Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How can someone take politeness to such an extreme?

I went to Germany for the weekend to visit the place where I used to live. I was staying with a friend of mine and the weekend mainly consisted of hanging out, walking through town, catching up and lots of eating and drinking.

It was really great to see everything and everyone again. Being back made me realize how much I had missed some of the people and at the same time how glad I am to no longer be living there. A small town in former Eastern Germany is not really the ideal place to live.

I am much happier living where I am living now. In a big city among other loud mouthed direct Dutch folks. It is hard to explain, but even though the Dutch and the Germans might seem very similar, we are miles apart.

Especially for someone like me who is very direct (read rude) and does not like either authority or following rules, it wasn’t the ideal place to live. It was nice to reminisce though and walk the hills and enjoy the Weihnachtsmarkt.

I sent an email to all my old colleagues saying I’d be at the Weihnachtsmarkt and would they like to join me for a Gluhwein. I’d heard back from a few people I used to hang out with that they’d be there, and of course I did not expect anyone I never hung out with to show up.

But guess what? The one girl I could not stand the entire time I lived in Germany-my least favourite person ever-showed up with her husband. I could not believe it. Not only did she show up for a drink, she even invited herself to join us for dinner after.


It is not even as if it is a one way thing and she really likes me. We never hung out, we never saw eye to eye, in fact we have absolutely nothing in common or to say to each other (read I hate the bitch with a passion). I guess she just showed up because she was being polite.

She felt it would be polite or the right thing to do or whatever else good Germans feel they ought to do. I was so tempted to tell her to her face: Why the hell are you here? We do not like each other, I cannot stand you, why are you joining us for dinner? But I behaved.

Yes, me not being that mean is behaving for me. Because I did tell how I felt to everyone else as soon as she left. Perhaps I was being a bit harsh, but c’mon. Her new husband had just moved all his stuff to her apartment that morning.

So she chose having drinks and dinner with a colleague she doesn’t like and doesn’t like her over spending quality time with her husband the first weekend they’re living in the same town. Who does that?

I am so glad I am like me. I might piss off people now and then, but at least I never compromise my life for stuff I feel I ought to do.

Please do tell me if it is me and you can actually understand that girl.


Random said...

I'm a polite person (at least I like to think so...) but I would never show up like that - especially if I had just moved in with someone that same morning.

On the other hand: If you send her an email as well... Nah. Even then I wouldn't show up.

So I guess my point is - I get what you are saying (WTF).

But besides that I hope you had a great time back in (do you still use the term DDR?) Eastern Germany. And any Weihnachtsmarkt and some Gluhwein would bring out the Christmas spirit.

Natazzz said...

Nah, it was just a general email to the whole department, it's not like I invited her personally.

Still, I know most people are much more polite than me and tend to do crazy things.

DDR hasn't been used since 1989, but even though Germany is one country you still notice clear differences between East and West.

mega said...

I would have just said: "I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're doing here... so if you don't mind I would prefer to have dinner without you. Thanks for showing up"

Polite, direct and sarcastic! Great combination hein? ;)

Natazzz said...

Mega, that's what I wanted to do.

However, with some people you just can't.

She either would've laughed assuming I was joking or started crying.

This is the same girl who once worried for an entire week that I was mad at her, because she had asked me a question and I had not responded.

I happened to have had an ear infection and just hadn't heard her.