Living in Germany, my Virgo side was glad to see rules, structures, and organization everywhere. But it wasn’t all a bed of roses.
I’m not particularly eager to stereotype. I’ve traveled to nearly 40 countries and met people from many nationalities to whom stereotypes served and others not.
But I must say, to many Germans, most of the stereotypes aren’t total cliches. I’ve lived in a small town called Trier, bordering Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, and countryside Germans are mostly what you have in mind — direct, honest, and punctual. And that had both positive and negative effects on me.
Germans Are Direct
Germans won’t sugarcoat and leave you with a ‘maybe’. They’re straight to the point in their interactions, and to me, at first, it was hard to deal with.
I was raised and born in Brazil, and even though, personally speaking, I’m direct too, in my country and culture, I adapted to the Brazilian style of beating around the bush.
Germans Are Honest
Not only direct, but Germans will also look at you with a straight face and tell you what they think. To them, a yes is a yes, and a no is a no; there’s no in-between most of the time. So if you’re afraid of an honest opinion, make sure not to ask a German.
Germans Are Organized
I love their honesty and, above all, their organization. Boy, my Virgo side was glad to see every piece of structure and efficiency in the country.
For example, the Bahnhof (train station) is quite organized, and the Zug (train) is on time. If there’s a delay, you’ll know how long more you’ll need to wait for your train. The downside of this love for structure comes with some inflexibility.
Germans Are Punctual
If you know a bit of the Latin culture, you know how far from punctuality we are. To the Germans, and to me punctuality is seen as a sign of respect to the person you’re meeting. That means they’d rather be earlier than late.
Germans Are Cold
The biggest challenge to me while living in Germany was to deal with their standoffishness. In Brazil, people are warm, opened and you can befriend someone quicker than you think.
Making friends during my stay there was hard, and the friendship doesn’t happen overnight. But when they do occur, they’re generally very genuine.