German Stereotypes: I can assure you, They Are Not Robots!
Updated: Apr 13
Everyone at some point has had a conversation about Germany. Whether it was about Oktoberfest or the Great War, Germany is a country that plays an important role in today's society. I could tell you a hundred different stories of its castles, cities, and museums but, What is the most important part of Germany? If your answer is Germans then you are correct my lad or lass.
Germans are wildly popular in the Couchsurfing and backpacking scene, as they are known to be some of the most avid travelers in Europe and the world. In every hostel I've stayed at, I have met at least one or two of them, always some of the kindest people I've met. Even though I find that people still encase them in unfair stereotypes, rather misinformed stereotypes, I would like to correct that by telling you all some stories.
Germans love Law and Order
A common German stereotype is the one about their love of rules, to the point that they might seem "square" people. I agree to a certain degree but I would change it rather a bit. They prefer to organize and avoid unwanted surprises. The only way I can prove my point is by telling you about the time I meet my good friend Maik Luedemann.
Maik is a German photographer I met in the Alexandrie Hostel in Montreal, we kicked it off by playing some Mario Kart 64 (I beat him no matter what he says!) and whilst we played and talked he showed me a little video project he had done with one of his mates in New Zealand. The project consisted on a recording a full month of driving throughout both island of New Zealand in a second-hand car. Honestly it was amazing! And then Maik told me his plans. Find a new mate in Montreal, buy a new second-hand car and drive from Montreal to Vancouver.
The idea sounded amazing and I would've been fully on board if it wasn't for my job at the time. Anyway, we spent the next whole day looking for a car, as much as I tried to steer him to go to a bar with me he wouldn't bulge until he had completed his task. Then and only then he agreed to party and drink with me, and mein Gott was it a party! Drunk Mario Kart, Karaoke at the Cheval Blanc, flirting with a kiwi girl, we had fun.
All this brings me to my point, I thought Maik was a bit square because he didn't want to do as I wanted but in reality he had organized our day efficiently to have the most fun once our only worry was seen to: the car. Germans aren't squared, they just prefer planning to chaos. Pretty smart if you ask me.
Germans are Humorless people
The next stereotype states that Germans have no humor, that they are robot-like creatures that go about their day with efficiency and no smile at all. Simply put, the most untruthful stereotype I've ever heard. Germans love humor, if anything they love laughter and a good joke. "But Solano you beautifully striking Mexican lad, a German that laughs is just mental!" I thought you might say that lad or lass, and that's why I have a couple stories as examples:
In the same trip I met Maik I had the pleasure of meeting a smart, young German lass with a million dollar smile: Conni Grubel. When we went partying to the Cheval Blanc back in Montreal she took every single bad joke I had to make about the Germans and even dished me some of her own. I can tell you that, to this day I remember how that smile light up the place.
My second example would be my lovely Sibea Wiesel, she stayed with me as a Couchsurfing guest some time ago and boy was she fun! At the time there were four people living in that apartment (a one bedroom apartment) so she took it pretty well when I explained how would we accommodate everyone. I would like to take a moment to point out that before she accepted to stay with me I made sure she knew how small and crowded the apartment was, it didn't come as a surprise for her.
Back to the story, we made jokes about Germans not knowing how to dance so when we suggested going to a Salsa Night party we didn't think she would like to go, but we were very wrong. We couldn't stop laughing and having a good time and Sib showed us her moves!
Both Conni and Sibea proved the stereotype wrong but once again I feel like it has been badly misunderstood. Germans aren't humorless, but they are very direct. Both ladies told me specifically how did they feel, what was funny to them and what wasn't. I think this is what people take as humorless. I rather think it's a beautiful sign of respect, it even makes humor possible as you know now what works for the person and what doesn't. It is "Germanly" efficient.
Germans are not Romantic
Well, whoever said this has never met my German sister from another mother: Kat La Minette. A woman with the motto "when ever you can don't open the bottle yourself" if you ask me that's a great motto. I could tell you a hundred stories about her but the one I will is about the night we spent at my old apartment.
Kat was coming to visit me, with a Canadian friend of ours, in my old apartment back in Quebec City, so I bought four bottles of sparkling wine (her favorite) and started the night by drinking and chatting. Eventually the conversation went into relationships and, mein Gott that was a buzzkill. We talked about exes, our single life, what is love? (baby don't hurt me no more), but the way Kat talk about her significant other, in two words? Jaw dropping.
Look, I am the most Mexican/Latin thing to ever exist. I am in love with love and everything it stands for but the way Kat talked to us about her romance and relationship, I was almost falling in love with her partner too! And once again the stereotype was proven wrong, romance does exist in the beer-loving hearts of the Germans.
The Only Valid German Stereotype
Germans are punctual. Well, yes, they are. And that's a great stereotype to have honestly but it isn't the one I wanted to talk to you about. They have been labeled as humorless, square, law-loving, robot-like human beings but I believe Germans should be known for one stereotype and one only: Germans hate to waste their time.
That is what all boils down to, they are direct because they don't want to waste their time or yours. They are organized in order to have more time to enjoy the true lovely things in life. They don't express much because when they do you will know it is 100% true, just like their love. Germans hate wasting time because they love enjoying life, what a beautiful way of living if I may add. I can't wait for the next German I will meet or to see my Freunde again, one thing is for sure I will have the time of my life.
Oh yeah! Before I forget! One last stereotype that remains true: German women can't cook (for me or with me). Sorry lasses but you know that's right. Still, I am on the hunt for the German Frau that will prove me wrong. Dankeschon.