Really? Do they?
Well, I for one do. Like… it’s not like I don’t appreciate the possibility to just whip it out and let go. I do enjoy a good pee outside. But in a bathroom, sitting down is just more comfy. Some quiet time. Quality time.
Now you’re probably really confused. Why am I talking about that. Well, today I want to introduce a neat little book to you called:
“German men sit down to pee”
The book was written by George R.R. Martin and J.K.Rowling, under their pen names James Cave and Niklas Frank. George… uh… I mean “James” has sent me an email a while ago asking me if I could review it. At first I was like “What the hell George. Could you finish Winds of Winter before starting new books?!” but then I gave it chance and … well… it’s actually pretty cool.
What is it about?
It’s not just about peeing. The full title is “German men sit down to pee & other insights into German culture.” and it’s about all those little cultural peculiarities you can come across when in Germany. Here’s a snippet of the Amazon description:
Ideal for anyone planning on visiting or moving to Germany,
German Men Sit Down to Pee… offers a collection of insights into
German culture while at the same time highlighting rules and
cultural norms that those visiting Germany will not only find
humorous, but useful for avoiding any cultural faux-pas.
Divided into 11 areas of life like “work” or “SEX!!” (anyone skim reading?) the book gives you about 50 pieces of advice that will make you a little bit more like a German. For example “Get excited about asparagus season” or “Be totally indifferent about reunification day.” And of course it’s not just the advice. For each cultural quirk you get a bit of background about where it comes from, how it shows in daily life and how to implement it in practice. Let’s take a peek. Here’s a snippet of “Bring your own into the office on your birthday”
[…] While another birthday means you’re yet another year older, there’s
always that silver lining: there’ll be cake. Getting a slice of it might
mean enduring a cringeworthy rendition of happy birthday from
everyone in the office but the fact that they remembered your special
day is touching. After work, there’s usually a few drinks in the pub or a
meal out, and since it’s your birthday everyone always outright refuses
to let you pay (not that you were being that persistent). That’s not
how it works in Germany. Here, if you go out for a birthday meal or
drinks, it’s custom to not only pay your way but everyone else’s as well.
At the very least you should pay for their drinks. As for the cake, it’s
your job to bring that into the office. […]
The book is 134 pages in total and costs around 5 bucks in that online store that’s called after Greek warrior princesses.
How Do I like it?
When I saw the cover with that Bavarian dude holding a beer I was like “Oh great, another collection of the same old stereotypes mixed with cheap jokes” but MUUUUCH more than that. Sure, a book like this has to have something about beer and something about Wurst and something about recycling, but there are a many, many things in there that go beyond the most common stereotypes and that are actually really helpful. Like… taking the kitchen sink with you when you move. People do do that around here so it’s good to be prepared that there is NOTHING in the flat you’re renting.
The book is full of little things that are good to know, like an overview over the most common insurance policies (again, it’s true… Germans do have a LOT of insurance policies) or a pretty good list of movies and TV shows. And there are lots of anecdotes that were super interesting to read, even for me. For example how the Prussian king got the farmers to planting potatoes. Because they really didn’t like them at first.
Oh and it’s super up to date an “in the scene” too. For example, they recommend the movie Victoria, a 2 hour one cut movie shot in Berlin really worth watching, and that’s only been out for a few months.
Sure, not everything in the book applies to all Germans and there is some rehashing of well known ideas here overall it’s a fun, entertaining read and a great collection of quirks and peculiarities that’ll definitely help you blend in and understand the culture a little better. So I’d say, if you have 5 bucks spare, definitely buy it. I’m super uber sure you’ll like it. Here’s the link to Amazon. You can also read a little more of the book there.
As of now, they’re selling it as an eBook but a hard copy version is in the works and will probably come out in March.
And of course no review without a little give-away. The authors are putting out not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but
5 copies of the eBook FOR FREE!!!(sorry, contest’s over… maybe next time :)
And because the book gives insights into how Germans really tick, it makes the most sense for someone who doesn’t know Germans at all, right? So here’s what you gotta do:
Make up a crazy, ridiculous stereotype about Germans and then complete the following sentence:
“I’ve heard that (all) Germans (always)….”
Here’s an example:
“I’ve heard that all Germans drink fermented unicorn milk with their coffee.”
As you can see, it does not have to be accurate so go all out on it. The five best ones will win a book!
Really curious about the results :)
So, this was my review of the book “German men sit down to pee…” – a great little read with a lot of interesting insights. Let me know if the book sounds interesting, and if you’ve read it, let us know how you liked it.
I’ll see you later this week for some serious German learning. Bis dahin, lasst’s euch gut gehen!