Short Post. A musing, more like!
Everybody has probably heard the stereotype of the Germans being efficient, almost to the point of being automatons. Being a politically correct soul, I tried to assure myself that the stereotype was just that, a stereotype.
But I did have second thoughts about that just a few minutes ago, as I stood outside the Informatics building, getting some fresh air after remaining cooped up in a basement lab for far too long. A chap tried to get in through this other door, which was locked.
He then walked in through the door where I was standing, and then tried to get into the section of the building that was accessible through the first door by trying his luck with another door inside the building. This door was locked as well. As he walked out, he gave me the rueful smile that transcends international borders.
All fine till now, yeah?
Then, this bonnie lass in a tracksuit tried to access the first door (aside: Why do women in tracksuits look so edible? Metaphorically, of course, before you start likening me to one of those cannibal chappies in Papua New Guinea). Which, of course, did not work. Then, she moved along and tried the second door, just like the chap before him. As she wrestled unsuccessfully with the second door, a third woman tried the first door, saw the second woman wrestle with the second, and decided, nonetheless, to try her luck herself.
This process continued, with bucketloads of people following their predecessors (whom they could espy) along the same path. I decided to tell the fifteenth person who walked past the door where I stood that the door inside was locked as well. She said, 'Oh, too bad!', and went on to do exactly the same thing!
Now, if this were a bunch of Brits, they would probably have formed an orderly queue outside either of the doors, and waited politely for someone to open the door for them (or they died of exposure to the elements waiting politely).
And if this were a bunch of Indians, we would have first tried break the lock, failing which we would have clambered in through the windows - stopping for a minute to carve our initials (and other profound messages like 'Samir loves Anita') on the window sill.
At this note, I stop my racial stereotyping for the day. I've been an equal opportunities racist, I hope! ;)