Why not?


What happened was that the German roommates were a bit insulted by the Americans' assumption that they would be invited to see their German homes and also, in turn, mystified as to why Americans offered to open their own homes to people they had just met and hardly knew. Germans are a very private people, and the home is a very private place in their life where family and close friends gather. The Germans felt that the girls were being intrusive by essentially "inviting themselves over."

Visiting someone's home is not something that would happen until an acquaintance had developed into a friend, which could never come about as a result of a single dinner. This goes for meeting someone's family, as well. The Germans thought that the American girls would (or should) know how private one's home is, and so to presume an invitation was a huge assumption of friendship that caused the Germans to take offense. The Americans offer to open their own homes to perfect strangers was also incomprehensible. The Germans interpreted their eagerness to have them visit as phony and unbelievable because of the cultural outlandishness of the offer from a German viewpoint. The Germans hardly knew the girls, so their offer to open their homes came off as "superficial American behavior."

Devin and her other American roommate felt that the dinner had gone fine and that they had really hit it off with their new flat-mates. Little did they know that the Germans went away thinking that the girls were intrusive and insincere. This continued to affect their feelings toward their American flat-mates until the underlying cultural issues were eventually uncovered and discussed. In the end, each side explained their reactions and the reasons behind them. Relationships remained cordial enough, but the initial break was never completely repaired and no reciprocal home visits occurred.