Reactions

20 Sep

I knew when I came to Germany that not all Germans would react to an American in the same way. I have to say, though, that for the most part, they have been extremely welcoming and friendly. The girls I live with always invite me to dinner and other things so that they can make me speak German (we have a rule: No English), and it’s great because they help teach me new words and get used to some of the more confusing grammar. I have definitely run into people who aren’t really keen on Americans, but they really don’t do much more than glare at me disapprovingly. Luckily there aren’t too many of them.

Last night I ran into two people whose reactions were completely opposite one another. First, we asked a guy for directions only to learn that he was from Karlsruhe and knew Freiburg even less than we did. We ended up speaking with him for about twenty minutes after that, and he was extremely interested to find out that we were studying German here in Freiburg and that we’d be living here for a year. Then a little later, a man asked us for directions, and when we tried to tell him where to go, he just asked, “Where are you from? USA? Why don’t you speak English? All Germans speak English.” I guess he was a little bit drunk and wasn’t at all satisfied with our German skills. It’s interesting, though, to see the differences in people’s reactions to us. I wonder what it will be like when I’m fluent…

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