"Deutschland - Ein Wintermärchen" is a cynical poem on Germany by Heinrich Heine, crafted during his visit to Hamburg to see a friend, after he already lived in France. I have now spent about a month in Germany, and I do not have the gift to rhyme like Heine. But most of my thoughts are cynical. Don't get me wrong: I very much enjoyed visiting friends and having clean air. But most of what makes Germany an economic engine of Europe, looks like only a myth to me. Efficiency, quality, qualification, German engineering? Forget it. In France at least you still notice the difference, when they are on strike. In Germany it's all the same. Qualification? You talk to "scientists", that can barely read and write, or to managers, who have no clue at all what their job is. Frightening. And don't think a solemn face is a side effect for seriously doing a job. It is more likely that the person is just too dull to have any expression different from that. Went to a large bookshop in a famous University town and found that 1/3 of the assortment belongs to the self help category. All natural sciences together make only one small shelf in the same store. And where is "German Engineering"? Didn't even find it. Scary, isn't it? Perhaps there is a section on "how to feel about engineering" in the self help section. I did not check. One problem I have as a native German is, that I can understand what people talk about, and how they do it. After a train ride without earplugs, I looked up whether there is an English translation for "Klugscheisser". But I found nothing which really describes the content and tone, in which these people "lecture" on things which they know absolutely nothing about. If they don't shoot their mouth off, then another possibility is, that they complain. Not that they could do any better, but they constantly complain that others do worse. And last but not least, there is still the ever present whining about being a "victim of society" or having a "genetic disadvantage" or a bad childhood. You are not fat because you eat too much, but because you are a victim of the food industry. Well, traditional home made cooking in Germany, is the art of turning excellent ingredients into dog food. No surprise, a lot of people switch to frozen pizza. But it's not the pizza's fault. Also not the dog food's. You are also not an idiot because you are uninterested in anything, but you are a victim of the education system. There are always people and institutions to blame things on. That's what you pay tax for. And in the worst case some people blame it on immigrants: I am unemployed, because a foreigner who does not speak the language was hired instead of me. They don't say: I am so useless, that somebody who does not even speak the language was hired instead of me. Who then was disadvantaged? Sure, the German. Poor Arier. Sounds like there is a world conspiracy again against you. Who is it this time? Islam? How do you feel about being such an asshole? Go and open another bottle sitting at the bus stop with your friends. That makes you feel strong. Kameradschaft! Autobahn! Currywurst! No holy war on German ground! Jahwoll! Rechts um! At least you might think Germany is the country of poets and philosophers. Well, Heinrich Heine went to France for example. Could be that there is a psychological treatment where people have to write poems. Then there must be many poets in Germany. Poetry therapy. I am sure this will be paid by the state health insurance. Philosophers? There were the dead ones. Like Kant, who was never leaving Koenigsberg, but explained "the universe". He must have been very smart. Or, did I already mention the word "Klugscheisser" already? Well yes, I did. Whole disciplines have been formed by "Klugscheisser" in Germany. Try to read the forming opus of sociology for example. Complete bullshit. And there are many more. The more it is nonsense, they call it "basic research", while expressing themselves as confusing as possible, to make it sound fundamental.
Again, don't get me wrong. Germany is okay. But it was good to have a reality check, before considering it a place to work for longer. And then there is another thing: Germany is boring.