What Really Happened – cross cultural

Forgive my long absence, but here I am again, writing in from over in the USA.  Right now, I am right around where I grew up.

Today’s post is about what happened a few months ago and how to clear it up.  The truth is, that when I flew in from Germany to England there were 2 lines: EU Arrivals and Non-EU Arrivals.  Being American I chose Non-EU Arrivals and that had a huge impact on what happened.

*Here’s what I didn’t know that in truth, I still can’t say with 100% certainty but with only about 89% certainty.   The German ‘permissions’ were good in England,even with the drama of Brexit.  That had a major influence on how I acted about entering England.

If you have not read the post about what happened, just scroll down to get perspective.  This post simply relates to the one before it.

When I was forced back to Germany, not one single German had a social encounter with me in which I was reminded about the obvious – that the residence and work permits granted me by Germany were still good in England, but….

I would have needed to show those to the Border Patrol rather than my US Passport.

martinnmalcom   What?

The ….Wait a minute….Die Erlaubnissen von Deutschland sind gut in Grossbrittania….Dass ist ganz einfach!  Was ist los mit Dir? (maybeImage result for images american flag Du, oder Dich).

 

I’m sorry, what?

The British Border Patrol even took my US passport so that I would really notice that Germany let me back in using German documentation.  This is due to German relatives.  I was very legally there.  Germany really gave me residence and work permit.  I had ‘earned’ the permanent residency permit but still had a temporary one and was still ambivalent about Germany and chronically missed the USA, but also missed England – less so, but also.

Still…Nothing…

 

….

Bottom Line:  That’s really what happened.  For some reason, between July 5 and November 10th I did not meet a single German who bothered to remind me of the obvious.

I eventually found out that I should have assumed the German permissions were good even without the German equivalent of a Green Card only while stranded at Gatwick in November.  My pass granted to me by England into my US passport ran out.  I worried and I asked around in the airport.  That’s when they reminded me of the truth.  Don’t worry, they assured me when I described my German documentation – with the German permissions I was fine in England for weeks – even months, and could even get a job.

I needed to know that months earlier.  Maybe I was just a Sissy.  Maybe I missed the USA that much.  Maybe, uh, just an embarrassing “Duh!” moment.

 

 

 

Hallucinating or Just in Europe?

Hi folks.  I’m not that sure who will check in and read this blog.  At this time, the highest official number of readers was back in 2014, when a few hundred people did something that caused the system to list them as having been visitors who read the blog.  I still don’t know what I did that day that was so much better.

Anyway, some of you know that I tried to leave Germany again last Summer.  I was forced back by Great Britain for the first time in my life, at the Border.  I never lied to Britain to go into the nation.  I even already had a visitor’s visa.  So what was the problem?  It turned out that there were 2 problems.  1) The place I had thought I had secured to volunteer in exchange for room and board, was not really there for me.  2) The laws of Great Britain and the USA require that I – or anyone, have work permission even to do volunteer work.

Also at the border there were posters of people who ended up in slave-labor situations and that the British government is not interested in enslaving people that way.

I was upset to be sent back to Germany.  There are numerous jobs in the professional writing field there in Greater London for which I am qualified – some I am well qualified for, others barely or not quite and some medium, and that pay decently.  I would not mind one of those.  At the same time, I was grateful to be sent back to a country where I do already have work permission.

Due to that, I have had more experiences in Germany.  I finally spent a couple of months in a city – I should have moved to the nearest city 2 or 3 years ago most likely but did not….It was nice to have the same address for longer.   Long, arduous story about how I would have if someone hadn’t divorced me or if I had accepted a house next door to my father instead of staying with friends from college and a lover and a job in Indianapolis….Anyway, due to all that, it has only been late August, and September and October that I have been in Bremen, Germany rather than out in a village.

My daily images of dairy cattle and the sounds of the nearest rooster, sheep or horse have been replaced by the street cars and sounds of regular street traffic.

Stay tuned for more.

 

 

 

Structured Blogging

(Failed attempt to insert images of pretty horses that live in the North German countryside)

The Past

In the past I tried blogging.  In fact, I think that I have done some personal blogging for more than 6 years, including 2 old Uranian Fiction websites, this blog and also Wealthy Affiliate websites that use my name miriampia.org and .com rather than using Uranian Fiction.

After 3 or 4 years of effort, I just started to write a blog with a structured weekly schedule but then suddenly, something else happened which undermined that whole effort.  I don’t even remember what it was now.

The Present

Now, this is also blogging.  I did a little professional blogging in the past – mostly for a Atlanta Real Estate, about a decade ago, but I think I have blogged professionally elsewhere.  I realize that sounds whacky, but if you meet enough professional writers it will seem less crazy.  It is a volume & mind set issue as it relates to memory.

I do believe that structured blogging can make sense.  In my own case, I may have to start all over again.

