4 June 2003 - Somewhere between Berlin and Hamburg

There is a reason why people get stereo-typed. You hear about loud Americans and arrogant Germans, and there must be some basis for it all.

Take my train journey from Berlin to Budapest, for example. I was sharing a couchette cabin with this dear old German lady and two Americans.

These guys were walking advertisements for stereotypical Americans. They spent half the night talking to each other, in loud, annoying voices, on subjects as diverse as which girls in college were hot to which girls they've met on their trip so far were hot. Not that I enjoy eavesdropping on people, but there are times when you just don't have a choice.

"Man, do you remember Sharon?"
"Oh yeah, she was awesome, dude. But she'd do anyone."
"No way! How come she never did it with me?"
"Cos you're such an a******, dude!"

"Do you remember that chick from London? Man, she was hot!"

And so on, and so forth. For at least an hour they discussed various conquests (rather, degrees of conquest).

What was more surprising was that these guys weren't just out of high school. They were both over twenty six. Listening to them talk made me feel good that at 26 I was where I was in life, working in what I consider to be a worthwhile job, and not where they were. Okay, they probably made it with more hot girls than I did, but they'd have to be pretty hot to beat what I was doing.

Just as they were drifting to sleep, the train pulled into some other station. At least eight more Americans clambered on board into the cabin next door and just to confirm that the two I had just listened to weren't an aberration, they then proceeded to loudly explain to each other how sucky couchette cabins were, even if they did have awesome cup holders.


posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - permalink
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