German people are very punctual and on time. Being late to a meeting is a sign of rudeness. It’s better to be there 10 – 15 mins earlier to prepare everything, check technical devices etc.
When you’re having dinner at a friend’s house, you would wait until the host starts eating or until he asks you to start. Normally you wait until everyone at the table has received his/her food. Exceptions can be made when the food is warm and the host asks you to start already, so that the food doesn’t get cold. Slurping, eating noisily or talking with your mouth full are absolute no go’s. You should also not grab something from the other end of the table, rather ask the person next to it if he/she can give you the thing you’re trying to reach. When gesticulating, fork or knife mustn’t be held in your hands. Also the knife’s only for cutting, you mustn’t lick on it. When you’re done with eating, all the cutlery must be laid on the right edge of your plate (in the direction like a clock showing the time 4:20).
- Asking for the way
If you ask someone for the way, you will always get an honest response. If the person doesn’t know the right way or cannot answer your questions, they will tell you that they cannot help you. It’s no shame to admit, that you don’t know the answer.
- Standing in a queue
When you’re standing in a queue and waiting to be next, you would always wait properly until it’s your turn. You would never jump the queue or push in. This behavior would be really rude. People would stare at you and maybe even ask you to go back again. This could be quite embarrassing.
- Bottle deposit
In Germany you pay a bottle deposit for almost all bottles you can buy. There are some exceptions, for juices for example, but most bottles do have a deposit on them. When going shopping the next time, you take the bottles with you again and put them into a machine in the supermarket. You will receive a receipt what you can use like money when paying for your groceries.
- Traffic lights
It’s obligatory in Germany to do what the traffic lights show. Red means waiting and green means driving/going. The same rules do apply for cars, bicycles and pedestrians. In some countries traffic lights are seen as a gentle warning or sign, but in Germany you must adhere to the rules. If the police see you acting not according to the traffic lights, they can even punish you with paying a fine.
Sundays in Germany are like public holidays. Almost all shops are closed. Some gas stations, bakeries, cafés and restaurants would be opened but grocery shopping cannot be done on Sundays. You would also not work on Sundays, no work in the household and no garden work. Sundays are for relaxing and going to church.