Those of you who regularly follow my blog might remember this post from 2014. Well, now I have a new list of habits which I have adopted while living among the Germans.
- Gone are the days of me saying ‘Ouch’ when I hurt myself. Now, I say ‘Aua’.
My favorite works-in-every-situation expletive is Scheiße.
- I play the innocent and clueless brown foreigner who speaks bad German card whenever I’m in a bind. Works like a charm every time, because Germans are polite and helpful people. Now I feel guilty.
- I shoot dirty looks at people crossing the road when the pedestrian signal is red. I have still not quite made the transition of yelling at them though I fear it’ll happen soon.
- Even though my German is really bad, I tend to confuse words and start remembering German words when talking in English to people from the Indian Subcontinent. This is the weirdest thing for me.
- I do not stand in the supermarket aisle and talk to random people, and find it surprising when others do.
- The only time I say hello to strangers is when I enter a waiting room full of people. And then I say it more to the room than to the humans in it, because human contact needs to be avoided at all costs.
- I stare straight ahead of me when in an elevator.
- My word for goodbye has been categorized by age group: Tschüss for the older people, Ciao for the younger ones. But every so often I whip out a Wiedersehen to keep things interesting.
- I am very troubled when people try to get on public transportation before the ones inside have gotten out and wonder whether society is close to collapsing.
I dabble in the German custom of Kaffee und Kuchen in the name of integration, even though its really for the cake.
- Even though I don’t drink much coffee, I drink it German style when I do. (Pakistani coffee is of a much tamer variety; more like milk with a bit of coffee.)
Like many Germans, I too have aimlessly drifted around a humongous IKEA, only to end up at the restaurant and going home.
- I have grown accustomed to the presence of pets around me when I go into public transportation or the city center…
- …which, by the way, I call City now.