I was talking with one of the ausländischer Student in my language school about how different things were here as opposed to our own countries. So many times I say to anyone who asks that I haven’t been culture shocked yet. Maddie who is Indian and quite traditional I might add is the exact opposite.
Mostly everything about German culture was a huge shock from the way she talked about it. She saw a TV program about a couple that swung and she was utterly gobsmacked at the idea of switching partners just for fun. Personally I try not to judge people who do things I find really odd but I could very well understand her shock. Why swing when you can actually be on your own and have all the multiple sex you can handle right?
We spent two hours in the blistering cold outside of the classroom (we had just done our mündliche Prüfung and had a bit of time to girl talk) talking about the age people start to have sex to the freedom of smoking, disrespecting your parents, teachers or whoever is older. The extreme PDAs and the double standards which obviously cuts through every Continent.
Now for me, visiting Germany is way different compared to you actually living here. I wasn’t bothered about understanding what the natives spoke cos hey, I would be out in three months right? Well now, here I am, my life is here now, with the most incredible human being on earth, learning Deutsch, actually speaking and writing it. Caring about recycling my bottles and of course the trash which I’m still getting used to by the way. Back in Nigeria everything was tossed out together but here? You have separate bins for bio, normal, paper etc trash. Yeah its mindboggling. Hell even the glass trash is separated into colors.
I find myself pronouncing my “Ws” as “Vs”. Zum Beispiel: was becomes vas even when I’m speaking English. Or pronouncing Stark as schtark. I’m forgetting words in English (was talking to my sis about Gummistiefel and she’s like say what??? For the life of me, I couldn’t at that moment recall what they were in English!)
The zebra crossing is my absolute fave. In Nigeria, you best make a run for it across the ever busy roads and hope to God you don’t get crushed by a jalopy truck or use the pedestrian bridges cos the pathways have been taken over as well(Lagos u understand abi?). Here, a car sees you coming and assumes you will be using the crossing and would wait for you. Amazing!
Going to the doc office and providing your Krankenversicherungskarte upon every visit no matter how popular you are there! Understanding how tax works and knowing you cannot escape it. Getting on the trams or trains with a valid ticket cos if you get caught riding without a ticket, you will be fined. They ain’t joking with you. I do not unterstand a word you are saying will not fly! They will bloody well get a translator to read you your offence! Yeah, happened to me once and I paid 40€ for not buying a 1.90€ ticket.
Seeing two men smooching on the streets(most probably on Silvester Nachts), walking behind two girls holding hands and dropping full mouth kisses. Getting your fair share of dog sights! Now things are most probably different aber back then, Nigerians mostly kept massive dogs for security reasons and not as pets.
The one thing that is same so far for me is living according to your means. No such thing as buying on credit. The closest to that is shopping online and having the option of paying in two weeks which we never do cos life can get to you and you forget and then you land in a big pot of bubbling ogbonno soup. So yes, credit purchasing is basically non existent.
Sitting in the train and giving the teenager who has her feet up on the seat a stern look(yeah I did this once and the poor girl took a look at me and moved away) what’s the point of balancing with your feet that you probably used to step into dirt and then have someone else sit on your mess?
Ahhhh PHCN(NEPA)? 24 hour electricity? Amazing. No fear of your battery empty and waiting for the generator to come on later at night to charge, or not having cold water to drink when you are bloody thirsty and room temp just won’t cut it. Or having to put on bottle scrunched up shirt to work or school!
I actually didn’t know I had an open mind to almost everything until I started living here. You find yourself non chalant about certain things that may be strange to a good percentage of people because you are way too busy integrating to let them bother you.
So have I been culture shocked? I still say no…