I have lived in Germany for over six months now, and in that time I have come up with several rules, or guidelines to follow for any other Americans considering a move, or a long visit to Germany.
1. Don't ask someone where the Autobahn is. There is not just one Autobahn. Autobahn just means highway, and yes, Germany has lots of them just like any other developed country. In addition, yes it is true that there are many parts on the Autobahn without speed limits (only about 30%), but not always.
2. Be sure to become a regular at the many bakeries in Germany. There is always something for everyone at a German bakery. After you leave, you will probably miss the bread more than the beer.
3. Have a clue about what is going on in the world, especially US politics. Germans don't care if you don't know who Angela Merckel is, but don't be surprised if 75% of the Germans you meet know more about US politics than you do, so be ready to be quizzed on it, and have an opinion.
4. Know that Germany is not just Munich. Munich is a city in the state of Bayern. Germany has many other states. Lederhosen, Oktoberfest, and huge mugs of beer (known as a "Mass") are associated with Bayern, which is the most conservative state in Germany. People from other states may find it offensive if you ask why people aren't wearing Lederhosen.
5. Oktoberfest usually takes place in September. Get over it, and plan accordingly. Also, don't bother asking why it's not in October, because most Germans don't seem to care enough to question it, or much less answer it . . . they probably haven't even thought about it.
6. If anyone mentions ANYTHING about Obama, the proper response is "Yes we can!" Germans love Obama whether you do or not. Saying "Yes we can!" will probably make their day, and you might even see a German smile.
7. Don't be an American stereotype. Know your geography, reassure Germans that the US is NOT a hollywood movie, remind them that America doesn't like Bush either, expect a smirk when you walk into McDonald's, Pizza Hut, or Burger King, and don't forget to turn lights off and other electronics you aren't using.
That's all that I have! I hope you have enjoyed reading. As always, comments are welcome, and appreciated!