Tag Archives: germans

How many German stereotypes can you mention in 50 seconds?


Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany

Those were the days…

Remember how the Germans used to be portrayed when we were younger? Growing up in the sixties and seventies our perceptions of Germans were entirely oriented around imagery from the second world war – whether it was films like the Dambusters, or series like Colditz and Secret Army, or comedies like ‘Allo ‘Allo or humourous sketches like this classic from Dave Allen.

What a let down it is to find out that Germans are actually quite normal people.

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Filed under Life in Germany, World War 2

Cats, curry and interior decor

One of the questions I get asked a lot since I wrote Planet Germany is whether the incidents described in the book actually happened. I mean, surely not. Nobody’s household is that chaotic.

Like the time I tried to have a party and made hot curry for an entire legion of Germans. You know, the people whose food is so bland that even a blob of mustard is considered to be scarily “scharf“.

Of course they didn’t eat it. It wasn’t an out-and-out rude refusal. They nibbled at the rice and the plain Naan bread. But the curry… no. The whole lot was left untouched by teutonic fork.
My cats, on the other hand, are made of sterner stuff. No sooner had the Germans left and everyone else had gone to bed, then the felines made a beeline for the chicken madras and the prawn vindaloo.

Things I learned that night and next morning:

  • a wallpaper table can hold seven full pans of curry, no problem
  • a wallpaper table cannot hold seven pans of curry and two cats without its legs buckling
  • a pan of curry trebles in volume when hurled to the ground by a yowling moggie
  • prawn vindaloo does very bad things to the feline digestive system
  • and subsequently to the living room floor and the wallpaper
  • did I mention the kitchen….

Aftermath of the curry


Filed under books, cats, Life in Germany