German… or just plain rude?

Picture: HumorFlip
Picture: HumorFlip

An early post today because I’m currently unable to go to work. Our servers went down yesterday and still aren’t working, so I’m waiting to phone again once the IT guy’s been to see whether there’s a point in me going in…

Before reading this post, those of you who haven’t before (and don’t know me in real life) need to go read this post about my awesome boots (note: the pictures there are terrible. In real life, they’re much more red).

So, last night we were walking home from the Irish pub when suddenly, as we were passing a hotel, a woman jumped in front of me and started pointing at my boots. Getting right up in my face, she started shouting “What are those? Where are you coming from… Fasching?” (Fasching is the German version of carbival or Fat Tuesday). My initial reaction was baffled silence, so she continued: “Those boooots! They are for Fasching!!” My friends chimed in at this point, saying they were awesome boots. Ignoring them completely, the woman piped up again. “But where are you coming from? What are you? Are you Red Riding Hood?”. By this stage I had recovered my voice. “Red Riding Hood wears a red cloak, and anyway these boots are amazing!” This carried on for a little bit, with the woman continuing to be entirely unable to understand the concept of wearing red boots when it isn’t Fasching and my group being utterly stunned by her small-mindedness. What a boring life she must lead!

Now, my question for you, dear readers (especially those who live in Germany). Was her behaviour typically German or just plain rude? Personally, I’m going with the latter…


35 thoughts on “German… or just plain rude?

    1. I get paid monthly, and I currently have roughly 8 hours of overtime that I can use up, so it will work out. I would just have preferred to save the overtime for a day of my own choosing.

      She was definitely drunk (as was the guy she was with), but I don’t think she was high.

    1. Germans tend to be very direct, but I’ve never encountered blatant rudeness like that. I’ve heard of it happening though…

      As we were walking away last night, one of the Germans I was with said to me “At least you get to say ‘stupid Germans’!”

  1. Maybe her Daddy wouldn’t let her wear red boots/shoes when she was 15, and she’s forever traumatised. You should have asked her about that πŸ˜‰
    You’ve been living in Germany for long enough to know that that was just RUDE!!!!
    I’ve got pink boots with flowers on πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, I’m pretty sure she was just rude!! Never met a German like that before (although I will never fail to be amazed by how few people hold open doors for the person behind them). I actually feel kind of sorry for her… everyone needs a pair of awesome, eye-catching boots that they can wear all year round.

  2. No this is normal!! When I wear something colourful, or interesting, or sliiightly short, women on the street GLARE at me so hard. I can imagine that if these women had had a drink or two they would say stuff to me too. German women are just so closed minded about fashion, I find.

  3. Haha, she MUST have been drunk – so sorry you had to experience that. Fasching means Carnival, though, not Fat Tuesday. I guess it also depends where you are staying in Germany. In any student city, or Berlin of course, the more colourful the better. Unfortunately I could’t find the blog entry about where you are at. I am telling you, as a German there are some cities I would not even ever consider staying at like Frankfurt or Dusseldorf … Maybe go somewhere fun πŸ™‚

    1. I know it’s not really the same as Fat Tuesday, but that’s the closest equivalent in other cultures.

      I’m in Karlsruhe and I’ve NEVER experienced anything like that before!! The man the woman was with said they were staying at the hotel they were standing outside though, so I assume she’s not from around here πŸ˜‰

      1. I stayed in Stuttgart for a year and was welcomed by my new neighbors telling me my windows are a disgrace to the street, please wash them (I had just moved in and they were okay, just a few raindrop stains…) … Let me tell you, the East is so much cooler, more creative, tolerant and plain fun. πŸ˜‰

      2. Aah, but that’s Stuttgart. They’re like that in Schwabenland. People in Baden are muuuch cooler (or so I’m told ;-))

        I haven’t washed my windows since I moved in 3 years ago. Luckily my neighbours don’t seem to mind πŸ˜€

      3. Stuttgart is amazing with its huge park all across the city etc. But yip, the people … very strict somehow. then again, almost 0 unemployment and they handed out free gourmet food on porcelain plates to celebrate one or the other thing … lots of cool things, and you are safe at 4 am in the underground. Guess everything has its pros and cons …

      4. Check out my blog, there is a great festival going on right now in bavaria – only once every 4 years, real cool.

  4. Oh my God, I can’t believe someone actually said that to your face! And being drunk is no excuse. It’s true, Germans are more direct than other people, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to insult someone. You can find close-minded people anywhere, so I wouldn’t say it’s a typical German trait. Or at least I hope so.

    1. Oh yes, there are definitely small-minded people everywhere! I’ve experienced German directness before, but I think that woman was just plain RUDE… and would have been whatever her nationality. She probably wishes she had the courage to wear bright red boots in public πŸ˜‰

  5. In my opinion, that was just plain rude. We Germans actually suck at a lot of things (complimenting others, engaging in small talk…) but the average German probably would never ever chat up another person in the street (and therefore would have kept their opinion about the boots to themselves).
    Personally, I really like the German directness, you always know what another person thinks about you and can either adapt your behavior accordingly or just move on. πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m pretty sure she really was just plain rude… and small-minded. And the general consensus here seems to agree πŸ˜‰

      The directness is a bit startling at first, especially coming from England where politeness comes first, ALWAYS!

  6. I don’t know the German ways, but sounds rude to me! I used to get comments like that all the time when I was younger (and quite possibly going through something of a goth-mosher-punk ‘phase’ – I say phase, it’s not entirely left me and neither do I want it to!) Classics included “you’ve got a ladder in your tights” to my purposefully ripped up pairs…”Hallowe’en isn’t until/was last…”…trying to think of some others, just made me laugh in the end. What a boring life some people have. Now, I never fail to smile when I see crazy/unusual/bright outfits (although we did rip it out of our friend for a bit because he bought red trousers). You wear those boots with pride…

    1. My sister used to get “Have you goth the time?”. She had highlighter pink hair at the time!! Apparantly people in my crappy home town need to learn the definition of goth πŸ˜‰

      Don’t worry, I shall continue to wear my boots with pride. One crazy drunk German isn’t going to stop me πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m going with just plain rude. My conception of “German rudeness” is simply ignoring everything and everyone out of the ordinary when out in public and/or being overly blunt and direct when someone approaches you for something. Where we lived, I think most Germans would prefer to die of embarrassment before approaching a stranger on the street, for whatever the reason!

  8. Absolutely rude!! I am German, and I say your boots are none of your business, who does she think she is?? But ask the Bavarians. Funnily with things like these sometimes I feel like my Northern-German up-bringing sets different standards from poeple from the South.

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