When I moved here, which was a frighteningly long time ago, Jörn bought me a fab book, Getting along with the Germans. It is since out of print, but it is a treasure. The book provides a humorous look at those often funny, sometimes frustrating German characteristics.
One of those characteristics, that frequently makes laugh, is "inside every German is a hidden policeman." He's right. No joke. Germans, the perpetual rule followers, love to let you know when you have broken a rule or a law. Many take an almost a perverse pleasure in letting you know you've been bad. I mean how many other countries have a Department of Order?
Yesterday, we encountered another policeman hidden inside a German.
We were back at the model home park for an entire afternoon of home discussion. After two hours, with two different builders, we headed downtown for a quick bit to eat before another 2 hour meeting with our top choice builder.
We found a wonderful cafe in the Stuttgart train station, that has bagels! We were so excited and had a delicious lunch. We then returned to the home park to meet with our Finger Haus project manager.
We parked and walked for about five minutes to get back to the park entrance. As we started up the stairs, a woman called out to us. She was cruising along with her Nordic Walking sticks, another popular German past-time, and told Jöern that he left his lights on. Um, hello lady! Please tell us when you catch us leaving the car, not after having followed us for the past five minutes. But it was the second comment that really got us. After telling us that our lights were on, she then had to add, with a smile, and a pointy finger, "And one of your lights is out." If only I could put the tone of her voice on a computer. It obviously made her day simply to tell us that one of Jörn's parking lights was out.
Being a rule-follower by nature, I love rules. But, to tell others when they have broken them, and to take pleasure from this act, is one of those German traits I will never understand!