Life in India and life in Germany
Here are some honest comparisons I would like to make between India and Germany; there are pros and cons for both. These points are based on my personal experiences after having stayed in India for a very long time and about half a year in Germany. To the people from both the nations, I request you to take this in a sportive way.
1) Dogs accompany the humans in public transport and certain public places, and they do not create any nuisance for others. This is just not the case in India.
2) Since the water that comes out from your shower or tap is fit for consumption, you are also bathing with the same pure water which you are drinking, in Germany. Imagine asking your mother in India to take bath in RO purified water – you will receive flying chappals from your mom. And consuming water from tap in India? No, thanks!
3) You pay for the plastic bag when you buy anything for groceries in the supermarkets of Germany. In India, free plastic covers!
4) The cashier at the supermarket will not help you put your grocery belongings inside the cover or bag. You just cannot dump too many things as you like sometimes; placing them properly is an art and you will master it as time goes. In India, we just wait for the other person to do it for us and he does a commendable job.
5) Saturday evenings in the supermarkets are usually crowded because they are closed on Sundays. You will find loads of shops opened in some area on a Sunday in India.
6) German music is really good. Indian music has more variations and is therefore better according to me. Indian movies are popular amongst some of the localites and they are dubbed in German. I do not think the vice versa is true.
7) Although India is polluted compared to Germany, I would personally choose climate in India over climate in Germany. Snow looks beautiful from outside but is actually very annoying. Also, wearing too many layers of clothes often can be pissing off. Even the evenings during winter are quite gloomy at times. I would opt for scorching heat over heavy snow any day.
8) Indians love football and cricket. Germans love football, play great football but will sport a question mark in their face if you talk about cricket.
9) Back home in Chennai, I used to play cricket in 40 degrees Celsius. Here in Germany, I play cricket with my friends from India and Pakistan in 4 degree Celsius at times. Even catching the ball can be painful in such a weather; atleast for people who are used to play in extreme hot temperatures.
10) Germany has amazing internet connection but using torrents will land you in trouble. In India, torrents have become a part of our daily life.
FOOD AND RESTAURANTS:
1) Food in India has a lot to do with spices. Food in Germany can be more bland than water. Indian food is much much much better compared to German food.
2) In India, you get free unlimited water and ketchup in McD. In Germany, you have to pay for both, water and ketchup, and it is not unlimited.
3) If you think McD, KFC and Burger King in India sucks, wait till you come to Germany.
4) You can eat whatever you like from shops when you are hungry in India. For an Indian, the go-to food would be Pizza, Burger, Pasta, Falafel or Döner, all of which will bore you out within a month. You have to learn how to cook.
5) Black Forest Cake in India is sweet. Black Forest Cake in Germany can be bitter, and the one in Germany is the original one. Desserts in Germany are amazing.
6) Beer can be as cheap as water in Germany. Whereas, a basic 500 ml Kingfisher beer in India can cost you atleast 100 or 150 rupees.
7) You can eat fruits, cakes, breads or anything for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Germany. In India, hell no! We cannot survive on all these.
8) There are 2 kinds of water available in the supermarkets of Germany – the regular water and the sparkling water. The sparkling water is more like soda or 7up without any taste. In India, Aquafina, Kinley and Bisleri FTW!
9) Restaurants do not serve you free water in Germany unlike India. You also might not be allowed to drink your own water if you are carrying along. Sometimes you might have to go to the wash basin in the restroom and drink it from the tap if you feel you have no choice.
10) The best Indian restaurant in Germany is not even close to an average restaurant in India. Can you imagine how hard it can be for a desi guy/girl in Germany?
DISCIPLINE, CHARACTER AND ETIQUETTE:
1) Dogs are very disciplined in Germany, they even follow the traffic rules at times without their owners controlling them. Some dogs in India can cause nuisance; especially the ones who keep roaming about randomly in the streets. I am sorry dog lovers!
2) In Germany, if a bus or a tram or a metro is scheduled to depart at 18:42, it will depart at 18:42. In India, if it is scheduled to depart at 18:42, it might depart at 19:42 also.
3) It is unlikely the driver will open the door for you or stop the bus if you come running and signalling him from somewhere far away in Germany if it is for him to depart. In India, you can somehow stop the bus and board it.
4) If a German has promised to meet you at 1:30 PM, he/she will meet you at 1:30 PM for sure. If an Indian has promised to meet you at 1:30 PM, you can start getting dressed at 2 PM also.
5) There are separate lanes for bicycles, cars and pedestrians in Germany. In India, we can drive wherever we want and walk wherever we like. Traffic rules are taken seriously in Germany. Two minutes of silence for traffic rules in India.
