When coming to Germany, especially the smaller towns and cities, try to learn some German first. You'll find it extremely useful as most people have very little command of any foreign language, including English. I've lived for a few years in Netherlands and must say, irrespectively of which, obscure even, language you speak, you're bound to be understood.
Very surprisingly, not often in here. When in trouble, try to look for the young, educated people; even if their English is broken, they are at least likely to give it a try.
January 2007 - just a few days after New Year's - and flowers are in bloom in sunny areas in Mainz. Winter flowers perhaps, but it is still rather remarkable. Well, no wonder the Romans planted their grape vines here. There is indeed something of a "Rhenish microclimate" which is milder than you might expect for a place of this latitude.
One of the main concerns we had in Germany especially Mainz is if anyone there can speak English. We had thought that only German are spoken outside the Main Cities.
We were wrong. If you speak to them slowly and clearly, you will find that most Germans speak fairly good english. We tried asking for directions from some old Germans but though they could not reply clearly in English, we got them to draw us directions. Hey everyone understands diagrams !
Basically Mainz Germans are really really nice and extremely friendly ! Be kind and your kindness will be recipocrated !