Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cultural experience?

I don't want to generalize surprising moments in my life here as the standard (of Konstanz, Germany, Europe, and ....). But, today's experience was really shocking. In this blog, I was not going to write a lot about life, but I do a bit today.

Today I was going to enjoy a relaxing morning, waking up a bit earlier than usual Saturdays.

But, ...

at 8:30 I started hearing a lot of noise of drilling on the wall. In fact, it was usual (already astonishingly) that we (or my wife especially) hear a lot of DIY kinds of noise on working days sometimes starting at 8:00AM. It is Saturday today. That was really outrageous.

When it comes to my neighbors, a woman just next to us is around 90 years old. Some time ago, there was a time when we were away, and DHL delivery left a package to us at her place. It was surprising that she begged for some money (she said '2 or 3 euros') when I visited her to pick the package up. Is this normal?

Because I anyway had to go shopping at a supermarket (which is always full with Swiss people on Saturdays) this morning, I went out to be away from the noise. First, I visited a post office to pick up a package delivered in my absence yesterday - this time they didn't leave the package at the nextdoor woman's place. At the post office, I had to wait for 10 min or so in a queue (I am very used to this typical situation here. No prob!).

One of interesting highlights of life here. They once introduced a ticketing system in which one gets a piece of paper with a number and waits until his or her number is displayed on a cool screen. Somehow it did not work well and abolished.

In my turn finally, I showed a card put in the letter box at the counter, and a woman disappeared to find mine in the storage area. She came back without anything in her hands. She asked me to show my 'Ausweis (=ID card)' at that strange timing (normally after they came back with a package) - probably she was suspicious about my legal situation?? - I know, I am totally a stranger outside Asia. I regret that I didn't show anything with my 'Dr' title together because with a card like that they normally change their way to treat customers immediately and move more quickly (with 'Prof', much more!!). In reality, I just showed my passport, and she finally came back to me with the package 2 minutes later or so.

In the first place, when I was in my home country, workers for delivery always deliver everything to home, and thus do their work. Many things are different - I know, very small things and I don't care any more.

It is now 10:45AM. I am back at home, and the noise is still going on, more than 2 hours. It has been still outrageous. If I ever knew when and how long they produce this noise, I could have planned this day much better. But, the noise is somehow reducing. They are entering a tweaking part of the work. I am sure that they have a really cool drill and they are enjoying the work a lot.