In Indonesia you get to know people very quickly. You also greet people on the street or in public transportation. In the beginning I was always very sad in Germany because when somebody walked by on the street I greeted them, but they never replied or simply gave me this strange look.

How long did it take before you gave up greeting people on the streets?

I guess about five years.

How do you enjoy your life over here?

I still like the life in Germany a lot. I don’t know if I could imagine staying here forever, but at the moment I work for Deutsche Welle and it is easier for a foreigner to live in Germany when they have a job.

I like the security. Everything is regulated. When you know and try to understand the rules, then you will feel secure over here. You can live here well. Also the healthcare… Over here you have the obligatory health insurance. Such healthcare in Indonesia is only for rich people. Here you have to have it, and this is good.

Do you remember if anything particular surprised you when you came  to Germany?

I don’t know what the Germans think about Asians, but there are very funny moments. In Berlin while I waited for a tramway, a woman came to me and asked if I could teach her meditation. I guess that for some Germans the Asians are connected to spirituality. I had to tell her that maybe I can meditate, but unfortunately I cannot teach it to her.


By Eve

Multicoolty founder.
Always a learner, hungry runner, dog lover for life, world traveler, serial fish eater and espresso drinker, Juventus fan and a true multicoolty at heart!

5 thoughts on “Greeting people on the street”
  1. "In the beginning I was always very sad in Germany because when somebody walked by on the street I greeted them, but they never replied or simply gave me this strange look."

  2. Ich mache in ländlichen Regionen, z.B. Saarland, die Erfahrung, dass die Menschen, insbesondere ältere Menschen, sich noch über einen Gruß auf der Straße freuen. Kürzlich war ich in Rodenkirchen unterwegs und wurde von einer jungen, mir unbekannten Frau auf der Straße gegrüßt. Ich fand das äußerst ungewöhnlich und dachte darüber nach, woher ich die Person doch noch kennen könnte. Multicoolty spiegelt das Leben von uns Deutschen auf sehr interessane Weise.

  3. I currently see a trend backwards to more openess. Being from Northern Germany where people tend to be very reserved initially, I also feel that saying HELLO on the street/neighborhood was not the done thing. But since I am back from many years abroad, I have to say that I am suddenly finding many people saying hello when walking in the park (in a smaller town that is) and much more friendly in the shops , which would not have been there 10 years ago. But people from a great HELLO culture, for them it must be lonely indeed.

  4. Renate Wassen Auf jeden fall gut zu wissen 🙂 Vielleicht ist es ja nur eine Besonderheit von Grossstädte, dass man da als Person eher anonym bleibt.

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