It’d be more textbook to say that living in a country that is not your own forces you to adapt to new languages, cultures and ways of life, but, in this case, that might be exaggerating. Germany is not so different to the UK. I’ve had to adapt, yes, but to situations like running out of Marmite or the shops being closed on a Sunday – nothing too major. (Unless you run out of milk on Saturday evening. Bummer.)
One thing I do notice and have adapted to here, though, is crossing the street. Light on red, but no traffic for miles? Green just gone and 4 am? Should I stay or should I go now?
Well you should almost certainly stay -it’s the law (I think…), it’s a good example (always), and it avoids you getting told off by helpful locals (often). But there is another reason, in my opinion, why you should wait for the green man. Or, indeed, why in any situation where you might have to wait, you take the opportunity.
We’re always in such a rush – to work, from work, to the supermarket, to meet friends. We don’t stop enough. We don’t look at the autumn leaves hanging on for dear life. The world often feels like it’s rushing past at 100 mph (I’m guessing it’s probably faster,) and we rarely take these chances, when we’re forced to stop, to breath the air and taste life. We’re often too busy cursing the traffic or the man in front of us with a trolley full of baked bean (oh wait, you can’t easily get them either) that we forget that it’s okay to stop for a second.
So I’ve decided to be a good citizen and always wait for green men. I’ve concluded the tram being a bit late is bonus time. I’m hoping the line is long in the supermarket tomorrow, so I can make up blog posts or send happy thoughts to friends.
Like’s been too busy lately, too worry-dominated and all over the place. It’s time to hurry up and wait.