A Basic Negative Attitude Can Spoil your Day – 7 Jul 10

City:
Wiesbaden
Country:
Germany

Today in the morning we started our journey back to Wiesbaden. We went by train and already talked about how nice it is to have this convenient way of travelling. There are good connections, you can just get in, sit down and enjoy the ride until you are at your destination. You can sleep, read, work on computer and even on the internet on some trains and of course you can also have food in the train.

We had prepared some things to take along on the train so that we could have lunch. We unpacked our food shortly after crossing the border to Germany and placed it on the table which was in between us. There were four seats, two and two in front of each other with a table in between and we had reserved three of those places. We had seen before that a person has reserved the fourth place, too, from the first Germany station up to Frankfurt. Otherwise, the rest of the train was pretty empty.

So we started eating and when the train stopped, a woman came in, looked at the seat numbers and said to us ‘This is my seat’. Ramona replied that now we were eating, if she would not mind, she could sit just next to us across the aisle where the same combination of seats with table was completely empty. Ramona added that she would have more space there. You could see in the lady’s face that she absolutely disagreed. ‘This is going too far!’ she said to Ramona and then to me, in English, ‘I paid for this place!’ Ramona was still friendly and told her that it was absolutely no problem if she wanted to sit on her seat, just there would be more space on the other side. The woman insisted and sat down with us.

There she was, sitting at our table, looking as if something had made her really angry. I thought it would be just friendly to offer her some food, too, as we were having lunch, so I asked her ‘Would you like to have some food? We have plenty!’ She replied ‘Oh, I can see, there is plenty, no, thank you!’ We smiled at that but she did not move her mouth. She kept on sitting there for a while, watching us eating with an expression on the face that clearly displayed her thoughts. Why were we sitting here next to her? Why were we eating happily while she was so angry? Why did she have the bad luck to have the seat right next to us and how could we dare asking her to sit somewhere else? Then, after maybe fifteen minutes, she got up, took her bag and left. She did not sit across the aisle, where the seats were still empty. She moved to the next wagon.

It was a very funny incident. We had to laugh about it afterwards and Thomas said this was typically German. The woman paid for the seat with this number, so she had to have this number! Even there was another option and with much more space, but she absolutely wanted to sit there. We could understand her hesitation if the whole train had been full and she could not find any other place. We could also understand if she had reserved a place with table and there was no other table free but there was the same place arrangement with three more places free!

Well, this did not spoil our mood, for us it did not really matter if she was sitting with us or not, but we thought about her and her mood. She fully spoiled her own mood for her journey and for no reason at all! We talked about it and realized that some people just have this kind of negative attitude towards strangers, towards changes, towards any kind of unplanned activity. There is no reason to be upset but still they decide to be. Be happy and positive instead!

Switzerland was nice but we are also happy to be back here in Wiesbaden.

7 Replies to “A Basic Negative Attitude Can Spoil your Day – 7 Jul 10”

  1. Back in the 1960s, the hippies used to call people like this “uptight,” meaning overly tense, nervous, and rigidly conventional. The word still fits well.

  2. How funny. When I started reading this story I felt myself start to feel agitated as I thought about the woman on the train. Her ideas about seats like my ideas about her attitude caused each of us to disturb ourselves unnecessarily. Haha! When I read about Romona’s reaction and then Swami Ji’s food offering I felt totally calm again. Haha so easily swayed today. Thank you you two.

  3. I bet that your positive influence in her presence actually contributed more than you think. It was very nice of you to offer her food and make her feel welcome. And I’m sure your positive energy and enjoyment stirred her negativity a bit. I bet that after she left the wagon where you were all sitting, she started to contemplate her own mood and ask why?? Slowly, it began to sink in that she didn’t need to feel that way at all. She couldn’t tell you that, but you helped bring some sunshine into her world. 🙂

  4. I know this kind of behaviour very well. Many foreigners who live in Germany woud also say, that this is typically German. Sometimes it’s funny, but sometimes, it is also sad. Why do some people have such a problem with sharing things, food etc. with others?

  5. That is absolutely hilarious! Why did she continue to sit there? Would it not have been severely awkward? Also would it have taken that mush effort on her part to just sit in another seat that was not taken? what pleasure did she get just from being unhappy, and showing to you that she was unhappy…that’s something that I will not understand but also at the same time maybe she was just having a bad day.