Tomasito's Diary
Sex and the City - A Column

| 04 | Cultural Diffs |

Ever thought of leaving the cosy home base? Discover unknown fields, unfamiliar regions? The thought of crossing the borderline – a common thought. It has something exotic to think global. Borderless falling in love, falling in love borderless.

Okay, the variety in Germany is big. The market offers actually everything. First floor: blonds, brunettes, red-haired, black. Second floor: white, rather dark and dark skin, yellowish skin, reddish skin. Third floor: European flavours: Nordic style, Latino appearance, old Europe style, new EU countries style. Fourth floor: the other continents: Asian, African, South-American, North-American and in the speciality corner some Australian specimen. Sixth floor: Turkish girls. But though we apparently have it all, it’s not the same. It’s like eating Pizza at Giovanni’s at the corner: It is just not the pizza in the ristorante at some Toscana beach.

It’s dangerous! People that live here are Germanised. They know how the Germans function, they know how they flirt. But people that generally don’t live here don’t have any clue. The song “Aurélie” from the German group “Wir sind Helden” is a wonderful example for it:

Doch Aurélie kapiert das nie,
Jeden Abend fragt sie sich:
Wann nur verliebt sich wer in mich?

Aurélie so klappt das nie,
Du erwartest viel zu viel,
Die Deutschen flirten sehr subtil

Aurélie, die Männer mögen dich hier sehr.
Schau, auf der Straße schaut dir jeder hinterher!
Doch du merkst nichts, weil sie nicht pfeifen,
Und pfeifst du selbst, (sie) die Flucht ergreifen;
Du mußt wissen, hier ist weniger oft mehr.

Ach Aurelie, in Deutschland braucht die Liebe Zeit,
Hier ist man nach Tagen erst zum ersten Schritt bereit.
Die nächsten Wochen wird gesprochen,
Sich auf's Gründlichste berochen,
Und erst dann trifft man sich irgendwo zu zweit.

But Aurélie will never get it,
Every night she asks herself:
When finally does somebody fall in love with me?

Aurélie, never it will work like that,
You expect far too much,
The Germans flirt very subtle.

Aurélie, the men here like you a lot.
Look! On the street they turn their heads after you!
But you don't notice anything as they don't whistle,
And if it's you who whistles, they try to escape;
You better know: less is often more.

Well, Aurélie, in Germany love takes time,
Only after some days one is ready for the first step.
The next weeks they will speak,
Smell each other's smell,
And then, just then they meet alone.

| The whole lyrics (only in German) are here |

And it’s also the other way round, those Germans who, love-technically, want to cross the borderline, they neither have an idea how it works with those French, Italian, Spanish girls. Is love borderless or even can love be borderless?

In Italy and Spain there are different types of relations existing. There are friends, boy-/girlfriends and especially special friends. In Spanish those special friends are wonderfully described as “amigos con derecho al roce” – “friends with the right to friction”. In Italy it’s kind of the same, but the ‘special friends’ type is not always the friction mode. Sometimes it means also “special special special friend” but the actual speciality is that you don’t have sex together. Punto. So, regarding men, what’s so special about it…?! Special it would be if you didn’t have a relationship and nevertheless sex! ;-) So those special friends are close friends. Friends you talk with, friends you go out with, friends you study together with, and friends you discuss your special friends with. So a wonderful kind of friendship actually.

I think it’s because of the lack of an expression that exists only in German (and it’s not so used in Italy and Spain). It’s the expression “Bekannter”, so a ‘known person’ (“conocido”, “conoscente”), somebody you have seen twice or three times in your life, a person you can talk with, but with whom you don’t share deep thoughts. In Spain you’d call this person already a friend. So that’s, to generalize it a bit, why the Southern countries need the special category of ‘special friends’. Well, and the “friend with the right to friction” doesn’t really exist in German(y), you already call this a solid relationship (of course with exceptions) with a possibility of prospective marriage. Okay, it doesn’t go so far.

So back to the wonderful kind of friendship, those special friends for every occasion (except the one ‘explicit’ occasion). A really lovely thing – except if one part of the friendly non-couple feels a bit more for the other half than expected. Then it’s getting tricky. It could hurt a lot. Is this kind of relation really possible? If one is suffering and still more or less full of hope? He (also possible of course with ‘she’) wants to keep the relation upright, because maybe one night after some party, his friend is offering to stay at her place and he’ll sleep in the same bed. He can see his chance – the party was good, he talked a lot with her also about intimate things, they have a very close relation, and now he thinks this night it will get even closer. So they go to bed together, and he with all his hope and expectation hears her saying: “Good night, see you tomorrow.” And click – lights off.

If you still don’t know what kind of relationship you have with a borderless girl, it’s also a very nice situation. Cultural differences are very important. Borderless gifts from you, borderless phone calls, borderless text messages via your mobile “technically-closer-is-not-possible” thing, borderless “llamadas perdidas” - so the borderless “ring once” phenomenon to say “I’m thinking of you”, and very special things only dedicated to her. And she answers to all that, gives you messages that mean a lot to you and which even your best friends consider as “there-must-be-something-more-than-just-being-normal-friends”-messages. You are in daily contact and you think you should buy instantly a ticket to an airport close to her to visit her the next weekend. But then, being borderless on cloud number nine, light as a feather, you find out, that she considers you just as a friend – a special friend indeed, but a special friend is still just a friend. And being asked, what all those proofs of his love meant to her, she answers: “I thought they belonged to our special friendship…!” So the next time when he wants to be nice to a girl and give her a sign that he likes her, he will rent an airplane and write “I love you” into the sky. But then she probably will think: “How pathetic!”


Site by Tomasito - 18.11.2003