It might just be me being British but I’ve noticed a distinct lack of manners and politeness while living abroad. I’m not saying all Germans are rude (I know they’re not, I live with two lovely German girls) but I have been finding a lot of people I meet to be very rude.
For example in shops. Customer service doesn’t seem to exist. It’s not just in Lidl or Aldi where you half expect it because there are about 3 members of staff per store and they’re basically in a rush to get through the massive queue of people. But any kind of shop – be it a more expensive supermarket, a clothes shop or a newsagents.
My boyfriend, Max, wanted to get one of his keys cut so he had a spare copy. He asked how much it would be to the man behind the counter who just replied very abruptly ‘Keine Ahnung!’ (which means, I haven’t got a clue!)
Not only is it poor he had no idea how much it would cost in his own shop but basically then shooed us out of the shop.
I was always told that Germans were more direct with people. And they are. But I never realised they could be just plain rude.
Britain – you definitely win on the politeness front! (possibly because we’re polite to people’s faces and then curse them when they have their backs turned!)
Has anybody else experienced this either in Germany or in the country that they’re staying in?