Sunday, 2 February 2014

Rant No. 2: People walking into you, almost.

Of course, this is not an exclusively German problem; people almost walk into you all over the world.

But in London this is a space problem. Same in Paris. Ditto in Tokyo.

In Berlin however, this is simply because the Germans seem to believe that they have more right to the pavement than you. And the older they are, the more their entitlement to the pavement increases.

So it becomes a battle of wills, despite the space available.

And if you don’t move out of their way, they will just walk into you and trample over you.

This is a battle, and, as with all battles, it cannot be won by giving way. This is the anticipated response, and is seen by Germans as a sign of weakness.

They will respect you more if you stand your ground. So you have to learn to keep the face expressionless and the stance firm.

But remember, they are far more practiced in this behaviour.

Only the Germans will still expect you to move out of the way when they are cycling in the wrong direction in the cycle lane. They still have a way of tutting or making you feel like you are in the wrong.


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