tger greenhaddock: Involuntary movement

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Involuntary movement

Last evening I was sat on the train on the way home from work. I happened to be sat in one of the seats near the sliding doors which separate the carriages. Sitting here is a royal pain in the arse, as you constantly have to shut the door after people who have just walked through the door and not shut it.

Most Germans sat in these seats get annoyed at having to shut the door but never say anything to the offender. I normally do not say anything either, but last evening a lad in his twenties walked through twice without shutting the door. Without thinking about it I poked him in the stomach, probably a bit harder than what I should’ve done. He looked shocked and said something to me sharply in German which I didn’t understand as I was listening to music on my MP3 player. I replied in English and in a firm tone, “Shut that door Please”. Immediately he shut the door, lowered his head, and then walked off. I naturally thanked him in English. A result.

At this point I realised that all the other German passengers were looking at me. Some in amusement I suspect, and hopefully some with respect, for challenging the mannerless lout. Of course it could have just been because I had shouted loudly as I was wearing headphones, and they thought they had an English nutter on the train.

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Blogger Dixie said...

Way to go! Thank goodness someone reacted in some other way than what I term as the terse German glare.

February 10, 2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger Franzie said...

Good on you!
Everybody else was probably so thankful that someone wasn't just 'glaring' (to steal the phrase) but had the guts to say something.
I guess, as Germans we're so straight forward but when it comes to certain issues we just don't say anything, though our eyes're probably saying more than one can handle.
It great getting the 'outsider' perspective on one's own culture and mannerism ;-)

February 10, 2006 3:22 AM  
Blogger Léons Life said...

Yes you need to pat yourself on the back for that, something a lot of us 'think' about doing in a lot of situations but are to scared to really do.

February 10, 2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous lydia said...

Well done. you have more nerve than i do. I wouldn't even do that in England let alone in a foreign country.I am always being jostled and bumped into, no one evr says sorry or excuse me. wish i could just tell em what i think.

February 10, 2006 1:02 PM  
Anonymous neil said...

Another glorious victory Mr. Haddock! Personal experience leads me to go with the "English nutter" theory though....

February 10, 2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger Haddock said...

Dixie - "The terse German stare" - I know exactly what you mean!

Franzie - I don't normally do this sort of thing. I was really tired. It was almost an automatic action.Thanks for stopping by :)

Leons Life - If I had thought about it I probably wouldn't have poked him in the stomach. It just sort of happened - Involuntary! :)

Lydia - People here do tend to jostle and bump into others (a lot) and never apologise. On occasion when someone does apologise its a pleasant surprise.

Neil - A glorious victory indeed! Whether due to the media or not, most nationalities seem to give English nutters (Island Monkeys) a wide berth.

February 10, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

There i s nothing worse than English nutters on a train except to be in England with a train full of them.

February 10, 2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger Bob Gentry said...

you know that mp3 headphone chord is a great tool for whipping and strangulation :)

(evil grin)

February 10, 2006 10:49 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

You're probably lucky not to have received an "Anzeige wegen Körperverletzung" you rowdy you ;-)

February 11, 2006 7:57 AM  
Blogger versteckt said...

This entry just makes me laugh and reminds me of my train ride from Siegen to Bochum last night... The train was packed and I had to sit next to a Spanish family for 2 hours that talked constantly, LOUDLY in Spanish the entire time. I was glaring at them, the rest of the Germans around me were glaring at them, but of course no one said anything :D I was so tempted to just reach over and hit one of them.

I'll have to remember to never sit near one of those doors otherwise I might do some unvoluntary...something. I have a tendency to be involuntarily violent.

February 11, 2006 10:17 AM  
Blogger EuroTrippen said...

LOL... I think one of the biggest adjustments I'll have moving from the USA to Deutschland is availing myself of public transit. Here everyone drives big, fat SUV's and the worst we do when annoyed is flip other drivers off and then speed away.

February 11, 2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Haddock said...

Dr John - How true! :)

Bob - That should be in book called the "Commuters guide to survival"

Karen - I guess I was lucky not to have those big words spoken to me :)

Viernach - Welcome to Public Transport in Germany - It's fun isn't it! :)

Eurotrippen - Giving someone the finger whilst driving in Germany is illegal! - It took me a long time to get out of the habit (I still do it sometimes anyway) :)

February 11, 2006 4:10 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Brian Johnson said...

It's against German LAW to flip somebody off whilst driving? This is the most outrageous thing I've ever heard. Out here, the middle finger might as well be the brake pedal, so often is it relied upon...

"English nutter." I'll be laughing about that the rest of the weekend.

February 12, 2006 2:57 AM  
Blogger christina said...

If word gets around about this, you'll eventually have a whole compartment to yourself - " Vorsicht, der ist unberechenbar." :-)

I can just picture you poking him in the stomach.

February 12, 2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger Rocky said...

Way to lay down the law, Haddock!

February 12, 2006 10:53 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Way to go!!! I spoke up like that on Friday but it didn't have as much impact because it was with 7th graders. haha

February 13, 2006 4:47 AM  
Blogger Nordbank said...

I also find myself verbaly abusing Germans for their appaling behaviour in public. EG. They never look behind them after walking through doors. If you're driving in Germany & you slow down to let someone change lanes or enter the stream of traffic ahead of you, you never get a little wave of thanks, it drives me mad.
Germans are very good at formal politeness but absolutely terrible at real genuine politeness & respect for ones fellow man (or woman)

February 13, 2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Hendry Allen said...

hello have nice blog and nice smile of you... :)

February 13, 2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger Nordbank said...

Mr Haddock, I think you've pulled.

February 14, 2006 2:45 PM  

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