You can take the man out of Britain…

… but you can’t take the Britain out of the man.

I’ve been in Frankfurt for over two years now. There are many things I’ve had to get used to living here, but there are some things, bar my slight British twang in my German accent, that would make anybody notice a mile away that I’m an island monkey (as some of my Kraut friends have so nicely called me). Here are some examples:

  • I still don’t mind the cold. In fact I love the cold. I got excited the other day when it rained for the first time after about a month, and I enjoyed riding through the really fine rain that gets you absolutely soaked (or, in Yorkshire, “that reet wet rain”). However, I had a minor panic last week when I walked out the house in the morning and genuinely thought to myself: “Wow, it is getting cold.” Luckily, unlike a typical German, I didn’t get a cold and I just carried on with my day.
  • There’s still nothing better than a cup of tea in the evening. Some of my favourite chill evenings including a cup of tea (by which I mean ‘black tea’) and a book. OK, by book I mean video game, but it’s the same thing, right?
And don’t forget the biscuits!
  • The best thing to wear on your feet at home is nothing. And not until the day icicles form on the end of my toes will that change. It’s different if you’re in someone else’s home though, I guess it’s a polite thing.
  • I sometimes honestly crave gravy and I’m not ashamed. Mmm gravy… Definitely more of a northern thing.
  • I’ve had my fair share of defending British food. No, I don’t care how weird ‘Toad in the hole’ sounds. It’s tasty, OK?!
And ‘Cottage Pie’ is also delicious.
  • I got excited when I found baked beans in the supermarket across the road. I can now make beans on toast, beans and egg on toast, beans and cheese on toast… the possibilities are endless!
  • I still get excited about Pancake Day. A lot of Germans I know just don’t seem to get it. It’s an excuse to eat rubbish for tea!  What’s not to get?!
And don’t forget the biscuits!
  • It was once recommended that I wear a scarf, but I proudly and British-ly refused and didn’t even catch a cold. Take that, cold-prone Germans!
  • I always crave good English TV. Why is German TV so bad? Why can’t I sit and watch brainless TV on a Saturday night?
  • I still make embarrassing mistakes in German. The most recent one being where I wanted to say “she fainted” and instead I said “she turned black”. Not quite the same, but very similar in German.
  • I still can’t come to terms with the fact that Germans open their Christmas presents on the evening of the 24th. What about not being able to sleep in the evening when Father Christmas is clearly downstairs drinking the whisky and putting out your presents? Where’s the fun in being able to sleep because you’re not excited?!
  • I still get mad when someone pushes in front in queues. It happened today – second till opened, and a man bumped into me as he pushed back to get there first. All I could do was evil stare and I felt helpless because it’s normal here.


I do, however, feel I’ve become German in certain ways, some of which I’m perhaps not so proud of. But that’s another story for another day…

6 thoughts on “You can take the man out of Britain…”

  1. I’m American, but I can totally relate to some of these. The Christmas gift thing really gets on my nerves as well. And the Germans and colds… I swear if you aim a fan at them in summer they’ll think they’re going to die.

    1. That’s hilarious and completely true! They just really seem to be prone to colds, don’t they? I guess it’s good that they’re conscience about their health but sometimes I’ve got to laugh at how over the top it is… but of course, you just have to love them 😉

  2. Omg I didn’t know about Germans opening presents on Christmas Eve!! What about the excitement for the children. And leaving a glass of drink and cookies for santa. And what about poor Rudolf…missing out on his carrots! And the getting up at stupid o’clock purely because “you’re so excited”….sad times!

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