The first article, The German National Pastime: Whining, Bitching and Moaning struck me as rather interesting, because I always thought of America as a sort of haven for complaining as well. A lot of the conversations that I have with my peers include complaining about the weather, upcoming exams, or homework so hard that it should be illegal. I think that’s what the author is trying to point out about Germans as well – they use complaints as a way of carrying on conversation. A part that I found most interesting was towards the end, where the author mentioned that if you tell a German that they complain a lot, and that they actually have it pretty good, that they will agree with you and explain why they complain all the time. I see a lot of similarities to my American experience in that – my peers and I have the privilege of attending one of the best universities in the world, but we can still find things to complain about.
I also found the article entitled Brutally Honest: “Have You Gained Weight?” to be very intriguing. It is true that in America we are super polite about a lot of things. If someone asks if they look good, we always say yes. It took me 19 years to tell my grandma that I don’t like some of the meals that she cooks for me. It seems to me that the German way of saying exactly what you mean would be really refreshing, not having to tiptoe around what you actually mean. I wouldn’t have had to suffer through eating meatloaf if I could just tell people what I’m thinking.
Finally, I really related on a more personal level to the article By the Numbers: An Obsession with Statistics. As an engineering student, I am always saying “show me the numbers”. My brain just processes numbers better than other kinds of descriptions. I feel like the German described in this article would appreciate this way of thinking, because statistics just use numbers to describe things instead of words. My family also watches a lot of documentary/history type shows when I’m at home, so I can relate to the German people’s love for facts and interesting information. I think it’s awesome to be knowledgeable about a lot of different things, so that’s something new that I can really appreciate about the German people.