I was doing a few errands yesterday and happened to be in an arkadan (mall) because right now that is the closest place I can get cash without a fee from an ATM. (Americans continue reading-Germany rarely uses credit cards so you need lots of cash)
My 2 year old was doing his 2 year old thing which consists of him running around directly in front of me. Some teenage girls were doing their German thing which is NEVER GETTING OUT OF THE WAY!!!
Of course, I couldn't get him out the way fast enough and the girls had to make a quick move to the right and they called him a Ratte (or rat). Ohhh... the horror of having to move 1 step to the right!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now my son is a lot of things but definitely not a rat. Unless it is this rat. I like this rat.
Seriously, I do not get this German culture thing of never getting out of anyone's way. How do Germans know what to do if no one ever gets out of the way? Do you know how many times I have gotten the stink eye and mostly because of my 2 year old son??? HE IS ONLY 2 PEOPLE!!! Of course he is going to get in people's way. That is what 2 year olds are good at!
sigh...maybe not knowing German is better! I would have never known what they said otherwise. I also wonder if they would have said that to a native German or if they even knew at all I was an Auslaender. I obviously speak mostly English to him but I can't be sure if they heard me.
I do understand the importance of controlling your child and believe me, we try to be good parents and keep him reined in as much as we can. When he doesn't want to be carried and throws a fit when he is in a stroller, what can you do? In fact, I was chided in Seattle once for telling him to be quiet in a grocery store. This crazy lady told me I should let children express themselves!
And the other thing-no one ever says "excuse me" or "sorry for stepping on your feet and pushing your child but I have to get on the subway."
I understand there are some cultural differences but this seems like it should be a human common sense of simply acknowledging that one has invaded another's space either intentionally or not.
Enough ranting. I swear I didn't take it personally. :)