08 April 2011

Now, this made me laugh.

It was a busy day today, but let's put that aside.

I came home from swimming lessons with T2 at about 18:00, always a difficult time to find parking. We were still in our swim shoes and her hair was sopping wet. There was only 1 open spot close to our apartment, but there was an auto parked across two spots preventing its use. I pulled up next to the spot, because the car was running and there was someone reading, but that person didn't move, although he saw me.

So I went down the block, we put our regular shoes on, and I walked back to our building. After crossing the street and passing the running car, I thought. Then, holding my wet 4 year old's hand, I knocked on the window. He looked up, ignored me, looked down. I knocked again. He rolled his window down. I begged his pardon and asked if he knew that he was blocking two spots (and yes, I was speaking German). He responded in his native German, that he was perfectly aware. I pointed out that it was impolite for him to do so (unhöflich) and he agreed and said he didn't care and rolled his window up. As he was doing so, I thanked him for displaying such perfectly German behaviors.

That's not what made me laugh. What made me laugh was that after I went home, I was still so annoyed at this flaming a****l**h that I grabbed my NikonD50 and went down to take a picture of his car. If he had asked, my response was going to be that I wanted his picture on my wall, so when I wanted to know what a perfect a****l***h looked like, I could look at him. Or I would look for a website that posted pictures of such, like we have for pervs in NYC.

However, for some reason, he was so frightened of my camera that as he saw me approaching he ran away. I'm not certain why, because being an a* is definitely not illegal in Germany (there are many perfectly open and self satisfied such here), but perhaps he felt that parking in a spot marked Artz was (it's not).
Here you see him fleeing.

I chuckled for the next hour.

When I discussed this with the German when he got home from München, he asked me why I felt this was such German behavior, rather than just that of any old a**. Because he stated it right out, I said. In NY, the answer would have been (even if not true): "Oh, sorry, I didn't notice. Have a great day."
After he thought for a second, he agreed: it was indeed a particularly German interaction. Here the rudeness is straight out and direct, as a German would say.


Expats Again said...

Oh, my. My blood pressure went up just reading about this arrogant person. People like this, from any country, are so aggravating. Your camera was the best idea! Kudos to you!

G in Berlin said...

It absolutely made what had been a nasty encounter with a foul taste into something that has made me smile all evening. The spouse says I'm lucky that he ran, but really- what could a middle aged German man in an expensive car really do? We have open stores all around (and I never even thought that he might be threatening- sometimes I am oblivious, and I did leave my daughter behind watching Kika:-))

Anonymous said...

:D I guess he was afraid you'd sue him and would use the photo as evidence...
But it's true, it's typical German behaviour!

Anonymous said...

I wish you'd been able to make that comment to him...it was perfect! The nerve!

Tom said...

Yep, that sounds German. A lot of Germans I know often talk about the rudeness here. Interesting place. Luckily, the ones I know are perfectly nice...at least to me.

I flew back to Germany yesterday. Got to the train station at Frankfurt airport and was promptly pushed in front of, as I waited in line. The woman looked at me like I was in error. Maybe I don't understand the 'rules'.

Is it possible?