I’ve been living abroad for a while now, first in the UK, then in the US and now in Germany, so I’m quite used to having some culture shocks. However, I got the biggest one ever the first time at the public swimming pool in Germany, when I went to the changing rooms.
Of course, this is my personal point of view and I’m just pointing out some things that somehow shocked me as a foreigner in Germany, not criticizing the culture that I actually like.
In France, at least in the North where I live, when you go to the public swimming pool, you have individual stalls where you can change into your swimming suit without anybody else seeing you naked. Then you go out, put your personal stuff into a locker, take a shower with your swimming suit on and go into the water. Done. In Germany though, what I’ve experienced is that the female (and probably male too) changing room is completely open, you have benches and lockers, and if you’re lucky a few private stalls, but that’s it. Which means that at rush hours, the room is filled with naked women leaning forward or in whatever position displaying things you ‘might’ not want to see. Then the next step: the shower. Of course I went in there as I usually do, with my swimming suit. As it turned out, I was the only one wearing one and everybody looked at me as if I was an alien. That actually made me feel even more awkward than if I had been naked.
Another thing me and my friends noticed in Germany is like people eat ice cream all the time, whether it’s -10°C outside, snowing, raining, or sunny and warm. I am actually wondering where this trend comes from and how it is possible that the whole population isn’t overweight.
Same goes with beers. I saw people drinking beers in the most random places and at the most random times of the day. In the morning in the underground on my way to work, in the high-speed train, in the coach, in the street while walking in the middle of the day, etc. Once I was on the beach in the afternoon with my parents, and every single person around us had a beer in their hands. I don’t think all of this would be legal in France, but it seems like drinking beer here is as normal as drinking water in France. After all, why not, life is to be enjoyed! Cheers!