Topics

The truth is that I like the idea of being able to blog to readers on various topics and even in multiple ways.  Some days I want to produce professional copy as I do write professionally but other times I just want to share my personality with readers.  Not only that but there are also days which are more like ‘wow’ days – to share spontaneously, whether about some new facet of German culture or another travel location or something else.  Maybe it would be about hair and fashion rather than culture or delves deeply into my mood one day – out of nowhere: what some people would describe as ‘random’.

PsychoBunnyBoozePhilosophyW

Success & Failure 2014

Success and failure are both realities that I have some experience with. I think that most people do. We learn that stuff we begin to think of ourselves as being good at, we can do well more quickly whereas I think most of us also have activities that we find it hard to get much improvement in – or we get a good learning curve but then after a while, we realize we have plataeud and when we check around we find out that we are only mediocre rather than particularly good or bad at anything.

Individuality is made up largely of how this is actually true. Obviously opportunities and culture and gender all influence how this simple reality plays out.

There are also people who can become excellent with a tremendous amount of effort, at a kind of task they may have not felt they even had a real talent for. This is sometimes true. It can be caused by misperception – the 5th grade teacher who said So-n-So isn’t good at something but in reality for some reason that teacher was just wrong and 20 years later So-n-So is one of the best at that…and other weird events can transpire.

Failing in an activity perceived subjectively as a strong point can be harder to take than failure in an area not viewed as being anything one is good at in the first place.

Spiritually, they say that failure and success are supposed to be considered equals, or at least, that one is supposed to remain emotionally placid about both failure and success. Well, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

It’s Cross-Cultural Wednesday

Here at the blog, it’s cross-cultural Wednesday.

During the previous week the simple cultural differences about grocery shopping came up. When I was young and had never been to Europe I had heard that the Europeans were more likely than Americans to do daily grocery shopping and to get less at a time.

Now it is decades later: is it still like that? So far, in my own humble experience, which may not be typical, the difference that I have felt the most is this: 1) In the USA, usually, if a customer dares try to assert their right to use a re-usable bag they brought with them, the cashiers normally manage to force at least one or two more plastic or paper bags onto the customers. Those who accept being supplied their bag by the store, may be allowed to choose paper or plastic. 2) In Germany, many shoppers show up with their own basket. The situation is the opposite of how it is in the USA. If you have really neglected to bring your reusable bag or basket with you, the shop can sell you one – but they are able to trigger your sense of guilt or just social faux pas. Germans bag their own groceries except that they re-use their own devices meaning their skills at packing and estimating exactly how much fits both their budget and their basket – and often to ride their bike or walk it home.

For Americans in Germany the shock of the cashier staring at you as if you are nut job for not having brought your basket is profound. For Germans, I imagine that it may be truly upsetting – especially for the environmentally conscious, to bring in their basket and have unecessary plastic bags forced on them and to have cashiers look at them as if only naughty idiots touch their groceries immediately after purchase. In either direction, one can adjust but I think it is natural for someone to feel weird when confronted by the other approach.

Granted many of those who only use one shopping basket either shop often even though they are not financially poor or because they are. A lot of married women in Western Germany have not had careers and if their husband has not provided two cars or if she has not traveled with him in order to retain control of the car while he is at work, they are left with bikes, or public transit and their own feet. As a side effect, there are a lot of married German woman out there with their baskets as one means of getting out of the house even if they don’t have jobs.

Pop Culture – Transcultural: why does that character sound like that?

During the years in Germany I have watched more films and TV that were either made in German or a different language other than English than ever before. I think before then, I had only seen the film “The gods must be crazy” as I was not ever a big foreign films buff.

There are a few factors involved with cross cultural mass media. One issue for mass media is dubbing and translation. So far, what I have found has been that when I see and hear a Hollywood movie with German dubbing on that I never saw in English, the dubbing is weird for me but only because I am not German. Or so I think. However, once I know the original it becomes clear that the dubbed voices are not the ones that seem to really belong to the characters.

There is at least one German voice, sadly his voice is not all that impressive, which gets a lot of work dubbing German for the movies. I am now able to recognize that man’s voice as I have heard it in many Hollywood movies when German dubbing is on. I have no idea what his name is or what he looks like but hope it pays decently and am impressed that he has been able to get a lot of work that way.

When the alternatives are Japanese, Norwegian, or Chinese or Turkish, I tend to enthusiastically select German although I did watch some Norwegian and a couple of years ago I heard Tibetan on YouTube and felt German was only slightly less confusing but did not sound as good to me.

When the alternative is English I will pick that most of the time but choose German enough to help me to continue to improve my German especially as my neighbors need me to speak German if we are to understand one another in daily conversation.

I studied Spanish in school having not foreseen ever needing more than about 10 words of German in my entire life, even though I have been planning and expecting to live to about 85 years +/- 5 years unless bad fortune or bonus good longevity make it otherwise. I did also study some Latin & French and have learned at least one word of 23 languages so far, but now I know more German than Spanish.

Life sometimes does that to people. Sometimes people are allowed to have the plans they make actually work and other times Life or other people or their inner saboteur makes peoples’ lives unlike what they had had in mind for themselves.