It is different

On Monday evening I arrived in Germany after a flight of nearly 12 hours at the airport in Munich. After leaving the plane, I had to walk through several corridors to reach the security check for my connecting flight. Moving the feet and legs felt pretty good after sitting for a long time with only a small alley to walk back and forth when going to the toilet.

At the security check I immediately realized that I am no longer in Korea. There was no friendly “Hello” by the staff and the atmosphere was more like being investigated by the police rather than a simple security check.

Having passed this hurdle, I decided to go for a coffee.

Also here the staff had no time for a greeting and everything happened without any hint of emotion. I admit that there have been moments the politeness and friendliness in Korea was too much for me and I almost felt annoyed by it.

However, compared to being more closed up like in Germany, I have to say the Korean way is the better choice.

For me it is interesting to see how views on things can change. I used to live in my home country for almost 30 years and felt quite comfortable. Now with more than five years of experience of living in two totally different cultural environments, I feel sorry for people’s behavior when foreigners arrive in Germany.

Sometimes I even wish to tell them that people do not intend to be rude or make them feel uncomfortable and that it is just the way people are over here.

Anyway, I am trying to be a more positive example of my home country and treat people in a friendly and polite way, offer help when I feel it is needed or just say “Hello” when some foreign face is smiling at me.

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