Let’s face it: When we visit the beautiful places on this earth we will hardly ever have them exclusively for ourselves. There will be other tourists and unless it’s not totally crowded that’s fine for me. But I’d still like to keep the impression that I’m in a foreign country. I don’t travel to the other side of the world to hear nothing but my own language around me, right? But indeed when you come to Australia as a German and especially when you sleep in cheap hostels like all the backpackers, this will happen to you. It is incredible how many of my folks run around on this continent. Of course ranting about all the Germans down here is a bit ridiculous as I am one myself. But I can’t help but think that Germans are invading this country. Here’s why.
“Where are you girls from?”, the friendly tour guide asks us.
He looks not a bit surprised. Probably he already heard our accents. (We found out that two words seem to be enough to give us away as Germans, which is quite humiliating if you think your English is actually ok.) “Oh, lovely”, the man says, and simply adds: “There are lots of Germans here.”
Yeah. Not that we didn’t notice. On this tour alone there are two more of them. Of us.
Rewind. It’s 2010 again and we are traveling the East Coast of Australia together with thousands of backpackers. We sleep in a ten bed dorm in Airlie Beach and quickly find out that of the ten people in this room TEN are Germans.
Fast forward to 2015 again. We are having dinner in a common room of our hostel in Sydney and the largest group at the table turns on a song by Herbert Grönemeyer.
Next scene: There is a bus driver telling us with a bright smile to watch out for crocodiles in the Northern Territory because almost all of the rare accidents in Australia would happen to Germans. He claimed that this was an actual statistics.
True or not, after seeing the “oh well, another German” expression on an Australian face a few times you become almost ashamed of your nationality. To prove I am not paranoid, some real statistics: In 2014, more than 180.000 Germans visited Australia, making every tenth backpacker down here a German. I mean, how likely is it that, considering the size of Germany? And numbers are rising constantly the past years.
Ok, so of course I understand why they come here. Australia is beautiful, exciting and completely different from Germany in so many aspects (weather! friendliness! exotic nature!). I guess that the other German backpackers are as “disappointed” about my presence here as I am about theirs. But I still wish I wasn’t just another German. I wish I would be surprised and pleased again to find out someone I meet at the other end of the world comes from my homeland.