Experiencing Germany for the First Time

Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Stuttgart, Germany is famous for being the home of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, as well as hosting a number of beautiful historic buildings and landmarks.

City view of Stuttgart, Germany
via bastian_r

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience any of that as I was travelling to Stuttgart for work. A lot of people think travelling for your job is just a laugh, but more often then not it is a lot of hard work. The reason for being in Stuttgart in the beginning of April was to assist with a conference being arranged by one of my company’s top consultants. The hours were long but the end result was worth it.

This was my first time in Germany and I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had visions of mountain taverns filled with steins of beer and people dressed in lederhosen.  Okay, I realise a complete stereotype but I still remained hopeful.

German Man with Lederhosen and Beer Stein
via Christian Senger

While I didn't find any people dressed in lederhosen, I did have several uniquely German experiences which I am pleased to share with you.

  1. Getting ditched for being 1 minute late. I know the Germans are all about punctuality but I would hope that 1 minute might be excused, especially when I called and said I was lost. Granted when I say lost I mean I couldn't find the lobby from my hotel room. It appears anything other than 5 minutes early is late to some of my German colleagues.
  2. Ich spreche kein Deutsch. Never have I felt so hopeless on a trip. I know I don't speak German, but man did I learn how much I didn't speak German on this trip! I hated not being able to ask for directions or being confused when someone at the event asked me something. You try explaining to a German that they have to leave their credit card or passport in order to receive a headset when you have a massive language barrier! I could just about manage ordering with the aid of my little phrase book.
  3. Filling up on German food.  Besides bratwurst and sauerkraut, I didn't have much experience in German cuisine. During the course of the weekend I filled up on pretzels, spƤtzle, schnitzel and loads of beer! I think in fact I still might be full. 

German Food - currywurst and schnitzel
Schnitzel and currywurst

Erin x


  1. Van Berry said...:

    I really hope the food made up for your negative experiences with German culture! We're not all douchebags and some of us can actually speak English so no need to learn this horribly difficult language :D

  1. Haha I wouldn't call them negative experiences at all, one of my dearest friends is German so I should have known about the punctuality thing. I was actually really surprised how few Germans spoke English where we were. I hated not being able to help in German, it is a difficult language for me! I can speak French and Spanish, so usually I don't feel so out of place when on holiday.

  1. LindsaySarah said...:

    Crazy experience! But I'm glad you got to try out some delicious foods. I'd love to visit for that alone! x

  1. Charlotte said...:

    Hey! New reader here - found you through expat blogs!
    I'm a Brit in Germany so I love reading about your first impressions of the country. The food here is so heavy... German people SAY they can't speak English but they can. When they go to high school they're split into two - clever kids who go on to uni and so on and the not so clever kids, who go to community colleges and learn skills. So if you are meeting one of the kids who went to the clever school, they probably do know some English...

  1. Thanks Lindsay and Charlotte for your comments! I'm glad my experience could amuse you and I'm always happy to find new readers! I was really surprised about the lack of language, but perhaps it was just the area I was in. I think if I lived in Germany I would probably just survive on sauerkraut and grunting.

  1. Amanda said...:

    Oh no! I am chronically either late or super early. I don't think that would win me any friends... x

  1. Scott said...:

    So jealous. I love Germany and find the people are always nice but can be frank. You should go to Neuschwanstein Castle. Absolutely stunning. Munich is always nice as well

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