Some popular myths about Germany

myths about germany

Have you ever wondered about “German Efficiency”? Have you heard that in Germany there is no speed limit? some of this things are total bollocks !! continue reading to find out more of these myths about Germany

“German Efficiency” – BUSTED

Before I moved in to Germany, I heard a lot about the “German Efficiency”, this one can be single-handedly the most common myth about Germany, let me tell you, Germans can be organized, clean, ecological, anything BUT efficient.

myths about germany

More frequently than not, they fall into the over-correctness, they have an excess of rules, street signs, laws, etc.. And don’t get me started with German Bureaucracy.

“In Germany there is no speed limit in the autobahn” – BUSTED

FALSE !!! This is another popular Myth about Germany. Sure there is no speed limit in SOME parts of the autobahn, but more regularly you will find that you switch from going without speed limit to 80 km/hr just in a few meters, and almost for sure there will be a speed camera ready to take you a nice picture and send you a fine home.

myths about germany

In some parts “without speed limit” you cant even run because of the traffic, or there is always a god forsaken construction work. I could drive way faster and more consistently in Texas with a speed limit of 60 -70 mph than in Germany.

“Germans are punctual” – TRUE

This point is weird, the Brits are the most famous about punctuality, but I can assure you that Germans are even more. If you ever invite a German to a party be sure to give him/her the right time because they will be there on the dot.

“Germany is a very technologically advanced country” – BUSTED

Germany is a country where you can’t use your credit card most of the times, you have to send most of the paperwork still by snail mail or fax … yeah you read that right FFFAAAAXXX who ever still uses that in this time and age??? If I have used a fax 2 times in my life is a lot !!

You will see that cellphone service is utter crap almost everywhere, they offer “LTE” and you barely get 3g if you are in luck, and forget about using internet inside the supermarket because most of the time cellphones have no signal.

In here adding the numbers “24” to website hostnames is still a thing, to make sure your customers understand that they can buy stuff 24 hrs online !! WOW !!  OK I can write another full post on this matter so moving on.

“Germans are cold and unfriendly” – BUSTED

When you become a friend with a German, it’s a friend for life !! no hold backs, they will support you and help you and the bond is strong. The reason of this misconception or myth about people in Germany being cold of unfriendly is unfounded.

The thing is that, to become part of that inner circle in a German’s life it’s a bit harder than in other cultures, but once you are there it’s hard to break that bond. I can tell you, my first 2 German friends I made 3 and a half years ago I met them in the airplane coming here, I hadn’t set foot in Germany and I had my first 2 German friends.

Most importantly, they are friends that I value and love a lot. And they are 2 of the nicest persons I’ve ever met.

“Everyone speaks English in Germany” – BUSTED

That couldn’t be more wrong, I would say most Germans chew English or more or less understand it, but more common than not, if your German friend doesn’t use the language for work they tend not to speak it fluently. I attribute a lot of this to the fact that they have all their media dubbed and translated to German.

 

“All Germans are blonde” – BUSTED

Yeah there are many blonde Germans, but that is not the norm, most Germans I know have brown hair or even black.

These are just some of the myths I can think of, subscribe to my newsletter for more posts like this.  To read more about my experience in Germany as an expat you can read my post about “Cultural differences between USA and Germany”

 

 

Nintendo Switch Review: Buy, wait or pass

Nintendo Switch

I got the new Nintendo Switch console at launch last Friday, I have been testing it the whole weekend, playing mostly The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild . (Only title worth it at launch in my opinion.)

For some time I have been disappointed with the console market, in general Sony and Microsoft just release crappy “cheap” PCs and the exclusives they offer are not so exclusive anymore.

The last Nintendo console I owned was the Nintendo 64, after that they seemed to focus way too much in younger audiences so I stayed away.

I decided to try out the Nintendo Switch as an option for a nice portable device and because of the 3rd party support they are promising, I got interested mostly in some JRPGs that are coming and the target audience seems more ad-oc to me now.

So here are the aspects I evaluated:

Tech Specs

It seems Nintendo finally decided to launch something that is not using 10 year old technology. You can find a list of the specs in Nintendo’s official site

The touch screen is multi-touch capacitive finally, it has 32 GB of internal storage and you can expand it with a micro-SD card, I have a Sandisk of 200GB and it works pretty well. You can buy one in Germany at Amazon.de

It has a pretty decent processor, not comparable with PS4 or Xbox but in the end it offers pretty good graphics, quick loading times and seamless transition from TV to portable.

