Thursday, March 11, 2010

Missing - tact and diplomacy

Just when you think you're fully acclimatised to the culture here in Germany they do something that causes your mouth to drop open and your chin to hit the floor, your brain races to assimilate what's just been said, whilst at the same time you try in vain to maintain that polite British front...

Here's the story;

S was having a coffee and a chat with a friend, J, who she's known for maybe 2-3 years. This German woman has children from 2 different marriages and is now divorced from husband no. 2.

German law seems different to British law when it comes to divorce (although as I've never been involved in a divorce in either country I'm no expert) and where UK law seems (from a female point of view) reasonably fair, in German law things seem much harsher (or maybe I'm viewing this through the bitter tinted lenses of the 2 divorcees I know of here...)

So it turns out that J's husband (no. 2) did a bunk after finding another, more amenable woman on one of the many, many internet dating sites that have sprung up. She believes that he'd never have got up off his backside and gone actively searching for someone, but as it was, he could look quite happily from the comfort of his (marital) home while she (wifey) sat in the next room watching TV (there's a moral in that I guess - either don't let your other half cruise the internet alone or maybe check up what websites they've been viewing afterwards! Or maybe just spend more time together...)

After sharing this little pearl of information, J asks S what she'll do WHEN T (husband of S - I hope you're keeping up) does the same and finds himself a new woman on the internet and leaves her...
and then, clearly not noticing the stunned expression on S's face and having missed the sound of the chin hitting the floor, she carries on to outline the problems that S WILL face WHEN this happens, asking has she thought about this or that or the other and that clearly she'd lose the kids because they would be so thoroughly German and so would have to stay here while she'd have to return to the UK...

Meanwhile S's brain is still wandering in a dazed circle wondering whether she heard the question correctly or maybe just maybe it was lost in translation...


This woman really did ask her friend what she's going to do WHEN she's abandoned by her husband (who, by the way, has shown no signs of straying - as far as we're aware - in fact when told of the whole conversation he pretty much fell off his chair in hysterical laughter)

Forget lessons in anti-mobbing (see last week) German schools need to teach tact and diplomacy.

Germans - they're quite, quite bonkers!

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