Not always too serious...

This is not quite a trait -- more an idiosyncrasy. The Germans' absolute certainty, whether giving directions, fixing anything in their homes, political discourse, or critical analysis, could well be viewed as a positive trait -- with one slight drawback... they almost never get it right.

None of us, from any nation, has much of a clue of how others view us; or the degree of comic relief we give to others by taking ourselves so seriously. With the German, this national obsession with certainty for its own sake is a quizzical observation for outsiders. We all notice it, yet I've never heard anyone mention it out loud. Possibly because it is never annoying, or even troubling: in fact it is rather endearing, or even connecting, to see even the "efficient ones" be more like the rest of us. So, we just shake our head from side to side, and as Dicken's once put it, we silently say, "Astonishing Pip, astonishing."

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