Annoy in German means: “nerven” or “stören”
Neighbors in Germany are definitely not like neighbors in the USA. My home town is called “The good neighbor city”: yes it sounds and seems quite cheesy. But what makes an American city any gooder, or better at neighboring than a German city? Have you ever encountered an annoying neighbor? Or ever wanted to annoy German neighbors?
Annoying neighbor: The Fenstergucker
Fenstergucker are people who spend lengthy hours observing their street/ neighbors from their own window sill. The German police force is nothing compared to the trained Fenstergucker. Those elderly people or your neighbor who works a night job or the mother with four children next door are more effective than the FBI. I wonder if they’re on salary?
How to be a professional Fenstergucker
Do you have a few minutes extra to plan into your schedule? Simply push your blinds to the side, open the window, lean your elbows on the window sill and stay on your perch. Tilt your head outside the window just enough to see everything, but without getting noticed in the meantime. No, you don’t need any sunglasses nor a pad of paper; but don’t forget to blink.
Proper neighboring tips from American in Germany
Bringing over baked goods for the holidays, saying hi when mowing lawn on Sunday or helping out when help is needed – all belong to proper neighboring “methods” that I’ve experienced in both the USA and Germany. You don’t have to be best of friends nor go out to the neighborhood parties but don’t forget: You can pick your friends and pick your nose but you can’t pick your friends’ nose. More about German american relations.
As for us, we believe in picking our friends’ nose, my wife would rather do chores rather than sit hours on end on the window sill, and we make home-made sausage for the neighbors…. Like the real Germans do. Be thankful for your good neighbors, we sure are! Read more articles in our Life in Germany blog