Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Non-Moving German

There's a prospective that an American gets of Germans and the potential of moving around.  Americans are one of the most mobile societies on the face of the Earth.  You finish high school, and move three states over to attend college.  You graduate from college and move two states over to the first job.  Eighteen months later, you find a new job, and move one state over.  Four years later, you move to a better job on the opposite coast.  You marry and move twenty miles into the first house.  Three years later, you sell that house and move again.  By age 65, a typical American probably moves at least ten times.

Germans don't move much, and that becomes this little topic of discussion.

A German kid will usually stay in Mama's "hotel" as long as possible....maybe up to age twenty-two....when they feel they have enough money or live independently.  They rarely move more than thirty minutes driving from the town that they grew up in.

The next ten years?  Well.....the German guy might get a girlfriend, and maybe move into her place....but it's still a pretty local situation.  So by age sixty-five, I doubt that a German typically moves more than five times, and it's all generally in the same area.  

Even if you were a German university aren't that likely to pack up from Munich and move to Berlin....unless you had some big impressive science degree and had a offer from a unique company that really enticed you.

The truth is....Germans don't like to take stressful moves.  By the time you add up moving pains, the stress of looking for a new apartment or house, and the problems of finding the right size's a colossal headache.

So when you arrive in a German town and start to notice your associates and neighbors.....they are all from the local area, and most haven't moved more than a couple of miles from where they graduated school.  They know all the local gossip and stories....simply because they stayed long enough to hear every single story told.

You can call it an anchor, or whatever.....but Germans are happy this way.  They've got enough stress in life why ask for more?

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