I’m not a stupid man…most days. Although a fairly bold statement, I do often find myself slightly confused by certain things in Germany. Going to work, in the gym or doing the weekly shop can send me into a tailspin of confusion that makes me question the reality I’m inhabiting. Of course, living in a different country can often be compared to living in an alternate reality. You understand the basic physics but the rest is just a little weird. So with this flimsy introduction I present to my readership 5 things that leave me a little confused.
1.) Organized subversion of the smoking ban.
Germany likes laws, unless you happen to drive an Audi in which case you’re apparently allowed to ignore most of the ones devised to prevent you causing autobahn pile ups. Despite this love of law and order, like the casual Audi driver, Germans also like to flick the Vs at authority. If they can do this through some technological advancement, then that’s just gravy. First on my list of confusion I present the indoor smoking area. Screw standing in an outdoor box of ostracism. When the nicotine monkey comes a calling you can just sidle up to this weird Tardis looking devise and get right down to smoking. Germany is totally fighting the system, in an orderly and carefully designed fashion.
2.) Free Range Cigarettes
As established in 1, Germany has banned smoking. So who the hell decided to stick the damn things at the end of every checkout? Not only have they done this, they followed up that high level mindfuck by just chucking them in piles like they were fruit.
‘Hello Herr Schinkenberg, another kilo of death sticks?’.
Perhaps they are simply allowing these packs to live an open and free life. That’s Germany for you; humanly treating tobacco since 1871.
3.) We hate queues and we all hate you.
As established in many posts before, I’m British. Therefore I love queuing. It’s not my fault, it’s programmed into our DNA. British people are never happier than when the have a chance to queue and perhaps have a cheeky complain about the weather. Sometimes we turn it into an extreme sport by waiting until the last moment to check if we have exactly the right change for our purchase. Cowabunga. Sadly, our Teutonic brethren have a deep seated hatred of the queue. They don’t complain vociferously, they just stand and hate everyone in front of them and pity all those suckers behind. One unfortunate evolution of this queue distaste is that checkout assistants are required, by law, to throw all your items at you after scanning the barcode. There’s no helpful packing going on, instead it’s just high velocity canned goods hurtling at your face. Ever wonder why Germany consistently produces excellent goalkeepers? Two words; self preservation.
4.) Basket Case
Where I’m from only old ladies and penny farthing riding hipsters carry their shopping in wicker baskets. In Germany, there all at it. I’ve either become an old lady, a hipster or both. This would at least explain my ironic mustache and faint smell of tiger balm. Anyway, this shopping accessories is all the rage around my way, with everyone and their dog (dog sized baskets available) happily throwing their groceries into these wicker wonders. Why use paper or plastic? You can transport your shopping like your ancestors did, minus the typhoid, plague, general terror of witches and casual marauding bands of crusaders.
5.) Witness the Fitness
They could have labeled this product as diet. They could have labeled it as lite. No they chose to label it “Fitness” and by so doing attempt to make this carbohydrate infested product seem like a two hour stint at the gym. It isn’t. It might have only 5% fat but let’s not pretend it suddenly became the health food of choice through the mania of marketing. You can’t fool me. Oh…I seem to have bought two of these…I really am stupid.