Adam Fletcher is a thirty-year-old, bald Englishman living in Berlin. When not writing books and articles, he mostly spends his days dreaming up a whole range of largely unsuccessful products for his business The Hipstery, eating chocolate and napping.
In his new book Adam explains “How Be German in 50 easy steps“.
Here are two more chapters of Adams’ awesome book.
9. Drink Apfelsaftschorle
So, my most excellent, fearless Ausländer, it’s been a tough morning, right? Your commitment to assimilation thrills me. Let’s take a little break. Th irsty? I know just the drink …
Firstly, you must know, Germans fear any beverage that doesn’t fizz. It brings them out in a cold sweat. It’s a great comedic joy to watch tourists and foreigners in Germany buying water labelled ‹classic›, thinking that since ‹classic› water – the kind that has fallen from the sky since the dawn of time – has always been still, uncarbonated water, it must be the same here,right?
No! Millions of years of water history have been conveniently forgotten. ‹Classic› means carbonated, of course. You big silly. Learn to like it. If not, when visiting the homes of your new German friends, you’ll request tap water and they’ll look at you like you are some primitive savage they just found in the woods covered in a blanket of your own hair.
Related to this is Apfelsaft schorle. You know the scene in movies when people go to therapy and then the therapist asks them to create a happy place? A safe, tranquil spot they can turn to when the world gets too big and scary? Usually it’s a beach, or a rocking chair on the front porch of an idyllic childhood home, or something.
For Germans, that happy place is a lake of Apfelsaft schorle where they can swim naked. Tired aft er a long day of stamping and form fi lling, confronted with a fi ft een-page long restaurant menu, baffl ed by the burdens of choice, they always retreat to their happy place and order Apfelsaft schorle. It’s steady. It’s reliable. It’s as classic as fizzy water.
For more than a century, Germans were smug with their discovery of fizzy water and their abundant breweries producing fine beers and ales. Th ey didn’t believe it could get any better. Then some bright spark tried adding a little apple juice to that fizzy water, creating something that was equally refreshing, yet 6 % more fun! It was a near riot.
People were not ready. It was almost too fun. An all-night disco party for the taste buds. Of course, it won’t taste like that to you, with your funny foreign palate. Apfelsaft schorle will taste to you as it really is – a fractional improvement on fizzy water’s boring taste.
11. Eat German Food
Is that the distant rumble of your stomach I hear? Worry not, my most favourite of foreign friends, in this section we’ll look – with all the enthusiasm I can muster – at the cuisine of this fine, fastidious nation …
It’s hard to discuss German cuisine without mentioning Wurst, at which point you’ll feel like I’m smacking you about the head with the stereotype stick. So I won’t. Wurst is important, but I think more for what it represents than how it tastes. Wurst is terribly boring. For a country to have elevated it so highly shows a startling lack of imagination. Which, once you’ve experienced even more of the German cuisine, you’ll have no problem in accepting.
Here, meat is the linchpin of most meals. Being a vegetarian here is probably about as much fun as being blind at the zoo. The only notable time of year is Spargel-Saison, where the country goes gaga as the almighty Spargel is waved around everywhere, like a sort of culinary magic wand, which coincidentally it does rather resemble.
In conclusion, German cuisine is to the world of food what the band Eiffel 65 is to the history of popular music: present, but largely a footnote.
Have you made the same experience?
You are well educated, you have professional experience and most important: You have drive and ambition. You want to make a contribution and build a good career.
But German employers don't value your talent. You apply for job after job. You spent hours editing your CV and cover letter to fit perfectly. And then: You don't even get an answer.
There is a way forward! Chris Pyak and the rest of us at Immigrant Spirit GmbH: We want you to succeed.