There are many ways, as I have mentioned before in this blog, to tell that you’re in Germany. Perhaps it’s something simple, like seeing a sign directing you to some magical place called Winkelhaid or Fischbach. After all, those names are a definite giveaway that you’re not in Kansas anymore or Stoke for that matter. Even so, I have begun to suspect that there is something secretly British about Germany. I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on it, that is until I asked a group of Germans what they thought Britain was like. All of them had at least been to the Disney version of Britain, or London as the locals like to call it, but they did give me some interesting answers. ‘You all like to drink a lot of tea, especially at four in the afternoon’ one said, while another happened to mention that British food was awful ‘the fastest route to a nice cleansing bout of Streptococcus‘ he chuckled. ‘You have really crap weather’ another of my imaginary companions mentioned, ‘and you all love to eat fish and chips until your eyes bleed’. Later that night, lying awake in bed and trying to stifle my sobs at this unwarranted (and yet made up) barrage of abuse, I happened upon a stark realization; Germans do all these things too, except better. Germany is actually an alternate version of Britain! So, I set about proving it. Finally, after a number of exhausting minutes, I have compiled this dossier entitled ‘Germany: Secretly British’.
Exhibit A: It never rains, but it pours
So, Britain has bad weather. I really can’t argue with that. Britain is renowned for its lovely soothing rain that essentially means most residents are at least sub-aquatic. If the rain is not your thing, have no fear, at some point during the day the rain will stop, the sun comes out and the wind blows hard enough to flay you where you stand. If you think I’m kidding, ask any British person about wind chill. Some of the positive aspects of our multitude of weather “options” are that most British people are now fully qualified meteorologists, without ever having to suffer the tedium of books on cumulonimbus clouds. Germans often make light of our thorough understanding of weather, while simultaneously pointing out how great the weather is here. Well, my Wurst loving brothers and sisters, I must say your weather isn’t winning any prizes. For instance, it snowed in April. Not just normal snow either, the heavens opened and Siberia came dancing down to check if we all had snow shovels. I didn’t. As recently as last week, parts of Germany have had the opportunity to experience the daily lives of the British, as five months worth of rain pelted the Eastern states in two days. In Britain we would have shrugged our shoulders and gone to find a bucket. Not in Germany, they called in the army, celebrities, at one point they revived Fredrick the Great and he started bailing out houses signal handedly. Basically, they organized themselves and set about fixing the problem. Suspicious if you ask me.
Exhibit B: Tea for two
I like tea, you like tea, everyone likes tea. If you don’t, you’re quite obviously a sociopath. My personal record is twelve cups in one day, and what a great day that was, with many visits to the toilet for free. Germany also likes tea, being as it’s the best thing to come out of China since paper and wheelbarrows (look it up). However, since Germany is actually just Britain 2.2, they do it differently. Name any fruit and Germany probably has a corresponding flavor of tea to match. Kumquat and Mango, Lychee and apple or why not everyone’s favorite, dragon fruit and African cucumber.
Exhibit C: Tomorrows fish wrapper
I have been told on more than one occasion that Fish and Chips are awful, and yet British folks eat metric tons of the stuff. I don’t personally, because I’m watching my figure. Yet, these disparaging remarks are quite obviously made to disguise the fact that alternate Britons, or Germans if they prefer, happily pile into fish and chips daily. The big difference here though is that they are rather muted in comparison to the seaside fare of old blighty. This is mainly down to the fact that while nearly all business are franchised out in Britain, most chippies remain staunchly independent. Germans, by comparison, tuck into shady fish suppers from Nordsee, a leviathan like franchise that smells slightly of kelp. Fishy if you ask me…sorry.
Exhibit D: Food glorious food
Sticking with the topic of food, some of my German friends have pointed out that it’s not only fish and chips that taste like old pants, but generally all British food. My reaction to this is to give these people a good natured smile, while making a mental note to maim them at a later date. This is mainly because, for all intents and purposes, our food is the same. Wurst = sausages, Braten=roast beef, Katoffel puree = mashed potatoes, Knödel = Dumplings and Bröt = bread. Ok, ok, so Germans tend to arrange these in different orders and cook them in different ways, but it’s basically the same ingredients. They might not fully comprehend mint sauce, but I’m not going to hold that against Germany. Although, I’ve yet to encounter the alternate version of Yorkshire puddings. I do reckon it should be called a Saxonian Fantastiche pudding. I would eat one.
Exhibit E: BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER
Despite my quadrennial lobbying to the Olympic committee, I have constantly failed to get the ‘drunk walk home’ into the Olympics. I won’t give up though, because damn it, Britain could win that one easily. British people are like the SAS of drunks, our beer is appalling but we make up for it by drinking quantities that could disqualify an elephant from driving. German’s, on the other hand, make the best beer in the world but fail to realize its full potential by only drinking it responsibly. Of all the oddities about alternate Britain, this is possibly the most bizarre. I hope that perhaps, in the future, they will grasp their legacy with both hands and clumsily drop it on the floor, cracking the screen in the process.