Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Travel + Life Abroad, Travel: Germany

Becoming German

In between noticing an awful lot about my adopted country-fellows, I seem to have taken on several of their virtues without quite realising it. In fact, it was only after I did a little fist pump upon buying a snug and stylish Autumn/early Winter jacket today – in the balmy midst of summer – that I realised I would never have considered buying a jacket, let alone a mid-season jacket in the middle of summer, before. Hell, up until I moved here, I essentially avoided buying coats and jackets altogether. Then I started thinking …


  1. Most times I go shopping, I exit the shop with at least four tubs of yoghurt, a 500g block of gouda, a wheel of brie and minimum three different varieties of frischkäse.
  2. When going shopping, I categorise my grocery needs from basic through gourmet, and map out my shop-route accordingly. Aldi/Penny/Lidl through Schlemmer Markt/Sky/Famila.
  3. And I always bring canvas or old plastic bags.
  4. I lose my shit when the sun comes out and bask wherever and whenever possible, including at cafes with my chair directly facing the sun and my face tipped towards it.
  5. ‘Warm’ is anything over 15 degrees.
  6. I have a Winter jacket, a Summer jacket, an Autumn jacket and a Spring jacket.
  7. In fact, I recently celebrated finding, in the middle of summer, the ‘perfect’ Autumn jacket at half price.
  8. I wear boots 95% of the time.
  9. Most of my toiletries have been made by Balea.
  10. I drink Apfelschorle. Actually, I drink any schorle.
  11. I almost always walk on the right side of the pavement now.
  12. I am far, far more punctual than I have ever been.
  13. I don’t throw out empty plastic bottles if I am out and about, rather pop them in my handbag and take them home.
  14. I routinely make dry quips about the punctuality (or lack thereof) of the Deutsche Bahn.
  15. I routinely make dry quips about Bavaria not being Germany (and I can, because I’ve lived in Germany and Bavaria).
  16. I don’t leave tips on the table anymore.
  17. I reserve a table every time we go out.
  18. I only jay-walk 20% of the time now. And even then, I feel immature and silly.
  19. I can identify an East-German ‘accent’ (or just general verbal vibe).
  20. I can identify a general Bavarian verbal vibe.
  21. I have accepted, and often enjoy, a mustard-covered bratwurst in a brötchen as a snack.
  22. My summer choice of drink almost always involves elderflower (Holunderblüte)
  23. I own and wear house shoes.
  24. I time my laundry and vacuuming sessions to fit in with apartment block ‘quiet times’.
  25. I have stopped asking SG to vacuum on Sundays.
  26. I have an extensive treat cupboard with several types of chocolate and biscuits.
  27. I don’t remember a time a kebab came without weißkraut.
  28. I don’t blink when someone serves me a take away coffee with a straw poking through the lid.
  29. I go to Ikea just to eat hotdogs.
  30. I’m very familiar with the names and skills of the players in the national football team.
  31. I’m getting better with my general car knowledge.
  32. I love Günther Jauch and Jogi Löw.

So …


  1. Steph

    11 July, 2013 at 11:35 am

    but have you considered pairing socks with your sandals yet?

    1. Liv

      11 July, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Nev.Er. Ev.Er.

    2. Liv

      11 July, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      And perhaps this will forever keep me from becoming a true Germ!

      1. Martina Möller

        13 July, 2013 at 10:45 am

        …which implements that doing this, this……I even don’t find the right words to name this old but still lasting ‘fashion-sin’ stands for being a TRUE GERMAN…oh nooo, LIV, we have to talk about this sophism in your head ;-)))

        1. Liv

          14 July, 2013 at 1:16 pm

          Socks and Sandals my friend … the classic German (horror) style.

    1. Liv

      11 July, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      It’s happening! Gah!

  2. ✈ Bonnie Rose (@the_bonnierose)

    11 July, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Love this list. Enjoyed the list of things you came up with. It is really neat to see the things we pick up in our host countries. Makes me want to go back to Germany.

    1. Liv

      11 July, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      I bet you have a list of British things you’ve started doing/saying!

  3. Kim

    11 July, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    To be complete you need to add that you never go out without having a cotton shopping bag with you, even if you don’t plan on shopping.

    I used to carry home my Pfandflaschen but now I just put them in the trash. Gives the bottle scavengers something to find and they likely need the money more than me.

    Now this east German accent thing. Which one is it? One from Rostock or Schwerin or Brandenburg or is it a Magdeburgerisch accent or Sächsisch? Not at all the same, you know. 🙂

    1. Liv

      11 July, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Funny you say that – we have just started keeping canvas bags in the car, tucked into their own little compartment. And when I put a bottle in the bin the other day, I actually said ‘the bottle guys will come and get it.’

      As for the East accent – give me time, I’ll get to the sub-accents!

  4. Ines

    11 July, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    How about wearing house shoes? Or worrying about Durchzug?

    1. Liv

      12 July, 2013 at 7:19 am

      YES! I do wear house shoes! Adding it to the list right now.

      1. Martina Möller

        13 July, 2013 at 10:48 am

        DURCHZUG is baaaaad….but only german???? I didn’t know it ;-)))

        1. Liv

          14 July, 2013 at 1:17 pm

          Germans have an enormous fear of this cold ‘draft’ and thus limit opening windows as much as possible!

  5. Kayla

    12 July, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Sitting here, having breakfast and I can’t stop laughing at how many of these things I can check off my own list after 7 months back in Austria. Of course being in Austria, my list also has, ‘Whenever ANY sporting/competitive event is on, cheer for anyone BUT the Germans.’ My father has made that very clear hahaha.

    1. Liv

      14 July, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Hahaha, like Australia and the Kiwis (or Australia and England … or South Africa … Australia and any Commonwealth country!)

  6. gmtnunez

    14 July, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    This is excellent! Chileans do the same thing with boots, all year round. I am now always looking for suitable short boots. With a heel. The heel is important.
    And my punctuality has suffered. Oh, has it suffered. It requires quite a bit of effort to arrive anywhere on time. Doesn’t matter while I’m here, though, since everyone is almost always a little bit late.

    1. Liv

      15 July, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Oh the boots! I also keep a permanent eye out for boots – boots and ballet flats, whereas it used to be heels and thongs (flip flops).

  7. Feuerkind

    23 September, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    The thing with the vacuuming and the quiet times annoys me a lot. As a working woman I’m never home at those times. And I have always a bad feeling, when I start the washing machine after 10 pm.
    But where did you get that thing with the sandals from? I’m reading all the time about that Germans, that don’t wear them, but maybe I live in a part of Germany where the attitude towards open shoes is a little different than in the rest. Here in Bremen there are so many people (mostly women), who wear open shoes (of course only in the summer – which is at least less often here than in the rest of Germany). Once in a while I even see guys with some kind of modern/good-looking Flip-flops. When it’s warm I always wear open shoes, even to work. Ok… the combination of socks with sandals… mostly done by older men… out of the question (and without any more comments)!!

  8. Becoming German | Young Germany

    23 December, 2013 at 10:30 am

    […] This post was originally published on […]

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