"Xenophobe's® Guides: Health"

Xenophobe's® Guides: Germans and health

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Are you inflicted with the notorious German ailment of Kreislaufstörung? Find out the health obsessions of the Germans.

Xenophobe's® Guides: A book series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations with insight and humour.

Virtually all Germans have health problems, and if they don't, there must be something wrong with them. Most of what ails them is stress related. No nation was ever more stressed (strapaziert), but this is understandable. After all, running Europe can take it out of you.

Like the French, the Germans devote enormous resources to the treatment of an illness which doesn't exist, in this case the notorious Kreislaufstörung, meaning disruption of the circulation. While the rest of us go to meet our maker when our circulation stops, the Germans routinely recover from it and go on to lead useful and productive lives.

If Kreislaufstörung is an ailment which properly belongs in the realm of ideas, the main health worry for the Germans in the real world is the condition of their hearts. For the generation who took part in the Fresswelle this was with very good reason. The veins and arteries of these lumbering, wobbling colossi were choked and begging for mercy. However, for their jogging-suited, water-sipping successors, concern for the heart is less warranted and has taken on a hundred shades of metaphysical Angst.

Germans are passionately fond of every form of tonic and pep-me-up. They will swallow every conceivable kind of plant extract and animal gland, and will never doubt the good it is doing them, provided only that they have paid enough for it and that it tastes vile. It's all they ask.

In addition to six weeks' paid holiday, the Germans are entitled to a staggering six weeks' paid sick leave per year; and if you can fool them into it, the medical insurance companies will stump up for a further 78 weeks over a 3-year period. All this costs a fortune, but everybody in the government knows that it is safer to steal a lioness's cub than to come between a German and his medication.

For more, read The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans.

Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the German by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.

Photo credit: mikebaird


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