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STL7997 started this discussion 6 years, 10 months ago:

The German Stare

Is it a cultural thing? I mean folks do it in the states occasionally but since I've been here I feel like everywhere I go I get the stare down. I'm not that ugly (I think). I dunno, maybe I'm just paranoid. Anyone else get this awkward feeling?



6 years, 10 months ago

I have noticed it quite a bit. I figure that these people are just waiting to see if you will wave and say hello. I don't think there is anything malicious going on.

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6 years, 9 months ago

Yea Germans do stare a lot. I remember I had a few friends who would get very aggravated by this. It doesn't bother me, and after being in Germany for some time I never even noticed it.
They're just curious, especially since you are a foreigner in their country.

6 years, 9 months ago

Just part of the culture here. I just wave at them. I do smile...but only in a friendly way.
They will smile back and wave.

6 years, 9 months ago

This may explain it! The medguru

6 years, 9 months ago

Quote by DcCow:
This may explain it! The medguru


This makes absolute perfect sense to me. I wonder if this will fly as an excuse the next time my wife watches me get whiplash from turning my head to look so quickly.

Just in case the link DcCow posted is dead, here is a screen shot of the story there (attached).

Edit: I am glad that I added the screen shot. The link from DcCow, is dead.

6 years, 5 months ago

I think the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the way we do things is so COMPLETELY different from them that they just can't help but stare. I have noticed that most of the folks staring at me, have a scowl on their face. I don't think they mean to look like that, but I'm not convinced folks in Germany are as friendly as American's or the English. If I see that I'm being stared at, I will wave, nod my head or smile. Sometimes they just give me an odd look, sometimes they return the gesture. Also, every street/town has that one little old lady who stares at folks out her window, she stares at the other Germans too lol...she is just nosey, but she will tell you if anyone has been to your house lol.

I think it's just a difference in humor, personal space, and all out different looking. I can usually tell by looking at someone if they are German or American....they can tell us too. Have no fear, you aren't the only one being stared at, and just remember if you want to, give them something fun to stare at lol..wear a crazy shirt or hair or something LOL

6 years, 5 months ago

My wife drives a German car. What she is wearing cannot be seen by a pedestrian. I drive a Swedish car, and what I am wearing cannot be seen by a pedestrian.

I notice that people walking on a sidewalk will stare at us while we are driving either car. One of these days I am going to put a large picture of someone picking their nose on the front of my car so they have something to stare at.

6 years, 5 months ago

LOL, that is great...let me know what the reaction is to that.

And no I don't mean they can tell you are American when in your european cars....they still stare, i think they stare at everyone lol. It must just be a German thing. I've noticed the older the person is, the longer and harder they stare lol.
Of course I can sometimes tell if someone is german no matter what car they drive, because the germans seem to like pink hair. I cannot tell you how many people (from 13 -70 years of age) with pink hair...it's like I'm back in the 80's lol.

6 years, 5 months ago

I'd agree with JOFTAA, I drive a 2001 BMW that is European Spec. I have no sticker id'ing me as an American on my car. Germans just like to stare, period. I kid you not, the other day I was driving down the road and this lady stopped and just stared at me. I stopped my car, rolled down my window and just starred back. It was awkard for the first 15 seconds until she pulled back and continued about her business.

Was this mature, probably not. Was this good for foreign relations, probably not. Was this good for my personal satisfaction of how rude it is to stare... to me, yes.

Native
6 years, 5 months ago

I doubt anybody of you is stared on more than the average folk around.


If any folks are stared on their have to be a reason. One reason might be travelling with new zealand/ maori/ canadian/ australian stickers. ;)

Leaving those jokes besides, bored people are everywhere. Especially those old farts are really bored. They do not mean to stare, they just kind of take care if nobody is stealing the street.

Of course, if somebody would appear and steal the street, they would close their windows and get inside. Later on they will tell anybody asking what happened the story of what had happened.

Of course they will tell this story to everbody, no matter if this one is asking or not. ;)


My real favorites are those old folks sitting on benches near the street, or on their door, or leaning out of the window. Of course they stare at every car that drives through their picture. Why should they stop staring? I like them. Especially when I give them a short honk and greet them when I pass by. Doing this, especially when there is more than one staring old dude, you saved their whole week, if not month.

By the way you pass them, honk and greet them, they will greet and wave their hands until you are 500m away. They will think about wtf and who the heck was this one who just honked? The son of neighbor on the left side? His cousin?


Make new friends - honk and greet staring people! ;)

6 years, 5 months ago

Quote by Native:
I doubt anybody of you is stared on more than the average folk around.


If any folks are stared on their have to be a reason. One reason might be travelling with new zealand/ maori/ canadian/ australian stickers. ;)......


Native, I've been waiting for you to respond to this thread. I wanted to get that "insider perspective". Truth be told, there really isn't much difference back in the states. My extended family is from the country side, so if you are new, you got starred at.

However, I never grew up in the country. I grew up in the city and starring is something that would get your ass kicked. It really is cultural. I know the best thing to do is smile and wave, and I do from time to time. Its not personal and I know it, I just wished it didn't happen every freaking time I pulled out of my driveway.

6 years, 5 months ago

Well, just this morning I was leaving my village and this guy, who I see everyday, was looking at me... I decided to stop my car since there was nobody behind me. I put my window down, waved and said "morgan" to him. He just smiled, waved back, and returned the greeting.

I don't think Germans are being rude when they stare as much as being curious as to who is in their neighborhood that they have not yet met or spoken to.

I figure that there is no reason for me to be anti-social just because of the language barrier.

I've even learned recently that if I take my dog with me to the metzgerei, they will slice her a nice piece of ham or sausage. Now I can't walk my dog without her dragging me to the metzgerei for a snack.

It is all in the attitude, I am finding.

Although, I still want to try the picture of a nose with a finger in it on the front of my car.

4 years, 10 months ago

STL, your story was hilarious! I know it probably drives you batty that people are staring, but I literally was in tears from laughing, imagining the stare down in the street. It kind of made me think of an Old West Shootout, but in this case, it was the Old Old West Staredown.

4 years, 10 months ago

Almost 2 years to date this was posted and I still get this all the time. As others have said, I just ignore it and carry on nowadays. It's still annoying as hell but it's just the thing to do over here. I have met some German friends since this post and have asked the question - they all reply with the same thing, it's just what we do.

4 years, 3 months ago

Quote by Lindsey:
I think the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the way we do things is so COMPLETELY different from them that they just can't help but stare. I have noticed that most of the folks staring at me, have a scowl on their face. I don't think they mean to look like that, but I'm not convinced folks in Germany are as friendly as American's or the English. If I see that I'm being stared at, I will wave, nod my head or smile. Sometimes they just give me an odd look, sometimes they return the gesture. Also, every street/town has that one little old lady who stares at folks out her window, she stares at the other Germans too lol...she is just nosey, but she will tell you if anyone has been to your house lol.

I think it's just a difference in humor, personal space, and all out different looking. I can usually tell by looking at someone if they are German or American....they can tell us too. Have no fear, you aren't the only one being stared at, and just remember if you want to, give them something fun to stare at lol..wear a crazy shirt or hair or something LOL




Not me... some lady from Hanover thought that I was either German or British....she wouldn't believe that I was American... just lucky I guess.

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