The second week’s observations Part Two

4. Not everyone is chatty and happy

Just when I had published my observation about the friendly Düsseldorfers, they decided to do what we commonly call a Vorführeffekt (try pronouncing that!) in German. The demonstration effect means that something always is a certain way until you want to show it to someone else, then it suddenly is completely different. Like when I went to three different restaurants with Joraine and Simon and the staff was remarkably unfriendly in each of them, just after I had gone on about how happy and chatty people are here.

5. Düsseldorf is not flat

Somehow Düsseldorf is considered flat. It is not Heidelberg (even though some cobble stone streets remind me of it) but my idea of its topography being perfectly flat like Hamburg’s or Lower Saxony’s (which has, much to the amusement of my South German relatives, “Attention! Five percent ascending slope!”) was wrong. I encountered a hill. A hill that makes you change gear. Och finns det en så finns det flera! I consider it proven, Düsseldorf is not flat.

6. They have Aldi Süd

The cheapest grocery store in Germany is Aldi and we Germans go there. We feel very smart to buy the cheapest possible food. We don’t go to Lidl because that is more expensive than Aldi. I know that in other countries, it is considered smart to spend more money on groceries but we Germans believe that it is all the same quality anyway, the more expensive chains just want to make more profit (and shelves, Aldi does not really have shelves). Since 17 years, I have shopped at Aldi Nord. I got used to their blue logo, to their assortment, I know that store. Where Aldi Nord is, that’s my home. Imagine the shock when I saw a lady carrying an Aldi Süd bag yesterday. The orange logo shining forth, signalling very clearly: You have left the Aldi Nord sector. Vous étez sortis du secteur Aldi Nord. All this time telling myself that I still kind of live in the North and that the Rhineland is definitely not the South – come to naught! I live in Aldi Süd land, there is no denying it.

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