Things I will never be able to do as well as the Germans

I actually thought of this post a while ago, but I was out and about with no possibility to write anything down, so I forgot. But I was reminded of it again last night in Aldi, while trying to pay and pack away my shopping at the same time. This time I had the sense to switch the computer on and get typing as soon as I get home, and this morning I felt inspired enough to complete the post. And thus, I present to you, Things that I will never be able to do as well as the Germans…

Pack my shopping away at the speed of light

I’m almost sure this ability is genetic… or at least drummed in to small German children before they can even walk. All Germans seem to have an in-built capability to lay all their groceries on the band in exactly the way it needs to be packed, run to the other end and pack everything away in their back pack/environmentally friendly canvas bag neatly and safely while the shop assistant is practically throwing the stuff at them and then have the money waiting in their hand before the cashier even has the chance to ask for it. Meanwhile, there’s me quickly shoving everything into my carrier bag (which I’ve just purchased because I forgot to bring one with me again) any old way, not caring how squished my bread gets, then having to stop half way through to fumble with my purse while the shop assistant glares impatiently, one hand out waiting to take my money. On the occasions that I’m doing a big shop and take a trolley, I’m even too slow at throwing my shopping in there… leading to the assistant picking up random bits of my shopping and putting them in the trolley for me so they have room to scan the rest. Unless I’m only buying about 2 items, every shopping trip ends up in a panicked rush! What’s your secret, Germans?

Open a beer bottle with absolutely anything

Admittedly this one might only be reserved for male Germans – I haven’t seen many women doing it. But give a German guy a beer, tell him you have no opener and he will use any means at his disposal to get into the bottle. In fact, some people insist on doing it their way even if there is a proper opening available! A lighter, another (closed) beer bottle, a fork… each of these works perfectly if a German is looking to get his beer open. And if no other implement is available, the edge of a table or even the crate the beer came in will do. I, on the other hand, sometimes have trouble opening my beer with a proper bottle opener…

This is as good as my scarf wrapping skills are ever going to get...
This is as good as my scarf tying skills are ever going to get…

Wrap a scarf so it looks good

Given a decent amount of time and a mirror, I will eventually manage to wrap a scarf around my neck in a way that looks half decent. German women need neither time nor mirrors. I’ve seen Germans stand up after a long night of drinkinh, pick up the scarf that they took off because it was so hot indoors, casually drape it around their neck, and BAM…. perfect first time! This is another ability that I suspect is genetic…

Drink a Maß of beer

That’s one litre, for those of you who don’t know. And believe me, one litre is a lot of beer. A Maß glass isn’t exactly small! Pathetic little British me needs two hands to even lift one. Unlike the famous Oktoberfest waitresses, who deliver up to eight of these things to a table at a time, four in each hand. I can never manage to get all the way to the bottom of my Maß of beer before it gets warm either! Germans can though… including the females. I think I’ll stick with my pathetic little half litre glasses and leave the big ones to the natives…

And there you have it: Four things that I don’t think I’ll learn to do as well as the Germans however long I live here.
Got any more? Feel free to add them in the comments. And if there’s something you think the natives of another country can do better than anyone else I’d love to hear about it!

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36 thoughts on “Things I will never be able to do as well as the Germans

  1. Haha! The beer bottle made me laugh. My husband always uses anything other than the opener and he makes it look so easy! He taught me once, and I could do it for a short time, but have since forgotten. Good thing I have an opener. 🙂

  2. Aside from the scarf and beer drinking, those skills aren’t thaaaat great! (Maybe it’s just because I’m another uber-slow packer who always has a bottle opener on her keychain…)

  3. Haha this post made me laugh so much! I have to admit that I hate it when David tries to pack our groceries in the bag because he just doesn’t do it the right away. 🙂 And you are right about the bottle openers: I never use one. I usually use a lighter and when I don’t have one then I use the table, a wall, the kitchen counter…I guess I can’t deny I am German….but it takes me forever to drink a Maß and I am not sure about the way I wear my scarves…

    1. See, I told you it’s genetic! 😛
      I would probably have more of a chance of packing the bags properly if I had enough time. But when my shopping is being thrown at me, all I can dow is shove it in and hope for the best!

  4. I’ve seen guys open beer bottles with the crook of their elbow 😉 Beer bottles aren’t so bad but wine bottles… Luckily I know people who can push the cork in with the back of a spoon if we get stuck 😉 And scarves – I’ll never be able to wear a decorative scarf and make it look good – so I don’t even try 😉 It’s survival scarves all the way at the moment anyway! 🙂 Great post!

  5. Scarf arranging is also something I have not quite mastered! That’s one reason infinity scarves are nice – the only way to really arrange it is loop ir around twice, and then it usually is looks quite nice. I’m sure there are tutorials for this on YouTube, though, if one is truly desperate to learn! 😉

    And now that you mention is, I also had problems with the grocery packing when I was in Giesssen for the semester during university. Thank goodness I was never buying many groceries at the time!

    1. Oh, I’m sure I could learn to wrap a scarf.. and I think I can do it half decently now, but the Germans just seem to be able to do it automatically, without even thinking. It impresses and amazes me!

  6. Loved reading this. It’s too funny. I remember going grocery shopping in Germany after having lived here for a while and both my mom and I were waiting for someone to pack the groceries for us! Everyone looked at us like we had three heads – it was embarrassing and funny at the same time! 🙂

  7. Thanks to the super fast cashiers at Aldi, I can now pack my groceries like a German, although most of the French in line in front of me haven’t mastered the art yet 😉

  8. I remember one of my first trips to aldi by myself…it was kind of a nightmare. I was already having a hard time packing everything away quick enough…so I paid and then grabbed all of my stuff that still wasn’t in my bag and tried to walk over to the counter behind me to finish, except the plastic around my six pack of water bottles ripped and bottles went flying in every direction. LOL oops.

  9. Haha! Dang, this is certainly an impressive list of feats! I would kill for that shopping one, I feel sooo awkward at the store, even when I don’t have to sack my own groceries. I just fumble about with my money and the cart and the bags and end up with a crumple up receipt with cash wadded in my pocket as I walk away.

  10. I love this post!

    I have the same problem with the panic at the grocery checkout. And one of my German friends used my umbrella to open a beer once. That was impressive.

    And I totally agree about the Maß! I figured out that I can never get really drunk at a fest, because if I drink two of those monsters, I’m practically sloshing! There’s no *room* for more beer. The last few times I drank like that, I would up feeling bad not because of the alcohol, but because of the sheer volume of liquid!

  11. love this post- I totally know what you mean about the packing groceries! I always panic too! Though I have gotten more strategic about the order I place things on the belt. Oh the joys of adjusting to life in Germany 🙂

  12. Ha this post was very funny. It’s true that Germans are mega efficient! Last year we bought a flight ticket home from Mexico, for which we had to queue for 2 hours just to check in our bags, just to be told that the airline was bust and was too inefficient to tell us (even though it still looked like the flight was running). We then bought a cheapish ticket to Germany a day after, dreading the airport after the experience we’d had, and I’ll never get over how quick and amazing the airline was. Seriously – I’ve been to Germany before but that was my first real taste of the no nonsense German approach! Would love to know how they do the scarf thing too 🙂 found this from the linkup – great stuff!

    -Alice
    thriftyfirecracker.blogspot.co.uk

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