Talking to my friend Ilka, a German girl my age whom I consider part of my family, I always have to complain about how I am pissed and mad at people in Berlin. She always agrees.
By now I know enough nice and friendly people and I like them very much, but there is always the "public place experience" which leaves me - almost everyday - in discomfort.
People complain a lot. Doors do not get opened for you (me, usually pushing a stroller and carrying more than one bag), nobody gives you his or her seat in the train, queues are not respected and if you ask for an information, most probably you will receive a bad look.
Let's don't talk about kids: someone would always tell you they are too loud or would give some unwanted suggestion - and if it comes from a man, I can tell you I get totally upset!!!
So, with all the pretty things to see and do there are, the one I never missed is this attitude.
The sources of which are still obscure to me; is it the stress of being always on time?The perfectionism?Or is it pure selfishness?
I know at this point I would make my German readers unhappy, but I believe it is time to change!What about a friendly smile?What about a more positive state of mind?
This, believe it or not, can make the difference in one's life.
My husband, himself a born Berliner (but generally a lot friendlier than the stereotype described above) would always tell me to complain directly to the people who cause my unhappiness, but - as in the best cases of bad communication between man and woman - while I would try to make him feel sympathy for my dissatisfaction, he would get angry because I don't do anything to solve the problem.
Point is that, apart from being myself, kind and caring and smiling, I can't do much to solve the problem, aside from having these long dialogues with Ilka and - if in total despair - yell something like "go to hell", revealing that my inability to pronounce the letter H at the beginning of words is not because I am a sweet French girl, but rather an angry Italian one.