Culture shocks part II: Sundays in Hamburg

In Christianity the seventh day of the week, the Sunday, is a day of rest and prayer. In the old days good Catholics and Protestants were supposed to attend mass and read the Bible on this day. With the secularization of society however keeping the Sunday Sabbath became less and less of an issue. Today…

The global village: friendship across borders

New cities offer an almost unlimited amount of new possible friends. As many expats move abroad alone most people are very open to the idea of meeting new people and making new friends. Activities and meetings are organized through a large collection of meet up groups that often center around a particular interest, be it language learning,…

A German office hierarchy

Before starting to work in Germany more than a few people warned me about German office manners, and more specifically, about the hierarchy on the German office floor. In all versions of the story there was likely to be a strict chain of command, and I was on no account to say ‘du’ to any…

Going Dutch in Germany

Dutchies are notoriously prudent, to the extent that the English-speaking world turned this national characteristic into a good few proverbs and sayings. Dutch treats, Dutch dates, doing Dutch and going Dutch: all of these indicate that you better bring your wallet, as you’ll be expected to pay for yourself. When going to a restaurant in…