Do you often feel the uncontrollable urge to drive at ridiculously high speeds when out on the freeway? Does that constant, nagging struggle between the opposing sides of your inferiority-superiority complex keep you up at night? Are you brutally direct, painfully precise and sometimes feel like you’re speaking a foreign language because no one seems to understand you? Vorsicht (watch out)! You might be German. In that case you won’t have any use for this book. Have a nice day.
If, on the other hand, you have always been puzzled by odd German Attitudes, Behavior or Cultural practices, then this is the book for you. You are not alone, you see. Nor is there anything wrong with you reacting that way. Your puzzlement is a perfectly healthy and normal human response to the cognitive dissonance and other psychological disrruptions that often dissonate and disrupt when foreigners make unprotected contact with high-grade Germanness. Or at least that’s what a specialist in Vienna told me.
As Winston Churchill once said, “Germany is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Actually, he said Russia when he said that but I’m pretty sure he meant Germany. He was Winston Churchill, after all, and he had been around a bit. I certainly would have said Germany. And I wouldn’t, much less couldn’t have said it better myself. Germany and the Germans are indeed enigmatic and, well, really weird sometimes. This collection of random personal observations and unsolicited opinion is an attempt to document just that. I cannot guarantee that this list of German oddities is complete, of course. I can assure you, however, that enjoying these oddities in the privacy of your own home is a relatively safe and effective way to partake in the German experience without any of the harmful side effects. Viel Glück dabei (and good luck with that).