Planet Germany

If you live long enough in another country, then you inevitably gather a whole collection of experiences in dealing with the people and the culture there.

It may be that you have to handle lots of bureaucracy, or cope with unusual customs, or it may be just plain getting used to driving on the other side of the road.

For many ex-pats, these tales of living in a strange land can often form the basis of conversations with friends and family back home, but seldom do they get published as a book for a wider audience.

Planet GermanyCathy Dobson, who we talked to last year, took this brave step and wrote “Planet Germany” which, as she puts it, documents how “one British family bungles being German”.

In the book, she takes us through an entire year in the life of her family and business as we discover how they cope with living as British ex-pats in Germany.  Many readers will be familiar with the situations that she describes, such as the first knock on the door of the Sternsinger, the madness of the Karneval season, or just the amazement at the end of each year that, after telling their fortunes by dropping molten lead into cold water, most households sit down on New Year’s Eve to watch the same little-known sketch in black and white as the previous year.

Add to this the fact that her business partner tries to help her with such traditions as the correct use of Du and Sie, whilst at the same time forming her own opinion of the simple British customs that have travelled with the family.  Stuffing a turkey, for instance.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Planet Germany.  It is a book that you will not want to put down!

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