Cliché 10 – Ordnung muss sein (there must be order)

When you go to a German house you will likely find that the garbage is separated into at least 4 different bins. People do not cross the road when the pedestrian light is red. There is a government office called the ‘Ordnungsamt’ – literally translated to ‘The Office of Order.’

It’s no wonder that Germany is known for being a highly organised, and as a result of this also highly efficient, country. The real question here is, where did all this order come from?

Well, many have speculated. Some suggest that it is due to the climate – in areas where the four seasons are very pronounced, people tend to become more organised, as they must systematically grow, harvest and store their food if they want to survive. Another suggestion is that their tendency to be organised comes from their punctuality – if you want to be on time, you must be organised. Finally, it could be due to Prussian times – Prussia, a German kingdom many years ago, was most famous for having a highly organised army. Whilst there may be no single answer to this question, it is definitely true that Germans are, in general, highly organised.




Is there an exception to the rule?

Of course!

Whilst Germans love order in most aspects of their life, there is one time when there is total chaos. Whether you’re waiting in the bakery on a Sunday morning to order fresh bread rolls or whether you’re waiting for a bus, you will soon come to realise that Germans do not queue. Don’t be surprised if the sweet old lady pushes right in front of you, even though she arrived a good 5 minutes after you.




Although this is one MAJOR exception, overall we’d say the myth that Germans are very organised is:





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