Q. What is impolite in Germany that is not in America?
answered by Peter Moore (Canadian living in America. I spent 3 years in Singapore too)
A German friend in America told me this hilarious story from his own experience.
An American, lets call him Steve, was working in Germany. He had only been there a couple of months and it was his birthday. Knowing it was Steve’s birthday and that he was still new in town, a coworker, lets call him Helmut, invited him out for drinks to celebrate.
“How nice,” thinks Steve.
“I’m very nice,” thinks Helmut.
They go off to the Ratskeller bar, enjoy some beers and sausage, and then they’re ready to leave. Helmut speaks to the waiter, who comes back with separate checks, split 50:50.
Steve is incredibly insulted. He has been invited out for birthday drinks, and BAM, now Helmut wants him to pay? What a cheap German bastard!
Helmut is incredibly annoyed that Steve is insulted. I mean, I invite you out for your birthday and then pay for half and you get all uppity about it? You cheap American bastard!
You see, in Germany, it is usual that you invite people out for your birthday and pay for everything. Helmut was doing Steve a big favor by inviting and paying for half. American Steve saw it differently. It apparently took a couple of months before they figured out what the problem was and made up.
source : Quora