Things You (might) Discover When You’re An Asian Who Hangs Out with Germans.

1. They eat everything with a fork. Really. EVERYTHING. Yesterday I had lunch with my friend’s family and they eat rice and curry with a fork. As an Asian, I found this really strange, especially because I use to eat everything with either spoon or chopsticks.

2. They think Asians are incredibly smart and talented. They said, at least most of the Asians who lived here. Well, maybe. But I’ve seen some who are contrariwise.

3. They eat milk rice with cherries. I found this disturbing, so I ate it with frikadelle (meat balls) instead, or just plain. They also thought I’ve done an abomination. But as an Asian, it makes more sense to me to eat rice with meat than cherries.

4. They like to collect vintage/antiques, and this is not only limited to the senior citizens. I’ve mostly seen old train miniatures.

5. You won’t find any street vendors other than those selling bratwurst. Even if you do, most likely it will be meat or spices. Of course, unless its Christmas.

6. They love chocolates and any dairy products. You’ll be given chocolate in St. Nikolaus day and find one small piece every day in their advent calendar.

7. You’ll find bizarre “Asian” spices that doesn’t make sense to you, such as sambal hot sauce (sambal already means hot sauce) or Asian spice mix. They even have “Greek spice mix” which made my Greek best friend raged. I mean, its understandable when they don’t get a hang of Asian spices, but Greek is still in Europe. Man…

8. This is because they mostly associate Asia with China. So Asian spice mix probably means Chinese spices, which also doesn’t really make sense to me, unless its the Chinese five spice mix (Ngohiong) which strangely are unknown to them.

9. They eat raw coconut. Well…the problem is, this is the type of coconut we normally grate and extract for the thick milk as a cooking ingredient in Asia, and not the type of coconut we enjoy as beverage. As an Asian I should tell you that there is a HUGE difference between them.

10. Some of them still acts like they are a more superior race than others, which is absurd because most of the time, after awhile they will reveal it themselves that well…they’re not.

11. Well, as for no.8 & 9, this maybe shows that they actually like Asian food. Most of my friends, at least. You can tell by the amount of various Asian restaurants that exists in even small towns in Germany. Like where I live, for example.

12. They also tried to cook Asian food. Though sometimes what they call Asian food is whatever meat, vegetables, cooked with Asian mix spices. Honestly some of them really don’t have any idea of the difference with using fresh or singular spices with those bizarre spice mix. But I do know some who could cook really good curry, fried rice or other Asian cuisine.

13. They think Asians always try to be polite, by not being straightforward. So for them I am either the oddball or an exception.

14. Sometimes they tend to associate a country with one food. Ask if they know Turkey has food other than döner, or Japanese food which is not sushi. Normally they don’t really know, unless they are interested in cooking, or have particular interest in the respective country.

15. Some students are so lazy (well, which student are not) they only eat frozen foods the whole time, or order döner/pizza. Some could even stand just eating boiled vegetables with cheese. Or if they cook, they normally choose chilli con carne or simple pasta like their favorite auflauf.

16. Nearly the whole time you actually don’t need to ask what beverage they want. They’ll say BEER. Or herb tea, in some very rare occasion. Coffee is out of the question. The coffee here is crap, though of course people here drink them.

17. Bavarian is basically a totally different language. Some Germans don’t even understand it because it sounds like you’re speaking a really strange version of German while trying to swallow your tongue.

18. My neighbor’s dad whose Bavarian, told me that Bavarian version of “Wie, bitte?” (pardon me is the closest translation to say when you don’t hear what other people said) is “HA!?”

19. From my experience, Bavarian beer is normally their choice. Or something from local brewery.

20. They enjoy making their own cocktails. Few days ago I had milk with a liquor with a mark 43 on it (never seen this thing) and before I had something like long island ice tea named vilax. Sometimes the ingredients are also local products that’s not sold in national range, so for them its special for their own party when they went home.

21. This is what my best friend said. No matter how peculiar they are, they always manage to find someone peculiar enough to date them. But I do have the same inference after more than a year living here and observing.

22. Some German thinks Chinese people are stingy. But what I’ve experienced is contrariwise. Well, this is a matter of culture too, perhaps? I’ve experienced being invited to parties or even staying over in someone’s place and had to pay for the meal and fuel. I think a Chinese will never do this unless they really don’t have money and it was arranged beforehand. In the presence of the elderly (especially parents) this will never happen because I think for Asian in general, this is considerably – extremely rude for collecting money from someone when you’re the one who invited them over. I think, especially for Chinese people.

I once hang out with my best friend (well, note that we’re both Chinese) in Excelso for hours and her brother came over to pick her up. The first thing he did was going to the cashier and pay our meals. During the time I worked I also automatically paid what my sister wants to buy or eat when we hang out (she’s in junior high), unless we were given cash to have meals in a restaurant beforehand. I don’t think you’d find the same here.

However, I do know some Germans who are exceptionally generous.

22. Whatever you read in 9gag or hugelol about engineers, at least in here I found it TRUE. My boyfriend’s best friend needs more than a year to get used to me for communicating and eye contact. He can talk back to me without flustering and take my jokes. But man, over a year…

23. When they say green energy and recycling, it might be interesting. Might be, I said. When it gets too boring, try not to yawn. But when they start talking about converting to vegetarian/vegan, RUN.

24. This is one part of “saving energy and resources” that I never could understand. They have a really disturbing way of washing the dishes. They fill up the sink with water, mix it with soap and rinse all the plate there. Once the plate is out and is still full of soap, they wipe it with dry cloth. In Asia, I think only dirty street vendors do this, in a bucket. Well, a bucket or a sink doesn’t matter now for me, they’re both gross.

25. Outside, like in the streets and other public places, its really clean. But inside the houses…well, not really. They think they’re cleaner and civilized because of this. Truth is, in Asia (well, generally. I found it not like this in Taiwan though) its contrariwise. Outside in the public places its regard ably dirty, but they keep their house clean (unless you’re very poor and live under the bridge or something).

26. They love to decorate their house. Well, who doesn’t? But wait. They have a really typical way. In the garden, you’ll find small lights around the shaped bushes. Flamingos and garden gnomes are normally never absent. Inside, you’ll find a lot of hanging decorations: flowers, fairies, decorated pot plants, but especially witches on broomsticks.

27. Uhm…if you’re questioning about my bf regarding the engineer joke, well…it took him two liters of beer to be able to confess. There, you have it.

*writing more*


6 thoughts on “Things You (might) Discover When You’re An Asian Who Hangs Out with Germans.

  1. Master Siobhan says:

    Love it! You can also add the way they wash their dishes, the widely spread trend of vegeterianism/ veganism and how boys like to insist hitting on their friends’ girlfriends 😉

  2. Christine says:

    I love this list (which was something I always wondered about). Where in Germany are you? How do Germans approach you? Are you used to Germans staring at you? Is it really that bad? How do German guys perceive Asian girls?

    • Judith Chen says:

      I live in a very small town in East Germany, Ilmenau. Here they seem more ‘traditional’, some of the guys I know doesn’t even drink and won’t dance with me just because I’m their friend’s girlfriend – which won’t be any problem in Indonesia. Its common for my close friends to ask me accompanying their bf or even husband to go clubbing when they’re not in the mood.

      Staring…yeah I start to get use to it – because you know, some of them really like to stare in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Most German guys I know likes Asian girls, they think Asian girls have exotic skins – especially those who are not so white or not so dark. So something in between.

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