To the Germans. Again.

Yo. 


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If you're waiting on an email from me, I promise I'll get to it ASAP. 

To the Germans: 


Generally, when I meet you, it is with a firm handshake. But excuse my french as I ask you what in the (okay, I can't bring myself to say "hell" because I pride myself on being family friendly, except I just said "hell" anyway, so it doesn't really matter, does it?) am I suppose to do when I'm leaving you? 

Example: Husband and I are in a choir (yes, it is packed full of old people, and yes, we sing old German folk songs, and yes, we love every second of it). Last night was our last night with said choir, so naturally we said goodbye. I listened to them sing this song to us (and wiped a tear or two from my eye - don't judge).



As the song ended, though, I realized that I was going to have to say goodbye to each and every one of them. HOLY BALLS! What do I do? Do I hug them? Do I simply shake hands? Do I do both of the above? Do I do none of the above? Oh - too late - they're coming towards me. This thought process ended in awkward hugging all around. Oh, you're German and I don't know you very well? Let's hug it out. Oh, you just reached out for a handshake? Screw that - let's hug it out. 


Needless to say, all's well that ends well. I still don't know if I should have just stuck with a nice, cordial handshake, but I'm not too concerned about it.
I love the Germans - really, I do. I may poke fun at their always-go-by-the-book-never-break-the-rules-five-minutes-early-is-really-five-minutes-late-I-think-you're-wrong-and-I'll-be-blunt-about-it-and-tell-you-to-your-face-while-I'm-eating-Schnitzel-and-bratwurst-and-drinking-beer ways, but I love them in spite of it all. 


I'm going to go home with silly little habits like...
-tacking "oder...?" onto the end of sentences to make them into questions
-dipping my french fries in mayo
-opening windows to air out the room every couple of hours (even in the dead of winter)
-separating my trash into 50 different bags
-having the word "doch" be my argument for everything
-eating my pizza with a fork (<-- that's a total lie and I will never do that)

I'm going to miss it here. 


In other news: We got our landlord issues worked out - we're coming home with only about 350 EUR less than we originally expected, which is nice. Thank you for all of your positive thoughts and prayers! Everything really does work out. 


Have you ever lived or traveled abroad? How the heck are you supposed to say goodbye to people? 

28 comments:

Whitney @ Everything Happens For a Reason said...

Haha... I eat my pizza with a fork, BUT ONLY at ONE pizza place. That's because just one of the slices is just about or bigger than my face lol. Any other pizza? I'll eat the normal way haha

Katrin said...

Haha. I love it when you talk about Germans. :) And yeah, we love to hug. And I use "doch" all the time...and end my sentences with "or?" or "right?". But thanks for loving us, Alyx. :)

Brianna said...

Alyx!!! This made me laugh. When I lived in Munich, and then I had to say goodbye, it ended at a beer garden with a lot of weissbeir and laughter (the Germans are surprisingly funny if you can get over the dry/serious don't break rules thing), and when I lived in England, it pretty much ended the same: a local pub, lots of beers.... both times, people were merrily drunk and hugging was easier for them all to handle :) Hope that helps!

Sarah Kate said...

French fries in mayo?? What's the heart attack rate like in Germany?

Saying goodbye is always hard, especially if you think you may never see them again. When we lived in Singapore, leaving was the hardest. I tried to avoid saying goodbye as much as I could. since I was in high school, I'd made quite a few friends I couldn't imagine living without. I know this is going to be hard, but just think of all the adventures that are waiting for you back here in the good old USA! :o)

kimberly rae said...

lol, the bain of my existance is living in nyc where EVERYONE KISSES/HUGs goodbye!! the kiss on the cheek. ughhh i am SO awkward! and last night i was at a retirement party and i saw people i hadn't seen in years or barely knew and i was like...am i still supposed to cheek kiss you?? literally, i am a creeep!

Alana Christine said...

bahahaha. I hate that awkward moment when you don't know which greeting to use. On another note, YOU'RE COMING HOME SOON!

Kristen Seuberling said...

I love German people. I've only visited Germany once, but one of my neighbors growing up was a German family. I'm pretty OCD about things like punctuality, so maybe I was just meant to be German? But yes, saying goodbye to them is always a little awkward. No hints for you there.

