Germans have trouble with dating speed dating etiquette
(And then there is the whole “are the windows clean enough argument…..” apparently dirty windows are the first step on the slippery slope to slovenly lifestyle… and carry it home in an extra shopping bag that I have in my purse. My parents had beautiful roses growing in the year… We would get care packages from German relatives loaded with delicious treats.
the horror.)Bed time stories for German kids are Grimm’s Fairy Tales without the Disney white wash (the Wolf ATE Little Red Riding Hood! Visiting my Oma and Opa meant a 10 hour plane trip on a Charter Airline like Condor. To me, Nazis were the bad guys in movies, (or the stupid ones in Hogan’s Heros) I had no idea why I was given that label. Thanks to Hollywood, most kids in my German school had the same problem. To this day I always grab a jacket as I’m walking out the door…. and whenever we went visiting, my father would cut a bouquet, and mom would wrap it up in pretty tissue, to give to the hostess. I just don’t have my father’s green thumb, so I have to buy them. Or we would fill our suitcases (to overflowing) with loads of Milka, Toblerone, Lindt, Merci, and other treats that were impossible to find in the US.
On weekends, a boiled egg, or maybe Eierkuchen (german pancakes).
Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.
Every Sunday the table would be set with a fresh tablecloth and the “good dishes” from the Schrank… If more people were invited, there would be two, and maybe even three delicious cakes to choose from. Coffee and fresh REAL whipped cream complete the picture.“Hast du dich gut eingekremt? And these were THICK German Creams (Nivea, Penaten Creme, Atrix) loaded with lanolin that no amount of rubbing could really make vanish. I know, lots of kids live far from their extended family… Dish Towels, Sheets, Handkerchiefs and blue Jeans …I remember watching my aunt iron undershirts.
Especially in the summer, I always had schmears of white on my face and arms. it just felt like that ocean between us made it even farther…“Das Gute Zimmer” (the good room) was reserved for Adults and Special Occasions. This room was always kept clean (exceptionally clean… Germans iron (my Mom even has an industrial strength iron…
Quite often, this isn't played too seriously, but sometimes it can be.
They also have a tendency to be The Eeyore, especially in combination with these other elements.
Brot, Aufschnitt and Marmalade (Bread, Cold Cuts and jam) were breakfast foods in our home. and then stock up (the freezer in the Garage was always full of bread). Alexander Solzhenitsyn, then a young captain in the Red Army, described the entry of his regiment into East Prussia in January 1945 as follows: “For three weeks the war had been going on inside Germany, and all of us knew very well that if the girls were German they could be raped and then shot. Regarding the events at Nemmersdorf (and Metgethen) - without questioning the fact that attrocities were committed - there continues to be some controversie about the details and scale of the event, as initially reported by German Army officiers, and the fact that the Goebbles propaganda machine used the occasion to exhort the German population to defend the Fatherland against the Red hordes to their dying breath if they wanted to avoid a similar fate. She specifically mentions having to move bodies after the attack. The Society "Jews in Eastprussia" [Juden in Ostpreussen e.V.] is preparing an exhibition about "The Jews of Königsberg at the turn of the 20th Century“.), Stuwwelpeter Stories (the man with the scissors who cuts off the thumb suckers thumbs! It’s a fun children’s rhyme sung when bouncing a kid on your knees (and for the record, my kids loved it too…) You tell me.. my regular everyday friends could not understand why I couldn’t sleep over Friday nights…. We’d get to the airport 3 hours early to try and gets seats together, but other Germans got there 4 hours early… It also included 9 time zone changes and having to reset my brain to all German language all the time. While friends here had cousins, Aunts and Uncles and extended relatives come for birthday parties and holidays… even when I go to the beach (Ok, in Northern California, you often need jackets at the beach. And it was seldom that Germans would visit us without a nice Blumenstrauss (Bouquet of Flowers). I still prefer a Ritter Sport over Hersheys any day.) , Max und Moritz (ground into flour, and eaten by geese) and all of their cautionary tales about good and bad behavior. Hoppe Hoppe Reiter Hop Hop Rider(I was terrified for years because of that sweet ditty.)Cake isn’t just for birthdays! Apfel Kuchen (Apple Cake), Kaesesahne Torte, Mocha Torte, Frankfurter Kranz, und Pflaumen Kuchen. Creams against the sun, creams against the cold, creams against the dryness…. or take part in normal Saturday morning activities. we had long distance phone calls, letters and occasional visits.
Russian characteristics, if not an explicit Russian background, can also merit inclusion in this trope.