15 für 15: Kulturschock

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…

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  • Miss mako better make a run for your life at zebra crossings in lagos.
    i haven’t been culture shocked..anyhow there isn’t a culture to be shocked about as i’m still stuck here. germany seems to be a lot of fun. i wonder if you ever get bored or miss the craziness of naija.
    i would come back with an answer when i have experiences to share.
    love this challenge.x

    • Oh it is massive fun here I swear and a challenge too because it is so different from the life I know in Nigeria. I used to get so bored when I first arrived because gorgeousness was the only person I knew and talked to. But going to school solved the boredom and starting a blog too. And hell no! I don’t miss the Nigerian craziness at all but I do miss my family. I actually get culture shocked in Nigeria sometimes with traditions and beliefs….still can’t wrap my head around some of them to this day!

    • Yeah the challenge is amazing. You should get in on it if the organizer sets it again next year.

  • jaywalker

    Hahaha pot of ogbonno soup! Epic!
    I agree that some things can be quite a lot to take in but after a while, you get used to them and barely flinch. I always say to ppl that keeping an open mind about life in general is a great way to a healthy wellbeing. Sure there are still some traditional things you cannot go against, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter!

    • I think so too jaywalker. Old habits sure dies hard but making an effort with keeping an open mind will really change the way we see the world

  • Clara

    First of all, both of our blogs are not playing well together again. Thank God for IG sha, cos that’s the only way I know whenever you have a new post up.

    I guess you’re much more exposed than me, because I always feel such culture (reverse culture shock in Naija) whenever I move. paris was strange for me in so many ways after England…the super laissez faire attitude drove me crazy, the men and their cheating ways, how much importance was given to food and eating well, the casual “racist” things that people said /on TV that I’d never see in England etc.
    When we first moved to England too, so many things were so weird for me, and now Brussels to. I ‘m actually planning a super long post on that in a few weeks… So yeah, either i’m an ara oko, or just someone that’s easily shocked!

    P.S. I’m slacking so badly with my Duolingo 🙁

    • I don’t think it has any thing to do with more exposure (you that has basically traveled the world in 80 days) I would say its just our different characters. I don’t get easily shocked by anything, disturbed maybe but certainly not sehr shocked(I almost spelled that last word with sch…) I mostly breeze through and don’t stay long enough to understand the way things work but now its different and I still don’t feel pressured.
      I too haven’t been on Duolingo in weeks. Will certainly get on it this weekend!

  • Clara

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Du auch lieber Clara! Vielleicht wir konnten deutsch sprechen dieses Wochenende? Was denkst du daran?

  • Janyl Benyl

    I really loved this
    I haven’t experienced culture shock myself
    I understood how to mind my business almost at the airport during my very first trip
    I usually miss Nig sometimes, just the peculiarities that stand us out get me so nostalgic sometimes

    • Thank you! Glad u did. I understand the minding your business part although it can be annoying. I once bought a train ticket to stoke in england and I remember seeing the long line but the train was basically empty. The family I visited now tells me I bought the not so cheap ticket and the silly woman who being foreign you would think she would give me that little tip and save me 50£ when she saw how lost I obviously was.

  • Duru John de Beloved

    OsheY! this was a DoroSharp post oh, and it had me giggling at intervals :D.. and had me smiling like a fish as i read through ( even till now sef)… Soooo… you paid 40 Euros as offence fee for not buying a ticket of 1.90 Euros?! Yekpa!! Mogbe.. if na me ehn, i would have run oh! aha kilode?! Am i Merkels relative to be dispensing so much cash.. 🙂 No Oh! I refuse mbok.

    You know yeah, i have always wondered how life would be outside the shores of the great Nigeria, and i never have been able to fully imagine. Maybe someday though.. But the day i go ehn… **Soeaking my half baked Igbo.. Nsogbu ga di… The first night ehn, I will stay awake looking at the bulb expecting Nepa to take light.. I mean in my 23 years 3 months and 13 days of existence, i have not for once experienced 247 electricity, that It sounds like the magic of going to the moon and back to me :).

    Turn up Turn up ladies and Gentlemen, cause when an Ibibio geh decides to blog tyeah, you cant but love her every word.. and the crowd goes… Yyyeeeaaaahh mehyn! Cheers xx

    • Duru lala! I did o! 40€ that could have gotten me a really cool pair of shoes went into the fine! Boy was I upset! Hahah run ke? Now why didn’t I think of this? Then again I’m guessing they could have caught up with me probably cos those guys can be very fit!
      Hahaha I get that! Its an amazing experience and like I said, the only thing I miss is my family! 24hr power is totally amazing!!!
      As always, you come with sunshine on here. Thank you for the support you constantly give! I’m in awe of you dude!

  • La Deutsche Diva

    Funny thing my re-entry shock to the US was bigger than the culture shock to Germany. I’m still shell shocked from the differences. Please get me back to Germany soon! Lol


    La Deutsche Diva

    • I know right??? Our regular brand of mineral water wasn’t available so had to get another which had no gas and I hated it. Got me thinking that it will be tough drinking water in Nigeria when ever I visit. How I completely got used to mineral water in one year is actually a shock if I think about it!
      Come over soon! I should arrange a peaceful demonstration just to get you back here!

  • Toin

    Oh wow! I wonder when i’ll forget english words and say them in French. I love French. Life is certainly very different.

  • I think it happens when you hear less of English or mother tongue! French is still rocket science to me but thankfully I don’t need to learn it, phew!

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