I subscribed to a YouTube channel, believe it or not. I had sworn never to do such a thing, but a couple of days ago, I just wandered around YouTube out of pure boredom and sort of fell over NALFs channel, which is funny, interesting and a whole different look onto my home country. So here is a strong recommendation to my readers: Do have a look at that. Today, I watched a video titled "Germany's Most Uncomfortable Behaviour". Honestly, I had to grin a bit, partly recognizing myself. So, as I have grown to like that young man*, here's one bit of non-exculpatory explanation.
Germans stare, Nick says. And he probably is right. Our capability of not getting a grip on events or people around us is unparalleled. We are very thorough but not necessarily quick which can lead to sometimes quite strange situations, not only with people from other countries. Oddly enough, Germans don't like to be stared at as well and when they become aware of being stared at, they can react quite aggressively.
But why on earth do they stare? Well, there are quite some reasons for staring. I already mentioned the mental delay in understanding a situation or sight. Everything that is unusual is deeply astonishing and needs to be taken in. Not only, but mostly people. People speaking English fluently might fall into this category especially because Germans learn English for at least 5 years while going to school. Most of them get at least some kind of self-defence understanding of the language but never actually see someone using it as a means of communication.** So, this is a jawdroppingly overwhelming event, please be patient and bear with them. They mean no harm.
Another cause for staring is when you're not exactly bored but just idle. To me, that happens often when I have a meal with others. As the youngest of three siblings, having had to eat with five other persons at the same table and always feeling to miss out on the good stuff, I got used to eating fast.*** As a result, I usually finish first and I don't talk during meals. So, when done, I sit idly at the table and my eyes wander to places with movement - which usually are the plates of the other people at the table. Don't ask me how often I was asked if I still was hungry. Embarrassing!
And the last bit I can think of is as well idle wandering of the eyes, but a different kind. When I am sitting in a park, just enjoying the day or having a cup of coffee in a café, leaning back and thinking of nothing, I often find myself following movement around me. That can be a dog, a bird - or a person. Most of the time, I'm very relaxed an half asleep, so I don't even realize what I'm doing until I get asked what I am staring at.****
So, as I now was made aware of what that behaviour might feel like to other people, I shall do my utmost to avoid it. No promises, though, I am a creature of habit.
Regards to Nick, may your vlog keep existing for a very long time, it is really entertaining.*****
*Don't you dare and complain about that to a fat old lady!
** I am German, I gave private lessons, I am entitled to exaggerate. Do not object. At all.
*** Why do you think I'm a fat old lady?
**** And coming from Germans, this is MOST uncomfortable, believe me.
***** German praise. Be pleased.