Posted by: tabliope | November 6, 2009

Contrasts

At the moment I seem to be thinking more about leaving Germany rather than the fact that I'm actually moving to Greece.  Actually, let's correct that; at the moment I'm thinking more about the fact that next week I'm going to be in Florence, but I digress.

Earlier this evening I walked down to the supermarket on the main road.  Despite the walk being through a relatively built-up area it's quite a nice walk because we're on a hill and for a lot of the walk there is the view across the town and it was twilight, with clouds and a sunset reflecting through the grey of the clouds.  I walk from our street, which is a cul-de-sac, through to the back of the next cul-de-sac.  It's a relatively new-build area and most of the people who live here have lived here since the houses were built 11 years ago.  Germans don't move much; they tend to rent for a long time and then when they do buy a house or apartment, they buy for life.  This is partly because one usually needs a minimum of 25% deposit for property and also because there is a good selection of rented property.  

After I leave the second cul-de-sac I come out opposite the care home where I visited Petra earlier this year.   It's very close to the main general hospital and a smaller clinic and it's a busy road with several side streets coming onto it.  At each side street I pause before crossing the road but the cars always stop for pedestrians.  This is the Germany that loves cars, has autobahns with no speed limits so people can drive their wonderful German cars as fast as they like, but In town the pedestrian rules, then the cyclist and then finally the car driver.  And despite the autobahns and the great cars they have a rail network that is fantastic. 

Germany has been very good to me and despite it being the middle-aged matron of Europe I have a fondness for it.   I like the fact that I know the germans and that I understand them and often feel the need to defend them.  I've reached a point where I don't mind their tactlessness because I value their politeness.  Germans understand hospitality and you'll never not have a seat or an empty glass at a german party.  You may be told that your hair needs to be cut or that your garden is untidy but you won't be left sitting in a corner wondering who everyone is and how you can get something to eat.

I know that I'll come back here one day and before then I'll write about the next part of the walk to the supermarket but, right now, I need to cook what I bought.

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Responses

  1. [this is good] I’m thinking a lot about Florence next week too.

  2. Odd that tactlessness and politeness co-exist – but I know what you mean, having spent quite a bit of my youth in Germany.
    Lovely post.

  3. I love Germany and for entirely selfish reasons wish you weren’t moving.


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