I will never take chit-chat for granted again.
Walking into a local shop and having a bit of a chat as I buy something. Walking into a pub and getting a bit of friendly banter. Coming into work, and being asked how I am, or how my weekend was.
I thought this was just what people did. But not all people. Not Germans.
I used to work with a girl who whenever I tried to strike up a conversation at the coffee machine, by asking her how she was, would reply “Fine”, not asking me in return, or adding anything in the way of input to the conversation. In the end, I gave up.
I used to sit opposite another girl who rarely ever even said hello or goodbye in the morning or evening. To me, this was just plain rude.
And then there was the guy who always says hello and goodbye, but nothing else.
Where is the banter? Why don’t they want to chat?
I decided that Germans must only like to have a conversation for a specific purpose. Not just because. I don’t know if this is true, but it’s the conclusion I’ve come to.
I’ve also realised that I really like to talk shit. I don’t think every conversation has to achieve something; sometimes it’s just good to chat, and have a laugh, about nothing in particular. I crave pointless banter, and it’s another thing I stock up on when I go back to the UK.