Everybody that lived abroad at least once knows that is, sometimes, a bit complicated to adapt yourself to your new country. It can be manners, cultural stuff, how to behave in public, what is acceptable or not.. you name it.
The cultural shock will exist even it is minimal. When I decided to move to Germany, I have to be honest, I thought it would be easy and smooth, but it wasn’t.
Here’s a list of all the habits I lost when I moved from São Paulo to Berlin. What are yours lost habits?
If you’re thinking about moving here this list maybe will help you figure out how easy – or hard – the adaptation process will be. Bear with me on my list of..
Things I’ve learned when I decided to move to Germany
1. Washing your bathroom with a bucket of water and soap
Yes, you don’t do that in Germany. In Germany you first suck all the dust and hair with vacuum cleaner and then you spray the minimum cleaning product necessary with a spray bottle and swipe it clean. Germany does not offer a drain on the bathroom floor for some reason and usually Brazilians found it out on the hard way: after they have flooded the bathroom floor with a whole bucket full of water.
Read more: Everything about Germany
2. Don’t have the need to specify if your water is with gas or not
The standard in Germany is with bubbles, Germans loooove their bubbles. Everywhere! I mean, you can get almost everything with bubbles in this country. Apple juice, cranberry juice, water, tea… you name it!
3. Disregarding loose change
Oh, what I would do to not have 5 kilos of coins in my purse… Since I moved to Germany, I’m amazed how much money you can have in your purse just in coins! With the 2€ coming only in the round metal shape, you can easily find 10 or 20 or even 30 euros loose on purse easily!
4. Worrying about that 1 cent
I think the ugliest look I ever got here in Germany was when I was only with 1,98€ and the item that I needed was 1,99€. I mean, even on the change back, Germans give you that one single cent back – and they will get mad if 1 cent is missing when your buying something.
5. Saying hello with a hug or kiss
If you’re not really friends with people here in Germany, you should not lean towards the famous 3 kisses on the cheek to introduce yourself. You shake the people’s hand and thats it!
6. Playing with the dogs in the street
Maybe this is Germany or maybe this is only Berlin, but the fact is: if you want to pet that cute dog on the subway, don’t. People look at you weird and even the dogs don’t understand a friendly face or the occasional petting from a nice stranger – a concept really well-known and very appreciated by the dogs in Brazil.
7. Buying water
I mean, what’s the point of buying water in Berlin? Germany has one of the best waters in the world in the comfort of your house: just open the tap! And Beer is cheaper!
8. Saying “lets do something soon” just for the sake of it
Brazilian people will say “A gente se vê logo então” (we see each other soon) or “Vamo combinar algo, hein? Logo!” (Lets make some plans ASAP. I mean soon!) but we never do, it is just something we say, you know? Here in Germany if you say that, people will actually make plans and expect you to show up!
9. Expecting free Wi-Fi in hotel, bar or restaurant
Oh…the myth of free wifi. Whatever is the reason, Germany is the worst place for you to try to find free wifi while cities like São Paulo are heaven.
Hotels in Germany usually charge for the use of wifi and cafes demands a registration and login in order to grant you access. Weird!
10. Expecting the air conditioning on full blast at all times
Maybe people don’t know, but Germany can be hot. I mean, really hot! I mean, over 35 or 40 Celsius during summer. But since you can blame this on Global Warming and Germans are not well-known by the capacity of adapting to the new, the sad side is: you will melt during the summer months. Specially if you have to take the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn.
But on the other hand, during winter, those places are the perfect spot to unfreeze from the cold.
11. Freaking out about cockroaches
Germany is heaven if you hate cockroaches! Germany is a cockroach free land. I’m living here for the past 4 years and I’ve seen -1 cockroaches. Minus one because one day I thought it was one dead cockroach in the living room but it was a piece of dark brown paper in a weird shape.
Maybe somewhere in Germany people might see cockroaches – once every 10 years – but all my German friends said that they either never seen one in Germany or they saw it once.
12. Being late for stuff
If there’s one thing that Brazilians do best is being late. OMG how we perfected this technique! It was so hard to lose this side of me, but after seen that the other people actually arrived on time, you start doing the same.