Category Archives: German-American cultural divide

Living in Germany as a foreigner makes you aware of many things about your own culture. In my home country of the U.S., we don’t air out, sort our garbage into 10 categories, and we only have one kind of bread: soft, squishy, and tasteless.

Not teaching foreign languages will make America more insular

Do you speak English? This question is often answered with “Yes” all around the world.....

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What’s in a name? More than you think

People’s identities are tied up closely with their names. But even when you are careful....

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Getting lost the old-fashioned way

Those of us who predate GPS know how to get around without using technology. Knowing....

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Germans delight in overengineering, taking helicopter mothering to new heights 

Any foreigner in Germany knows all about the country’s love of overengineering. All it takes....

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Knee-high by the 4th of July

I fully expected a lot of cultural differences when I moved to Germany. They speak....

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One foreigner is not like another – here’s why

There are varying grades of foreigners in Germany, with subtle nuances between them. People instinctively....

Are you sure that’s what that sign means?

Signs are there for the express purpose of helping you find your way. They tell....

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A kindness repaid, 40 years later

After an overnight trip from Spain, I was thrilled to finally arrive at the doorstep....

Land of the free, home of the waste

The U.S. is not just a large country, everything in it seems bigger, too. This....

A knack for snacks

When is a snack a meal? It depends on what country you’re in, as Germans....

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If an alien landed in New York, would he know where he is?

New York feels like another world compared to Munich. Many elements are obvious and in....

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Just ‘cause it’s American, Europeans ain’t buyin’ it

American companies have made serious inroads into the economies of Europe and elsewhere, but this....

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The Super Bowl and other American sports make a touchdown in Germany

Football – the sport known everywhere but America as “American football” – has become popular....

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Catapulting the plague into Europe and other viral tales

The coronavirus isn’t the first disease that jumped from animals to humans. This has been....

Belt out “Walk the Line” all you want, but walking in the U.S. is not an option

Long gone are the days when you could walk down to the local five-and-dime store....

No Halloween? No way. My sneaky and successful plot

Some Germans celebrate Halloween, but not all of them. I was determined to find a....

Follow the Narrow Brick Road – and hope for the best

A man was recently caught on camera driving a Maserati down the famous Spanish steps....

Ukraine on the train – from a military to a cultural conflict

Taking the train home from Berlin, some Ukrainians boarded the train. Watching their interactions with....

That map might just quash your travel plans – so focus on fun instead

Germans are usually so logical, it’s hard to believe how that can make such planning....

The 10 kilometers that triggered Acute License Plate Trauma

The small Munich suburb of Zorneding may not be famous, but harbors a few surprises.....

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Give us our daily bread, but please let it be German

2 August 2021 A good friend of mine recently returned to the U.S. after several....

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The Race for Space is Over (but not the way you think)

Shopping pre-corona in Germany used to be a contact sport - that changed overnight....

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The Secret Second Life of Balconies

Balconies are great in summer, but they can be useful in winter in surprising ways.....

World War Window

When I was a student, I thanked my lucky stars when I could finally afford....

The Curious Case of the X in the Sock Drawer

Remember the old standard joke that people use when they don't want to go to....

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Studying in Germany is nothing like the U.S.

Nothing prepared me for when my daughters set off for German universities. They have little....

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