Even after all these years, I still...

324 posts in this topic

On 10/31/2019, 8:18:58, dessa_dangerous said:

Even after all these years in Berlin, I can't get used to people breathing down my neck in the grocery store line.  I am like, so fast, organized and prepared with loading, paying and unloading, and not laggy or standy-in-the-way-y or anything.  Yet somebody always has to stand directly in my hip pocket while I type in my PIN.  Where I'm from, you don't want anyone to get the idea you're trying to see what's in their wallet.  Even after all these years, I still want to elbow people in the nose that are standing so close to me they can see exactly everything in my wallet when I take it out to pay.  Never get used to it.

It was the opposite for me. I got so used to the wait your turn way of things here, that when I went back home to India for a visit, I actually told the guy too close to me if it was okay with him that I take a minute to finish my turn. He gave me the famous non committal head sideways head nod that I am again no longer used to seeing.

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9 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

For some reason here in all the bayerische Bäckers I see Zwetschgennudel. How is that even a Nudel? :D :D

 

you dare to question the naming of the food of the gods?!

 

take care, good sir...take care

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Even after all these years- I had a business client in Hamburg, a German , who signed a couple of insurance contracts. We were per Du.

One evening, he came into the office with his German girlfriend and he recommended the same for her.

She said she would think about it.

A week or two later, I bumped into him in the street and he said: “ Sorry, John- she decided against because you used “ Du “ during the chat.

 

By the way, it happened another time when a colleague was about to advise a female client. It was a warm summer evening and I asked the lady:  “

moechest Du ein Glas Wasser? “

 

She got in a huff.

Spiessig ohne Ende - people like that. It is the positive intention that counts - not your damaged I-am-ever- so- important- ego..

 

It would never happen in Greece- the client wouldn’t turn up for the appointment on time!

?

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Even after all these years here...I cannot bring myself to be, or can ever imagine myself being, an apologist for

The German Way of Life.

Sorry ;-)

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On 1.11.2019, 21:06:15, john g. said:

I used to love strange women touch me without permission, Brad.

I was less than 67 years old.

But anyway, don´t worry. Cultural differences.

I was  a  teacher in an international business  school in London. I had students at  a high level.The Omani Minister for Education ( I think..but a long time ago ) once left an expensive watch on the desk for me..before going into the classroom.

And another top level Government Minister  guy..I think from Tomé, would always touch my knee  when talking to me.

 

Cultural differences. It is the INTENTION that counts..ie malicious  or not.

Greeks? Where I live. Touchy feely- and why not? No problem here with agapi mou (my darling ). You can hug and no problem or joke about it.

Yeah, but I'm from Deroit.  If there is someone touching you it is for a reason and not usually a good one.  The urge to smack someone is just a reflex action that comes from self-preservation.  It is part of MY culture and something that I needed to overcome in order to stay out of trouble.  Doesn't mean I like it or ever got used to it.  I just politely tell people that I would prefer in the future if they tell me about a wardrobe problem and let me fix it myself.

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Brad- you then come from a cultural background with fear inbuilt.

Touching someone- but what touch? A friendly hug? A „ sorry you fell over „ touch. May I help you up?

Where I am - Greece - they are touchy and easy- going. Mediterranean- style and no hassle.

Ok, Detroit - big city stress/ insecurity added on.

 

By the way, I come from a home environment where hugs and kisses were unknown - 1950s English working class. Or more exact- my own family. Never got a hug or kiss from my parents ever.

I found out later this stuff happened elsewhere- when I ended up in Latin America.

But that was a personal experience.

Cancerian male here!

??

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1 minute ago, john g. said:

 

Where I am - Greece - they are touchy and easy- going. Mediterranean- style and no hassle.

Ok, Detroit - big city stress/ insecurity added on.

 

But they prefer that the expat guys pay for their animals welfare and up-keep....  Gotcha!

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SO true, Spider! So true! Absolute downside here. They don‘t hug their dogs as a rule. But they are not puritanical about hugging each other, kissing on the cheeks etc.

I will leave that issue to the puritanical Anglos/Americans on here.

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1 hour ago, BradinBayern said:

Yeah, but I'm from Deroit.  If there is someone touching you it is for a reason and not usually a good one.  The urge to smack someone is just a reflex action that comes from self-preservation.  It is part of MY culture and something that I needed to overcome in order to stay out of trouble.  Doesn't mean I like it or ever got used to it.  I just politely tell people that I would prefer in the future if they tell me about a wardrobe problem and let me fix it myself.

