The Atrocious German Pillow

Mark Twain took great issue with the German language; I, on the other hand, have my major beefs with two things: German supermarkets, and the atrocious German pillow. I’ve ranted before about German supermarkets, so let’s get to the pillows.

For those of you unfamiliar with German pillows, they’re rather large and square in comparison to good English or American ones. People favouring firm pillows best avoid German hotels, hostels, and even guest bedrooms, as you’re likely to find an oversized sack of cotton filled more with the idea of down than any actual material.

“That can’t be all that bad!” It wouldn’t be if only it stopped there. No, they have no filling whatsoever, and are quickly compressed with no support. Half the night you toss and turn, slamming the thing into different positions in a futile drawn out attempt at salvaging some meagre amount of sleep. Soon enough you find yourself in a war of attrition, your bed a Western Front of misery and discomfort.

After living in Germany for so long, you expect better of them (the Germans, that is, not their pillows). Indeed, much consideration of the matter forces me to conclude that the Germans must have missed the memo that pillows ought to be comfortable, or at the very least supportive. The pillow must have been seen as an insignificant task: they’d already designed a very competent rail network, a functioning social security system, and some of the best engineered cars on the planet. It’s as if all the intelligent designers were off on an extended lunch break, or a company retreat at a company funded spa. I’m certainly not contesting their achievements; in fact, they deserved a little break. A shame though that the task of designing pillows, arguably a far more mundane and ubiquitous part of life than rail networks or over-engineered cars, had to be left to the incompetent intern.

And the worst part of it all? They seem to like their pillows just as they are, thank you very much.


About supertylor

British Columbian 20-something spending a(nother) year in Trier, Germany.
This entry was posted in Culture, Germany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Atrocious German Pillow

  1. Liam says:

    I enjoyed this post mostly for your use the commas, semicolon, and colon in the first paragraph. That, is not to say the rest of was not good. Simply, that it was weird to actually hear you speak that first paragraph in my head. Keep up the great writing Tylor. I’m jeallous.

  2. Too funny. Apparently there is a German comedian who regularly appears on English shows. He makes fun of their stoicism by saying. “But everything is satisfactory.” Maybe that is what they think. We used to travel with our own pillows.

    • supertylor says:

      Henning Wehn! He’s great, Germany’s self-proclaimed comedic ambassador to Britain, probably worth a blog post on his own.

      “We had a friend here from Germany, and we took him to the pub. He said, “Henning, that’s weird: why do we have to pay for the pub food before we get it?” I answered, “Just wait until you get it.” Soon he understood.”

      I should start packing my own pillows, though a rolled-up t-shirt does just as much as a German pillow.

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  4. Kevin says:

    A couple of bricks are just as good as anything. My dad is German (I guess you could figure that out from my last name) and his bed is the worst. It is like sleeping on the hardwood floor. Crazy stuff those Germans like. How my mother survives is beyond me. BTW: I came over from Honeydidyouseethat. I plan to cruise this blog of yours and I’m now going to follow.

    • supertylor says:

      Hey Kevin,

      They are a weird bunch. Luckily I found myself some good North American style pillows, they’re a real life saver! Some German couples even have double or queen beds made up of two single mattresses, so that each partner gets the bed firmness they want. This allows prevents them from disturbing the other person when they get up, which is kinda nice if you think about it!

  5. The pillows drive me nuts! And the separate mattress has its pros….but definitely cons to if you think about it! đŸ™‚

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