Frustrating

They say the Dutch are a very direct and to-the-point people, especially in conversations. No bullshit. You know exactly what you have. I never thought much of it when I grew up in the Netherlands, but I guess it’s true. I’m probably a good example of a Dutchy that is too honest for his own good. It makes for easy blogging, but I’m not sure it’s always the right thing. Since I have moved to Germany, I actually started noticing how direct the Dutch are. Or rather, how far from direct the Germans are. Germans are never to the point. They arrange meetings to arrange meetings about meetings. Everyone’s running in circles. Nobody is straight with you. It’s really quite a culture shock.

The Dutch will tell you when they disagree with you. However, I would say that this is often very civil, no anger, no hate. In Germany, if people disagree with something, they don’t speak it out. There is no conversation. Instead they sit on it and let it simmer and stew. Hate starts to build up, but even then, not a word is spoken out. It’s noticable in the every day actions. Stonewalling of people that you disagree with, passive aggressive notes to communicate with people you dislike, hand signs to strangers, random cursing in the streets to people that don’t behave like you had hoped, a general vibe if being offended or frustrated. It is so much more commonplace in Germany than in other countries. Always rushed, always annoyed, always angry at people. Every other house has some version of a fuck off sign. It’s bizarre.

So many examples…

No matter how fast I drive, people will push to overtake me asap. Everyone in front of them is a nuisance.

No matter where you bike, you will get cursed at. You don’t bike on the sidewalk, but you don’t bike on the street either. Best go away!

No matter where you live, you will have a neighbor that finds something to hate about you. Especially in a building with multiple tenants.

No matter where you park, it’s not good. Some signs say they will slash your tires if you park somewhere, which greatly illustrates the welcoming vibe.

I never experienced much of this in 33 years in the Netherlands, but really, two years in Germany often make me feel bitter.

Everyone’s so frustrated here – it’s frustrating!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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