Living in a foreign country means adopting – however slowly or even reluctantly – new customs, habits and traditions.
Many can fit seamlessly into a personal history originally forged elsewhere. What does it matter that sometimes people eat off those funny little round bread boards instead of plates?
And once you’ve got used to it, isn’t it quite nice that people take their shoes off when entering someone else’s house?
The highly organized nature of some communal living set-ups – strict times to use washing facilities in large blocks of flats, rotas for washing up in shared houses – doesn’t it all make sense if things are not to descend into chaos?
But after a while the accepting, adopting and fitting in can get a bit much – and this is where Facebook and emails to friends outside Germany can provide a safety valve for frustration.
It’s like talking to a friend about the annoying habits of a girlfriend or boyfriend – it doesn’t mean you love them any less. It can even make them seem better – they can’t be as bad as, over a bottle of wine, you may have portrayed them. It would just be a disaster if they were to overhear….
Here are five things one might say about Germans – thinking they couldn’t hear. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them and love living here, it’s just, well, you know….
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