More Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

This next Random Act of Kindness was a lot easier to do than the first one.  Even I was able to do this one without too much language barrier issues.

Turns out the body language for “do you want to go ahead of me in line?” is really easy to do:Grocery store standing in line
FIRST – You look at your pile of groceries in your cart or on the conveyor belt and you look at their carts or hands with just a few items (of course you can do this act of kindness for someone who has the same or more groceries than you, but most of the time I have more groceries than the people behind me :)
SECOND – You give a general motion to wave them ahead of you, smile big, and step aside / make space for them to pass you
THIRD – You continue to smile and nod politely as they make some small talk and move ahead of you in line
This act of kindness normally goes off without a hitch and most people appreciate it here in Germany.   The only downside (for me) is that sometimes people then want to chat and make some kind of small talk after I let them go ahead of me in line.  For me personally, I feel bad telling them that I don’t know how to speak German.  The worst is when someone is making small talk and I am nodding along and smiling and they pause with a funny expression and I get the feeling they just asked me a question or expected a different response than me nodding my head.  I am sure I will get used to that feeling, but for some reason my default internal judgment meter goes into melt down mode and I equate not speaking the language as I am being rude and unable to communicate with them. 
(SIDE NOTE - I {know} logically that I am NOT being rude, but I still feel bad inside that they want to talk with me and I can’t communicate back… just being honest)  Wayward Traveler Blog about Italy and standing in line
Another result of this Random Act of Kindness is that it made me curious about the topic:  “Standing In Line in Foreign Countries”.  The Wayward Traveller has a post about standing in line in Italy.  (you can also click on the photo to see that post).
After reading a few websites – it turns out Germany is not too much different than the US when it comes to standing in line.  Here is one website where I enjoyed reading someone’s descriptions of lines…
“In Germany there are not so many "queue management systems", […]without these systems, the line forms a shape similar to a swarm of angry bees trying to exit a funnel at the narrow end. This causes Unordnung which many Germans are not normally accustomed to dealing with. This Unordnung brings Germans out of their normal comfort zone in which they are normally told or shown what to do. Most Germans can handle this and they remain polite and civil. However, some of them, without this corralling authority, revert to the law of the jungle and begin to flip out, because to them it means complete and total anarchy where they are no longer responsible for their actions. These actions might include pushing, shoving, […] and, in the worst cases, addressing each other in the informal 2nd person.”
I hope I am never in an altercation in Germany where the tension and anger level gets so out of hand that it forces someone into using the informal 2nd person!
Hope you enjoyed reading!  Lots of Love – Judi
Photo credit for people standing in line – The Ivy Coach.

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