If there was one thing I was uncomfortable with while in Germany, it was the silence. The silence that people maintained in trains, in offices. It was a bit unnerving.
The first night I slept in my own apartment there, I must confess I was a bit terrified. I felt the silence very unnatural. I guess I had never ever been in complete silence until then. In India, when we sleep, there is at least a fan running. There is some noise. Back in Germany, in my room, there was no fan. Well, fan did not seem necessary. The nights were chilly enough. So once things got settled down, there was complete silence. Except for the music which I used to play, there was no external noise. There were occasional sounds of footsteps outside the door in the hallway of the flat and sometimes, there might be voices. Other wise, it was dead silent.
Even the dogs seemed to know how to remain silent. My friend used to complain about this: "Here, dogs dont bark, mosquitoes dont bite and children dont cry..." Yeah, quite true. I think it was nearly a month after my stay that I heard a dog bark. I guess the dog was in a ecstatic mood as it was putting its head out of a big speeding truck. The simple sight made me happier.
I used to travel in train daily to reach my university office. I was completely offed by the silence I saw in the train. I guess perhaps they should take out a leaf or two from the Indian Transportation systems on human behaviour in trains. The kind of interaction that people have in any given transportation system in India was missing there.
All my observations in the first two days about the silence and germans were proved wrong in the subsequent days. I am saving it for the next post.