I was going through my blog this morning at the unpublished drafts. I stumbled upon this one that I wrote ten years ago and it made me laugh. How simple life was back then. Obama had just been voted into office and we were all full of hope. This was written in the middle of trip I took with my two children to NYC. It was a fabulous trip and so, I can only imagine I wrote it to let off steam and decided not to publish it.
Enjoy the silly rant of a middle-aged woman, who was oblivious to all the changes heading our way…
These last few days have been full of new ideas and impressions. That seems like a natural consequence of stepping into new territory. It is nice to occasionally test that tolerance bone; the one that must cope with social change and behavior.
I would be exaggerating if I said that my little tolerance bone has only been in the “happy camper” mode since arriving here. There are some forms of behavior that make me feel very uncomfortable, irate, or plum embarrassed. Here are a few that send tiny electrical shocks through me:
- Many cars, pedestrians, cyclists do not pull over and stop when ambulances are trying to drive by. The ambulances have sirens, lights, and are honking their horns, and often the have to merge with the normal flowing traffic because no one moves over.
- Cars weave in-and-out and delivery trucks park in the BUS ONLY LANE. (Seems senseless to implement such a system and not enforce it.)
- The waitresses and waiters take your dishes off the table before the last person is finished eating. (Yesterday, my daughter got her dessert before her brother was finished with his main dish.)
- Many children do not act age-appropriately: 5-6-year-old girls being carried around on the hips/waists of their fathers: 10-12-year-olds sucking their thumbs or pacifiers in public: 10-12-year-olds not able to use forks and knives when eating in restaurants (often using their fingers).
I’m not saying this sort of behavior is wrong, just that my reaction tells me that I have been living in Germany too long. Before, such things wouldn’t have caused even a twitch. Now, they ensue a complex series of emotions that are hard to ignore. Not a good thing.
I don't want to leave the impression that everything is hunky dory back in Luebeck. That just isn't true. It is just other things make me feel uncomfortable then before. And, for the most part, when I go somewhere new, I try to keep an open mind to the new culture and people. It is hard to hold up this mirror and see my intolerance. Got to get working on that.