June 6th, 2007

German Society

I had not realized it before coming. Germany has really complicated, unstated social rules. I can't claim to understand them yet, but I can write what I think and maybe someone smarter than me will explain them to me so that I understand afterwards.

In the right environment, Germans are very friendly, open and quick to make to friends. In another environment, they are very polite and can be quite helpful. However, outside of these environments, they seem to dislike strangers. If you ask someone for help on the street, they will probably go out of their way to help you. If you ask that same person for help at a government office, they will let you know that they don't like you. Out of everyplace that I've been, I think that Germany has the most complicated rules. That surprised me.

The thing that stuck out to me first was that Germans seem lonely. I didn't understand how or why, but I got a strong impression that it was the case. That, combined with the number of articles I've read about, 'German man found dead in apartment after 8 years.', it is clear that the social code here doesn't meet the needs of every citizen. However, it does help create a very efficient society.