Culture shock, the other way round

After a tightly regulated drop-off at the Zurich Airport (5 min max – otherwise the car driver gets charged), a high-end self check-in (one even has to affix the baggage tab) and a super smooth, fast and reliable security check, I obviously had to secretly compare the Swiss (respectively German) standards to what I know from Delhi.

Innumerable people had also asked me in recent days: What struck you on your return to Germany?

To be honest, it’s not that much. Foremost, I felt and saw darkness. People, for example, like to wear black clothes, and nothing but black (well, every now and then, a blue jeans or a sombre beige is standing out). The sky prefers to obtain all shades of grey, and the fact that it gets dark at 4pm also doesn’t help.

Public display of things that remain private in India also catch my eye: the guy drinking a bottle of beer and staggering along the train station, a couple kissing intensely, someone (not belonging to the lower classes) openly lighting a cigarette, young people singing out on the way to the next party.

And no one is staring at me. Initially, I felt a little disappointed. Not outstanding anymore because of my skin colour, no one took notice of me. But after a while, I started feeling comfortable being just one in a million again. We’ll see how I’m going to feel back in Delhi.

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