Friday, April 17, 2009

First Impressions..

Weinheim is a small town, and the proportion of non-whites here is rather small. Apart from us (there's this chap from IIM B who's also interning here), and the couple of other asians we've seen, and a few people of apparently Turkish origin who run a few of the eating joints here, there are very few people of other races. So seeing a non-white person seems to be a rare sight here. I wouldn't for a moment say that people on the streets look down at us or are racist, but there is a definite way in which they look at us. It's not a mean, why-are-you-here look, just a confused what-do-I-do-now kinda gaze. They look at you and suddenly look away, or look through you, both of which can be rather disconcerting. It isn't that they are unfriendly either, for I have ventured to talk to a few people on the streets, for some or the other form of help, and they have always been extremely polite and helpful and friendly, even when I talk to them in a language with which they are not comfortable at all.
So it's a bit strange, and you end up being confused too about what to do. If I smile, they give me a hearty smile back, but otherwise they just leave it at that. I guess I should break the ice with a few Guten Tags!

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