40 Signs You Were Stationed in Germany

One of the perks of military life is the opportunity to see the world. If you’re lucky enough to get orders to Germany, you will learn that pieces of Germany will stay with you for years to come.

If you have ever lived in Deutschland, you may find that:

  1. You get frustrated by speed limits.
  2. You have a collection of Bier Steins, Pilsner glasses, Wein glasses and Gluhwein mugs.
  3. You recycle like a boss.
  4. You wish you could still receive a Pfand for your bottles.
  5. You’re initially hesitant about using a garbage disposal.
  6. You start stories with “In Germany…”
  7. You throw in words like danke and tschuss when talking to others.
  8. You miss delicious wine that only costs 1.99 EUR a bottle.
  9. You miss fests — seriously, there is one for every season.
  10. You own Lederhosen and/or a Dirndl. If not, you know someone who does. (And yes, we know it is representative of Bavaria, in case any of my German friends read this.)
  11. You wonder why every house doesn’t come with Rolladen.
  12. You appreciate not having to pay 50 cents for a public restroom.
  13. After a late night out, you could really go for a Döner.
  14. You know what it’s like to live without AC, so you either rough it now or crank that system — it can go either way, really.
  15. You’re amazed that you can shop on Sundays and holidays.
  16. You miss how German radio was full of surprises — Elvis one minute and your favorite ‘80s jam the next.
  17. You enjoy free drink refills, but don’t like feeling rushed in American restaurants.
  18. You think twice before jaywalking.
  19. You can’t seem to find a good Schnitzel over here.
  20. You laugh when you hear the censored version of a song because you know what the artist REALLY says.
  21. While on road trips, you miss road beers.
  22. You know that ice cream doesn’t have anything on Eis.
  23. You’re still amazed by the ample parking in the States.
  24. You miss choosing your own table at a restaurant.
  25. Sometimes you wish you could just buy a ticket and hop a train.
  26. You feel that everything here is so spread out, and you miss being able to walk everywhere.
  27. You agree that the yellow light between red to green makes sense.
  28. You signal when exiting a traffic circle.
  29. You miss the delicious breads and bakeries with inexpensive pastries just around the corner.
  30. You make eye contact now when you prost your drink because who wants to be cursed with seven years of bad sex?
  31. The beer. The beer was so so good.
  32. You overdress your child in the winter because Omas will ask why your child isn’t wearing a hat/scarf/gloves/snowsuit.
  33. You got to know musical artists like Cro, Seeed, Peter Fox or Sido and play songs from your stint in Germany from time to time.
  34. You’ve realized that you can mix beer with cola or lemonade…and it isn’t terrible.
  35. If you celebrate Christmas, you have ornaments from a Weihnachtsmarkt.
  36. You feel a bit guilty using plastic bags at the grocery store, because you once brought your own.
  37. You realize that our foods are sugary sweet and laden with additives that aren’t even legal in Germany.
  38. You miss cobblestone, church bells, and beautiful green space between villages.
  39. You remember what it was like struggling with your few German words, only to have a German national switch to perfect English.
  40. You hope to get back there one day, whether on orders, during retirement or simply for vacation.

Photo credit: Jackie Toops

 

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15 comments

  1. Carla Houck

    This article makes me want to go back to visit! I loved Germany. Thank you for introducing me to the country and to some of its people! I love your German friends!

  2. John Cotton

    Try a small restaurant in Jesup Georgia. Owned and operated by a family of Bavarians. They go “Home” at least once a year to bring back spices and supplies.

  3. Vivian Davis manuel

    Wow,miss Germany went back in 2004. So sad to see the housing area in Kitzingen fenced in and guarded. Almost every day my children and I share memories of Germany. I miss living there every day.

    • B Jones

      I lived in Kitzingen in ’68-’69 and loved it also. I went back to visit last fall with my 2 sons who were young children when we lived there. We saw no locked gates and we drove right up to the now vacant building where we lived, building 311. You can imagine how surprised we were when we found our actual old apartment was not locked either. The inside still looked almost identical to the way it looked when we lived there, even had the same wood floors I loved. Wonderful memories!!

  4. Joanne

    I miss Germany so very much. I want to visit before I die at least once. I was stationed in Frankfurt, married in Denmark. First child born there at 97th General. This list is so accurate.

  5. Heidi

    I was an army brat, and lucky enough to live in bad tolz for years. If you are looking for German bread, there is a company out of Canada, that will deliver, they also do deliveries to the army bases.

  6. Heidi

    I was an army brat, and lucky enough to live in bad tolz for years. If you are looking for German bread, there is a company out of Canada, that will deliver, they also do deliveries to the army bases.

  7. Pingback: 46 Signs You've Been Stationed In Hawaii - Army Wife 101Army Wife 101

  8. Army brat, livedin Pattonville, 58- 61 . loved it Finished lasl three yeas of high school there. I’m sure if I ever get the terrible disease Alzheimers all I will remember is Germany .
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