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Handshake

It must be some time between 2002 and 2004. I was no longer in Bavaria.

I had already begun with my little coaching company in Berlin. I was about to stabilize and started to get some good orders. Gosh, I was happy. Berlin offered a lot of possibilities. Glamorous city. How they say again? –  Poor and sexy.

It is indeed mad to know – and you never “know” how it must have felt like when you actually don’t live in Berlin. It is easier to imagine how people were separated by a wall. Years long. Isolated. – A mad mad city, a mad mad story. And if you live in another Bundesland – federal state – as a foreigner, you never know the “difference” between east and west…

Unlike the Bavarians, having breakfast with Weißwurst & Weißbier & Brezel on Friday mornings in a company I worked at for 3 years 7.30a.m. actually!, people had a different lifestyle in Berlin. They woke up later, began work later, but finished work later, too. I had even begun to greet people with “Mahlzeit” after 10 a.m. down in Bavaria.

Now in this mad city where one can see so many different attitudes towards life…and no one cares.

However in Berlin, I realized people shake hands like hell. First group training in this local TV station, 8 participants. At 8.45 a.m. the first one arrived, I shook hands: “Good morning”, 3 min later the next arrived, “good morning” – shook hands, and only 2 min later the next one arrived with another participant together. “Good morning” – when I shook hands with one of them, the other waited behind to do the same. And the next one and the next one arrived…

At 8.55 they were all complete. We could start. What I like about Germans is that they have a highly developed sense of time. They expect you to begin punctually, and finish punctually.

Two weeks later, I visited my mother in Manchester. A friend of hers’ son was going to Berlin on business next week. What would I advice?

I said to my mum: “He should not hesitate to shake hands with anything that is moving.”

 

Text: Eveline Goodman.

„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.

1 Kommentar

  1. Alex

    I hope she’s not a teacher. That’s barely English.

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