Home Moving to Germany Integration 20 signs you’ve been in Germany too long
Last update on November 06, 2019

We consider what makes the Germans tick, and explain how to spot the signs that you’re becoming a little bit German yourself.

Let’s face it: when you live in Germany, whether you want it to happen or not, you become a little bit German. You will be able to tell if you have been living in Germany for too long (and happily enjoying it!), if you find yourself smiling and nodding to at least one of the 25 signs below. Don’t hesitate to let us know how German you have become.

1. Breakfast is sacred

You know you’ve been living in Germany for too long when the first thing you think about in the morning is the frühstück! You dress up to go and buy some fresh German bread at BackWerk because you sincerely think that the frühstück is mighty important.

2. You are always on time

– actually, you are 10 minutes too early

You have started arriving for an appointment on time; but, of course, on time in Germany means 10 minutes before.

Now you can even get upset when people are late. You didn’t mind before if your French friend showed up 20 minutes late, but now you’re utterly shocked. It’s especially annoying when you visit your home county and nobody is ever on time – almost never.

3. Beer is important

No questions asked. It no longer makes sense if someone doesn’t agree: “What? You don’t drink beer? What is wrong with you?”

4. Green, green, green light forever!

You know you’ve been in Germany for too long when you wait (alongside hundreds of other people) until a traffic light turns green, even if there’s no car in sight. You wait partly because you are afraid that some old lady might start scolding if you don’t.

5. You’ve become direct

All of a sudden you are no longer afraid of confrontation and being straightforward. Actually, you’ve even become aggressive, but this doesn’t disturb you one bit.

Somebody parked a car wrongly in front of your house! You get outside and put a sign on their car, ‘Scheisse geparkt’, right? Somebody uses the vacuum cleaner on a Sunday? You ring their doorbell and tell them you’re going to call the police.

6. Dinner before 6pm is sacred

No comment…

7. ‘Sche*sse!’

You have been living in Germany for too long when, whenever you are angry or disappointed, the only word that comes to your mind is ‘sch*esse‘.

8. What is a credit card?

It’s a thing that 99 percent of the time is not accepted in Germany. You’ve even forgotten your PIN because you haven’t used it for months now because as a proper German, you go everywhere with cash.

9. Holy Sunday

Even if you’re not a Christian, you enjoy the sacred Sundays. It’s the time when even the city centre is quiet and most of the Germans are relaxed and easy-going. Isn’t that great!? How can you not enjoy that, right?

10. Do not disturb

You keep quiet at home from 9pm until 8am the following day. When you organise a party you actually think of informing your neighbours first. You even close the house doors as quietly as you can so you don’t upset anyone.

11. You’ve become eco-friendly

It’s very important to divide the garbage into bio, paper, plastic, chemistry, glass (well, actually, green glass, white glass, brown glass and, not to forget, pfandglas), batteries, Christmas trees, corks and much more. You think it’s fun and you make this world a better place.

You have also started carrying your own shopping bag (never a plastic one of course) and you like the ‘jutebeutel’

12. You consider buying tickets to Mallorca

Let’s be honest: the weather sucks. Only now you understand why millions of Germans invade Mallorca’s beaches every year and stay in the sun until they turn red like lobsters. Getting used to the weather takes a while.

13. Hand shaking

Forget the kisses and the hugs, shaking hands is so much cooler (or so you think).

14. Let’s get drunk on Friday evening

Fun is regulated over here: you have been living in Germany for too long when you know that on Friday evenings you are expected to get drunk and party hard.

15. Tatort

It is 8:15pm on a Sunday evening and you find yourself in front the TV.

16. Abendbrot

In your opinion, a piece of bread, lunch meat and cheese make a delicious abendbrot (evening bread – which we might say in really just an extension of the German breakfast).

17. Timetables forever

You have been living in Germany for too long when you have actually memorised the timetable of your bus/train/tram etc. and you actually get irritated when your bus/train/tram is two minutes late, which it most likely is. You’ve become extremely German if you’ve even started taking the train earlier to avoid these irritations.

18. Potato king

You think that potatoes are great – boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, baked potatoes, potato salad, potato soup, reibekuchens, mashed potatoes, pommes, knödel, kartoffelkroketten – you like them all.

19. Herr and Frau Last Name

You have become a little bit too German when you give your last name upon answering the phone or at any encounter.

20. Bratwurst mania

You love the bratwurst – it’s like a hot dog but so much better. After a week abroad, you already start to miss Germany’s favourite street food.

Read the full list of signs you’ve been in Germany for too long.