6) If a German does not like something or cannot do something, he/she will say it. While some feel this is rude, some believe it is better to be honest than to give a false hope or praise. We Indians are more polite in this regard and at times we beat around the bush. It depends on the individual as to how they perceive it.
7) Contrary to the popular belief that Germans are rude, let me tell you one thing; Germans are not rude. Just like in India, there are people even in Germany always to help you if you want some help in a public place or ask some direction or have to greet somebody.
8) German is not a rude language. It is tough, it can be crazy to learn but when a person speaks nicely, it does sound beautiful like any other Indian language. Rudeness of a language depends upon the tone of the person.
9) In Germany, if you are not invited, no matter what relationship you share with the person, you do not turn up. Some Indians do not pay much heed to it and do not get furious over last minute invites or uninvited appearance.
10) Being in Germany is like being in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, people by default would speak to you in Tamil and sometimes in broken Hindi. In Germany, people speak in German by default but they do try to speak in English even if it is half baked. Sometimes you play dumb charades to put your point across and it can be immense fun.
TRAVELING, TOURING AND ROAMING AROUND:
1) Due to the Schengen policy, going to a neighboring country (Czech Republic, Austria or Switzerland) from Germany in a volvo bus with free Wi-Fi can be much cheaper than going to any neighboring state in India.
2) Bus and train ticket prices in Germany are not constant. For example, the tickets are cheap initially and get expensive as it keeps getting filled. In India, the ticket prices are always constant.
3) Germany is surrounded by 9 countries. If you live in Germany for a few years, you are very likely to have traveled more number of countries than the number of states you would have traveled in India.
4) Flight tickets can be cheaper than bus or train tickets in Germany. It is the opposite in India.
5) Like India, Germany has its own charm. We have Himalayas, Nilgiris, Ganga, etc in India. Germany has Alps, Bodensee and many more.
6) There are beaches in India. There are nude beaches in Germany. Enough said.
7) Some cities in Germany are so small that you can just walk around and tour the city. In India, that is easier said than done; particularly in big metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai or Kolkata.
8) Taxis are very very expensive in Germany. On the other hand, autos, rickshaws and taxis are much cheaper and affordable in India.
9) If you do not have your pass or ticket while boarding a public transport, you can bribe the police/inspector 50 rupees and get away. In Germany, you will be asked to get down politely at the next stop and pay a fine of 60 euros. For 60 euros, you can go to another nearby country and come back. Crazy right?
10) A long drive on the roads along the country side in Germany is absolute bliss. It may just not be the same in India.
EDUCATION, ENGINEERING, EXAMINATIONS AND GRADES:
1) Engineering in Germany is much much better compared to engineering in India.
2) Examinations in Germany tests your concepts completely. Examinations in India turn you into Anurag Kashyap or Karan Johar; it tests your story writing skills.
3) You get marks for correct answers in Germany. You get marks based on the length of your story in India.
4) If you get 89 and want to get 90, you can beg your teacher in India and get that 1 mark even if you do not deserve it. In Germany, you just cannot.
5) Indian teachers sometimes throw random questions at you during your presentation. Presentations in front of German professors are chilled comparatively.
6) Documentation of a project might be given significant importance in Germany. In India, we just print crap to fill up pages.
7) The grading system in India is simple, higher the better. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 9 point something means you have done very good and something around 5 means have fared very bad. The grading system in Germany is the other way round. It is from 1.0 to 5.0 where anything between 4.0 and 5.0 means you have failed; 1.0 means the best and 4.0 means you managed to pass somehow. So, if someone from Germany tells you they got 1.3, do not look down upon him/her.
8) In India, you breathe a sigh of relief if you have passed somehow. In Germany, you will be more happy if you have flunked because you get a chance to write the exam again and improve your grade. I hardly see people in Germany who is happy by passing and scraping through somehow.
9) In India, marks are out of 50 or 100, and hence the grades are obtained accordingly. In Germany, the paper can be out of any random number. For example, 35 marks. Weird isn’t it? Due to this scheme, in India, if you make a mess of a 10 mark question, you will not be affected much. In Germany, if you make a mess of even a 5 mark question, your grade can take a huge toll. Sometimes, the difference between each grade can be 1 or 2 marks.
10) In Germany, you get to see your answer sheet after semester exams for free. In India, different universities charge anywhere between hundreds or thousands of rupees for students to check their paper and reevaluate.
Long story short, life in Germany is much different compared to life in India but both are beautiful and challenging in its own way!