Mallorca
When it comes to vacation spots, there are certain places that the vast majority of the Germans have visited at least once in their lifetime: the Spanish islands. Guess which one of them is the most popular? Palma de Mallorca.
This island attracts about four million Germans each year. Yes, it is true. Palma de Mallorca is only a two-hour flight from Germany, it is cheap, has great nightlife, and it is awesome. The island is very popular among young people, where most of them go celebrate their 18th birthday. They even call it the 17th state of Germany.
From the previous item of the list, you might have guessed that I was going to say that Germans love to travel. Even though Germany is only number 12 in the world when it comes to the nationalities that travel the most, the Germans make 70.7 million trips per year, where 57 percent of the population has made a trip of at least five days in a year. No wonder every time I am travelling, I meet a German.
Allane Milliane is a Brazilian travel blogger who lives in Munich. She fell in love and continues to discover and learn each day a little bit more about the Germans and their culture. She shares her experiences as an expat in Germany on her blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.