Before I came to Germany, I was fed a bunch of information, facts, quirks etc. by friends of mine who are either German, know someone who is German or who has been to the country personally. All of this was very informative but I have to admit, not everything was very encouraging and positive. Some of the things told to me made me very vary and almost conservative about my visit. I also set myself up and made assumptions about Germans. All, pretty much, were so incorrect it is not even funny. But, this post is about making assumptions about people that, in this case, were very inaccurate.
A friend of mine had sent many a picture to me before I left home of some of my colleagues here. There was one particular girl who always looked unimpressed in the photos she was in. There were only two I believe but they were enough to make an impression on me. A bad impression. I thought to myself, wow, that girl looks really grumpy and mean! I decided then and there that I would stay away from her.
Well, lo and behold, who am I working with now? Ms. Grumpy in the flesh. And, is she grumpy? Oh my gosh, NO!!! She is so kind, friendly and loves to laugh. I mean, she has the best ready laugh I have ever heard. Oh, her face is always primed for a smile also. Was I ever wrong!
My impressions of Swabians, before arriving, have all pretty much been inaccurate. Sure there are jerks in the bunch and I don't think Germans are the warmest people on the planet but there is nothing wrong with that (I am not a warm person by nature so I fit right in. ). I don't think Canadians are super warm either. All my worry and anxiety was for naught really. I am still enjoying the German people and culture despite some of what I was told before coming here. And, the girl, (aka Ms. Grumpy) S, is great! Assuming things about people can result in negative persual of people and a lot of unfounded fear. I am glad I came here and was able to make my own assessments and decisions and to also stop judging a book by it's cover! Being unafraid of Germans has led me to enjoy my stay here wholeheartedly and travel has been a breeze. Also, the more I travel, especially in Germany, I realize that all humans want basically the same things. To do what we enjoy, have loving relationships and be happy. This place has really opened my eyes, dispelled a lot of my inner fears and as I a result, I think I am happier.