German men sit down to pee

German-men-sit-down-to-pee-reviewReally? 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?

A LOT!

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.

“German men sit down to pee…”

German-men-sit-down-to-pee-review
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!

for members :)

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Denise
Denise

I’ve heard that Germans won’t eat a type of cheese (I can’t think of the name) unless it moves by itself on the table!

alexviajero
alexviajero

This sounds really good. My German teacher recommended, Dear Germany Eine Amerikanerin in Deutschland, which had a lot of funny and “stereotypical (but true, real) instances of cultural clashes, especially for Americans living in Germany. So many of the examples she used were not just “anecdotal” but had been experienced by almost all Americans I knew who had lived for an extended period in Germany. (For instance, getting yelled at while washing your car in your own driveway on Sunday, bothering no one, because, well, it’s just not done!). Of course, I lived in Bavaria, where things like that are probably more typical than in the rest of Germany, but still, I had LOTS of tongue-in-cheek moments and smiles while reading the book, because it was really like that back in the 1980s).

Maybe German men do sit down while peeing, but in a beer garden, the most interesting thing for many foreigners, is that you can expect an old(er) woman to watch you while you pee (while standing up) — in the mens’ room, so that she can immediately clean up after you, and collect her tip. That was, er, a bit hard to get used to for a young American man.

One other example: when you go to a “mom and pop” local Gasthaus for lunch, where they actually recognize you, and they have specific plates on the menu (that for example, one that might include fish and french fries (but the menu also has french fries as well as potato salad on the same menu), do not ask to substitute. I.e. Question: “Could I please have french fries with the fish, instead of the potato salad?” Answer. “NEIN.” Question: “Why?” Answer: “Because.” LOL. God, I miss Germany! Thanks for the book recommendation. (Another observation while trying to keep this G-rated: Germans love “scatological” themed issues, both on humorous occasions and also otherwise, much more so than many other cultures — Why? I have no idea…. :) but it is true.)

fast reader
fast reader

Loved the nifty detail about “skim reading” around sex, totally caught me in the act ;).

Dominique
Dominique

Oh that birthday cake exemple made me laugh already. Every year I cook a different canadien cake and I always get the same comment: ‘it’s sweet’. ‘But is it good?’ ‘It’s very sweet’. What’s up with sweets and germans?

I also heard the meaning of the colors of the german flag go like this: black for Wurst, red for tomato sauce and gold for curry.

Denise
Denise

I’ve read that germans let the sauerkraut to ferment in the bathing tub during the winter and just use a water hose to shower in the backyard until the sauerkraut is done…

Paul C.
Paul C.

I’ve heard that all Germans always flatten their meat with their bikes prior to eating it. They call it Fahrrad Schnitzel.

Ich hab gehört, dass alle Deutschen mit ihren Fahrrädern ihr Fleisch abflachen, bevor sie essen. Das heißt Fahrrad Schnitzel.

alokgarg47

I have heard that Germans travel to Mallorca, um there only zu Jaywalk!

Kirill
Kirill

Finally I have an occasion to ask this :).

Those stickers in the toilets read: “Herren, bitte absitzen”:
comment image

But why on earth ABsitzen? It feels more like taking off from sitting, rather than sitting down on a comfortable toilet to spend some time :/

fast reader
fast reader

Well, I’m pretty sure you found this in Switzerland. The Swiss seem to use the verb “absitzen” with a literal meaning “to sit down”, as outlined in the last entry of: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/absitzen. There are a couple of words the Swiss use or even invent (and without hesitation denote to be part of the German language) in different contexts, which confuse the hell out of Germans.

Kirill
Kirill

Wow, good on you for digging this up! Thank both you and Emanuel.

I’m indeed in Switzerland, but didn’t think they would use a dialectism on a commonly used label…

Seems like ab- here comes from (swiss) preposition abe, meaning herab, herunter (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%BCrichdeutsch#Wortschatz). This way that even makes sense :).

Nicky B
Nicky B

I’ve heard that German men sit down to pee and stand up to poop!

Sabrina Brogniart

I heard that all Germans cook cherry cake in the kitchen of the church.

Ich hab gehört, dass alle Deutschen kochen Kirschkuchen in der Küche der Kirche.

jillcantrell2015

ha ha ha! Das is sehr lustig! LOL

Shannon S.
Shannon S.

I’ve heard that Germans don’t have sex on Sundays because it might be disturbing!

Shannon S.
Shannon S.

double meaning of disturbing…absolutely intended

Anonymous
Anonymous

For Denise: The cheese is called “Handkäse” and one specialty of it in the region of Frankfurt is Hankäs mit Musik. Werner

Denise
Denise

Thanks, anonymous, I’ll remember that.

Tina
Tina

I’ve heard that after a German dies, their soul goes to one of 328 afterworlds depending on their place on the scale of wickedness, type of deeds, preferred method of hair removal, personality type according to MBTI, and the article they use with the word “Nutella”.

tohaklim

I’ve hard that Germans participate in all those measly giveaways like some sort of peasant nation

Agata

I’ve heard that Germans always sit while in an elevator. After all, it is called ‘Fahrstuhl’.

mike
mike

Have you heard how many Germans it takes to screw in a lightbulb?

One. Because they are extremely efficient and lack any humor.

I felt as though this misconception ties into the book subject :)

Mandy
Mandy

I’ve heard that Germans use dinosaurs to guard castles and castle ruins. (Or is that dragons?)

Alan
Alan

Nice review, I will certainly read it.

“I’ve heard that the body of a german is composed of 70% of beer instead of water.”

In my sexy opinion, that’s great. :)

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey, although i’m reading this when i’m already a little drunk, i still want to get the book right away. But it seems i have to read it in a tablet – Kindle version only – right? Can one have a paperback version?

alokgarg47

The normal duck goes quack quack quack
But the german duck strangely goes nak nak nak
Is it because the Germans do all Quatsch quatsch?

Oh it rhymes!
When is Christmas time
I need Glühwein