More German weirdness

BYOFUntil recently, all the celebrations I had been invited to in Germany were either house parties or involved a meal in a restaurant. That changed last month, and I have now been to two parties that were held in bars. At both events, beer, wine and various soft drinks were provided by the bar while the buffet was the responsibility of the guests.
Let me just repeat that… At a party, held in the function room of a pub, the host’s guests are expected to bring some food along. The first time, I thought it was a one off. The venue doesn’t have a proper kitchen – just a couple of hot plates where they can prepare things like soup – so it made sense that they couldn’t provide a full on buffet. But at the second party, the other room was open to the public as normal and food was being served there.

Now, I have no objection to contributing food. If it were a house party I would automatically bake something to bring along. But if someone hires a function room in a pub (or restaurant) I tend to expect some kind of catering to be included… either provided by the venue or by an external caterer… but surely not by the guests?! With all the health and safety issues these days, I’m amazed people are even allowed to bring their own random creations into such a venue. Who knows what goes on in some people’s kitchens!

Is this another example of German weirdness or is it just a coincidence that I’ve now come across it twice?
And is it only me that finds this kind of behaviour strange?

My work here is done…

Here’s a screenshot of some of my search terms from over the past 30 days (apologies for blurriness):

termsAs you can see, somebody found my blog by searching for “germans are weird”.
Why yes, random searcher, they are!*

The truth has been revealed. Clearly, there is no further reason for me to blog now! 😀 😀

* Dear Germans. Please do not be offended by my remarks. I actually like Germany (and Germans) a lot. I wouldn’t have stayed here for over six years otherwise!

Must obey the red man…

One thing that absolutely fascinates me about Germans is their blind obedience to the little traffic light men.
You can be standing at a pedestrian crossing on a road that sees maybe five cars a day (unlikely in Karlsruhe, I admit) but if the red man is visible nobody will cross. Yes, I am aware that crossing the road while the light is red is technically illegal and, in theory, you can be fined for it, but has anybody ever really been fined? And if there are no police around then I’d imagine you’re fairly safe. Admittedly the glares you will inevitably get are pretty scary, but I promise looks can’t actually kill (although your fellow citizens probably wish they could) – I am living proof of that!

The other fascinating thing is that no German seems capable of pressing the button to call the green man, or at least nobody over the age of 30. Perhaps it’s a relatively new invention in Germany? There’s one particular road that I have to cross to get home from the shopping centre. I regularly see Germans waiting there. First the cars and the trams go, then the lights for vehicles turn red while the traffic on the cross road goes. At this point, pedestrians could cross too, but the little green man never appears and the Germans wait and wait (well, the older ones anyway. Some people my age will just cross). At some point, the other lights change again, the cars continue on their way, and the pedestrians carry on waiting, eyes fixed on the red man, never seeming to wonder why it hasn’t been their turn to cross yet. This is usually the point where I reach the road, press the button and hey presto, green man! By the looks the old ladies give me, you’d think I’d just performed a minor miracle!

Germans… I love them dearly, but they are a strange bunch at times!

(For more – much funnier – insights into weird German ways, check this out: http://venturevillage.eu/how-to-be-german-part-1 I promise you won’t regret it!)