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When Germans Visit America

26 Sep Posted by in Culture, Driving, Family Life | Comments
When Germans Visit America
I married a smart man… a very smart man (after all, he did choose to marry me, right?).

Unfortunately he is not modest about his intelligence. And as such, I have no reservations holding back the chance to make fun of him when he makes a culturally stupid mistake.

Thankfully he is a good sport about my teasing’s.

Below are my top three moments from our last trip to the US; please keep in mind that Germans can openly consume alcohol in public and are extremely fierce and compassionate about their autos.


What happens when you give a German a Large Automatic Vehicle?

We get to the rental car place. Sixt, because even in the US, my husband has to use a German brand. And they hand us a new, never been rented, Chevy Tahoe.

Kay is most excited about the TV screen in the back, which I know we aren’t even going to use. And I am freaking out that we are about to take off in a brand new, extremely large vehicle with a foreign driver. But then again, I don’t want the responsibility of driving this new vehicle off the lot.

Kay is checking out the vehicle’s gadgets and I am increasingly becoming more impatient.

Me: Ok, come on. Let’s go already.

Kay raises his hands in frustration.

Kay: I don’t even know how to make this thing go.

I suddenly realize he has no clue where the gear shifter is. So I point it out immediately above the steering wheel.

Kay: Yeah, and now what?!

I am completely shocked as well as amused, and I motion with a raised and turned fist.

Me: Pull the lever in and down.

I should be laughing hysterically at this point, but instead am now even more fearful sitting next to a driver who doesn’t even know how to put the car into drive!!!


The Right of Way

Kay is driving through a store parking lot and sees a person headed to cross the street to enter the store. He immediately stomps on the gas. His German instincts tell him to hurry up so that the person can cross behind him.

Me: AAaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhhh! Pedestrians have the right of way here, Kay.

Kay: Huh? What do you mean? There wasn’t a crosswalk there.

Me: We’re in the South. It’s polite to let them cross in front of the store.

My Mom (from the back seat): Kay, pedestrians have the right of way here!

Now for Kay, he still doesn’t think anything he did was a problem. His only problem is dealing with two women trying to tell him how to drive.


A Public Pool Party (My Nephew’s end of baseball season celebration)

As we are driving to the party…

Me: I just got off the phone with my sister-in-law. We can drink at the pool but we have to be discreet.

Kay: What do you mean?

At this point I’m wondering if the word “discreet” is throwing him off, or if he knows this word, but the concept of not openly drinking in public is the foreign part.

Me: So drinking isn’t technically allowed at the pool, but if we hide it, like in red plastic cups or something, it’s ok.

Kay: Ok, so at the store I should look for clear plastic cups or something.

I’m wondering if he is just overly focused on driving or if he still isn’t understanding this foreign concept of not consuming alcohol in public, let alone at a children’s party.

Me: No, like cups you can’t see through; red or blue plastic cups.

Kay: Oh, so like yellow plastic cups.

Me: Whichever color you prefer, Kay. (As I am face palming and shaking my head.)


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