Abbey S said...

So glad your landlord issues worked out!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm always awkward saying goodbye to EVERYONE. I never know whether to hug or just say "Okay bye!" or what.

San said...

Come on, fries with mayo is the best thing ever (also: mix the mayo with curry ketchup - oh heavens!)

I'd have told you to hug.. I usually hug everyone back home (well unless it's a total stranger).

Safe travels!

Kym said...

Oh, don't feel awkward. You're American, and Americans hug. I'm sure they forgive your creepy touchy feely ways :) Whenever I go to Switzerland, everyone wants to give me the 3 cheeked kiss. It's so confusing because my French friends only do 2 kisses and I can never remember how many to expect and it gets quite awkward. So if I can, I try to go in for a big ol' hug before they can begin kissing me because I'm American and I love to hug :)

xo
Kym

bitty.and.bunny

Ashley said...

Goodbyes are always kinda awkward!!

E :-) said...

Goodbyes are hard to do. Hugs for those you know and shakes for those you don't is usually my rule. What does "Oder" and "doch" mean?

Jamie said...

I do whatever the locals do (whether its a hug, 1 kiss, 2 kisses, handshake, etc)...

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

I LOVE that you and your hubby are in a choir, that's too cute!!!

Kelly said...

Yay! Good to hear the landlord things are going okay :) And I know it's silly, but I eat my pizza with a fork... I don't really know why... no one else I know does... haha

Emily Hope said...

When we left Vietnam - we just tricked ourselves like we were going home for a long visit. We kept telling each other - we'll be back. However pulling out of our home for the last time was really sad. Man I have no advice for you. It just stinks. But enjoy the new adventure.

twiggy@thedirtlife said...

hahaha...this was so funny.

hugging it out, not necessarily the worst decision you could have made. as a hearty american, i say, "i support you and your personal space invasion!"

btw, it's pretty amazing that ya'll are in choir. it sorta just blew my mind actually.

if we ever meet, i'll make you hug me WHILE singing in german. it'll be the most awkard thing you've ever done.

riana. said...

Gosh...I like their outlook on time.
I lived in Hawaii and "on time" was being an hour late...it was just a whatever kind of attitude, I'll get there when I get there. (annoying if you are really trying to stick to a schedule.

I would have hugged it out too, haha.

Deidre said...

I live abroad now (I'm an American living in Australia) - the first time I went home was soooo hard...I had no idea how to say goodbye.

I don't think there is any good answer really. It's always awkward and sad.

Sara Louise said...

Ugh. Awkward. It's like here in France, I never know whether to go for the kiss, handshake, or head nod.
Hope your last few days go well :)

Megan said...

i hate goodbyes :( and i have always eaten my pizza with a fork and knife (i hate messy fingers). :)

Laura said...

Enjoy the rest of your time there.
Glad the landlord issue worked itself out. Have a great weekend!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Dude... I do THAT in America! Some people don't like to be touched, some want to hug, others don't even care if you say goodbye... haha. :)

amandapoverseas said...

I still can't bring myself to dip my french fries in mayo, and I only eat my pizza with a fork when it's too hot. I honestly didn't notice the Germans do that because I've only eaten in one pizza place and we were the only ones who had ours yet. Hurray I didn't look weird.

No(dot dot)el said...

LOL. This made me laugh. We actually have some good friends who live right outside of Frankfurt and I think this would make them chuckle. Yes I have traveled to Germany, Italy, Hungary and Austria and I thought Germans were stoic but Hungarians even more so. I noticed when I was in Germany there were some awkward social exchanges but I thought it was just me because I'm so overly friendly. Seriously, sometimes I think people have told me that I kinda scare them at first because I can be THAT friendly. This made me giggle. Oh hi, I"m new here. My name is Noël happy to be your newest follower.

Vapid Vixen said...

I can NOT stop giggling about this.

Oh, you just reached out for a handshake? Screw that - let's hug it out.

That's so something I would do. Only in reverse. Oh..you're coming in for a hug? Wait! Ugh. No. How bout a high five instead??

Keri said...

Come eat fries with me! I LOVE to dip them in mayo.