When the right person is on the other end of the line, Germans can talk until the cows come home: one in every ten Germans (11 percent) has spent more than three hours on a call; in the supposedly taciturn north of Germany, it’s as many as one in six (17 percent). East Germans, however, are rather less talkative: more than a third of them (34 percent) say they have never made a call of longer than 30 minutes. There is a difference between the generations here. Those who grew up in the 1950s tend to keep it short: almost half of the over 60s surveyed (47 percent) say they have never made a call of more than 30 minutes, and just one percent has made it past the three-hour mark. That’s nothing for the flat-rate generation: 27 percent of under-30s make long phone calls. With the advent of mobile communications, the telephone managed to cut its cords: from on the bus to in bed, everyone has their own favorite place to talk on the phone. But most Germans still prefer to chat from the couch. There’s no limit to the reasons for calling either: people are as likely to pick up the phone to give a quick piece of information as they are to chat and gossip, or talk on serious subjects. And two out of hundred people have even been proposed to by telephone.