Germans are generally very clear and direct in most of their communications. Of course, when one does not know their language, it can be easy to not realize this. The directness has a wonderful aspect: see our Norse deity Thor and the sense of security of knowing that one has heard the closest expression of truth the person could come up with. The directness has a down side – so much so, that over in England I learned that the Germans are considered to be rude in general. In England it is more important to be polite than honest and they are delicate and sensitive people. The English are more into plaster than brick, even though they do use brick. The Germans are more into brick, but will use plaster.
I liked England so even though I have heard that Germans are straightforward I still feel like I don’t really know. I was an American in Germany for 18 months before I figured out that ‘versicherung’ means ‘insurance’ not ‘warts’ or ‘foot powder’.