Price

In Germany you can get a Nintendo Switch for around 330 EUR, I think it’s an affordable price for what the console promise to deliver. It’s worth it to give it a try but as an early adopter you will find yourself struggling to get titles to use your console.

Price Vs Quality parity, you get what you pay, good quality materials, and the box includes everything you need out of the box (minus a game) to have a fairly good use of the console.

Launch Titles

This is the Nintendo Switch weakest point, the release titles I found them lacking and uninteresting, I can tell you the only title that it’s really worth it is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I think this title will keep you entertained for something between 50-100 hrs, based on what I have played this weekend.

Other titles include 1 2 Switch which is just a glorified (and expensive) tech demo of features that I think no 3rd party will ever use in their games and you will only see them in random “wii like” Mario titles. Another one is Super Bomberman … more of the same “wii like” stuff among others. 

Features

The main selling point of this console is it’s ability to become portable in an instant. Well I can say that works perfectly, you can switch from TV to portable very easily.

The joy cons are another thing that they have been marketing a lot, while it may look like a nice idea on paper, in reality they are rubbish and I don’t see myself preferring them over the pro controller any time soon. Those controllers are another attempt of Nintendo to “Wii-fy”everything, they haven’t learned that most people don’t care about that. On the other hand, the hi resolution vibration it’s pretty neat. If you want to tech demo the joy cons just buy 1 2 Switch “game”, but it’s a waste of money in my opinion.

The kick-stand, why in hell Nintendo decided to design so poorly that kick-stand, it’s over me, but the thing is a piece of plastic so flimsy that I can see it breaking really easily, on top of doubling as the micro SD card cover, it provides very poor balance to the console so I wouldn’t rely on it to play while on the airplane as the commercial shows. It’s better if you buy a case that includes some sort of kick-stand or something.

The docking station, it feels cheap plastic, it’s merely a stand with an HDMI connector and some USB ports. Nothing special, it adds no processing power to the console whatsoever or any benefits.

Software, this I am really torn about, many people complained the lack of browser, and multimedia apps such as netflix, amazon prime video, etc.. I’m really not bothered by that, for those services I have a smartphone, a tablet, other consoles a PC, a smart TV etc.. for me it’s more important that a gaming device does one thing right and that is GAMING.

What really bothered me, it doesnt have a browser, fine I can live with it, but when I wanted to create my nintendo account it literally sent me a smart device or PC and gave me a web address. I mean, WTF !! it should include at least an applet or something to be able to register using the console.

Now, things that the software does right, the standby mode or sleep mode, its wonderfully made and does what you expect it to do, contrary to my PS4 that always crashes or something happens if you suspend a game. 

Loading times are really quick, as all the info is in a cartridge or internal memory, the loading is really almost not noticeable.

Battery Life

I bought this device, mainly as a mobile gaming machine, and the battery life it’s a total let down. The first problem is that the battery is just 4310 mAh, so by playing a game like Zelda it lasts around 3hrs. But that’s not the main issue, I’m used to carry powerbanks and cables around.

The main issue is that the thing requires an output of 15V and 2.4 A when most powerbanks, wall chargers, car chargers etc.. have 5V and 2.1  A that means that it would take more than 8 hrs to charge fully with those chargers, rendering useless for a long roadtrip or train trip or even an air flight, considering you spend in the airport a few hrs of downtime.

So if you want to charge your device you need the official charger which is a huge brick. On top of that it uses USB-C you need another cable.

 

Summary

The pros for this console are:

  • Portable Option to a home quality console
  • Quick loading times
  • Small and light
  • Inexpensive gadget
  • When played with the pro controller it’s pretty comfortable
  • Nice quality look and feel materials

The cons are:

  • The battery life and charging options can potentially be a hassle
  • the hideous hand cramping joy cons
  • The screen resolution on portable mode is not so great
  • Lack of accessories and good games at launch
  • The worst kick-stand to have ever been designed in history of videogames

All in all I think it’s a good purchase if you want an inexpensive console to spend some time with your kids, or keep them entertained on the go. For someone like me is yet to be seen if the battery/charging hassles will become a major problem or not. Other than that I am pretty happy with it.