 

totally.  For me it's still "casual" touching that makes my skin crawl.  Eg people on the subway that lean into me if I'm standing, or have their leg flopped against mine if sitting...or I had a coworker who, when sharing a monitor, would somehow manage to have his arm touching mine the whole time...I just want to cringe and pull back in horror and flap my hands at them in an "ewwww get away!" motion when that happens!  But of course I don't as no harm is meant - it's me, not them

 

I also get a bit nervous when a person walks up on a mostly empty subway platform and stands close enough to me that we could be mistaken for friends/acquaintances.  WHY do you need to do that?  come on...give me three feet at least.  I prefer 5.  Ten would be splendid!

 

Hugs, kisses, etc...no problem - even if you're a perfect stranger I can handle that.  But don't touch me or even stand very close if there is NO REASON to do so.  

 

I think there were studies done on how much personal space people need/expect, according to culture or background...I don't know what the outcome was but my needs are very different than many (most?) Germans'.  I still can't get used to that.  I accept it, but don't think I'll ever feel totally comfortable with it.

 

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You're quite right Lisa. It's a cultural thing.

Have you ever been to India? I was at the the airport in Bombay, now Mumbai, many years ago, and was looking for a place to sit for 2 hours, waiting for my next flight, when I spotted a narrow space at the end of a bench. I sat down with relief, but in the next 2 minutes, there were 3 people sitting bewteen me and the person next to me. Some on each other's laps. Thankfully, none of them on mine!

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Ever tried to ride on a public bus in India? So they leave the start station whenever the bus is full. You hop on the bus whenever you are ready to do so. Bit by bit the seating places are filled up. Then they start standing. Everybody is shoved to the back until literally noone can move any more. Best part of it. Children of any age up to 6/7 yrs. are beeing seated on the lap of any random person occupying a seat. So you have to be prepared to be stuck in a bus where literally noone can move an inch with a stranger child in your lap. Whenever you arrive at your destination you have to get up wait for any person to move into your seat. Hand over the child you got assigned to and squeeze to the front to be able to leave the bus. No elbows needed. Its more of a floating through the masses.

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After all these years I still like my boiled eggs with soldiers...

Must be runny eggs of course to dip them.

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...

ask for a "leberkäsesemmel" instead of a "fleischkäsebrötchen" at the Fleischerei (Metzgerei)

...

get a delicious juvenile chuckle when I remember coming across "Fückes Bäckerei" on my first day in Braunschweig. (Sadly, they've closed since then.)

 

 

As for the sensitivities of cultural differences, I would say it works both ways too, i.e. immigrants from various parts of the world arriving in "our homelands", and the ensuing backlash for "not assimilating" or "doing what the Romans do".

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11 hours ago, lisa13 said:

I think there were studies done on how much personal space people need/expect, according to culture or background...I don't know what the outcome was but my needs are very different than many (most?) Germans'.  I still can't get used to that.  I accept it, but don't think I'll ever feel totally comfortable with it.

 

Same here. I've talked about this with German friends/family before... Once had a guy asking me for tips as he was heading on a 3-month tour of US and Canada. One thing I told him was that he should generally try to keep greater distance between himself and others.


In grocery store line-ups, people often stand so close it makes me tense. I was mugged once (attempted anyway, I fought back, we tussled, and the only damage was a ripped shirt) in my early 20s. My highschool was also in a shitty part of town, and you had to be a little on edge and "walk tough" to avoid negative attention. I had a few classmates robbed at knife point just outside the school grounds. Perhaps as a result I REALLY DON'T LIKE people standing or walking behind me. As a reflex, I always turn around to look at them or move or even stop so they aren't behind me. 

 

A week ago, I was on a busy, full train platform, changing trains to return home with my wife and our baby. I had large backpack on and my baby in my arms. Already closer to the platform that I wanted to be. As the train pulls in, some middle-aged guy shoves through from behind bumping me to the side. I gave him an annoyed WTF sort of hard stare -- as much out of reflex. He says to me "it's bad (busy) here", and I say "Yea! It is" while I continue my furrowed brows. He follows up with "ugh, don't make a fuss" in an annoyed voice, implying I am the one doing something wrong.

 

1 hour ago, Boggsdollocks said:

get a delicious juvenile chuckle when I remember coming across "Fückes Bäckerei" on my first day in Braunschweig. (Sadly, they've closed since then.)

 

Have they really? That's too bad, they had nice stuff. I lived in BS for 5+ years.

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On 1.11.2019, 11:11:23, Boggsdollocks said:

These days, I still hold the door open, but I then look the next person in the eye to "hand over" the door holding responsibility! Not moving out of the way also helps to get their attention! :D

 

If the line gets too long one can always click heels like Admiral von Schneider...

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