All About the People

Micah Castle
May 28, 2014

Another popular question I get asked: Are Germans friendly?

Well, to be honest, I think people in Atlanta are more friendly than the people I have met here. But maybe that’s because I actually speak English fluently, and my German is far from perfect. However, I would say they smile less, hold the door for people less, and are a bit less understanding. They are no nonsense, in a sense.

That’s not to say that I haven’t met some really nice Germans. My roommates are sweet and my teachers are, for the most part, very helpful, but I definitely think they are a little less sympathetic than people I tend to meet in Atlanta. They don’t tiptoe around things that bother them; rather, they will be upfront about things they take issue to, such as walking into the bathroom with “street” shoes or taking out the trash. Instead of being passive, they simply say, “Micah it’s your turn to take out the trash”, which actually works better for keeping our apartment nice and tidy.

When I order food, the people I typically deal with don’t smile or say have a nice day, which I think is just the culture, not them necessarily being mean. However, I think I will appreciate it when I get back to Atlanta and people are overly friendly; it will feel like home.

One thing I will say is waiters are not like American waiters! Since they don’t need to work for tips, and tips really aren’t necessary, they waiters couldn’t care less about you. You could sit at a table for hours without anyone asking you what you want or if you’re ready for the check. In fact, you have to ask to order and to pay, and when you pay, you’d better be ready to leave because they will wait there until you’re finished paying and then say goodbye to you. It definitely makes going out to dinner a long drawn out process.

Overall, I’d say people from Atlanta are more friendly than the people in Freiburg. Maybe the friendliness in the south is fake or superficial, but at least it makes you feel a little more comfortable while you’re ordering a coffee!

Micah Castle

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Micah Castle, and I am from Decatur, Georgia. I study Spanish and German at Emory University in Atlanta, and I hope to become a foreign language teacher after I graduate. The two things I love most are working with kids and traveling. I am currently studying Spanish in Salamanca, Spain, and I&#39;m looking forward to being abroad next semester as well, working on my German in Freiburg, Germany.</span></p>

2014 Spring
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Emory University
German Language
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