Monday, May 18, 2015

A German girl who was in an American world

While I'm in Texas, I've invited some guest bloggers to take over.  Today we visit Katrin who blogs at land of candy canes, and we are often sharing messages about our mutual love of books and animals. 
Hello Erin's readers! 
My name is Katrin and I feel very honored to be able to write a guest post for Erin's blog today. I am a German native but lived in America for quite a while. I am a huge book worm and I love spending time with animals. Especially with my furry family members (cats and bunnies) but I do love all animals. Other than that I enjoy doing all kinds of creative things, going to the flea market, watching a good movie or show, writing...
As a former expat I know that some things can be confusing when you live in a strange country. Which is why I want to tell you a little bit about my experiences as a German in America.

Going to the movies.

I love movies and I enjoy seeing them in a big theater. There's just something special about it: the popcorn and other unhealthy snacks, the seats, the is just very cozy in my opinion. In addition to that it is also another special experience in the US: a freezing cold one. The first time I went to the movies in America I almost froze to death. And I really mean it. It was summer, super hot out and I was only wearing sandals, t-shirt...summer stuff.  I just was not prepared and I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to survive this movie. A couple of times I was close to leaving the theater. I will never understand America's obsession with air conditioning. No matter where you go, it is freezing. Not my thing at all because I am the person who always has cold feet and uses a hot water bottle 9 months a year. That first trip to the movie theater really taught me a lesson and I never went unprepared again: I brought a warm cardigan, a scarf, even socks and hoped for the best.

No grumpiness.

I admit it, Germans can be a bit grumpy here and there. Especially when they have to wait in line. Which is why a trip to a German post office usually isn't a very enjoyable experience. People get impatient and grouchy. When I first went to an American post office, I did not know what to expect. I mean, I only knew the German counterpart....but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there was a long line and yes, you had to wait. But people greeted me and asked me how I was doing and actually started a conversation with me...a nice one! Without any complaints. Post office suddenly felt like a heavenly place to go. 

Eating out. 

Going to a restaurant in Germany and in America are pretty different experiences. The first thing I realized in America is that you actually have to wait to be seated. In Germany I just pick out a table, go there, sit down and wait for the waitress to arrive. In America you have to patient before you even get a table. First time we went to a restaurant in America the waitress told us that we would have to wait over an hour for a table. For me that was reason enough to just leave and go somewhere else. When I am hungry then I really don't want to wait an eternity to sit down and order my food. Grumpy, hungry German, I guess. But it turned out that's pretty common. So I tried to be patient (not my strongest quality). Also I have to admit that I always feel a little rushed when I eat in an American restaurant. The waiter often just brings the check at some point and then I feel like I have to leave. I don't know if Americans eat faster than Germans or if the restaurants are just busier but in Germany eating out usually means that you spend at least 2-3 hours in a restaurant. It feels a bit more relaxed, at least for me. I do like the free refills in American restaurants though. I always drink a lot so it is nice to get as much as you want. In Germany you have to pay for every single tiny glass of water. So sometimes you pay a lot more for you drinks than you pay for your food. 

There are some more random weird things (at least for me they are strange):

  • Germans always screw up American movie titles and I don't know why. Here's an example:  "Meet the Fockers" is called "Meine Frau, ihre Schwiegereltern und ich" which means "My wife, her parents-in-law and me". "Groundhog day" is called "Und täglich grüßt das Murmeltier" ("And the groundhog greets you daily"). Sometimes they even replace an English title with another English title. "Taken" is called "96 hours" in German. Well, that makes a lot of sense. "Bend it like Beckham" is "Kick it like Beckham". There are millions of examples of how weird Germans are when it comes to naming a movie and I really have no idea why they don't just stick to the original title.
  • Automatic cars. Well, that was a challenge for me. I never drove an automatic car before so the first time I felt like my right hand and my left hand were actually useless while driving. I was so used to driving a car with a stick that I wanted to change gears and use the clutch. 
  • All American bank notes pretty much look the same to me. Why don't they have different colors. A couple of times I had to apologize when it took me forever to pay. Also, it seems like I am the only person who prefers paying cash in America. 
  • I will never understand the obsession with red plastic cups. Or plastic dishes in general. 
  • Chips for lunch. A pretty common thing in America. For me chips are a TV snack. 
  • All the ice in the drinks. Too much for me. Also it waters down the whole drink if you choose something other than water. 

So now I am curious to hear about your weird expat or traveling experiences! Please share with me! Thank you so much for reading! 
And Erin, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity! You rock!


  1. ahhhh YES on the air conditioning! i HATE AC. hate hate hate. I'm from Australia so it gets pretty hot, and the first time I went to the movies in Kentucky, I left. I was so uncomfortable I couldn't pay attention to the movie. Never again! I hate hate hate it.
    Sorry, it really annoys me! lol.
    that's so funny about the movie titles - we had a couple of movie names changed as well, like Fever Pitch is called The Perfect Catch and that's all I can think of right now!

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who has a problem with air conditioning. I always felt weird because nobody else seemed to mind but I was freezing! I could not pay attention to the movie either.:)
      I really have no idea why they change the movie titles. It just does not make any sense. The Perfect Catch is weird as well!
      Thank you so much for reading!

  2. This was interesting to me because we're going to Germany in March. I'll keep in mind that free refills aren't offered :)

    1. Oh wow, that is so cool! Where will you go? I hope you will have a nice time and like Germany, even when you don't get any free refills!

  3. Americans are SUPER DUPER friendly!!! Everytime I go I say to myself, man these people are so NICE! spot on with that one!

    1. They really are! And always so helpful! I love that! Thank you so much for reading!

  4. I had to laugh at some of the movie translations. I also feel like I would enjoy eating out in a German restaurant MUCH better. I always feel rushed and just the other day the waitress kept pestering us to leave because we were done and my friend and I ended up standing in the parking lot talking instead.

    1. Some of the movie translations really are stupid. I have no idea who comes up with that stuff. :) Eating out in a German restaurant is definitely much more relaxed, at least in my experience. You can sit and talk as long as you want and nobody tries to make you leave. I often spent a whole evening in a restaurant. Sorry you had to talk in the parking lot! Thank you for reading!


I love comments, and I enjoy our interactions. I respond via email, but if you're a "no reply blogger", I can't. Don't think I'm ignoring you!