Natural Born Bargain Hunters – The German Obsession with Price
Spring is a strange season in Germany: it is the only time of year when there is no major sale in the shops. The winter sales, the “Winterschluss-verkauf”, end in early March – while the summer sales, the so-called “SSV”, can start as early as June, depending on when the kids go on holiday.
The global crisis has been eating away at popular confidence in bankers, in managers, estate agents, politicians and even journalists. But not bakers, oh no, not bakers.
Where it all began. A small pub in Düsseldorf was the most important breeding ground of Punk in the Federal Republic of Germany. Now the story is being retold.
“Krauts” was used by English and American soldiers to refer to their German war-time enemies. And when contemporary caricaturists across the channel attack the Germans, sauerkraut is sure to feature once again.
Whether it’s the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin or the Marienplatz in Munich, public spaces are increasingly transforming into dance floors for street dancers who display their athletic talents to enthusiastic audiences. The street dance scene in Berlin is as diverse as the dance form itself: Prince Ofori and the M.I.K family, the expanding street dance schools community or the dancing media artist Prince Mio – and all of them share a passion for expressing themselves through street dance.
A Cult Object
If ever there was a time to discover the German seaside, it is in this summer of economic recession and global warming. Why travel half way across the world for sun, sea and sand when the same elements are available on your doorstep?
Dialects are old-fashioned and make people sound ignorant. If you want to achieve anything in life you have to speak High German. That is at least the prevailing attitude these days. But it’s different on the arts and culture scene, where dialects are not just a sign of authenticity but also a source of comic relief.
Bringing flowers when visiting someone
As long as the flowers are a colourful bouquet (or even a pretty potted plant) and not just roses, this won’t necessarily be interpreted as a romantic gesture. Bring flowers when visiting elderly people in particular; parent-age people may also find a bottle of good wine or a box of expensive chocolates acceptable. Never come empty-handed.
Apologizing for being late
In Germany, punctuality is seen very strictly: People generally expect an apology even if you’re just two minutes late. And this happens quite often because not all Germans are good at being punctual.
Since environmentalism is big in Germany, it’s important to separate different kinds of trash so that they may be recycled. In a typical household you’ll find trash cans for paper, recyclable packaging, organic waste, and “other,” while glass (separated into white, green, and brown glass) is collected in big containers you can find nearby. Most glass bottles now have Pfand, meaning that you initially pay an extra fee which you will get back when or if you return the bottle to the store.