Monday

 

Generalizations about 2 Germanic countries

Day ? + 3: Salzburg, Austria

After spending 2 nights in Austria (following almost 2 weeks in Germany) I am fully prepared to make and stand by the gross generalization that Austrian are simply more friendly and animated than Germans.
First the evidence: 1) I my experiences with tourist offices in Germany I found the people working there entirely preoccupied with whatever else the were doing to be helpful AT ALL. We all know I am in full support of being in deriliction of duty but give me a freaking break. All your job entails is smiling and handing out maps, maybe answering a question or two. Is that so hard to accomplish? I felt as though I was doing something wrong everytime I asked a tourist information person a question.
2) Not once, not twice, probably about 6 times I went up to someone (at a bakery, train station desk, restuarant) and before asking a question or ordering said "wie gets" (sp), which means how are you. Each time I got blank stares. Worried I was saying the wrong thing a consulted a taxi driver. He confirmed I was in fact saying it correctly and understandably. So what gives.

In two nights in Austria I have had countless conversations with randoms at bars, coffee shops, on the street, etc. Everybody seems excited and willing to talk and help. My first night, just 10km or so across the border in Wiessenbach, in Triol, in the foothills of the Alps (gorgeous, by the way, Langer your mountains ain't shit). I stopped in at a restaraunt for some grub. Unfortunately I was too late so I just had a beer.
Within 10 minutes, 8 guys from the town were talking to me asking questions, offering to take me skiing, buying me drinks, I couldn't get out of there.

Lexi proposed a reason for this difference. Seems right to me. Here it goes: All living Germans have lived through continuous hell, begining with WWI, every 20 years or so things go to shit. Maybe we wouldn't be so willing to answer "how's it going" if we had been the battleground for 2 wars and the Cold War.

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