Category: Day-to-day life

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HOW TO TIP AS THE GERMANS DO

Want to know the most complicated and fear-inducing practice I had to adapt to after moving to the US? It’s not the fact that Americans greet people by saying “How are you” without expecting a genuine response – although that sure is up there. Nope, it’s tipping. One of my most dreaded recurring moments was paying at the hair salon and having to calculate the tip in my head with the stylist standing right there, semi-patiently eyeballing me while waiting for me to be done. Guys! Having to do percentages without a calculator so a bunch of strangers can move...

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EIGHT REASONS THE GERMANS GAWK AT YOU AND WHY IT’S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT

Have you ever wandered through Edeka or Aldi feeling like you’re growing a third arm from your forehead, based on the way the other customers follow you with their eyes? Welcome to Germany! That exact behavior made me feel extremely uncomfortable when I returned home after spending a few years in the US. Floored, I complained to my husband about society having changed and people being even ruder than I remembered. Because let’s be real here: It’s not like Germans could ever win a friendliness medal, to begin with. What shocked me even more, however, was his answer: the legendary...

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR GERMAN HOUSE COOL DURING SUMMER

Once upon a time, I got too hot at night and had to use a wet towel instead of my covers. For weeks. I was living in a matchbox-sized studio apartment on the top floor of a four-story building with a big window facing south. I had just moved out and was experiencing my very first German summer away from home. Consequently, I had to rely on myself to keep the place cool, which resulted in me accidentally creating what can only be described as Satan’s Sauna: a place the devil himself would want to visit to warm up after...