Madison Elkins
Leibiniz Universitat Hannover, Germany

I haven’t had Internet access for quite some time now, due first to a faulty Ethernet cable, then to a broken laptop, and now to an incorrect IP address. The very narrow office hours of the Internet guy here have been difficult to work with.. I always have class during his hours. Finally, I just handed over my laptop to a friend, who will go on my behalf.

In the meantime, Ive decided to write when j can (which isnt often), the logic being that it is better to have some blog posts rather than none at all, even perfunctory ones, with typos, without pictures.

Thinking that stereotypes are almost never true, I assumed the typical German would not actually eat that much bratwurst.  Oh, my naivete.  It is literally everywhere. Cheap, portable, and usually delicious (no matter how much you may want to deny it), bratwurst is the lifeblood of the young and the comfort of the old. Bratwurst is definitely the hamburger and french fries of German cuisine.

I’ve found that a few other stereotypes also grew from a grain of truth. The idea that Germans are never, ever, ever late, for example, is usually true.  In fact, let’s change it to: “Germany is never late.”  Perhaps there are one or two Germans out there (kindred spirits of mine) who tend to believe that arriving 1-2 minutes late is still basically “on time.” But they are few, and we have not met. It’s been a great practice for me. Everyone who knows me knows me to be at least a little late. Im never late for work, but in all other aspects I am perpetually behind. Here, the mentality is more like: you are committing a tiny crime against your fellow humans if you make them wait on your behalf. Also, you lied if you said you were going to be on time, and aren’t. I absolutely agree (only where my own lateness is concerned-I don’t mind if others are late), but it’s taken German punctuality to make my actions accord with my opinion. Friends and family at home, watch out! Im all kinds of on time now.
Next post, I’ll update about my travels so far- hamburg, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Tschüss!

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