Posts Tagged ‘Germany’


The move

April 30, 2012

Since October 2011, I have moved to Germany pursuing graduate studies. That was seven months from now and considering the fact that I can’t speak German, I have been super successful in putting myself in the most awkward situations faced by a foreigner! Awkward indeed, but still most of the times very funny as the thought in a monkey’s mind if it ever looked into a mirror!

One time I was shopping and I decided to pay by credit card, I’m done paying, my card is still in the machine, the lady tells me that I may now take my card out, I understand that she asks me if I want a receipt, and my answer was – with a facial expression and a hand gesture showing that I seriously don’t need it – “no, thank you!”. The look on her face trying so hard to understand why doesn’t this stupid costumer want his card back…priceless!

Sometimes it is not the language barrier itself but a habit-barrier, if one may say, that puts you again in such story material situations. It took me sometime to get used to the habit of saying “bye” to anyone you get in contact with during the day, seriously…anyone! Regardless of both the degree of contact between you two, and/or if there are other forms of end-of-speech that have just been used.The following happened several times: I walk into a store “Hi, do you have/offer bla?” guy-in-store: “no sorry!” me: “Ok thank you!” and as I turn around trying to go out thinking that I have properly ended the conversation, I get chased verbally by the guy and his farewells “bye…BYE!…” and oh yes, I look so rude! but it’s too late now to go back and give proper farewell, so I just let it go and hope the next time I get in contact with someone in an elevator I can maybe shed a tear or two hugging them goodbye..

But then you get used to them, those habits, and with little time they become essential in your daily routine that you might start complaining if people didn’t follow! I was pissed off one time at a dude who crossed a street on a pedestrian red light, seconds later a scene from memory crossed my mind (on a mental scene red light!) where I play the role of a professional rode-crosser dodging cars and ignoring horns in one of the busiest streets in Amman, and I laughed..

oh how fast one can be reprogrammed!