"Oh, you're American! I love Americans. They wear jogging pants & flip flops everywhere but they smell so nice and have such nice white teeth - very hygienic."
She then asked me to name my favorite smelly lotion stores. I will give her the dental card but lotion stores? People give me lotion for Christmas who don't know me very well. I probably still have some "Raspberry Reluctance" or "Thin Mint Passion" somwhere. I don't have anything against (midnight) pomegranates or oatmeal cookies and I have never personally wanted to smell like them but they even have scents for these too. Unless they start selling magic smelly hiking lotion that bugs aren't attracted too, I am not interested.
I am not claiming I don't ever use these products or even occasionally secretly enjoy them but my reasons might be another blog post in itself.
I will admit it does seem rather easy for me to pick Americans out of the crowds of tourists here in Berlin (but not usually by their smell.) Baseball caps, baggy shorts, flip flops, & white tennis shoes. Louder than normal voices. I doubt I always blend in. I am, much to my chagrin, still a product of my culture.
However, being in such a large city, one of my favorite things to do is play "Guess the Origin of the Tourist?" when
I was chatting with a British and German friend the other day and they both admitted to being embarrassed by their own respective tourists.
The funny thing is we probably miss those who do blend in.
My point being here that blend in as much as you can if you are a tourist but if you can't, don't worry. If you live here, one should probably make more of a consorted effort to "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."
If, however, you want to blend in with Germans, here are some pointers.
- If you are female, wear skirts.
- If you are male, manpris are totally in!
- Don't try so hard to match your bag to your socks to your belt to your necklace. Germans don't care so why should you?
- Flip flops are completely out unless you are 17.
- Naked kids on beach = acceptable
- Naked people on beach/grass/park = acceptable (Don't stare!)
- Wear a scarf. It doesn't matter what color. The way you tie it, however, does matter.
- If you are a little boy, wool tights are a mandatory winter clothing item.
Maybe this should have gone with the Random Tuesday Thoughts! ☺