A Greek among Germans

When I left my country, Greece, to live in Germany, I was already quite old, so everything I brought with me from home, all my positive and negative characteristics, couldn’t really change. But I like to observe other people, even if I’m not going to learn anything from them.

So, I’ll attempt to list the things which impressed me in the behaviour and mentality of the inhabitants of the foreign country in which I found myself more or less by chance.

Germans love animals, the environment, and cleanliness. They love and respect handicapped people. They love sports and they never miss a chance for jogging, walking and cycling in the fresh air.

Germans of all social classes love to read, although what they read differs from one class to the other.

They love flowers, gardens, DIY, classical music, drinking beer and watching or playing football.

They dedicate a lot of time to the upbringing of their children, paying attention not only to how their material needs will be covered but mostly to how their offspring will be independent from a very early age. Teachers in the first classes of the elementary school instruct their pupils on how to identify their negative feelings, how to express them and how to fight against these feelings if it is necessary.

Germans don’t follow a political party as if it were a religion of some sort. They protest in the streets against every unjustice, not because somebody tells them to do so but because they themselves, after thinking logically and maturely, feel that the unjustice bothers them.

Germans think a lot and speak a little.

They take their time until they consider you their friend but when they do, they are dedicated friends and give you their soul.

Germans might shock you by telling you directly what they think, without roundabout ways or flattery.

They love to travel in faraway, exotic places.

They consider education very important, therefore their university courses are most difficult.

They are brave people. They defend their beliefs and ideals even under dangerous circumstances. (E.g.people who went to work in areas with Ebola).

Germans do voluntary work.

Germans like to program everything beforehand, a long time beforehand in fact. (In my opinion this shows small faith in God).

They are very interested in money issues, but not in a greedy way or in order to become rich, but because they want to be sure that they will have something for their old age (once more a question of small faith).

Germans are very interested for the small nucleus of their direct family and don’t care so much as we do, for uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, in-laws etc.

Germans, like other people of this planet, are recently being US-Americanized at a fast pace.

Germans don’t complain about how bad and unjust the society is, but they work with all their might in order to improve their conditions of life.

They are kind and smiling people.

They don’t watch television as if it were their God.

They don’t like to gossip much; instead they prefer other topics of conversation.

They don’t interrupt you when you speak and they consider it impolite if you do so.

Germans used to be great philhellenes and lovers of the ancient history of Greece but they recently ceased. The reason for that was that some of the modern Greeks tried to create a 2nd WW mood and this wasn’t pleasant of course.

Germans don’t aim at buying our islands and our seaside homes at a cheap price, as some of my fellow Greeks simplistically believe. The reason is that they can’t stand our bureaucracy. Of course we have the best sea in the world but they settle for less and they head towards Spain or Italy, where to be honest there is good food and sun as well.

Germans are hard-working, they are perfectionists and their motto is that when you do something, you must do it truly well.

Finally, I see that they don’t take all things personally like we Greeks do. They can discuss without raising their voice, without showing emotion, at a quiet and civilized level.

P.S.Of course there are exceptions in all of the above. In my texts I always refer to the majority.