My favorite thing about my job is that I get the chance to talk to Germans. More to the point, I get to listen to Germans talk. While my students are focusing on using the present continuous tense correctly, they are simultaneously letting me in on all their German national secrets.
Here is what I’ve discovered so far:
Germans don’t know why we have telephone poles in the United States. “Look around you,” one student said, pointing out the window. “Do you see wires hanging from big pieces of wood?”
Germans credit their country’s very low crime rate in large part to the fact that there are relatively few poor people here.
Germans don’t understand why anyone voted for Romney. I have never met a single German who has ever met a single German who supported Mitt.
There are about 37 political parties here and as far as I can tell, they are all various forms of democrats. In other words, get rid of the republican party and split the democratic party into 37 parts based on the small issues each group cares most about (social welfare, the environment, labor rights and unions, pacifism, digital liberalism). You’ll have a few left over who aren’t democrats at all, it turns out. For instance, there is a small faction of those who are ethnic nationalists (aka Nazis), and some who don’t like gay people or abortion, but these parties aren’t taken seriously.
Abortion is only legal in the first term if accompanied by counseling and a three-day waiting period. After the first tri-mester, abortions are only done when “medically necessary.”
Forty years old is too old to adopt. Those who are forty or older are not eligible to become adopted parents.
Germans don’t understand why we allow our gas to be so cheap. In Germany petrol is taxed at 50% or more.
Some people outside of the US would like people in the US to know that the world doesn’t begin with the west coast and end with the east coast (hint, hint, Sarah Palin). At least it might be recommended that we keep these people hidden from the rest of the world that they don’t seem to know exists. Apparently people around the world are still traumatized by John McCain’s first signs of dementia.