We live now for over 1 1/2 years in Germany and are getting the hang on living here. I should know much about it as I lived here nearly my whole life except those 7 odd years in Finland but it ain’t so. You see both my wife and I adapted to the life in Finland during those years rather well and things are just a bit different here in Germany.
There is for instance the good old Mittagsruhe – Midday Peace which is a quiet time from 1pm till 3pm. You shall make no noise at all during that time. You have some work at home which needs to be done? Tough luck as you will have a horde of furious elderly neighbours massing in front of your door in case they even hear a tiny sound. This might sounds amusing but it is not, not at all. Sure it is a more generational thing these days but we have the luck to have a building full of elderly people here and they can hear pretty well out of nowhere as soon as it is Midday Peace. Also another thing I didn’t know about in Finland is that many restaurants have a Ruhetag – Day of Rest some when within the week, sometimes even two of those days. I wonder how often my wife and I already drove somewhere to eat just to find out that they have their Day of Rest…
Anyhow this is actually not what I wanted to write about but it came to my mind as I just had yesterday again some complaint from a random neighbour due to the midday peace. The topic for today is in fact something like a continuation from my post from January 2015 “Living as an interracial couple in Germany”. Back then I had many things on my mind with people behaving odd with us or also the thing about language. Most of those troubles have subsided over time such as the annoyance with official documents and governmental things as they are done (for now). Also we had no stupid neighbour going through our trash anymore which is rather nice. But there is still something which happens few times a month.
When I take a walk with Nathan around the city people always say how cute he is, especially elderly women are really fond of him. However when we are out together as a family people are looking at us and then whisper something to each other. Often when I am close enough I hear stuff like “She must be here for the Visa”, or “Another Thai around here” or “I wonder if it is even his child”. Now I don’t get upset about it or try to argue with them as it is anyways useless. I never heard such stupid things in Finland, not in the big city there nor in the countryside. Here in Germany I also only heard it in my hometown not in the bigger cities such as Hamburg, Kiel or Cologne. It really seems that people in Germany appear to be more narrow-minded the smaller the city gets. But I must also say this is another generational thing same as the before mentioned “Midday Peace”. I have never heard anything like that from people around my generation, always from one to two generation older than us.
It appears also that the people around here have a very certain stereotype when it comes to WMAF, White Male Asian Female couples. Why? Because more often than not you see older German guys with their younger Asian (in this case nearly always Thai) girlfriends or wives. In fact in our building there is a nice man living together with his Thai girlfriend but she lived here already years before she got together with him. This is also why all peopl assume that my wife is from Thailand. Just few days a guy whom I gave few cents for a bus ticket asked me if my wife is from Thailand. Here again it is nothing I get upset about, nor does my wife care about it any longer but the consistency about those things are something which sticks to my mind. Do I think that life is harder for us due to our interracial relationship? No, not at all but it brings up a lot of more comments from other people around. Sure many of them sound racist (some actually are) but most of these comments are happening because they don’t know any better.
Now that this is of my mind (thank you blog for being my therapy) I can go back and focus on more important things in my life, such as preserving the kitchen from total destruction due to MIL. Oh and by the way, next weeks blog post will be a bit delayed. We will be over the weekend in the beautiful city of Dresden for some sightseeing, eating and visiting a few of my friends.
Do random people start talking about you when you take a walk outside?
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