They don’t understand queuing. Buying groceries can turn into a highly stressful experience: cashiers scan the items much faster than any human could possibly bag them so you have to move fast, and there’s never enough time or disposition for friendly chit chat (after all, that’s not very effective). They love rules and take little things far too seriously and trust me on this: the trains here are always late!
I still don’t fully understand the German culture and habits, but I’ve come to slowly appreciate a lot of aspects about it. I’m not the only one – there are hundreds of books on the subject. People from all over the world trying to understand things like why you can’t mown your lawn on Sundays, and what is it about curry wurst that they love so much. It’s like being part of a little club, the outsiders club. Having said that, there’s a lot to admire and learn from the Germans, and there’s one particular thing I seem to love the most…
One thing I’ve noticed since moving here is how many elderly couples I see walking around hand in hand everywhere. They’re usually very active and out and about. The ladies wear short skirts and short dresses in the summer and there’s no judgement or shaming or feeling uncomfortable – another thing I love about life here, the fact that there’s less of that crazy obsession over youth that makes older woman feel invisible and obsolete, they just look beautiful.
Seeing all these older couples being so caring and affectionate towards each other is now the most endearing thing to me and it never fails to melt my heart. They seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and I’m amazed to see couples thriving after years of marriage. That’s just beautiful. Whenever I’m at a coffee shop or a restaurant I always notice how the lady just have a seat at the table while her man goes around the place grabbing sugar, cutlery, or whatever the heck she needs and brings over it to her. I’ve seen it so many times and it’s terribly sweet.
Does this make me too old fashioned? Are my standards too low? Either way, the one thing I take from all this observation is that that’s the kind of marriage I hope to someday have: growing old together, a lifetime of history behind us, a lot of fun, exciting experiences ahead, and a lovely partner who’s going to run around the place bringing me my food while I sit pretty and wait.