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Expat in Germany: Cultural Differences

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can appear anywhere, even when it comes to buying kitchen appliances. We went to an electronic store to buy a few things which we previously debated whether were “necessary”. I won, so we went to buy a popcorn maker and microwave, despite J.P.’s protests that we didn’t need either of these. As we walked into the store, the first thing I see is what appeared to be at least a 100 different types of coffee makers, and half of them were over 300€! Germans love their coffee as do I, but how do you even begin to choose? Thankfully we weren’t buying a coffee maker, as this would have been I’m sure an interesting cultural difference.

On to the popcorn makers (microwave popcorn is difficult/impossible to find in Germany). I was surprised that there were only 2 different kinds – 2, after all the coffee makers! Turns out Germans aren't big popcorn eaters – another cultural difference. Who doesn’t love a bowl of popcorn when you’re flopped out on the couch watching TV? Germans it turns out.

We also made another "monumental" purchase - a microwave, J.P.s first! He wasn't convinced that we needed this either, but the next day when I warmed up soup for us he was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it heated up. He said that in Germany usually only people with small children have microwaves – yet another cultural difference.

It's been interesting to see the Canadian/German cultural differences show up in something as simple as small appliances, and what is perceived as “necessary”. Next up, I'm working on a dryer, but he doesn't think we need one of those either, we'll see..............

Note, I don't know the people in the cultural differences photo above

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3 Comments:

At August 20, 2010 at 12:09 AM , Anonymous Snooker in Berlin said...

The microwave thing is interesting. We actually got one as a house warming gift from a German "aunt". She said that she loves hers and thought we might like one. But of course it was Sweet No's first nuker, she had to be taught how to use it. Then her father told me that it was a good thing and that the energy used to boil water in the microwave is less than any other appliance, including a standard water cooker. Maybe that is the way to "sell" the microwave.

Popcorn popper... good luck on finding the raw popcorn. I rarely see it here. BUT, I brought my microwave corn popper over and when I do find the corn, quite enjoy it. Making one batch of sugary for No, one of salt and butter for me... of course. MORE cultural differences.

Oh and the dryer... you may be like me and find out that you don't really need it. Waste of energy & space and all that rot. The ONLY time I miss it is when we come back from a trip or something and I would like to do about 3 or 4 loads in quick succession. Having to air dry and not having enough "drying space" on the hangar stops all of that. But once again, it is the only time I really miss it.

 
At August 24, 2010 at 7:40 AM , Blogger Stuttgartgirl said...

Thanks for the tip on how to "sell" microwaves, that's a good one. I know an American who is having the same debate.

I totally understand bringing a popcorn maker over here, it makes life so much better. I'm lucky, there's one brand of popcorn at my grocery store, so as long as they don't run out, I'm good.

Good to hear about the dryer. I'm adjusting, but the crunchy towels are definitely an adjustment.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 
At December 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can buy microwave popcorn in tegut, rewe and karstadt I think.

 

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