What the Germans know that Americans don’t

After so many months here, I’m still running into cultural disconnects. This one arose yesterday as my German friend Claudia and I sat on a park bench and observed an overalls-clad German two-year-old play with a spade.

Me: I love overalls. The only downside to overalls is that it’s hard to go to the bathroom.

Claudia: Actually, overalls make it easier to go to the bathroom because they keep your kidneys warm.

Me: Wait, what? You don’t mean kidneys. Where’s the dictionary? What are we talking about? Something has gone awry.

[We verify that, yes, Claudia did mean to comment on overalls’ kidney-warming property.]

Also important for kidney health:

  • Wearing an undershirt that tucks into your pants (Claudia gave me a peek of hers.)
  • Not sitting on cold surfaces like stones
  • Wearing a special belt while riding a motorcycle so your kidneys have extra protection

Claudia could not believe that I have never paid any heed to my kidneys. Like a boorish American, I laughed mercilessly at this German concern. Then we headed back to Claudia’s where we cooked delicious spaghetti together and watched the beloved German crime series Tatort, with subtitles in German so I would have a chance of understanding what was going on. Luckily for me, despite our culture clash over this serious health concern, we still had a lovely day together.


2 responses to “What the Germans know that Americans don’t

  1. I asked my coworker, who’s an enthusiastic motorcyclist,… and he said: “… of course I always wear a kidney protection, when I am on the road …!” Then he proudly showed me his kidney belt, which he had, when he came with his motorcycle at work in the morning … – … how could I ask such a stupid question… ?!? 😉

  2. Happy Anniversary,I sent you an e-mail but the computer refused it. Have a good day

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