Living in Germany: German rules, finding a flat and why do children carry cones?

Living in Germany: German rules, finding a flat and why do children carry cones?
Photo: Flo Kar on Unsplash
Each week the team at The Local Germany sends out a weekly newsletter to members looking at some of the quirks, perks and big issues for people living in the country. Here's the latest round-up.

Just like many of our members, The Local Germany team is navigating life abroad, from the harder bits (like German bureaucracy) to the highs of learning new words and making local friends.

That's why we want to share more about life in Germany with you.

Today we are launching a new members-only weekly newsletter to give something back, and to give you a platform to ask questions, share your anecdotes, photos or get something off your chest.

We hope you'll enjoy it and perhaps you'll relate to some of our snapshots of life in the Bundesrepublik.

Only in Germany

Many of us are familiar with the stereotype of rule-loving Germans.

But it might actually be true, if this tweet about rules for school kids is anything to go by. We laughed out loud when Ciarán Ó Fathaigh tweeted that he’d found “peak Germany”: Seven pages of rules for his son’s school that parents have to sign.

Germany’s Big Issue

Germany has been talking a lot about its coronavirus testing strategy,especially when it emerged Bavaria was struggling with the amount of people getting tested, with many having to wait over a week for results.

The Local Germany reader Scott McLaughlin had to wait over five days for results for him and his family after doing roadside tests in the southern state, despite being reassured the results would be available in one to two days.

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“I've never checked my email as frequently as I did during those five days, awaiting the news that we could be released from our home prison,” he said.

Now Bavaria says it’s going to get rid of its testing stations on the Autobahn. Is this the right move?

Did you know?

Now all schools in Germany have returned to the classroom after the summer break. Perhaps you were wondering why lots of children were carrying cones?

That would be the Schultüte (literally school bag or cone) tradition.

It’s a cone that children get when they start school and it’s usually filled with treats like toys and sweets. It’s meant to signify an important milestone in life. Well, starting school is a serious business.

The tradition dates all the way back to the 1800s.

Where’s this?

Any idea where this pic was taken in Germany?

The Local’s editor Rachel Stern is on holiday this week (yep, we’re a bit jealous). She took this snap at the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's tallest mountain of almost 3,000m, which stands on the border with Austria.

Do Germans do this?

This tweet, which pokes fun at the culture of splitting costs down to the last cent, suggests Germans aren’t the most generous when it comes to hosting.


It certainly provoked a strong reaction, with most people on Twitter saying they’d never experienced anything like this and that German people in general are very generous.

What about you?

Help us

The Local’s Rach Loxton has just moved house and is still recovering from the amount of paperwork needed for a rental contract in Germany, and the stress of finding a place to live in the German capital.

We’ll write about these topics in the coming weeks, and we also want to know – what’s your experience of searching for a flat in Berlin with the rent freeze law in place? Email [email protected] if you want to commiserate or to share your experience.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to send feedback on what you’d like to see in these weekly newsletters. Our format will be slightly different each week.

Have a good week,

The team at The Local Germany

[email protected] 

Rachel Loxton and Rachel Stern from The Local Germany.

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