Thursday, October 25, 2012

Analyzing a Culture: The German Example

You hop off the plane and look around.
 You see signs around the airport in a multitude of different languages.
  You notice shops that you've never seen before and products you've never heard of.


You have have a general idea of what you want to do next, but you see such people you've never seen before,dressed differently and speaking in a language that you vaguely understand.

Fast forward a couple days and you realize that,while things may not be a complete culture shock..something is different.
But what it is?

There is no sure fire way to understand a culture after only a culture. Its all subjective. You will look at everything in a different way based on how you were raised and think.
But you can always compare the little things to your life

Here is my example...

The way I was raised..If you have a problem with something or someone..You say it.
It doesn't have to be something to fight over...But if it is...Why not say something instead of playing games.
I've noticed (for the most part) Germans will not often openly say anything. They seem to not like making a big deal over certain things publicly, but I've slowly started to notice small passive aggressive actions in 
multiple different fields.

The stereotype that Germans are very timely is false in my opinion. Lots of Germans are often just at late as anyone else and even if you set a time..they might not be on time.

But when the tables turn, and they want you to be on time..then they get antsy and play the ditch game. 
Last summer I spent time with a German family and on multiple occasions I was left to run and catch up or find my own way somewhere over time frames as short as a minute.
The mother left me at least twice over last minute things like..
Taking a trip to the bathroom. (Could have waited 2 minutes)
When I come back, they are no where to be found and I receive a call to catch up.
Two fucking minutes?! I'm almost sure that if I wasn't family they would leave me in a truck stop bathroom because I spend a minute to fold the wood chip toilet paper in the bathroom.

Other times I have been rushed, to come outside, when all I wanna do is put my jacket on.


Arguments and Fights
I don't wanna be politically ignorant and incorrect..but after you get your ass handed to you in a couple wars, you learn to sit down and shut the fuck up.
I assume Germans have been reprogrammed since the Nazi era to diffuse fights, rather than finish them.
Too many times I have gotten near to the point of an argument only to have Germans back down when I raise my voice. ( Outside of Germany..German's are thought to be aggressive because of the tone of their language. But once you understand the language..It appears very polite)
I'm far from intimidating, but I've never even got into a shoving match with anyone.

As a matter of fact, I've figured out the best way to end a argument or fight is simply to sit down and call the bluff.
I simply tell the person something along the lines of;
Its a bad idea for you to fight me.
 All at the same time I smiley and take steps back.
* This may not have been the best thing to do, but no one is perfect*
A small cardboard coaster was thrown in a beer hall..
It might have been at me...or just randomly.
Thinking nothing of it..I picked it up and tossed it back where I thought it came from. It may or may not have hit a group of  guys sitting around drinking. B=but they felt threatened and came over to confront me. About 4 of them corner me.

In any other country I would prepare my fist and start eyeing heavy item near me in case something happens.
But In Germany...I simple turned around and sat back at my table.

I even told the group I was with to ignore them also..don't try to hold them back. In the end, it's unlikely that any of the four would throw a punch.
 It's not in the culture to be confrontational like that.
If they did...that punch better knock me out, cause I don't go down easy
As I predicted..they were utterly confused at my unwillingness to even acknowledge them and seconds later..walked back to their seats to whisper about me out of earshot.

Not standing up for yourself, or women/girlfriend

This is a phenomenon that I'm gonna have to research some more. For the time being, Every case I have been part of has ended the same.
I dub it "Dear in the Headlights Syndrome"
This is when you are so utterly confused that you just stand from afar without a clue what to do.
Being the social person that I am (and the fact that lots of beautiful girls are never alone)
I often walk into groups of people to talk too..
I may or may not be set on getting the girl. I may just be looking to talk to people. But this is what often happens:

So far I've noticed three steps that Germans take to counter this.
1.Become friendly with me
 I don't have a clue in hell why you would be nice to the guy trying to take your girl.
   *This sometimes works if the guy is so nice and talkative that I get tired of his voice, realized the girls aren't worth it and leave..but 90 percent of the time..I tune it out.

2. Give a back handed compliment
 This is understandable..try to say something to make me look bad. It may or may not work..but if anyone catches look like a dick because you were the nice guy a couple minutes ago
*This is where the failure is..You chose the wrong steps to stop me and now I will punish you for it.

3. Make excuse to cause everyone to leave.
 The guy falls sicks, or says he wants to go. Anything to make the whole group leave or break the mood.
  This works if the guy has his plan tight and can get everyone to move fast.   
      But sometimes it works against him and he provides a venue change. He may think I've become the satellite of the group..but in reality i'm just taking time to get fresh air.

Here are a couple example cases
Group of 3 girls and two guys:
One guy is pretty drunk and the other one is on his way.
I start talking to the girls and even include the guys in the conversations..I slowly escalate to putting my hands around the girl..and the guys notice..but don't react.
I've done nothing mean spirited to the guys..but they seems to be utterly confused how I got my hand around the girl and even more confused one how I'm able to keep it there.(  Naturally, I'm a touchy person)
It may not have been his girlfriend..but if a random guys steals one of the girls in my group..words will be exchanged and he has to go.
It might be cock blocking...but at the same time.. A shepherd must protect his flock
The guy first tried to befriend me...but never dropped a back handed compliment
Instead he wanted to leave..and the girls dragged us to another club..where he eventually got lost in the crowd and I made out with the girl.

Group of 2 girls, 2 guys.
This was a bold move that I was rewarded for.
I opened a group that to this day.. could have been 2 couples.
This time both guys went through applauded me and befriended me
The second one dropped the back handed compliments.
All this happen in an area so small that the guy had to graze me to get a better position.
Within 10 minutes I was teaching the girl, he brought out, the proper way to use her tongue and the enjoyment that one ET finger and bring to a clitoris.
I knew I wasn't taking her home..but I was rewarding myself and emasculating the man for his comments.
Eventually he pull his head out of the lights and said he wanted to go home..and being the driver..he held the keys.

Dinner party group
While the girlfriend was initially quiet..she warmed up after a couple shots and when we all went downtown..
despite my efforts to not show her attention she repeatedly left her boyfriend to talk to me..and even when I walked ahead to get in front of the pack..his girlfriend latched onto my arm like a child.
I took the whole group to a bar that i'm a regular at (friends are bartenders)..I was given a couple shots on the host.
I could see the looks in the boyfriends eyes..and I stopped talking to his girlfriend out of respect.
He skipped ever step and went to the last..he eventually picked up and walked off, leaving me a different friend.
I'll give them the benefit of doubt that it was loud in the whole districts..but the other half of the group never returned our phone calls when we tried to meet back up.

My logical thought would have been to tell my girlfriend I didn't appreciate her latching onto some other guy.
But I guess passive aggressiveness is how Germany rolls now.


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