What are the bad things about Germany? (or like cons)
I hear a lot, I mean a lot, about how great Germany is. Don't get me wrong, I think Germany is awesome. Yet, what's it I don't know? What are the downsides that one planning to go there should expect?
I'd really appreciate your responses more than you know!
For me personally, I didn't like how many people smoke. Even at the train station that I used every day, dozens of people would be smoking on the platform even though there were no-smoking signs on the platform. There were never any officials to do anything about it. I have a hard time breathing when around any type of smoke.
Also, I didn't like how I had to rush my grocery shopping, or get fast food, into the short amount of time from the time I got home until the shops closed at 8pm. Also most places were closed on Sunday, so I only felt like I had one day to enjoy going places on the weekends.
It's true pretty much everywhere I've been, and I've mainly been to large cities. Leipzig had a lot of places open late, and also Berlin, but I think in Leipzig it was partly that I happened to be in the right area. In a lot of large cities there just weren't many shops in the areas where I was staying, not even gas stations (even though I was usually near the city center). Now I'm in Spain and having the opposite problem--everything is closed in the afternoons, but places stay open late.
I think the inconveniences of a culture are often part of what makes it interesting, though... Maybe they drive you a little crazy sometimes (or a lot crazy), but they also give you insights about cultural values.
Museums in pretty much every country I've been to are closed on Mondays! Usually there's at least one museum that's open on Monday (maybe a smaller or less popular one). I did hit a couple cities where everything I wanted to see was closed, though... I had a depressing first day in Cologne because the only thing that was open was the chocolate museum, and I'm not a chocolate fan. But that's the same everywhere else I've been.
I lived in Bavaria, DE for 3 years, and currently make trips back about 4 or more times a year. I consider where I lived there more of a home than anywhere I lived previously in the states. I think the hardest part of going to different countries is conforming to the cultures mannerisms. Americans are known to be loud and abrasive. One may argue this, but I find this to be true now that I have lived abroad and experienced different cultures. I am not going to list just cons for you because I don't believe you can have a con without a pro. Let me start with the traffic, STAU! That means coming to a complete stop for what could be hours! But lets look on the bright side to the autobahn, you get to drive limitless at times actually making up for traffic you got stuck in. Another con I can mention is, body odder. it may have been in the area I lived in but it seemed like the concept of deodorant was none existent. You do not want to get trapped on the train during Christmas market season where they are so jammed packed on the trains people are practically pushing one another out the doors when they open. When I first arrived in Germany to live, one thing I absolutely hated was they did not have the concept of space between one another. In America we have our own personal bubbles! Be prepared to have someone standing almost right against you in line. Which leads me to my next point, lines are rare. Do not get upset if someone walks straight in front of you to pay at a register for something. Be assertive yourself. if your not moving they are assuming you are not ready. It is true as one posted below, everything is closed on Sundays! this annoyed me at first I don't know if I can list any other "cons" because like I mentioned above, every culture has their own mannerisms different from your own. my suggestion is to embrace your trip regardless of cultural differences one may find annoying to a certain degree. I have learned to pay more attention to all the wonderful things about this country and the people than what I find to be "cons" and I always have the most amazing time.
It may be difficult to understand spoken German. There are dialects and slangs. A French who had learned German for years in school in France once told me, when he first came to Germany he though we were speaking arabian, because of the pronunciation of 'ch'. And that although he learned German in school for years!
that can happen elsewhere, too. I remember being in Glasgow where the guy at the desk asked me something. He had to repeat three times before I had a grasp of what he wanted. until then I had thought I'd be almost fluent at that time after six years of English in school.
Getting the right ticket for public transport can be difficult. Public transport in general works fine in the larger cities (and getting from city to city) but in rural areas you find e.g. a bus coming twice a day or something like that. I hate that there is no general speed limit on the Autobahn, but I've heard some foreigners like it a lot.
some ticket vending machines can be set to English, just touch the British flag and carry on. Public transportation can be especially crappy on weekends when the service is reduced to once per hour. During the summer holiday season (July to September) the train service is reduced, too, for the pupils don't need to be transferred. But that's the time when they offer discount tickets.
I think the public transportation is incredible! I never had problems buying tickets except when I was rushing (like, train-leaving-in-90-seconds-rushing) and the ticket controllers were understanding when I did make mistakes. There was one situation where I couldn't get a decent train ticket on a weekend, but I could get Flixbus instead. I'm really amazed by how great the service is. I grew up in the US, though (which has poor public transportation) and I currently live in the developing world, so my standards might be lower than some people's. But it's really one of the things I love about Germany... The part of the US I grew up in is nearly impossible to live in without a car, even in the biggest cities, and even when I lived in the Bay Area the trains didn't run late at night. German train stations blow my mind. Unbelievably convenient in comparison with anything I've experienced in the US or the developing world.
I once lived with a German family in Berlin. One of the things you must observe is the traffic light for pedestrians. Even if there isn't a car in sight, you must wait for the little figure to turn green before crossing the street, otherwise you risk a citation if a cop spots you. Like most countries, Germany has some dark chapters in its history; best not to bring them up. Today Germany is the most prosperous member of the European Union and a solid democracy. If you like beer, you're in for a treat! Ich wuenche dir eine gute Reise!
I love that German museums talk so much about the dark chapters of history, though... I've spent most of my adult life living in a country where nobody talks about the past, and the museums and literature and newspapers are all censored too. So I love that the museums go into so much depth. Maybe it's uncomfortable and rude to talk to people directly, but at least you can read books and go to museums and learn about those painful subjects there. Germany has done such a great job at that, at least in comparison with every other country I've ever visited. It's really humbling (as an American).