Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Surprises

Well, I got my first hug from one of my German neighbors today. And not from someone I really knew, which was an even bigger surprise to me!

A local package carrier has the habit of dropping one or two parcels off at my house if I happen to be home when a neighbor's out. The local frauenarzt (gynecologist) has his office three doors down from us, in the same rowhouse. Today the package man asked to leave fifteen big packages with me since the office was still closed for lunch, and I agreed. The doctor could hardly believe me when I told him I had fünfzehn packages, and repeatedly thanked me as he hauled them over to his office. Then, after the last trip, he suddenly opened his arms and gave me a big hug, which left me speechless...that's not typically the German way, at least not from my observations so far.

Maybe he's just extra comfortable with women? Or very demonstrative? Huh. It was a bit startling. But also nice.

4 comments:

Ruth said...

We live in a community with a strong German heritage. German is heard commonly in shops and on the street. The local people tend to be emotionally reserved, but a display of affection really means something. I am sure you made the doctor's day.

Betsy said...

Did you check to see if you still have your wallet?

Africakid said...

I knew there was a reason I haven't seen it around lately!

olmue said...

Kind exhuberance!

There are circumstances where Germans do hug people, and I don't think I've figured it all out yet. I notice that when I go to church, the Germans make a point to greet (and take leave of) every single person with either a hug or a handshake. We have the odd American, too, and you can always tell, even if they haven't spoken yet, because they say hi to the group, but don't feel moved to hug everyone.

Outside of that sphere, though, I haven't met too many huggers--so maybe you should feel honored!