Saturday, July 9, 2011

International Traveler

That's me, now! Okay, I've only been to one country, if you don't count the airports in the Netherlands and France (and I don't). Still, it's way better than having to sheepishly say, "I've sort of been to Canada, but only Vancouver."

One observation:

Watching Germans get on and off the trains made me realize that it's really not that hard to, as a society, be nominally courteous. Although the disgorging of people from the train and loading of people from the station needs to be accomplished quickly, Germans waiting to board stand aside until all the people on the train have exited before getting on. This includes people struggling with bags or strollers, old people with canes, families with small children. The only thing it didn't seem to include were people who realized belatedly that this was their stop and therefore were getting off after the initial group had already left. Other than that, though, it was the same every time: doors open, people exit, people enter, doors close, train leaves. Easy as could be, without any frustration, shoving, running into each other, chorus of "excuse me"s, or anything else besides silent efficiency.
You notice how the people who just disembarked are
all blurred and the people who are getting on the train are
just starting to move? This is how it should be done, people.
I honestly can't remember the last time (or if there was a time) when I managed to get off an elevator in the US without someone getting on nearly barreling into me the instant the doors opened. I guess we're just culturally incapable of understanding the concept of taking turns.

Next time, I'll tell you about my crash course in practical German.

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