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Candid Lessons from Germany

Posted in: Communication, Oral Communication, storytelling Started by

Candid Lessons from Germany

Russian Soldiers' writings at Reichstag in BerlinEarlier this month, I was in Germany. I came away with 3 very profound lessons about the the country that I admire for her hard work, solid architecture and sorry, and “zero laughter policy”! Ouch!

Never Run Away from Your Past
While visiting the Reichstag building that is home to the German parliament (Bundestag), I was stunned to see that Germans are brutally honest with their past! I just have immense respect for the way they are candid about the dark period in German history, the Nazi era and the fall of Germany at the hands of the Russians.

To remind themselves of those dark days, the sully handwritten words and graffiti of Russian soldiers who took over the Reichtag have now been erected within the corridors of the German parliament. How humbling and sincere is that! Few nations have come clean of their past errors.

For a powerful nation as Germany to carry such colorful material outside the hall of the nation, it speaks volumes about their humility, honesty and sincerity. I was profoundly moved when I learned that German representatives decided to keep the abusive words as a reminder of their past.

Its Time to Get a Global Phone Line
While flying from Singapore to Berlin, I lost my iPhone. My initial London to Berlin Flight was cancelled due to poor weather in London. The new route from London – Frankfurt, and Frankfurt – Berlin did me in. That change robbed me of my precious gadget. I reporting it to Lufthansa and British Airways, but none could save my day.

I have two lessons from this journey.

Lesson 1:
First never fly without travel insurance that can cover incidents unplanned cancellations, loss of luggage, or weather disruptions. I believe I had purchased travel insurance. I will be calling Expedia to see if Mr. Preparedness Guy aka Resilience Man had walked his talk.

Lesson 2:
Next time before you travel, please, obtain a Global SIM Card. It is cheaper and it does not matter how many countries you travel to, you keep the same telephone number. It is a pay as you go service, so relax, you don’t have break the bank to pay roaming charges.

The Social Totem Pole
Two or three of my friends told me that the social order in Germany is unique. I was told that in Germany, women are at the top of the totem pole. Beneath them are the children. Beneath children, you have pet (dogs, cats, monkeys etc). Men are are the bottom.

Each one of them gave me different fond reasons why men are miserably at the bottom. They said men cannot be counted upon, they have tendency to screw-up things and and so on. Ok, yo get the point. It got me thinking, what will this ranking be in other countries?